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Demetri Economou has over a decade of high-stakes oil and gas experience and currently co-chairs KRCL’s Energy, Oil & Gas Practice Group. Demetri is regularly on the front lines of disputes, both before and during litigation.

With over 10 years advising general counsel and business leaders in the energy industry, Demetri brings the experience and resolve necessary to meet any legal challenge. He provides trusted advice to KRCL’s upstream, midstream and oilfield services clients, including in high-dollar royalty litigation and cases involving lease and deed interpretation, surface use, midstream and services contracts, and oilfield trade secrets, including both trial and appellate work. Demetri and the KRCL energy team regularly speak on cutting-edge energy law issues throughout Texas.

In support of KRCL’s Chambers-ranked bankruptcy practice, Demetri advises oilfield equipment financiers and banks in preserving and enforcing multi-million dollar security interests.

He has been selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the past six years, 2017-2022.

Demetri also represents energy and non-energy clients in restrictive covenant and unfair employment practices lawsuits. He has prosecuted and defended cases involving non-competition and non-solicitation covenants and allegations of misuse of confidential information and trade secrets. In support of KRCL’s Labor & Employment Practice, Demetri also assists select clients with employment counseling, including issues regarding onboarding and exiting employees, personnel agreements, compensation schemes, and core HR documents.

Demetri is a leader on KRCL’s Project Make-A-Difference Committee and the Firm’s 30 Acts of Giving Campaign, acting as liaison for KRCL’s support of bridge-employer programs for teens and young adults with autism and autism-spectrum disorders. This is a focus near and dear to his heart.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas (2011)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas

Education

  • South Texas College of Law, J.D., 2011
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 2006

Representative Energy Experience

  • Represented South Texas working interest owners in royalty litigation with hundreds of millions of dollars in controversy, reaching favorable mediated and private settlements.
  • Won complete defense summary judgment for 11 related defendants accused of theft and conspiracy, and over $1 million defense fee award (affirmed on appeal).
  • Won bench trial over interpled royalty proceeds and going-forward royalty payments resulting from alleged improper deed interpretation.
  • Represented South Texas operator in royalty lawsuits with tens of millions of dollars in controversy, obtaining favorable mediated settlements.
  • Won complete defense summary judgment for operator against allegations of improper payment of royalties related to a life estate.
  • Represented oilfield valve distributors in complex case involving $2.6 million in debt claims, and $8+ million in breach of warranty, breach of contract, and negligence counterclaims, obtaining dismissal of a number of counterclaims and favorable mediated settlement of the remainder.
  • Represented national distributor of oilfield services products in breach of contract dispute, obtaining favorable summary judgment, as well as several favorable negotiated settlements for the same company.

Representative Crossover L&E Experience

  • Successfully defended appeal on behalf of Texas-based oil and gas operator in FMLA and disability discrimination case.
  • Won administrative bench trial for West Texas crude oil transporter in OSHA retaliation (whistleblower) suit.
  • Represented oilfield equipment manufacturer against former employee and new employer for violations of Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act and non-disclosure agreement, reaching favorable mediated settlement.
  • Represented wide range of oilfield services companies in dozens of FLSA (overtime) lawsuits covering alleged improper classification of independent contractors and improper exemptions, reaching favorable mediated and private settlements.

Notable Decisions

  • Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc., No. 3:18-CV-01345-X, 2021 WL 824647 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 3, 2021), aff’d, No. 21-10027, 2022 WL 796179 (5th Cir. Mar. 15, 2022) (trial and appellate counsel obtaining complete defense summary judgment and award of over $1 million in attorney’s fees).
  • Thiery v. Coastal Plains Trucking, LLC, ALJ No. 2016-STA-00032, OSHA No. 6-0030-16-010 (Sep. 30, 2020) (administrative trial counsel for oilfield trucking company, obtaining complete dismissal of employee’s OSHA retaliation claims after bench trial).
  • Lexington Luminance, LLC v. Elong International USA, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-00532 (N.D. Tex. Sep. 15, 2020) (obtained protective order and quashal of apex deposition of client’s president).
  • Goldstein v. Villas on Travis Condo. Owners’ Ass’n, Inc. Bd., No. 03-19-00012-CV, 2019 WL 4068561 (Tex. App.—Austin Aug. 29, 2019, pet. denied) (trial counsel obtaining dismissal of all claims under Texas Citizens Participation Act and award of attorney’s fees and sanctions; decision affirmed).
  • Judon v. EP Energy, L.L.C., 756 Fed. Appx. 444, 2019 WL 1092630 (5th Cir. Mar. 6, 2019) (appellate counsel obtaining affirmation of dismissal of FMLA, ADA and hostile work environment claims).
  • Thymes v. Gillman Companies, No. CV-H-17-2834, 2018 WL 3025045 (S.D. Tex. June 18, 2018), and 2018 WL 1281852 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 9, 2018) (trial counsel obtaining complete dismissal of consumer identity theft claims).
  • FP Stores, Inc. v. Tramontina US Inc., 513 S.W.3d 684 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016, pet. denied) (counsel on successful appeal in first impression case regarding good faith of a commercial sublessor).
  • In re Otto, 509 B.R. 566, 568 (S.D. Tex. 2014) (counsel to successful appellee in first impression bankruptcy appeal concerning the right to setoff).
  • Danet v. Bhan, 436 S.W.3d 793 (Tex. 2014) (counsel to amicus curiae in support of successful Supreme Court appeal).
  • Texas Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters (2017 - 2022)
  • Top Lawyers, Houstonia Magazine (2019)
  • Houston Bar Association President’s Award (2014)
  • State Bar of Texas – Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law and Labor and Employment Law Sections.
  • Houston Bar Association –Oil and Gas and Labor and Employment Sections.
  • “Fixed vs. Floating Royalty Issues,” Permian Basin Landmen’s Association Spring Education Seminar (April 2022)
  • Devon v. Sheppard: T&F and Other Post-Production Costs,” Permian Basin Association of Division Order Analysts and Permian Association of Lease and Title Analysts Spring Conference (April 2022)
  • “Fixed vs. Floating Royalty Issues,” Permian Basin Association of Division Order Analysts and Permian Association of Lease and Title Analysts Monthly Seminar (April 2022)
  • "Federal Energy Policy Under the Biden Administration," KRCL Energy & Transportation Webinar (May 2021)
  • "Legal Considerations When Recruiting Locally and Nationwide," 1st Annual HR Maximizer Member Conference (August 2018).
  • “Trump’s Energy Initiatives: What Are They and Where Do They Stand” (2018).
  • “National Labor Relations Act and First Amendment Speech Concerns in the Workplace” (2016).
  • “Advanced Overtime Training for Human Resources, C-Suite Managers and In-House Lawyers” (2015).
  • “Attorney Development in the Internet Age” (2015).
  • Co-Chair, KRCL Project Make A Difference Committee
  • Co-Chair, KRCL 30 Acts of Giving Campaign
  • ASPIRE Houston, volunteer

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