Houston Business Lawyers

At Doyen Sebesta & Poelma, LLLP, understanding relationships is at the center of everything that we do. Through understanding the needs of our clients, we deliver tailored legal solutions and establish and maintain mutually successful working relationships. Central to this approach is our highly praised client management program. Built around regular service reviews with clients, it ensures that our services are adjusted to meet changing needs.

Doyen Sebesta & Poelma, LLLP was founded as a boutique litigation firm, specializing in insurance defense, coverage, and subrogation and recovery. We have expanded over the years, and now our lawyers also routinely handle employment law, business formation, real estate transactions and disputes, commercial disputes, construction defects, and product liability litigation. We take great pride in developing personal relationships with our clients. We work diligently to understand all the pertinent aspects of our clients' businesses so that we can effectively represent them in their business-related matters. We maintain that the effective handling of a client's matter requires a collaborative effort between the client and us.

Commercial Litigation

We represent clients in commercial collections, contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, mergers and acquisitions litigation, and breach of fiduciary duty actions. Our commercial litigation practice also covers claims related to employment disputes, unfair competition, trade secrets, corporate dissolution, lender-borrower disputes, commercial real estate foreclosures, and construction and real estate development disputes. Each situation requires our Houston business attorneys to develop a careful, strategic approach that accounts for business needs, as well as legal requirements and the relationships between the parties. For example, conflicts may arise between majority and minority partners in a partnership. A majority partner usually has greater control over decisions, but minority partners are not without rights. When majority partners make decisions that violate those rights, minority partners can seek legal recourse.

Construction Law

Construction law includes many distinct areas of legal practice. Parties to construction litigation may include owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers. Litigation may involve multiple parties at a common worksite, contractual and insurance agreements that apply to several parties, multiple insurers of individual parties, extensive business and construction-related records, and many accident victims or families claiming damages from a disaster or common exposure. There are numerous legal requirements that must be considered when evaluating the risks involved in construction litigation. For example, if an original claim is raised against an architect or engineer, a certificate of merit needs to accompany the claim, and the certificate needs to come from a professional similar to the defendant.

Insurance Coverage

Our firm regularly represents clients in insurance coverage matters, and we practice in federal and state courts. We represent insured parties, and we also represent insurers, insurance agents, and insurance brokers. These claims may involve homeowners insurance, flood insurance, general liability insurance, life insurance, automobile insurance, environmental insurance, commercial real estate insurance, E&O insurance, and officers and directors insurance. The business attorneys at our Houston firm regularly defend and prosecute subrogation claims. We also represent clients in surety disputes, reinsurance disputes, and coverage for employment practices.

Subrogation Claims

Our subrogation practice is a focal point of our firm. The right of subrogation is specified in many insurance contracts and it is often recognized by common law. We have handled subrogation for many domestic and international insurers in litigation and prior to litigation. To successfully pursue subrogation, it is critical to promptly identify legal and factual issues, preserve important evidence, retain qualified experts, and obtain early involvement from responsible third parties. Subrogation claims that we have handled have arisen from casualties such as fires, explosions, contractor negligence, machine failures, construction defects, gas leaks, and water leaks. We typically handle these claims on a contingent fee basis.

First-Party and Bad-Faith Defense

First-party claims are stated when an insured seeks recovery for its own loss. We help insurers evaluate coverage issues during the claims process. This includes preparation of coverage opinions and defense in first-party and bad-faith litigation in federal and state courts across the country. We provide our clients with the information needed to evaluate their options, and we vigorously represent clients in court, whether by filing for a declaratory judgment to determine an insurer’s obligations and rights under the policy or by defending the insurer from claims by their insured. Bad-faith insurance claims are complicated, and the stakes are high, so it is important to seek representation from an experienced Houston business lawyer.

Third-Party Defense

The duty to defend hinges on policy language that specifies the agreement between the insured and the insurer. Insurers must defend their insured if a plaintiff’s factual allegations possibly support a covered claim. In some cases, an insurer has a duty to defend but no obligation to indemnify. Liability insurance carriers routinely retain the attorneys at Doyen Sebesta & Poelma, LLLP to represent insureds in third-party litigation. We protect the insured’s interests in claims arising under automobile liability policies, comprehensive general liability policies, homeowners policies, builders risk policies, E&O policies, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage, inland marine policies, and operations completed coverage.

Corporate Representation and Commercial Transactions

Our corporate practice represents a wide range of clients, including international companies, closely held domestic conglomerates, multi-generational family businesses, modest start-ups, and publicly traded domestic corporations. These clients are in a range of industries. They include business leaders in construction, engineering, real estate development, software development, tax consulting, and banking. We often serve as outside general counsel for clients without in-house legal staff. We assist in business structuring, negotiations, documentation, supply and distribution agreements, license agreements, employment-related agreements, and executive compensation. The business lawyers at our Houston firm have deep experience with Texas laws that govern business entities, and we provide regular counsel on Delaware entity laws as well.

Entity Formation

Business ventures should start out with well-planned entity formation and organization. The entity that you choose to form can have substantial consequences for tax liability and efficiency. Business structures include corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and more. We guide clients on shareholder buy-sell agreements and corporate governance. Changes in the economy and regulations can cause businesses to reevaluate how they are structured, where they are domiciled, and what must be sold or acquired to thrive.

Retain a Knowledgeable Commercial Litigation Attorney

At Doyen Sebesta & Poelma, LLLP, your business becomes our business. We represent local, regional, national, and international clients in a variety of commercial and business-related matters and litigation. We provide each client with experienced, focused representation that emphasizes that client’s business objectives and offers cost-effective solutions. From offices in Houston and the Austin area, we represent clients throughout Texas, including in Houston, Galveston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and El Paso. Call us at 713-580-8900 or contact us via our online form.

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