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Daniel F. Shank



Dan is a Director at Coats Rose with more than thirty-four years of experience in the practice of law.  His practice is focused on complex litigation matters in the areas of commercial, personal injury, real estate, environmental, energy and insurance litigation.  After receiving his degree from Georgetown University School of Law, he joined the firm of Butler & Binion.  In 1985, he joined the firm of Cook, Davis & McFall and became that firm’s first new partner in 1986.  In 1990, Dan formed Davis & Shank and subsequently joined the Coats Rose team in 1999.

During his career, Dan has successfully tried numerous cases involving a broad range of substantive areas of the law.  He has prosecuted and defended cases involving substantial recoveries and significant exposures, and he has participated in a number of appellate matters on behalf of his clients.  Dan has been selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list in the area of commercial litigation for the years 2005-2016 (Thomson Reuters) and recognized by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for the years 2010-2018 (Woodward White, Inc.).  He is Board Certified for Civil Trial by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Dan has also served the Houston Bar and community, acting as the Chairman of the American Diabetes Association, Houston Chapter, participating on other charity boards, including the Christus Foundation, chairing three HBA committees, volunteering as a member of one of the Texas Bar Association’s grievance committees, and contributing as a director of the junior bar.

  • J.D., 1980, cum laude, Georgetown University
  • B.A., 1977, Cornell University
  • Texas, 1980
  • District of Columbia, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • American Bar Association (Fellow, American Bar Foundation)
  • State Bar of Texas (Sustaining Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation)
  • Houston Bar Association (Sustaining Life Fellow, Houston Bar Foundation)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association (Director:  1986-87, 1989-91)
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel Ethics Committee (1998-1999)
  • Defense Research Institute Business Litigation Committee (1996-present)
  • College of the State Bar of Texas (various years)
  • State Bar of Texas District 4B Grievance Committee (1996-1999)
  • 4EO9 Grievance Committee (2006-2012)
  • Chairman: Houston Bar Association Tennis Tournament (1996-1998) (HBA Outstanding Service Award—1996-1997)
  • Chairman: Houston Bar Association Harris County Law Library Committee (2003-2004)
  • Co-Chairman: Houston Bar Association IDEA Committee (2004-2005)
Community Activities
  • CHRISTUS Gulf Coast Region (2008-2013)
  • CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare Board (2014-Present)
  • Mental Health America of Greater Houston Board (2015 -Present)
  • American Diabetes Association: Houston Chapter, Chairman (2000–2003); Vice Chairman (1999–2000); Board of Directors (1998–2014); National Award for Outstanding Community Service in Recruiting Volunteers (2003)
  • Member: Board of Directors – Young Audiences of Houston (1996–1998)
  • Member: Steering Committee – The Regis School Capital Campaign (1999–2000)
  • Head Football Coach: Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association Football League (Tackle: 1999–2001)
  • Sports Commissioner: Regis Lower School (1998–2000)
  • Member: Board of Commissioners: West Houston Christian Athletic League (1998–2000)
Reported Decisions
  • Reese v. AES Corporation, et al., 2014 WLG (242) (E.D. Okla., Jan. 8, 2014)
  • Tesco Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., S.W.32, 2014 WL, 4257737, (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2014)
  • Coleman v. H.C. Price Co., 2014 WL 435, 4443 5th Cir. 2014)
  • TWA Resources v. Complete Production Services, Inc., 2013 WL 1304457 (Del. Super. March 28, 2013); 2013 WL 4045920 (Del. Super. July 30, 2013).
  • Chavers v. Hall, 488 Fed. Appx. 874, 2012 WL 4074522 (5th  Cir. 2012), aff’g 2011 WL 2457943 (S.D. Tex. 2011).
  • May v. Apache Corp., 870 F. Supp. 2d 454 (S.D. Tex. 2012).
  • Hamilton v. Texas CES, Inc., 2011 WL 1435238 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2011, no pet.).
  • Clancey v. City of College Station, 2011 WL 335148 (S.D. Tex. 2011).
  • Weingarten Realty Investors v. Silvia, 376 Fed. Appx. 408, 2010 WL 1686194 (5th Cir. 2010).
  • Chavers v. Morrow, 2010 WL 3447687 (S.D. Tex. 2010), aff’d per curiam, 449 Fed. Appx. 411 (5th Cir. 2011).
  • GOM Shelf, LLC v. Sun Operating Ltd. Partnership, 2008 WL 901482 (S.D.Tex. 2008).
  • Barasich v. Shell Pipeline Co., LP, 2006 WL 3913403 (E.D.La., 2006).
  • Gibson v. Dynegy Midstream Services, L.P., 2004 WL 1176553 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2004).
  • Lester v. City of College Station, 103 Fed. Appx. 814, 2004 WL 1551618 (5th Cir. 2004) (per curiam).
  • Conroe Creosoting Company v. Montgomery County, Texas, 249 F.3d 337 (5th Cir. 2001).
  • Berg v. AMF, Inc., 29 S.W.3d 212 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, no pet.).
  • Phan Son Van v. Pena, 990 S.W.2d 751 (Tex. 1999).
  • Guaranty National Ins. Co. v. Vic Mfg. Co., 143 F.3d 192 (5th Cir. 1998).
  • National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. CBI Industries, Inc., 907 S.W.2d 517 (Tex. 1995).
  • Northbrook Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Water District Management Co., Inc., 892 F. Supp. 170 (S.D. Tex. 1995).
  • Glauser v. State Farm Life Ins. Co., 1994 WL 470355 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Aug. 31, 1994, writ denied).
  • Pankhurst v. Weitinger & Tucker, 850 S.W.2d 726 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi 1993, writ denied).
  • Allied Bank-West, N.A. v. Stein, 996 F.2d 111 (5th Cir. 1993).
  • Intercoastal Warehouse Corp. v. Clear Lake National Bank, 795 S.W.2d 294 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 1990, writ dism’d w.o.j.).
  • Ramesh v. Johnson, 681 S.W.2d 256 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 1984, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
  • Gibson v. Burkhart, 650 S.W.2d 185 (Tex. Civ. – Corpus Christi 1983, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
  • Donovan v. Cunningham, 716 F.2d 1455 (5th Cir. 1983)
Representative Projects
  • Obtained a $2.3 million jury verdict on behalf of First Interstate Bank of Texas (Allied Bank-West, N.A.) against Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, which was subsequently upheld on appeal and settled for $5.6 million including prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees.  Allied Bank-West, N.A. v. Stein, 996 F.2d 111 (5th Cir. 1993).
  • Successfully represented the former president of Bay Area Bank & Trust and obtained a jury verdict rejecting a $5.2 million actual damages and $10.4 million punitive damages claim brought for breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  • Defended a Houston law firm and obtained a summary judgment dismissing a $36 million lawsuit involving allegations of fraud, defamation, misrepresentation, and due process violations related to the law firm’s investigation of theft charges within the Houston Independent School District.
  • Obtained a summary judgment for a Houston law firm dismissing a $160 million legal malpractice claim arising from a lawsuit involving a $14 million note and guaranty.
  • Won an arbitration award of approximately $3.6 million on behalf of a major oil field service company from a Fortune 500 Company for breaches of warranties in the Purchase and Sale Agreement involving the acquisition of the international operations of a division of the Fortune 500 Company.
  • Recovered approximately $1.8 million on behalf of individual investors who had invested in a series of transactions involving an entity that the SEC subsequently had taken over as a Ponzi scheme.
  • Participated in the seminal case in Texas holding that an absolute pollution exclusion in an insurance policy was unambiguous in excluding coverage for an occurrence involving the escape of hydrofluoric acid at a refinery.  National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. CBI Industries, Inc., 907 S.W.2d 517 (Tex. 1995).
  • Defended Texas homebuilders from construction and sales claims brought under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Residential Construction Liability Act.
  • Obtained a summary judgment holding no duty to defend under a sudden and accidental pollution exclusion wherein the Fifth Circuit held:  (1) the clause contains a temporal component; (2) the underlying petition described gradual pollutions in the regular course of a dry cleaning business; (3) to the extent the underlying pleadings were incomplete, extrinsic evidence could be considered; (4) the microanalysis approach of the insured relating to each discrete spill was rejected; and (5) numerous pollution discharges over a number of years are not “sudden and accidental.”  Guaranty National Ins. Co. v. Vic Mfg. Co., 143 F.3d 192 (5th Cir. 1998).
  • Defended the City of College Station in unconstitutional takings and state created danger cases.
  • Transferred to Canada personal injury claims based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens for a large Texas oil field service company.
  • Represented a major independent oil company in the resolution of a substantial dispute involving Working Interest Owners in the West Hastings Unit.
  • Handled and disposed of over approximately 500 toxic tort claims in Texas.
  • Regularly handled warranty, environmental, business tort, earnout and intellectual property disputes arising out of mergers and acquisitions.
  • Represented both condemnors and condemnees in eminent domain litigation.
  • Obtained $2.8 million on kidnap and ransom insurance policy concerning oil field service company plant takeover by disgruntled current and past employees in Venezuela.
  • Handled oil spill class actions and indemnity claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina.
Historical and Representative Clients
  • Allied Banks
  • AMF Incorporated
  • American Standard Companies, Inc.
  • Apache Corporation
  • Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Inc.
  • City of College Station
  • Complete Production Services, Inc.
  • Dynegy, Inc.
  • Equifax, Inc.
  • First Interstate Bank of Texas
  • Franklin Bank
  • Genmar Holdings, Inc.
  • Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority
  • Minstar, Inc.
  • National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
  • Perry Homes
  • Southern Pacific Transportation Company
  • Superior Energy – North America Services, Inc.
  • Targa Resources, Ltd.
  • Trane Air Conditioning
  • Various Montgomery County, Texas Governmental Officials
Insurance Carriers Worked With
  • ACE
  • Affiliated FM
  • AIG
  • Allstate
  • CNA Insurance Companies
  • Commercial Union Insurance Company
  • Coregis
  • DPIC
  • Fireman’s Fund
  • First State
  • Hartford
  • Highlands
  • Interstate Insurance Company
  • Kemper
  • Lexington Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Northbrook
  • Orion
  • St. Paul
  • Ranger Insurance Company
  • Royal
  • TLIE
  • Zurich
Publications, Articles and Speaking Engagements
  • NORM Litigation on Roller Skates – Dan Shank,” National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements TENORM Workshop, (February 1, 2016)
  • Houston Business Journal, “Face to Face”, Vol. 40, No. 36, Week of January 15-21, 2010.
  • A Primer on Eminent Domain (Condemnation) Law and Procedure (February 2008).
  • Counsel to Counsel – Brief Advice re Dispute Resolution.
  • Damages and Burden Shifting in Trademark and Copyright Cases.
  • End Runs, Piggybacks and Independent Injury.
  • 2007 TADC Trial Academy-Faculty.
  • DRI BUSINESS SUIT, Seven Effective Habits to Avoid Lender Liability, December 2005.
  • DRI BUSINESS SUIT, Seven Effective Habits of Highly Successful Litigators, November 2005.
  • Trial Tips in Insurance Cases, Texas Insurance Law Symposium, South Texas College of Law (January 28, 2005).
  • Confusion and Ambiguity: Contortions of Contracts, Houston Bar Association Seminar (December 9, 2004).
  • The Implied Duty of Best Efforts, FOR THE DEFENSE, October 2004.
  • Injunctions, TADC Spring Seminar (1991).
  • Editor, TADC Practice & Procedure Newsletter (1990-1998).
  • DRI BUSINESS SUIT, Gulf States and Fifth Circuit Business Litigation Updates (1999 to 2013).
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