Dale Wainwright

Dale Wainwright


Dale Wainwright Chairs the Texas Appellate Practice and represents clients in complex disputes in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He handles briefing and oral argument at trial and appellate courts, structures appeals and mandamus proceedings for success and counsels clients on litigation strategy, error preservation at trial, jury charge preparation, post-verdict proceedings, and analysis of the trial record for appellate potential.

Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Dale served on the Texas Supreme Court for 10 years, authoring more than 125 opinions. Elected to the Supreme Court in 2002, he was the third-longest-serving member of the court at the time of his return to private practice. Dale began his judicial career in 1999 when he was appointed by Governor George W. Bush to preside over the 334th Civil Judicial District Court in Houston, Texas. As judge of the 334th District Court, he resolved 3,000 cases and presided over more than 100 trials.


  • Complex litigation and Appeals
  • Energy and infrastructure 



  • Represented a municipality in obtaining dissolution of a trial court injunction that essentially denied the city’s rights pursuant to a groundwater deed to produce the groundwater under the ranch. The Texas Supreme Court upheld dissolution of the injunction vindicating our client’s position.
  • Represented a large oil and gas company to obtain Texas Supreme Court ruling to enforce lease shut-in clause in context of claim that lease failed to produce in paying quantities.
  • Represented large, private utility company at the Supreme Court of Texas and successfully vindicated its statutory right to recover costs of relocation of equipment necessitated by public works projects.
  • Represented large gas company in appeal to Texas Supreme Court to clarify the Texas accommodation doctrine and vindicated corporation’s property rights to reasonable use of surface lands to drill wells under the terms of the lease.
  • Represented oil and gas royalty owners at the Texas Supreme Court in reversing an appeals court ruling that barred their claims under the most favored nations lease clause and other claims on statute of limitations grounds.
  • Represented large energy company in appeal to Texas Supreme Court over whether legislature delegated authority to Texas Railroad Commission to authorize interim natural gas rate adjustments without a contested case proceeding. Successfully obtained decision affirming the Railroad Commission's decision benefitting our client.
  • Represented large power company at Court of Appeals in finding no jurisdiction for plaintiffs’ claims challenging installation of smart meters for millions of electric customers.
  • Represented investor-owned hospital at the Texas Supreme Court that had been held liable at the court of appeals for the alleged negligence of a credentialed physician. The issue of first impression was whether the hospital was vicariously liable on the basis that the physician was a passive investor in the limited partnership that owned and operated the hospital. Obtained reversal of the court of appeals opinion and successfully thwarted what would have been a dramatic expansion of hospital liability.
  • Represented large energy corporation in dispute over executive compensation agreement in appeal at the Texas Supreme Court.  Succeeded in upholding enforcement of the agreement and rebutting the argument that the Covenants Not to Compete Act voided the agreement.
  • Identified and argued key legal and fact issues to obtain judgment notwithstanding the verdict overturning multimillion-dollar verdict after a month-long jury trial. Later successfully argued at Court of Appeals to affirm the take nothing judgment.
  • Represented insurer against thousands of plaintiffs in which trial court disqualified client's managing trial counsel. Obtained reversal of trial court decision at Court of Appeals, and no further appeal ensued.
  • Represented insurer at Court of Appeals to uphold affirmative-defense terms in insurance policy vanquishing multimillion-dollar verdict.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Litigation: Supreme Court and Appellate, 2014-2015, and 2018
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Texas Super Lawyers, 2014-2018
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2012 and 2015, "Recognized Practitioner," 2016
  • Recipient, Prevent Blindness Texas, Person of Vision Award, 2008
  • Recipient, National Bar Association, Humanitarian Award, 2008
  • Recipient, National Black Prosecutors Association, Trail Blazer Award, 2006
  • Recipient, NAACP, Legal Excellence Award, 2000
  • U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, Board of Directors
  • Texas Supreme Court Historical Society; Fellow; Secretary 2015-2016; President-Elect 2016-2017; President 2017-2018
  • American Law Institute, elected member
  • Center for American and International Law, Trustee
  • Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court, Master
  • Texas Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission - Advisor to Legislative Committee
  • Texas Board of Criminal Justice, Chairman
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Houston Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1997-1998
  • Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, Fellow
    • President, 1997-1998
  • College of the State Bar, Member
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Board of Directors, 1996-1997
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 1993-1995
  • Aspiring Youth Program, Co-founder, 1993


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1988
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Howard University, 1983
  • Study Abroad, London School of Economics & Political Science, 1981
  • Texas
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas