Chris Odell heads the firm's Houston office and is a trial lawyer whose practice focuses on complex litigation in the energy, aviation, and healthcare industries. Mr. Odell has tried cases to verdict in federal court, state court, and before arbitration panels, and has successfully represented clients in appeals and internal investigations of alleged corporate misconduct. He has represented leading clients in many of the most significant aviation disaster cases in the past decade. He also has extensive experience prosecuting and defending claims of trade secret misappropriation in the aviation and energy industries, including in TRO and preliminary injunction hearings, and he has also tried breach of contract, fraud, fiduciary duty, and employment cases to verdict in state and federal courts. Mr. Odell maintains an active pro bono practice focused on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable members of society, including immigrants, asylum seekers, and criminal defendants.

Mr. Odell graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School. Before attending law school, he served as Deputy Press Secretary for the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Experience

  • European airframe manufacturer in multiple lawsuits and arbitration proceedings in the US and abroad arising from the worst aviation disaster in Brazilian history. All US claims against our client were dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds; dismissal affirmed on appeal. Tazoe v. Airbus S.A.S. et al., 631 F.3d 1321 (11th Cir. 2011).
  • Aviation component manufacturer in product liability litigation in Texas federal court. Obtained summary judgment on claims of personal injury allegedly caused by exposure to "bleed air" contaminated with toxic chemicals. Davidson v. Fairchild Controls Corp., 882 F.3d 180 (5th Cir. 2018).
  • European airframe manufacturer in multidistrict litigation arising out of an accident over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. All US claims against our client were dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds. In re Air Crash Over the Mid-Atlantic on June 1, 2009, 760 F. Supp. 2d 832 (N.D. Cal. 2010).
  • European airframe manufacturer in state court litigation arising from mid-air incident over the Indian Ocean. Obtained summary judgment against plaintiffs' personal injury claims based on application of New Zealand law. Tuna v. Airbus S.A.S., 2017 IL App (1st) 153645.
  • Helicopter maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company in trade secret and trademark infringement suit. Case settled on favorable terms following the district court's decision denying plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction against our client. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. et al. v. Vector Aerospace USA Inc. (N.D. Tex. 2013).
  • Major international cruise line in litigation arising from well-publicized Italian cruise ship accident.
  • European airframe manufacturer in state and federal court litigation arising from airplane accidents in Libya, Mexico, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Canada, and Australia.
  • European airframe manufacturer in personal injury lawsuits arising from alleged cabin fume events.

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
Appellate (2019)
Transport Aviation and Air Travel: Litigation (2019)
Transport: Aviation and Air Travel (2017)
Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation (2011, 2013-2015)
BTI Client Service All-Star (2018)
The Legal 500 Latin America
International Arbitration (2015)

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Tulane University Law School, 2002, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers
  • MA, New York University, 1996
  • BA, Rice University, 1993
Admissions
  • Texas
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Western District of Texas
  • US District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Activities
  • Member, American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Instructor, Tulane Law School Civil Pretrial Litigation Boot Camp (2014-2020)
  • Board Member, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center (2012-2018)
  • Member, Texas Bar Foundation

Overview

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