Mr. Thomas is a trial attorney and trained problem solver who draws on a broad base of experience to craft unique solutions for his clients. After earning a long list of honors during college and law school—all at the University of Texas—he gained invaluable experience and exposure as a federal law clerk to the Honorable Jane J. Boyle in Dallas. Mr. Thomas then spent several years honing his litigation skills at Vinson & Elkins, LLP, one of the largest international law firms in Texas. Through these experiences, Mr. Thomas has learned how to solve complicated problems in an efficient, client-centered manner. He relishes building rapport with his clients and helping them analyze legal strategy and risks. Mr. Thomas is always prepared to boldly pursue his clients’ cause all of the way through trial.

Cort is an out-of-the-box thinker who pursues justice for his clients in a resourceful and trustworthy manner. His character is marked by an unwavering conviction to do what is true and right and to counsel his clients in the same way.

- Construction industry veteran

Insofar as familiarity with the federal judiciary, local rules, practices, and procedures, I doubt there’s another young, partner-level lawyer in Texas who knows the Northern District as well as Cort does.

- Russ Brown, Managing Partner, Brown Fox
Practice Focus & Experience
Federal Court Litigation

Mr. Thomas has extensive litigation experience in federal district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts throughout the United States and frequently serves as local counsel for matters pending in Dallas. He recently completed service as the President of the Dallas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and continues to serve on the Northern District of Texas’s Bench Bar Committee. He began his legal career as a law clerk in the chambers of United States District Judge Jane J. Boyle, where he learned the ins and outs of local practice. Examples of Mr. Thomas’ work in federal courts include:

  • (N.D. Tex.) ‒ Represented oil and gas company in a lawsuit against its insurance carrier regarding a pollution event at a salt water disposal well purchased through bankruptcy.
  • (N.D. Tex.) – Represented primary insurer in contract dispute with reinsurer
  • (E.D. Tex.) ‒ Represented credit card processing company in lawsuit brought by restaurant owner
  • (N.D. Tex., Ft. Worth) ‒ Represented non-profit foundation in breach of contract case involving PPE supplier during the first walls of the COVID pandemic
  • (N.D. Tex., Ft Worth) – Represented family member sued for alleged violations of trust agreement and fiduciary duties
  • (N.D. Tex., Ft. Worth; Tex. Dist. – Tarrant County; Arbitration) Represented cybersecurity firm in dispute with former executive
  • (N.D. Tex. & E.D. Tex.) — Represented manufacturer of home construction materials in series of products liability cases brought by subrogee insurance companies
  • (N.D. Tex. & D. Del. ) — Defended master limited partnership, affiliates, and directors against shareholders’ securities claims under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Represented processing agent against claims brought involving Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Served as local counsel and represented large biotech company in employment dispute with former employee
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Served as local counsel and represented a major health care provider in a lawsuit against a repricing company for false advertising under the Lanham Act and other business torts
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Served as local counsel and represented large software company in insurance coverage dispute
  • (N.D. Tex.) – Represented multiple third parties in responding to document and deposition subpoenas
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Served as court-appointed guardian ad litem in personal injury cases
  • (N.D. Tex.) — Served as member of the court’s CJA panel in multiple federal criminal cases
  • (5th Cir.) — Represented staffing company in obtaining reversal of district court’s dismissal of Section 1981 claim
  • (N.D. Cal.) — Represented transportation company in FLSA collective action
  • (Bankr. W.D. La.) — Represented secured lender in chapter 11 cases filed in Lafayette, Louisiana
  • (Bank. S.D. Tex.) — Represented GOM working interest owner in adversary proceeding brought in Houston, Texas
  • (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) — Advised private equity firm in connection with prepackaged chapter 11 filing of GOM E&P subsidiary
  • (Bankr. N.D. Tex.) – Served as conflicts counsel to Chapter 11 Debtor

Drawing on his experience in federal courts, Mr. Thomas also serves as a court-appointed federal equity receiver in actions brought by regulatory bodies. Mr. Thomas currently serves as the receiver in SEC v. Barton, et al., No. 3:22-cv-2118-X in the Northern District of Texas. If you are an investor or creditor, you can access the Receivership website here. He also regularly represents receivers in similar actions. Mr. Thomas also serves as the receiver in SEC v. Gallagher Financial Group, et al., No. 3:19-cv-575-C, in the Northern District of Texas. If you are an investor, please access the Receivership’s home page here.

Other Commercial Litigation

Mr. Thomas also has extensive experience litigating disputes in state courts throughout Texas and before administrative tribunals, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and Office of Financial Institution Adjudication (OFIA). He has handled a wide array of energy-related cases, ranging from disputes over oil and gas joint operating agreements, to gas service agreements, to CCN proceedings surrounding the construction of an electric transmission line. He has also defended bank executives against their removal from banking, represented large private equity funds and fund-backed subsidiaries in contract disputes, and helped commercial landlords deal with difficult tenants. Examples of Cort’s other commercial litigation experience include:

  • (OFIA, FDIC, 5th Cir.) — Defended bank director in enforcement action brought by FDIC relating to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, violations of law, and unsafe and unsound practices
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) — Represented home healthcare business in defending claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference in connection with employee non-solicitation agreements
  • (Tex. Dist. – Reeves & Pecos Cntys.) — Represented large E&P company in connection with series of AMI and title disputes
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) — Represented private equity firm in connection with non-operating working interests in Permian Basin and dispute over JOA
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas County; Arbitration) ‒ Represented investor in suit to recover investment from defaulting oil and gas company
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas County) – Represented minority shareholders in lawsuits against majority owners in closely-held businesses
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas County) ‒ Represented noteholder in efforts to recover loan proceeds from fraudulent scheme
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas County) ‒ Represented minerals acquisition company in defense against defamation claims using Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA)
  • Pursued collection efforts on behalf of companies in a variety of industries, including energy, construction, and commercial real estate
  • Represented gas distributor in dispute with intrastate natural gas pipeline company regarding terms of gas services agreement and statement of operating conditions
  • Assisted state-chartered bank with internal investigation of complaints
Utility Litigation
  • (Tex. Cnty. Courts) — Represented both property owners and utilities in eminent domain proceedings related to electric transmission lines and state highway takings
  • (PUCT) — Represented electric utility in various disputes before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the Austin Court of Appeals, and various other Texas state courts
  • (PUCT) — Represented electric utility in base rate case and change of control proceedings
  • (PUCT) — Represented landowners in utility’s application to amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to construct a new transmission line in North Texas
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas County) – Represented utility company in dispute regarding utility’s tariff
Real Estate
  • (N.D. Tex.) Defended national REIT against claims brought by dissatisfied potential tenant
  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) Represented landlords in various lease disputes with tenants in various state district courts, resulting in several judgements for landlord and collection efforts
  • (Tex. Dist. – Harris Cnty.) Represented land owner in boundary line dispute with adjoining landowner
  • Advised multiple global investment managers and REITs through disputes with defaulting commercial tenants
  • Advised national property management company through disputes with property owners over management agreement and construction issues
  • Negotiated commercial leases and purchase and sale agreements for various real estate investment firms
  • Advised multiple residential and commercial construction companies regarding contract disputes, lien and bond issues, contract negotiations, and other matters
Financial Services
  • (N.D. Tex.) Served as court-appointed receiver over financial services firm in enforcement action brought by Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Represented a publicly traded asset management company in various disputes with former employees and other claimants in Texas and Kansas
  • Advised independent wealth advisor on various contractual, employment, and other business matters
Alternative Dispute Resolution

While Mr. Thomas enjoys defending his clients in traditional court proceedings, he understands that the best, most cost-effective solution might be something other than traditional litigation. He has represented clients in multiple private arbitrations, including special expedited arbitrations aimed at minimizing costs for all parties involved. Mr. Thomas has advised clients through multiple successful mediations, with some even taking place before any discovery had occurred.

  • (Arbitration) – Represented E&P company in arbitrations involving Fair Labor Standards Act
  • (Arbitration) — Represented private equity firm in AAA arbitration involving corporate tax dispute involving purchase and sale agreement
  • (Arbitration) — Represented various midstream and E&P companies in arbitrations involving purchase and sale agreements and indemnity claims
  • (Arbitration) — Represented LLC members in business dispute surrounding windup of oilfield services
Mediator & Arbitrator

Mr. Thomas also serves as a mediator and arbitrator. In these roles, he has handled a variety of commercial disputes, including cases involving construction defects, landlord-tenant disputes, DTPA claims, wrongful foreclosures, wrongful repossessions, breaches of contract, and attorney-client disputes. In addition to mediating and arbitrating for a fee, Mr. Thomas provides pro bono mediation services through the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center. Mr. Thomas is also currently in the certification process to become a certified Christian Conciliator with the Institute of Christian Conciliation.

Outside General Counsel

Mr. Thomas comes from a family of entrepreneurs and uniquely understands the demands on small and medium-sized business owners, having worked in a family business for several years before attending law school. Mr. Thomas now uses that insight to help guide businesses through their everyday legal challenges. In addition to litigation analysis, he regularly assists clients with issues surrounding contract negotiation and drafting, asset protection, corporate structure and governance, real estate transactions (including purchases, sales, and leases), and employment counseling. Industries in which Mr. Thomas has served as outside counsel include financial services, commercial and residential construction, real estate investment, and higher education.

  • “Tax Issues: A Checklist for Receivers,” The Receiver (July 2020), co-authored with Joshua Smeltzer
  • “Enforcing a Pipeline Carrier’s Liens: Pipelines’ Powerful Lien Rights over Shippers’ Oil and Gas Secures Their Transportation Charges,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal (May 2017), co-authored with Josiah Daniel
  • “Criminal Malpractice: Avoiding the Chutes and Using the Ladders,” American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 37, Pg. 331 (Summer 2010)
  • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Decade of Rapid Expansion Explained, Defended, and Justified,” The Review of Litigation, Vol. 39, Pg. 439 (Winter 2010)
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Western District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Texas (all courts)
  • Former Member, N.D. Tex. Court Advisory Committee
  • Member, N.D. Tex. CJA Panel
  • Attorney Liaison, N.D. Tex. Pro Bono Civil Panel
  • Member, N.D. Tex. Bench Bar Committee (Past Co-Chair)
  • Executive Committee, Federal Bar Association Dallas Chapter (Treasurer; Past President)
  • Associate Member, National Association of Federal Equity Receivers
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
  • Professional Background:
    • Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Jane J. Boyle, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 2010 – 2011
    • Vinson & Elkins LLP, 2011-2018
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., Honors (2010)
    • Chief Articles Editor, The Review of Litigation
    • Editor-at-Large, The American Journal of Criminal Law
    • Dean’s Achievement Award, Construction Law

After spending time working in the construction industry after obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mr. Thomas returned to the University of Texas to pursue his law degree. During law school, Mr. Thomas served as a staff editor and later a member of the Editorial Board of both the Review of Litigation and the American Journal of Criminal Law. He received the Dean’s Achievement Award for obtaining the highest grade in his construction law class, and ultimately graduated with honors. His favorite course in law school was a Supreme Court Litigation seminar taught by current United States Senator Ted Cruz and current Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jim Ho.

  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., High Honors (2006)
    • Triple major in Plan II, Government, and Spanish; Minors in History and Latin American Studies
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Distinguished Honors Scholar, National Merit Scholar
    • Senior Thesis: “Sport and War: The Value of Sport as an Instrument of Peace”
  • Up-and-Coming 100: Texas Rising Stars, Super Lawyers (2024)
  • Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America (2022-2024)
  • Texas Rising Stars, Super Lawyers (2020 – 2024)
  • Up-and-Coming 100, Super Lawyers (2024)
  • Volunteer of the Month, Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (2018)
  • National Merit Scholar

Mr. Thomas has dedicated a substantial portion of his practice to giving back to the community and supporting important causes through pro bono legal services. He was recognized as a member of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017, meaning that he spent a minimum of 75 hours each year providing legal services to the poor. Examples of Mr. Thomas’ pro bono representations involving the poor and other organizations, including:

  • Represented Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court in support of a high school coach who was fired for kneeling and praying after football games.
  • Along with the Alliance Defending Freedom, represented Manhattan Institute in filing amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court in support of free speech in the face of state action by elected officials using social media.
  • Represented a local church in a property dispute
  • Represented an individual in obtaining affirmative asylum in the United States based on past political persecution and torture overseas
  • Represented individuals in seeking guardianship over their incapacitated adult children
  • Represented animal rescue organizations in probate disputes, as well as claims by individuals regarding the rightful ownership of pets
  • Served as a volunteer prosecutor at the City of Grand Prairie Municipal Court, including arguing more than a dozen jury and bench trials to verdict

Mr. Thomas also serves in various capacities outside of the legal profession:

  • Trustee, Providence Christian School of Texas (PK-8 Classical Christian School)
  • Board Member, Marketplace Chaplains (Organization that places thousands of Chaplains in businesses throughout the United States)
  • Volunteer, West Dallas Community School (PK-8 Classical Christian School)
  • Chair, Finance Team at City Church International
  • Member, Dallas Justice (Legal ministry of lawyers throughout Dallas who serve various local and international ministries and pro bono needs)
  • Trained in Christian conciliation and peacemaking

Long before stepping foot in a courtroom, I worked as a licensed installer of fire suppression systems in commercial kitchens. While work is now air-conditioned, that experience cultivated a strong work ethic and unique insight into the construction industry.

While some say the pen is mightier than the sword, my son Peter disagrees. But together, we enjoy using our own swords (or “chisels”) to craft pens and other wooden objects on a lathe.

While I have resigned myself to the reality that I will never be the golfer I want to be, I have been fortunate enough to play (albeit poorly) some of the most beautiful courses in the world.

More About Cort Thomas

Cort was born and raised in Richardson, Texas. He attended Providence Christian School through his sophomore year of high school and graduated from Trinity Christian Academy, where he met his wife, Kelsey. They have been married for over 10 years and have two daughters and two sons. Prior to receiving his law degree, Cort worked as a licensed fire suppression technician and also installed fire alarm and burglar alarm systems. In his spare time, Cort enjoys playing golf and basketball, fishing with his family, and woodworking. Cort and Kelsey are members of City Church International in Dallas.

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