Attorneys

The Law Office of Jack Balagia, Jr. PLLC
Jack Balagia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (B.A., 1973 and J.D., 1976) and served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge W.M. Taylor Jr. in Dallas, Texas.  He joined the Austin firm of McGinnis, Lochridge and Kilgore in 1977, where his practice included energy litigation and appeals, oil and gas regulatory work and media law.  He joined Exxon’s Litigation section in 1998 and was named Assistant General Counsel for Litigation in 2004.

He was elected Vice President and General Counsel of Exxon Mobil Corporation in January 2010, and reported directly to the company’s CEO and Board of Directors. As General Counsel, he headed a law department of 450 lawyers and 350 support professionals in 31 offices around the world, with legal specialties that included oil and gas, corporate compliance and securities, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and litigation. He reached mandatory retirement at ExxonMobil in November 2016, and began teaching oil and gas law as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law. In 2018 opened a solo law practice in Houston specializing in litigation and arbitration.

Mr. Balagia serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Legal Reform of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trustees of the Center for American and International Law.  During his tenure as General Counsel, he also served as co-chair of the Civil Justice Reform Group, a member of the Board of Overseers for the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts and the Board of Visitors of the National Judicial College.

He has served in a number of capacities with committees of the State Bar of Texas, including several years as Chairman of the Bar’s Public Affairs Committee.  In 2000, the Texas Supreme Court appointed him to the Court’s Board of Disciplinary Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Texas lawyer disciplinary matters, and he served as Chairman from 2003-05. He served on the Board and as Vice Chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, which oversees financial support for Houston Bar pro bono activities.  He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and has been named a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly magazine.

Mr. Balagia is Vice Chair and Chair-elect of the Board of Trustees of the University of Texas Law School Foundation and is a Past President of the Law School Alumni Association Executive Committee.  He received the Law School’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2014.  He has also served in various leadership positions for ExxonMobil’s Gulf Coast and North Texas Employee Charitable Giving campaigns, and was a member of the Salvation Army DFW Advisory Board before relocating to Houston.

During his career, Mr. Balagia has been honored by a number of organizations for his contributions to the community and the legal profession, including the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation from the Center for American and International Law (2010), and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (2012), the Association of Corporate Counsel and D CEO Magazine (2011) and the Texas Civil Justice League (2016). The Houston Bar Foundation honored him with its James B. Sales Pro Bono Leadership Award in 2014, he was named a Legend in the Law by the Burton Foundation in Washington, D.C. in 2016, and received the Dallas Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Award in 2015.

The Law Office of Kenneth Tekell, Sr. PLLC
Kenneth Tekell, Sr. has been a jury trial lawyer for over 54 years. He was a founding partner of a Houston law firm bearing his name for 52 years. He has tried over 225 cases to jury verdict of all varieties. His practice has included representation of major U.S. corporations. He has specialized in tort and personal injury defense involving Texas gulf coast chemical refineries, U.S. and international pharmaceutical and medical device companies, product liability and legal malpractice defense, and oil well services and drilling facilities.

Mr. Tekell has been honored as a Founding Member and past President of the American Board of Trial Advocates Houston Chapter, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an Emeritus Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He is an Emeritus member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and has been active in law and civic organizations his entire career. Mr. Tekell is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, was the recipient of the Law School’s Award for Achievement in Trial Advocacy, Tex ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, TACTAS Lifetime of Excellence in Advocacy, and the Joe D. Jamail Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.

ADR is the acronym of Alternative Dispute Resolutions and suggests that all alternatives be considered.  The “Trial” alternative is now the most avoided.  If you haven’t taken that route, one does not know what to expect along the way.  Kenneth Tekell has more jury “trial” verdict experience than most, if not all, present day mediators, arbitrators and trial lawyers.  He asks that you consider him for mediation, arbitration, and trials.  His experience and credibility in all phases of Dispute Resolution qualifies him for your trust and success. (Besides all of that, you will like working with him, and he knows what he’s doing)