Mani S. Walia
Mr. Walia represents both plaintiffs and defendants in federal courts, state courts, and arbitrations. Mr. Walia has expertise in a wide variety of high-stakes commercial cases, including contract, real estate, intellectual property, oil and gas, securities, and technology disputes. Mr. Walia joined Susman Godfrey in 2011 after starting his career at Baker Botts, LLP, and clerking for Judge Jane R. Roth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Hayden Head of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Mr. Walia has real experience trying commercial cases, examining witnesses, arguing motions in court, and taking expert and fact depositions. For example, in an arbitration for client Forest Oil Corporation, Mr. Walia examined six expert witnesses—including cross-examining four of the plaintiffs’ experts. In addition, in patent litigation filed in Massachusetts federal court for client Sky Technologies against global software makers, including Microsoft, Mr. Walia successfully briefed and argued against a defendant’s motion to dismiss.
In 2012, Mr. Walia and Firm founder, Steve Susman, represented Casimir Interests, Ltd. in a dispute against a partnership that owns a large Houston hospital. Mr. Walia managed the case day to day—including handling all the expert depositions; arguing all motions; winning a key discovery ruling from the trial court that required the Defendant’s CEO to be deposed—and then getting both the appellate court and Texas Supreme Court to affirm that ruling; and arguing the summary judgment motion. Two days after Mr. Walia’s summary judgment argument, the other side settled the case.
Here’s what the client said about Mr. Walia:
I want to express my appreciation for the very professional and efficient way that you and your team handled the lawsuit for Casimir Interests, Ltd. I expected outstanding work, which is why I asked you to take my case, and I was not disappointed. Getting this lawsuit resolved in well under a year, while other people in litigation with the same entity struggle for years just to get documents, was very important to me. Beyond your talent, I think what made the difference is your firm constantly pushing the lawsuit forward. There were no periods of inactivity on your end.
I also need to tell you both how pleased I was with you, Mani. You did excellent work, you never let up, and your daily work was crucial to getting an unusually good result against a very difficult opponent. You were a pleasure to work with. You have excellent client service skills, and answered all my questions promptly and in as much depth as I needed. I felt throughout the case that I was very well-informed, which helped me to keep my focus and stay calm. You are a great credit to your firm. The opponent was used to pushing people around and having their way. It didn't happen here. Click here to read the full letter.
Mr. Walia also has substantial legal writing experience. While clerking for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, he taught legal writing as an adjunct professor at Widener University School of Law. He also has taught multiples seminars on legal writing in trial and appellate briefs to fellow lawyers at the request of the Houston Bar Association. Finally, Mr. Walia has had one of his recent law review publications, Putting the "Mandatory" Back in the Mandatory Detention Act, cited by a federal court in a published judicial opinion.
The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2006)
The University of Texas (B.B.A., with honors, Business Honors Program & Finance, 2003)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Jane R. Roth, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2008-2009
Law Clerk to the Honorable Hayden W. Head, United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas, 2006-2007
- Member, Texas Law Review, Volume 84
- Managing Editor, The Review of Litigation, Volume 25 (March 2005-August 2005); Editor, Volume 24
- Editor, Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal, Volume 13
- Continued Legal Education Speaker for the Houston Bar Association, Effective Legal Writing in Appellate Briefs, May 2011 and February 2013
- Alumni Spotlight Recipient, Texas Exes Asian Alumni Network, February 2011. See http://www.asiantexasexes.org/2011/february-alumni-spotlight-mani-walia/
- Casimir Interests, Ltd. v. North Cypress Medical Center. Along with Firm founder, Steve Susman, Mr. Walia represented a limited partner, Casimir Interests, Ltd, in a buyout dispute. Casimir Interests was a partner of North Cypress Medical Center, which among other things, owns a physician-run hospital in Houston. Mr. Walia ran the case day to day. He conducted all expert depositions. He won a key discovery ruling that required North Cypress’s CEO to be deposed – and then Mr. Walia successfully defended that ruling before the Texas appellate court and Texas Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Walia briefed and argued Casimir Interests’ motion for summary judgment. Two days after his argument, the parties reached a settlement. The counsel who referred the case to Susman Godfrey said that that he “was very impressed with the handling of the lawsuit.” And Mr. Walia’s client described Mr. Walia as follows: “I also need to tell you both how pleased I was with you, Mani. You did excellent work, you never let up, and your daily work was crucial to getting an unusually good result against a very difficult opponent. You were a pleasure to work with. You have excellent client service skills, and answered all my questions promptly and in as much depth as I needed. I felt throughout the case that I was very well-informed, which helped me to keep my focus and stay calm. You are a great credit to your firm. The opponent was used to pushing people around and having their way. It didn't happen here. To read the full letter, please click here.
- McAllen v. Forest Oil Corporation. Mr. Walia represented Forest Oil Corporation against claims for alleged environmental contamination, assault with allegedly radioactive oil well tubing, and other similarly specious claims in a three-week arbitration. During the arbitration, Mr. Walia examined six expert witnesses—including cross-examining four of plaintiffs’ expert witnesses and plaintiffs’ sole rebuttal expert witness to conclude the evidentiary part of the case. To read two of his cross-examination transcripts, please click here and here. And to read one of his direct-examination transcripts, please click here.
- Assured Guaranty Municipal Corporation v. Flagstar Bank. Mr. Walia was part of the Susman Godfrey team that successfully represented a monoline insurer of residential-backed mortgage securities in federal court in New York. You can read the article “Susman Godfrey LLP Wins Landmark Trial Over $1 Billion of Mortgage-Backed Securites,” by clicking here. And you access the numerous articles from Law360 describing the case and Susman Godfrey’s success by clicking here.
- Sky Technologies v. Microsoft, et al. Along with Alexandra White, Mr. Walia represented a Boston-based technology licensing firm, Sky Technologies, in patent litigation against global software makers, including Microsoft. Mr. Walia successfully briefed and then argued against a defendant’s motion to dismiss in federal court.
- Barnett v. Chicago Climate Futures Exchange. Mr. Walia currently represents a national futures environmental directives trading platform, like the New York Stock Exchange for environmental directives, against claims asserted by former traders. The lawsuit is pending in Chicago, Illinois.
- Hall v. Davenport. Mr. Walia currently represents Davenport and his companies, which are in the business of water exploration and production, in a lawsuit pending in San Antonio, Texas.
- Pro Bono representations and trial experience. Through a volunteer program with the City of Houston while practicing at Baker Botts, Mr. Walia tried 25 criminal prosecutions of state-law violations from voir dire to jury verdict. Mr. Walia also represented pro bono an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The case was tried before the U.S. Immigration Court in which asylum was granted. In a rare move, the court granted asylum after Mr. Walia’s direct examination.
Putting the "Mandatory" Back in the Mandatory Detention Act, 85 St. John's Law Review 1 (Winter 2011) (cited in United States v. Christman, 712 F. Supp. 2d 651, 655 n.6 (E.D. Ky. 2010)). Click here to view the article.
Persuading Quickly: Tips for Writing an Effective Brief, written with Judge Jane R. Roth, 11 The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 443 (2010). Click here to view the article.
- The PLRA and Rule 20 in Harmony: Apportioning a Single Fee for Multiple Indigent Prisoners When They Proceed Jointly, 58 Drake Law Review 541 (2010). Click here to view the article.
- CLE Speaker, Houston Bar Association, "Effective Legal Writing in Briefs," May 2011 and February 2013.
- Moderator, North American South Asian Bar Association Annual Convention, June 2011.
- Speaker, South Texas College of Law, South Asian Law Students Association, September 2010 and September 2011
- Panelist, "Navigating the Law Clerk Process," Widener School of Law, Wilmington, December 2008
- Speaker, "Tips on Law School and Practice," University of Houston, Phi Alpha Delta PreLaw Fraternity, June 2007
- State Bar of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Houston Bar Association
- North American South Asian Bar Association
- South American Bar Association of Houston, President, 2010-2011