Christopher Odell, head of the firm's Houston office, is a first-chair trial lawyer whose practice focuses on complex litigation in the energy and transportation industries. Mr. Odell has tried cases to verdict in federal and state court and in arbitration, and has extensive experience coordinating defensive strategies in international disputes with co-counsel in Canada, France, Mexico, Switzerland, and Brazil. He has represented leading clients in several of the most significant transportation-related mass tort cases of the past decade. Mr. Odell also specializes in prosecuting and defending high-stakes trade secret claims, including in TRO and preliminary injunction hearings.
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. He also serves on the board of Texas Appleseed, a public interest justice center that leverages volunteer lawyers to solve system legal problems.
Before attending law school, he served as deputy press secretary for the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
- Major international cruise line and subsidiary brands as co-lead counsel in defense of multiple class actions and 200+ individual wrongful-death and personal injury claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- European airframe manufacturer as lead counsel in defense of nationwide litigation alleging permanent neurological injuries arising from alleged toxic cabin fume events.
- 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 suit 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).
- Major international cruise line in litigation arising from well-publicized Italian cruise ship accident.
- European airframe manufacturer in multidistrict litigation arising out of an accident over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. All 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 litigation arising from mid-air incident over the Indian Ocean. Obtained groundbreaking state-court 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).
Transport Aviation and Air Travel: Litigation (2019)
Transport: Aviation and Air Travel (2017)
Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation (2011, 2013-2015)
- 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
- New York
- 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
- Member, American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and Aviation & Space Law Committee
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Instructor, Tulane Law School Civil Pretrial Litigation Boot Camp (2014-2020)
- Board Member, Texas Appleseed
- Board Member, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center (2012-2018)
Member, Texas Bar Foundation