Blake has a proven track record of successfully resolving a wide range of disputes for his clients, including complex business conflicts and employment claims.
Blake is a trial lawyer, having secured favorable verdicts for his clients in multiple state and federal courts, who also understands the value of efficiently resolving potential disputes through early, creative negotiation. Blake’s experience goes beyond litigation and includes handling internal reviews, regulatory investigations, and governmental enforcement actions, and providing advice and counsel on managing and reducing exposure and avoiding future conflicts.
Working with clients in numerous industries, including energy, healthcare, financial services, construction, insurance, real estate, and government contracting, Blake’s approach centers on identifying practical, business-minded solutions. His skill and professionalism have been recognized by his selection as one of Thomson Reuters’ Rising Stars every year from 2013-2018.
Blake has committed a significant amount of his time to representing less fortunate clients on a pro bono basis and routinely handles family law matters in connection with the Community Justice Program.
Energy and Natural Resources Disputes: Blake has considerable experience handling disputes and potential disputes involving energy and natural resources, including:
- Provided strategic counsel to major shareholder relating to the potential disposition of diverse portfolio of energy assets in multiple regions, including a substantial midstream business.
- Assisted in defense of corporate directors accused of usurping corporate opportunities involving tens of thousands of acres of Eagle Ford leases in jury trial.
- Represented Economic Development Corporation as first chair counsel in prosecuting claims based on unauthorized use of groundwater for large-scale secondary recovery operations in the Permian.
- Represented multiple oil field service providers in prosecuting and defending claims for breach of contract, quantum meruit, unjust enrichment and other related theories.
- Represented oil field service company in investigating fraud and breaches of contract arising out of multi-million dollar asset purchase.
Financial Services: Defending and advising financial institutions is a cornerstone of Blake’s practice. Some examples of his experience in this area include:
- Represented broker-dealers and financial advisors in arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.
- Handled internal investigations and represented clients in investigations initiated by self-regulatory organizations and federal and state agencies concerning a variety of issues, including sales practices and regulatory matters.
- Defended financial institutions against claims that they aided and abetted fraudulent schemes allegedly perpetrated by their customers.
- Assisted in the successful defense of a national bank accused of aiding and abetting in a fraudulent investment scheme resulting in tens of millions of dollars in investor losses; defense judgment was obtained following a bench trial to a bankruptcy court.
- Assisted in the defense of a national bank accused of aiding and abetting securities fraud in the life settlement industry involving tens of millions of dollars of alleged investor losses; defense judgment was obtained following an arbitration hearing.
- Advised federally regulated financial institution on a wide range of issues, including regulatory compliance, executive compensation, and general corporate governance.
Employment, Trade Secrets and Data Security: Blake’s practice also includes employment disputes and counseling as well as assisting employers in protecting trade secrets and ensuring security of competitively-valuable electronic data. Examples of Blake’s work in these areas include:
- Prosecuted federally regulated financial institution’s claims against former executive for breach of severance agreement and clawback of payments.
- Defended management against civil rights charges as well as claims for wrongful discharge, retaliation and other employment-related charges and torts before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Advised employers on personnel handbooks and employment policies and best practices, including employee counseling and termination procedures.
- Conducted multiple internal investigations, including reviews involving potential violations of HIPAA and medical practice standards.
- Negotiated and drafted numerous employment contracts, severance agreements, and staff leasing contracts.
- Represented employers in multiple injunction proceedings to prevent dissemination of sensitive employer data and/or breaches of restrictive covenants (including non-disclosure, non-solicitation, and non-competition provisions) by former employees.
- Prosecuted employer’s claims for breach of an employment contract and violations of the Electronic Stored Communications Act (ESCA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in arbitration against former high-level executive based on failures to return employer’s electronic data and unauthorized access to employer’s software programs and electronic data.
- Defended clients in whistleblower claims under Sarbanes Oxley and Dodd-Frank.
- Defended major hospital system against former employee’s claims for defamation and retaliation in connection with alleged violation of medical practice standards, code of ethics, and hospital policies; partial summary judgment was obtained as to certain claims, complete defense verdict was obtained on the remaining claims following a state court jury trial.
- Advised companies in a range of sectors, including trucking and energy, with respect to potential misclassification exposure and drafted independent contractor agreements and related policies and procedures.
Contractor Disputes: Blake’s experience in disputes involving claims between contractors includes:
- Prosecuted defense contractor’s claims for breach of contract against an exclusive teammate related to a bid to obtain a DOD contract for testing laser guided bombs; plaintiff’s judgment was obtained following a two-week federal jury trial.
- Defended subcontractor against claims by another subcontractor in connection with partial collapse of commercial construction project.
- Prosecuted material and service provider’s claims for breach of contract and quantum meruit as well as lien-related claims against subcontractor in connection with commercial construction project.
- Texas State Bar
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
- J.D. – Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian, St. Mary’s University School of Law, 2009
- B.A. – Political Science, Texas State University, 2006
While in law school, Blake served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Xavier Rodriguez, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, and the Honorable Justice Karen Angelini, Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas. He was also an Associate Editor of the St. Mary’s Law Journal, an advocate on the St. Mary’s Mock Trial Team, and a member of the John Marshall Harlan Honor Society and the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honors Fraternity.
Awards and Recognition
- Best San Antonio Lawyers Of 2018, Business Litigation, SA Scene Magazine, 2018
- Rising Star, SA Scene Magazine, Scene Monthly LLC, 2017, 2018
- Texas Rising Star, Business Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2013 – 2019
- Leadership San Antonio, Class 42, 2017
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- Co-presenter, “What businesses need to know about open carry laws,” San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio, Texas, October 2015
- “The Evolution of the Economic Loss Rule in Texas,” Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Fall Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, September 2013
- “OSHA Update: What’s At Stake and What Employers Can (and Can’t) Do About It,” Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Labor and Employment Law Lunch and Learn, San Antonio, Texas, October 2012
- “Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing: To Test or Not to Test, And If So, When, Why and What’s the Risk?,” Texas Employment Relations Symposium, San Antonio, Texas, July 2012
- “Termination and the Employee Whistleblower,” Sterling Education Services, Inc. Seminar, Employment Law: Beyond the Basics, San Antonio, Texas, February 2012
- “I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help,” Coffee Talk with Catto, San Antonio, Texas, May 2010
- Co-presenter, “Ten Years After Burrow v. Arce: The Current State of Attorney Fee Forfeiture,” 18th Annual Symposium on Legal Malpractice and Professional Ethics, hosted by St. Mary’s Law Journal, San Antonio, Texas, February 2009
- Co-author, “What businesses need to know about open carry laws,” San Antonio Business Journal, December 17, 2015
- Co-author, “What businesses need to know about open carry laws,” Houston Business Journal, December 16, 2015
- Co-author, “Government contracting: When competitors become teammates,” San Antonio Express-News, September 30, 2015
- Co-author, “Protecting your companies greatest assets,” Oil and Gas Business Magazine, November/December 2013
- Co-author, “2013 Legislative recaps: What new legislation means for Texas employers,” June 27, 2013
- Co-author, “Supreme Court Upholds Employer’s Strategy of Picking Off Lead Plaintiff in FLSA Collective Action,” Legal Update, April 2013
- Co-author, “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Impact on Employers,” Fulbright’s Financial Reform Task Force, October 2011
- “Texas Supreme Court Approves Expanded Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards,” Legal Update, May 16, 2011
Professional Associations and Memberships
- San Antonio Bar Association, Litigation Section: Board of Directors
- Defense Counsel of San Antonio: Member
- St. Mary’s School of Law Alumni Association: Member
- Texas State University Alumni Association: Member
- Brighton Center, Inc.: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Board Development Chair
- Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: Board of Directors