Abe Kuczaj

Abe represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial disputes in Texas and throughout the country. Either as lead counsel or as part of a team of SDM attorneys, Abe has secured take-nothing defense judgments for his clients in cases asserting shareholder appraisal actions, director and officer liability, and securities fraud claims. Abe has also secured significant plaintiff judgments for clients damaged as a result of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or breach of contract.

Recognitions & Awards

Texas Rising Star, a Thomson Reuters business, 2010, 2012 - 2014

Robert Calvert Chapter of American Inns of Court, 2004 to the present

College of the State Bar of Texas

Judge Suzanne Covington Service Award, 2009

Order of the Coif

Texas Law Review

Representative Matters

Represented a start-up hospital in a heavily litigated case involving claims against a nearby hospital and its developer for breach of confidentiality and non-circumvention provisions in a letter of intent.  Co-led SDM team in a three-week jury trial that resulted in a judgment of $10.9 million against the defendant hospital and developer.

Represented a large group of individual plaintiffs with claims arising from the largest wildfire in Texas history in a case against a Texas utility company and an international vegetation management company.  Served as Lead Individual Plaintiff Liaison Counsel during hearings and multilateral negotiations among the hundreds of consolidated individual actions, class actions and subrogation actions arising from the wildfire.  As Lead Individual Plaintiff Liaison Counsel, secured settlements on behalf of each client from each defendant.

Represented foreign investment company and several structured finance vehicles in fraud suit brought against large originator and underwriter in connection with numerous purchases of toxic residential mortgage-backed securities.

Represented institutional investor in fraud and breach of contract suit brought against large investment bank in connection with purchase of commercial paper issued by structured investment vehicles.

Defended 19 officers and directors of a large electric cooperative in a highly publicized class action brought on behalf of more than 200,000 cooperative members in conjunction with a derivative suit brought on behalf of the cooperative. Secured court approval of global settlement that required no admission of liability or personal contribution by any officer or director.

Represented over 40 employees of a Texas start-up purchased by a large European consortium in a multi-venue lawsuit for claims relating to wrongful cancellation of option agreements and breach of an employee retention agreement. The case settled shortly after the jury in the first venue returned a favorable verdict.

Defended chemical company in a shareholder appraisal action brought by multiple hedge funds after a going-private merger. Secured final summary judgment against all plaintiffs before a single deposition had been taken.

Defended former CEO of a publicly traded company in shareholder suit alleging fraud and violations of the Texas Securities Act. Secured dismissal of all claims with prejudice.

Represented architectural firm in multi-million dollar claim brought by general contractor of a large downtown hotel project. Case settled while defendant's dispositive motion for summary judgment was under advisement.

Represented a large telecom equipment manufacturer in sales tax dispute with the State of Texas. The State originally claimed the company owed more than three million dollars in additional tax. The case settled with the company obtaining a refund in excess of one million dollars.

Bar Admissions & Activities

Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Education

Southern Methodist University, B.F.A., magna cum laude, 1993

University of Texas School of Law, J.D., honors, 2004

Selected Reported Cases

Hall v. Pedernales Elec. Co-op, Inc., 278 S.W.3d 536 (Tex. App.—Austin 2009, no pet.)

Perry v. Cohen, --- S.W.3d ---, (Tex. App.—Austin 2009, no pet. h.)

Ennis v. Loiseau, 164 S.W.3d 698 (Tex. App.—Austin 2005, no pet.)

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