Hon. Karen Brown Willcutts (Former), FCIArb

T: 214-744-5267
F: 214-720-6010

Locations

Available nationwide
Energy/Utility

Judge Willcutts has extensive experience handling complex energy cases. She is known for her ability to quickly grasp the underlying issues, using her persistence, creativity and empathy to help parties find unique, fair solutions to their disputes.

As an arbitrator and special master, she strives to be well prepared, provide the parties with a full and fair hearing as expeditiously as possible, and render a timely decision that is in accordance with the law and the evidence. As a mediator, she assists the parties in exploring every possible avenue to resolve their dispute.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitrated, as member of tri-partite panel, disputes between multiple energy companies regarding indemnity obligations for claims asserted in lawsuits against them by mineral rights owners
  • As special master, conducted numerous hearings in case asserting complex claims and counterclaims between two oil trading companies arising from former joint venture 
  • Mediated dispute between mineral rights owner and oil and gas exploration company regarding alleged underpayment of royalties based on conflicting interpretations of series of oil and gas leases
  • Mediated disputes regarding alleged breach of oil and gas purchase agreement related to claim that seller failed to maintain production on several leases 
  • Mediation of employment dispute involving leave imposed on oil refinery employee for alleged violation of life-saving rule 
  • Mediator for matter brought by board member and stockholder against oil and gas exploration and production company and several board members alleging breach of fiduciary duty and fraud 
  • Sole arbitrator of matter involving breach of royalty lease, breach of implied covenant of warranty of title, in addition to fraudulent and negligent representations brought by lessee against mineral rights owner

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Selected Articles
    • Author, "Damage Analysis Is Key To Settling Complex Cases," Law 360, June 2016
    • Co-author, “Forum 2013 Intensive Program: Mediation,” published for American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, October 2013 
    • Author, “Arbitration: Still an Effective Method of Resolving Business Disputes?,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, December 2011 
    • Author, “Preparation: An Important Key to a Successful Mediation,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, September 2007 
    • Author, “Mediation and Arbitration Update,” Texas Bar CLE “Winning Before Trial,” March 2007
  • Honors
    • Selected as a Best Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation, D Magazine, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 
    • Selected as a Best Woman Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation, D Magazine, 2010 
    • AV Pre-Eminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Memberships
    • Member, American Bar Association 
      • Dispute Resolution
      • Forum on Franchising
      • International Law
      • Litigation
      • Forum on Franchising
    • Advisory Board Member, Center for American and International Law
      • Institute for Energy Law
      • Institute for Transnational Arbitration
    • Member, Dallas Bar Association
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution
      • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
      • Business Litigation
      • Energy Law
      • Franchise & Distribution Law
      • International Law
      • Labor and Employment
    • Member, State Bar of Texas
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution
      • Antitrust and Business Litigation
      • International Law
      • Labor and Employment
      • Litigation
    • Member, Attorneys Serving the Community, 1994-present (co-chaired several committees)
  • Professional Activities
    • Adjunct Professor, Arbitration Law and Advocacy, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Spring 2010 
    • Past Chair, Antitrust and Business Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas, 1997-1998 (council member, 1992-1999) 
    • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
    • Received Diploma in International Arbitration
    • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
    • Panelist, "Arbitrators and Judges Panel: Experts in Arbitration," Forensic Expert Witness Association, 2014
    • Co-panelist, “Mediation Intensive,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2013 
    • Panelist, “Arbitrators’ and Judges’ Panel: Tips for Your Case,” University of Texas School of Law 2012 Construction Law Symposium, 2012 
    • Co-presenter, “Maximizing Arbitration Efficiency and Effectiveness,” Dallas Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, 2011 
    • Co-presenter, “Arbitration,” North Texas Conflict Resolution Conference, 2008 
    • Presenter, “Mediation and Arbitration,” North Texas Paralegal Association, 2007 
    • Presenter, “Mediation and Arbitration Update,” Texas Bar CLE “Winning Before Trial”, 2007 
    • Co-presenter, “Da Ethics Code: Unveiling the Ethical Mysteries in Labor/Employment ADR,” Employment Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association, 2006

Background and Education

  • Civil Associate Judge (formerly, Civil Court Master), Dallas County, TX, 2002-2004
  • Partner, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Dallas, 1985-2002 (Associate, 1985-1991; Partner, 1992-2001; Of Counsel, January-October 2002)
  • J.D., with honors, University of Texas School of Law
  • B.A., with high honors, University of Texas at Arlington

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