University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 2000
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2003
Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2016-Present
"Super Lawyer" by Texas Super Lawyers in Transportation / Maritime Law, 2019, 2020
"Top Lawyer in Houston" by H-Texas Magazine, 2012-2020
"Lawyer on the Rise" by Texas Lawyer Magazine, 2018
"Rising Star" by Texas Super Lawyers in Transportation / Maritime Law, 2011-2018
"Top Lawyer in Houston" by Houstonia Magazine, 2013-2018
Guest Lecturer on Maritime Law – University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business (2011-2016)
Consul Award Winner – University of Texas School of Law (2003)
Board of Advocates Outstanding Member – University of Texas School of Law (2003)
National Finalist – N.I.T.A. Tournament of Champions Mock Trial Competition (2002)
Outstanding Fraternity President, The University of Texas at Austin (2000)
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Author - Maritime Law Blog
Daniel Knight practices in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, as well as general civil litigation and appellate issues. He has expertise in issues relating to safety in the maritime industry, and has been involved with the defense of hundreds of admiralty and maritime litigation matters. His cases involve personal injury matters filed under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Limitations of Liability actions, as well as admiralty issues relating to vessel arrest and maritime liens. Mr. Knight also assists clients in resolving non-litigation issues pertaining to admiralty law. In his general litigation practice, Mr. Knight has successfully resolved a variety of insurance and commercial litigation matters.
Texas Super Lawyers magazine named Mr. Knight as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in the field of Transportation/Maritime Law in 2019 and 2020. Prior to turning 40, Super Lawyers recognized Mr. Knight as a Transportation/Maritime Law “Rising Star” from 2011-2018. In the past, both H-Texas Magazine and Houstonia Magazine named Mr. Knight as a “Top Lawyer in Houston” in the field of Admiralty and Maritime Law.
Significant Litigation Matters and Cases
- In August 2019, Mr. Knight and Justice David Medina handled a client's appeal on various commercial torts to the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. After filing our client's Brief, the matter settled favorably for the client.
- In the summer of 2019, Mr. Knight, along with the Litigation Practice Head R. Kyle Hawes, negotiated a walk-away settlement in a business divorce case in Montgomery County. In Mr. Knight's examination of the plaintiff, he forced the plaintiff to invoke his right to avoid self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment or "take the Fifth" over 120 times.
- In February of 2018, Mr. Knight and Justice David Medina successfully and confidentially resolved a significant piece of litigation in Harris County related to the 2012 pretrial collapse of an under-constructions jack up rig in Singapore.
- In September 2017, Mr. Knight successfully and confidentially resolved claims made in Jefferson County, Texas against a Texas-based line-handling company by a severely injured Peruvian Seaman.
- In March 2017, Mr. Knight successfully and confidentially resolved claims made in Harris County, Texas by a maritime worker (who was either a longshoreman or a Jones Act seaman) against a ship's agent/vessel agent.
- Mr. Knight defended an EPCI client in an AAA arbitration in August 2014 related to the construction of three offshore platforms. The Arbitration proceedings, and subsequent post-Arbitration briefing resulted in a favorable settlement for the Firm's client.
- Mr. Knight served as first-chair defense counsel in a Jones Act personal injury lawsuit filed in Harris County, Texas. He tried the case to a verdict in February 2011. The plaintiff demanded over $1,300,000.00 in actual damages. The Jury returned a verdict of $1,620.00 against the Firm's clients in approximately two hours. A case summary of this Verdict may be found at 2011 WL 793314. The Plaintiff declined to appeal.
- Mr. Knight served as defense counsel in a Jones Act personal injury lawsuit filed in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas in June 2010. A favorable verdict was obtained in favor of the Firm's client by the Chamberlain trial team. Plaintiff demanded approximately $3,700,000.00 in actual and punitive damages at trial. Plaintiff was awarded $420,000.00 in actual damages. A summary of the verdict can be found at 2010 WL 3483078.
- Mr. Knight served as first chair defense trial counsel in a week-long Federal Court jury trial in Houston Texas in October/November 2007. The case involved a maritime commercial dispute where liability against our client was certain. Mr. Knight’s examinations of several witnesses, including the plaintiff’s economic expert, reduced the jury verdict to less than the amount demanded by plaintiff in mediation, and less than half of the plaintiff’s demand in closing arguments.
- When representing a vessel owner prosecuting a Limitation of Liability action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Mr. Knight helped to obtain a denial of a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Claimants. The Court’s Memorandum and Order, which may be found at 2008 WL 2368730, establishes favorable law for dredging operators with respect to bringing one Limitation of Liability proceeding for multiple claims occurring on different dates, but on the same voyage.
- While serving as first chair defense counsel a hardwood flooring broker based in Pennsylvania in a non-maritime commercial dispute filed in the 61st Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, Mr. Knight obtained a dismissal without prejudice of his client based upon lack of personal jurisdiction. This ruling dismissed his client as a defendant in the case, and avoided potential exposure of his client to over $2,000,000.00 in alleged damages by the plaintiff.
- Mr. Knight assisted in the defense of a non-maritime employer in an employment discrimination case. The Firm obtained a favorable summary judgment for its client and the plaintiff appealed to the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. Mr. Knight authored the appellate briefs for our client, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims. The Court’s decision may be found at 2008 WL 4667545.
Significant Transactional Experience
Mr. Knight also assists clients with non-litigation issues related to the admiralty and maritime law. Representative matters include:
- The sale of vessels;
- Flagging of vessels as well as regulatory compliance;
- Drafting and negotiation of bills of lading, contracts of carriage, charter parties, terminaling agreements, fleeting agreements, and general business terms and conditions, for use by clients;
- Demurrage issues; and
- Perfection of maritime liens and mineral liens; and
- Negotiation and drafting of onshore and offshore Master Service Agreements.
- "Maritime Contracts: 5 Common Mistakes," Maritime Reporter, November 2019
- "Batura v. Dutra Group and the Latset Circuit Split on Admiralty Punitive Damages," The Federal Lawyer, July 2018.
- "When Does a Jones Act Seaman Stop Being a Jones Act Seaman?," The Texas Lawyer, June 2015.
- “Legal perspectives: issues to consider in offshore rig movement,” Offshore Magazine, June 2013.
- "McCorpen 101 for Lawyers," Texas Lawyer, July 2013
- "Commentary: Work with Witnesses to Fix Demeanor Issues," Texas Lawyer, December 2012
- "Using 'The Art of War' in Deposition Preparation," Texas Lawyer, March 2012
- "Three Lessons from Two Trials for One Great Performance," Texas Lawyer, October 2011
- "Salty Medical Bills? Applying Haygood v. de Escabedo to Admiralty Cases in Texas," Texas Lawyer, August 2011
- "Current Issues in Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act Claims: Defense Base Act Indemnity Benefits and War Hazards Compensation Act Relief," Presented at the 15th Annual University of Texas School of Law Admiralty & Maritime Law Conference, Houston Texas, September 2006. Co-author
- Board of Directors member and Secretary of the Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase (2012-present).
- Member, Houston Bar Association Speaker's Committee, 2014 - present
- Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (Life Member).
- Member (2010-2013) and Chair (2011-2012), Missions Committee, First Presbyterian Church, Houston.
- Member (2013-2016) and Chair (2014-2015) of the Permanent Funds Committee, First Presbyterian Church, Houston.
- Life Member, Texas Exes (2000-present).
- Texas Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Propeller Club
- Houston Mariner's Club
- Associate Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States
- Super Lawyers names Chamberlain Hrdlicka Attorneys as 2020 Texas Super LawyersOctober 19, 2020
- Attorneys with national law firm Chamberlain Hrdlicka have been selected to the 2019 Texas Super Lawyers listSeptember 3, 2019
- December 2018
- Texas Lawyer, September 17, 2018
- Attorneys from Five Practice Areas Received the RecognitionMarch 29, 2018
- February 2018
Seminars & Presentations
"A 21st Century Primer on Seaman's Status," with Jeremy Newell, presented at the 24th Annual University of Texas School of Law Admiralty and Maritime Conference
"Attorney's Fees in Maritime Law: A Primer for Scriveners, Storytellers, & Jurists," October 16, 2020 at 29th Annual David W. Robertson Admiralty & Maritime Law Conference
"Greed ... For Lack of a Better Word .. Is[n't] Good," November 8, 2019 at the Texas Bar CLE Advanced Business Law CLE; November 22, 2019 at the 28th Annual David W. Robertson Admiralty & Maritime Law Conference; June 28, 2019 for the Houston Bar Association; December 2018 for The University of Texas CLE
- "Attorney's Fees in Maritime Law: A Primer for Scriveners, Storytellers, & Jurists," October 16, 2020 at 29th Annual David W. Robertson Admiralty & Maritime Law Conference
- "Maritime Contracts: 5 Common Mistakes," Maritime Reporter, November 2019
- "Batterton v Dutra Group and the Latest Circuit Split on Admiralty Punitive Damages," Federal Bar Lawyer, July 11, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, November 6, 2020
- Maritime Proctor Blog, October 7, 2020
- It’s Not Quite the End of the Universe: Finding Reasonable Medical Expenses in a World of Sticker Shock PricesMaritime Proctor Blog, September 8, 2020
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 18, 2020
- Maritime Proctor Blog, November 21, 2019
- Dutra Group v. Batterton: the Supreme Court holds a Jones Act Seaman cannot recover punitive damages for unseaworthinessMaritime Proctor Blog, July 15, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 20, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 7, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, April 19, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, March 12, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, February 28, 2019
- Maritime Proctor Blog, October 22, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, August 25, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, July 2, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, June 22, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 11, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 11, 2018
- Maritime Proctor Blog, May 4, 2018