- Edinboro State University, B.A.
- Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, J.D.
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Supreme Court of the State of Texas
- Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
1200 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77002-4310
Daniel D. Pipitone serves as the Chairman of Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s Energy and Maritime Section. He enjoys more than twenty-five (25) years of legal experience which began with a Federal Judicial Clerkship involving both a District Court and the Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thereafter, he has been exclusively engaged in the private practice of law in both Houston and Corpus Christi. On occasion and when requested to do so by various clients, he has served in a General Counsel capacity. Mr. Pipitone has been featured in The Texas Lawyer for his substantial and enduring client relationships.
Throughout Mr. Pipitone’s extensive career, his legal practice has primarily focused upon the Energy Industry which involves a broad spectrum of individuals and businesses providing expansive services allowing for the exploration and development of natural resources ultimately providing what might be generally characterized as “energy”. In a somewhat related application, but independently, as well, Mr. Pipitone has additionally garnered extensive experience and expertise with respect to the Maritime Industry. Notably, Mr. Pipitone’s considerable involvement with both industries has allowed him to become substantially familiar with their customs, concepts, vocabulary and relationships. Laws governing commercial efforts, contracts, employment law, environmental law and personal injury, among many others, are universally applicable to both industries. The knowledge gained throughout his career has additionally allowed Mr. Pipitone to represent clients with respect to General Litigation matters. Such matters, among many others, have included a U.S. Department of Labor misclassification wage and hour case that led to a critical and first-impression procedural ruling favorable to the Firm’s client and others potentially targeted by the DOL. Notably, the same matter resulted in a judgment totally favoring Mr. Pipitones's client, marking the first time in 75 years that the DOL has lost a misclassification matter. In addition, Mr. Pipitone represented a client in an equine case that elicited media attention across the country and exposed fraud and undisclosed dual agencies resulting in multiple changes in the Equine Industry. Mr. Pipitone was also pivotal with respect to efforts to modify Texas Legislation regarding venue issues.
Although Mr. Pipitone first attempts to amicably resolve matters prior to proceeding with protracted and expensive litigation, and has been quite successful in this regard, he has ultimately tried in excess of one-hundred (100) cases to juries sitting throughout Texas, as well as in Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. With merely two (2) exceptions, the judgments resulting from such trials have been universally favorable to the Firm’s clients. Whether through negotiation or by way of trial, Mr. Pipitone firmly believes that the most favorable resolution for a client is one that is eventually achieved by first proceeding proactively, aggressively and efficiently. The measure of success is often, if not always, dictated by this approach.
Significant Matters and Results
- Obtained an unprecedented procedural ruling for an energy-related service company allowing it to initiate litigation against the United States Department of Labor. Ultimately, the energy-related service company obtained an entirely favorable judgment against the DOL concerning misclassification issues, constituting the first loss by the DOL of a misclassification issue since the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938.
- Prevailed in a case presented to the U.S. Supreme Court involving choice of law, venue and forum non conveniens issues, the resolution of which resulted in the dismissal of numerous personal injury and death claims collectively valued at approximately $25 million, thereby permitting the Firm’s client to remain viable.
- Successfully presented a creative issue of first impression to a U.S. District Court thus allowing a business entity to initiate litigation against the Department of Labor when an alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act had been lodged, thereby affording the business entity an opportunity to proactively pursue an adjudication in a venue of its choosing and affording it the benefits of proceeding as the Plaintiff.
- Successfully presented a case to the Texas Supreme Court resulting in the adoption of the Search and Rescue Doctrine and the application of such maritime doctrine in a manner so as to reverse and render judgment in favor of an international client against whom a substantial judgment had earlier been awarded when represented by predecessor counsel.
- Successfully presented a case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit resulting in the adoption of the Primary Duty Doctrine Defense and the application of such doctrine in a manner so as to maintain a minimal judgment of less than $10,000 awarded by the U.S. District Court to the Plaintiffs in a matter involving a wrongful death claim.
- Successfully litigated on behalf of a Houston-based Thoroughbred horse owner a breach of fiduciary duty and fraud matter against bloodstock agents, a noted trainer, and several consignors which resulted in a 7-figure settlement.
- Successfully litigated a property damage and lost profit claim on behalf of a client whose offshore, semi-submersible drilling rig sustained structural damage, which litigation efforts resulted in a settlement of $6.7 million in favor of such client.
- Successfully presented a case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit resulting in the correct interpretation of "other insurance" clauses and the application of such an interpretation in a manner extremely favorable to a high-profile Domestic Underwriter.
- Successfully marshalled through the Texas Legislature a Bill modifying the venue statutes so as to substantially limit the reliance upon a plaintiff's residence as a basis for venue, thereby significantly reducing the volume of litigation experienced by the Firm’s clients and others involved in the Maritime Industry.
Articles, Publications, Seminars and Presentations
Mr. Pipitone is a frequent author and speaker at various industry and other functions. Below is a list of such efforts occuring in 2012 and 2013. Efforts predating those provided shall be available upon request.
BIC Magazine, "Energy Company Wins Against DOL," May 1, 2013.
Offshore Magazine, "The 'Right Time to Know Rules': What The Energy Sector Needs To Know", April 2013.
- Texas Lawyer In-House Council Summit, Houston, Texas,"An Itroduction to Independent Contractor Classification: Why You Should Be Concerned", April 2013.
- Offshore Magazine, "Premiums and Risk Management in the post-Macondo Era", February 2013.
- Oil and Gas Investor, "Anti-Corruption Measures", January 2013.
- IADC Contracts & Risk Management Conference, "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" , Omni Houston Hotel Westside, October 2012.
- Texas Lawyer In-House Council Summit, Houston, Texas, "A Brief Overview of Indemnity Provisions and Allocation of Risk in Energy Agreements"; "An Introduction to Employment Law: Why You Should Be Concerned"; "Why You Should Care About The FCPA"; "Introduction to Environmental Law: What Energy Companies Need to Know", April 2012 .
- Houston Business Journal, "Pharmaceuticals Likely Next Target for FCPA Violations", March 2013
- Reuters, "U.S. Department Stung by Legal Loss to Small Employer; Chamberlain Hrdlicka Engineers Landmark Case for Fair Labor Standards Act", February 2013.
- Hispanic Business Journal, "Oil-Field Services Company Triumphs in Labor-Related Legal Battle", February 2013.
- Houston Business Journal, "Judge Rules Against Labor Department in Employee Classification Suit", February 2013.
- NewsFox 26 News, DOL v. Gate Guard Services, February 2013.
- Texas Lawyer, "All Hands on Deck" July 2012.
- Equine Law - Hobby Losses Aren't Horseplay: Recent Case Examines the Deductibility of Equestrian-Related Expenses
- Admiralty & Maritime - In a World of Mediated-Settlements, Some Cases Need to be Tried
- American Bar Association
- Proctor in Admiralty, Maritime Law Association of the United States
- National Association of Defense Counsel
- Texas Bar Association
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Houston Bar Association
- Corpus Christi Bar Association