• Yale Law School, J.D., 1995, Olin Fellow in Law and Economics
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Economics Honors, 1992, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Kathleen focuses on the client’s goals and the best strategy to achieve them―from pre-suit resolution to trials and appeals. She is particularly well-versed in complex commercial litigation at the trial, arbitration, and appellate levels, representing clients on both sides of the docket.  Her practice areas include contracts, business torts, energy, intellectual property, False Claims Act, fiduciary litigation, insurance coverage, and class actions/multidistrict litigation.

Kathleen brings more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of litigation to her practice, having successfully handled trials, appeals, significant trial court motions, depositions, and discovery and pretrial development top to bottom.

Clients value Kathleen’s extensive experience in federal practice and procedure at both the federal district court and appellate levels. After law school at Yale, she clerked for the Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Kathleen is also a director of the Southern District of Texas Federal Bar Association and a former chair of the Houston Bar Association Federal Practice Section, and she sits on the committee for the Southern District of Texas Bench Bar program headed by U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal.

Prior to joining Schiffer Hicks Johnson, Kathleen was a partner at Wright, Close & Barger, a boutique civil appellate and trial firm in Houston, where she focused on commercial litigation and appeals. Kathleen also practiced in the commercial litigation groups at two international corporate law firms, Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and King & Spalding.

Notable Experience

  • Represented a major international bank in a $50 million federal trial over the investment of oil and gas assets in a dynastic family trust. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a take-nothing verdict for the bank.
  • Represented a boutique law firm in a series of court, appellate, and arbitration proceedings, obtaining a $40 million judgment in its fee dispute with an oilfield heir.
  • Represented two inventors in a patent infringement case against a major computer corporation, alleging over $100 million in damages.
  • Represented an oil and gas consulting firm in a series of court, arbitration, and appellate proceedings involving a multimillion-dollar claim against a Hong Kong energy company.
  • Represented a commercial real estate firm in two suits and a trial over breach of a commercial lease.
  • Represented a law firm in the Supreme Court of Texas in a suit for breach of contract and fraud against a major corporation.
  • Represented the manufacturer of a well-known energy drink in state and federal court suits alleging trademark violations, misappropriation of the product formula, and breach of contract.
  • Represented an energy trader at an arbitration trial and in a subsequent federal suit over $20 million in losses in trading in energy derivatives on the NYMEX exchange.

Honors and Awards

  • Houston Bar Association Pro Bono Hero of the Week
  • Fulbright & Jaworski Pro Bono Award

Professional Affiliations

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Bench Bar Committee (2017, 2019)
  • Chair, Blask Fellowship Committee, S.D. Tex. Federal Bar Association (2018-present)
  • Director, S.D. Tex. Federal Bar Association (2016-present)
  • Chair, Houston Bar Association: Federal Practice Section (2014-15)
  • Officer and Director, Houston Bar Association: Federal Practice Section (2012-2019)
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association