Chanler A. Langham
Partner
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7839 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education
  • Columbia Law School (J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)
  • The George Washington University Honors Program (B.A., magna cum laude, Japanese Language and Literature; and International Affairs with concentration in East Asian Studies)
  • Kyoto University
Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (2004-2006)

Chanler A. Langham
Partner

Chanler Langham is an accomplished trial lawyer who has obtained many significant, precedent-setting legal victories.  Mr. Langham tries and manages complex commercial matters for plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts throughout the country involving antitrust, intellectual property, toxic torts, executive compensation, oil and gas, products liability, and complex breach of contract issues.  Mr. Langham has tried and won several jury trials, bench trials, and injunctions for his clients.  He has also secured several appellate victories – both affirmances of favorable judgments he previously won and overturns of rulings a client hires him to defeat.  And when needed, Mr. Langham has a keen ability to negotiate, he has successfully secured several multi-million-dollar settlements.

“I am constantly impressed with Chanler’s ability to take dozens of technical details and distill them into clear arguments that resonate with judges and mediators. He has also demonstrated complete mastery of cross examinations. He continually leads witnesses to confidently reveal information – only to realize later their testimony damages the core arguments of their case.”
Nathan Childress, CEO, Mobius Medical Systems

Victories

Mr. Langham has won major courtroom victories for his clients, who vary from industry leaders to small businesses and individuals, against formidable opponents.

In Jibe Audio LLC et al. v. Jimmy Iovine et al., Mr. Langham tried and won a  jury trial and $40 million judgment for client, Steven Lamar, in a breach of contract dispute against Beats, Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine over royalties owed for Lamar’s role in designing the iconic Beats headphones.  The jury found that Beats breached the agreement and should pay royalties to Lamar on the Studio 2, Studio Wireless, and Studio 3 headphones. This case was widely followed by the media. The win was covered by The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Variety, Bloomberg and Law360. The verdict was also included on National Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts of the Year list.

Mr. Langham serves as co-lead counsel for a class of consumer plaintiffs in the largest group of price-fixing conspiracies ever uncovered, In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation. The actions, alleging anti-competitive conduct, were brought by indirect purchasers of component parts included in over 20 million automobiles. Mr. Langham, together with the Susman Godfrey team and its co-lead counsel, reached settlements with certain defendants for over $1.2 billion. After reaching settlements with 39 separate defendant groups, litigation is ongoing against one remaining defendant.

Mr. Langham has also served as counsel to Walmart in several high stakes matters. For example, he tried and won a bench trial on behalf of the retailer in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas laws that prohibit publicly traded companies from selling liquor in Texas.  The District Court ruled in Walmart’s favor by striking down provisions of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code under the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. Read the ruling here. Mr. Langham has also successfully defended Walmart in product liability matters.

Service to the Community and Background

Mr. Langham’s service continues outside the courtroom.  He is a Trustee of the Huston-Tillotson University, a Historically Black College and University. He serves as a Director on the Houston Bar Association (HBA) Board of Directors for its 2021/2022 term. He currently serves as Chair of the HBA’s Lawyers for Literacy Committee, and previously served as Co-Chair of the HBA’s Communities in the Schools Committee. Mr. Langham is a Director on the Air Alliance Houston Board of Directors, and is Vice Chair of the Trial Practice Committee for the American Bar Association’s Antitrust section.  He  also previously served as a Board Member for Writers in the Schools, an organization that engages children in reading and creative writing.  In addition, Mr. Langham co-founded Sweatt Equity Group, an organization of Black male lawyers in Houston. He also mentors Black law students at the University of Houston Law Center and University of Texas Law School.

Before joining Susman Godfrey, Mr. Langham worked as a law clerk for The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and graduated magna cum laude from The George Washington University Honors Program, where he received a B.A. in International Affairs and Japanese Language and Literature. Mr. Langham is licensed to practice in Texas, Illinois, and New York.

Mr. Langham’s achievements and leadership have been recognized in the national legal community. He was recognized with the President’s Award by the Houston Bar Association in 2020 and as a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer in 2019 and 2020. He was recognized on Benchmark Litigation’s “Under 40 Hot List” in 2016 and 2017 and as a “Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers since 2012.  Mr. Langham has been rated as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by The National Black Lawyers group three years in a row and was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2018 list of The Most Influential Black Lawyers.

Notable Representations
Business Disputes
  •  Jibe Audio LLC et al. v. Jimmy Iovine et al(California) Tried and won a jury trial and $40 million judgment for client, Steven Lamar, in a breach of contract dispute against Beats, Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine over royalties owed for Lamar’s role in designing the iconic Beats headphones.  The jury found that Beats breached the agreement and should pay royalties to Lamar on the Studio 2, Studio Wireless, and Studio 3 headphones. Reports on this win were included in The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Variety, Bloomberg and Law360.
  • Bernstein et al Cengage (S.D.N.Y) andFlynn et al v. McGraw Hill (S.D.N.Y.) Serves as lead counsel representing authors of higher education textbooks against their respective publishing companies for failure to pay contractual royalties owed on textbooks sold on the Cengage MindTap, Cengage Unlimited, and McGraw Hill Connect online platforms.
  • Dig Tech v. Star Operations (Texas) Tried and won a breach of contract lawsuit on behalf of Austin-based Dig Tech against San Antonio-based Star Operations. Dig Tech alleged that Star Operations agreed to pay for construction work on the State Highway 130 Tollway. Star Operations claimed it did not have to pay for the work because Dig Tech did not secure a signed contract.  The jury ruled unanimously in favor of Dig Tech.  On July 27, 2017, the Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment.
  • Lutfe Hassan v. ICS Nett Inc., et al. (D.D.C.) Secured a confidential settlement in a breach of asset purchase agreement matter on behalf of Lutfe Hassan, a former partner to a military contracting company.
  • Apple Houston Restaurants v. Restaurant Partnership of Central Texas (Texas) Secured a confidential settlement on the counterclaims of Restaurant Partnership of Central Texas in a breach of contract action involving the sale of franchise restaurants.
  • Torres et al v. Taylor (Texas) Won a confidential settlement on the counterclaims of an energy trading investor in a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty action.
  • Metroplexcore, LLC v. Parsons Transportation, Inc. and METRO (S.D. Tex.) Won a federal trial court dismissal of Metroplexcore’s claims against Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (“METRO”).  In connection with METRO’s solicitation of bids for a passenger rail-line in Houston, Metroplexcore claimed that METRO wrongfully accepted a bid from its competitor, Parsons.  Judge Lynn H. Hughes of the Southern District of Texas dismissed Metroplexcore’s claims against METRO for lack of standing and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
Complex Commercial Litigation 
  • Walmart Stores Inc. et al. v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission et al (W.D. Tex.) Tried and won a bench trial on behalf of Walmart in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas laws that prohibit publicly traded companies from selling liquor in Texas.  The District Court ruled in Walmart’s favor by striking down provisions of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code under the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. Read the ruling here.
  • Apache Corporation v. John Chevedden and KBR Inc. v. John Chevedden (S.D. Tex.) Won two consecutive federal court judgments for Apache Corporation and KBR, Inc. authorizing the companies to exclude a purported shareholder’s proposal from its proxy materials. Instead of following the normal course of obtaining a “no action” letter from the SEC, we filed suit in federal court, sought a speedy hearing, and sought a declaration that the companies properly may exclude the proposal from upcoming proxy materials under Rule 14a-8(b) because the purported shareholder failed to prove his status as a shareholder and his eligibility to submit a proposal. The Court ruled in Apache’s and KBR’s favor.
  • In Re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Mich.) Serve as co-lead counsel for a class of consumer plaintiffs in multidistrict price-fixing cases. The actions, alleging anti-competitive conduct, were brought by indirect purchasers of component parts included in over 20 million automobiles. The Susman Godfrey team, together with its co-lead counsel, reached settlements with certain defendants for over $1.2 billion.
  • Alley Theatre vs. Hanover Insurance (S.D. Tex.) Working pro bono, secured a plaintiffs-side summary judgment win and confidential settlement for Houston’s historic Alley Theatre in an insurance coverage lawsuit. The suit claimed the theatre was not properly reimbursed by Hanover Insurance Company for claims related to business interruption losses sustained during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Apollo Energy, LLC, and ATEC Energy Ventures, LLC vs. Noble Energy, Inc. (Arbitration) Settled an oil and gas breach of contract arbitration against Noble Energy on behalf of ATEC Energy Ventures, LLC and Apollo Energy, LLC.  The contract involved an area of mutual interest provision for oil and gas exploration and development covering 6,662 acres of land in the Piceance Basin of Western Colorado.
  • Executive Compensation (S.D. Tex.) Settled an executive compensation lawsuit brought by the former chairman and CEO of our oil services industry client. The former executive alleged breach of his employment and stock option agreements. We filed a counterclaim based on the company’s termination of the executive for cause and sought cancellation of the executive’s stock options and repayment of millions of dollars in compensation plus attorneys’ fees. We filed an affirmative motion for summary judgment to establish our entitlement to this recovery as a matter of law. While the motion for summary judgment was pending, we were able to settle the case for a fraction of the amount that the executive claimed.
Intellectual Property
  • PMC v. Gemstar-TV Guide International (now named Tivo) (E.D. Tex) Tried and won an arbitration of a licensing dispute on behalf of Personalized Media Communications (PMC) against Gemstar-TV Guide International, formerly known as Rovi Guides, and now known as Tivo. PMC’s arbitration victory ends a dispute that lasted nearly 15 years, including two trips to the Federal Circuit.
  • CafeX Communications Inc. v. Amazon Web Services, Inc. (S.D.N.Y.) Defeated a preliminary injunction request on behalf of online retail sales giant Amazon in a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit concerning the “Chime by CafeX” web collaboration tool released by CafeX Communications, and the “Amazon Chime” web conferencing solution released by Amazon Web Services. The Federal District Court reasoned that CafeX failed to make a sufficient case of likelihood of confusion, adequate use in commerce, or irreparable harm.
  • Personalized Media Communications, LLC v. Echostar Corp. and DISH Network (E.D. Tex.) Won a confidential multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of Personalized Media Communications (PMC) in a patent infringement action against DISH/EchoStar. PMC alleged that DISH infringed several patents related to the encryption and decryption of satellite signals.
  • Mobius Medical Systems, LP v. Sun Nuclear Corporation (S.D. Tex.) Won a permanent injunction and confidential settlement on behalf of Mobius Medical Systems, LP, a radiation oncology software company, against its exclusive distributor Sun Nuclear, for trade secret misappropriation.
  • High Island Health, LLC and Jiro Takashima v. Libertybelle Marketing, Ltd. (S.D. Tex.) Won a confidential settlement in a patent infringement action against Libertybelle Marketing, Ltd. on behalf of High Island Health, LLC and Jiro Takashima.  After Libertybelle’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity failed and Judge Lynn H. Hughes set the parties for trial, defendant Libertybelle agreed to exit the U.S. market for the remaining term of the patent.  Further terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
  • Individual Networks v. Apple (E.D. Tex.) Secured confidential settlement in patent infringement lawsuit against Apple on behalf of Individual Networks. The Individual Networks patent involved the algorithm used in Apple’s iTunes store’s customized advertising process.
Appellate
  • Rebellion Energy v. Liberty Resources (Texas Court of Appeals) Secured a significant win for Liberty Resources when the Texas Court of Appeals for the First District ruled that Liberty would not be forced to arbitrate a dispute over a bill in its $106 million energy deal with Rebellion Energy. The Appeals court held that the arbitration agreement between Rebellion and Liberty is too narrow to cover the disputed services and that it would “produce absurd results” if the arbitration provision could be read to require an accounting arbitrator to decide issues simply because Rebellion includes them in a dispute notice. Read more (subscription required).
  • Rhonda Hill Wilson v. American Association for Justice (2nd Cir.) Won an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the American Association for Justice affirming the dismissal of a defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress action filed by a former AAJ officer.
  • Cernosek Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Mont Belvieu and Enterprise Products Operating, L.P. (Texas Court of Appeals) Won a First Court of Appeals affirmance of a state trial court dismissal on behalf of Enterprise Products Operating. The plaintiff Cernosek Enterprises, Inc. sued the City of Mont Belvieu and Enterprise Products Operating alleging violations of Mont Belvieu’s municipal ordinances governing the issuance of drilling permits and zoning for hydrocarbon storage well operations.  The trial court granted Enterprise’s plea to the jurisdiction contending that Cernosek lacked standing to enforce the municipal ordinances and dismissed with prejudice all of Cernosek’s claims.  The Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas affirmed.
Product Liability And Personal Injury
  • Thatcher v. Walmart (Arkansas) Tried and won a jury trial on behalf of Walmart against a plaintiff who claimed that a gasoline container sold by Walmart 10 years ago was defective because it ruptured when the plaintiff poured methanol on an open flame.  Plaintiff sought over $15 million in actual damages.  The jury issued a take-nothing judgment for Walmart.
  • McManaway, et al. v. KBR, Inc. (S.D. Tex.) Won summary judgment against all claims asserted by over 160 National Guard combat troops who sought over $1 billion in damages based on alleged chemical exposure during the Iraq War while deployed by the U.S. Army to provide force protection at an Iraq-owned water treatment plant.
  • Elva Martinez Cuellar, et al. v. Pelonis Appliances, Inc. and Texas Instruments (Texas). Represented component part manufacturer Texas Instruments and obtained a voluntary dismissal against plaintiffs and cross-claim defendants in a products liability, wrongful death, and statutory indemnity action involving a fire allegedly caused by a fan heater manufactured and by Pelonis.  Langham met with engineers in Amsterdam, conducted site inspections in Indiana, and uncovered key documents in Nebraska that ultimately led to dismissal of all plaintiffs’ claims.
  • Texas Instruments (Nationwide). Organized, litigated, and obtained dismissals of over 30 products liability cases for Texas Instruments. These 30+ cases were spread out over 12 states and involved 3 wrongful death and survivor claims.  Langham hired and managed 11 sets of local counsel, coordinated all discovery, deposed 50+ plaintiffs and experts, worked with leading fire cause and origin experts, and removed 20+ additional cases to federal and state multi-district litigation.
Honors and Distinctions
  • Honored with the President’s Award by the Houston Bar Association (2020)
  • Recognized for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice by the American Antitrust Institute (2019) for work on In re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation.
  • Recognized on Lawdragon 500’s list of the country’s Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (20202019, 2021)
  • Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List, two years in a row (2017, 2016)
  • “Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star,” Law & Politics Magazine (Thomson Reuters; since 2012)
  • Savoy Magazine’s list of “The Most Influential Black Lawyers” (The Savoy Network, 2018). Click here and turn to page 14 for profile.
  • The National Black Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” (since 2016)
  • H-Texas Magazine “Professional on the Fast Track” (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar (2002-2004)
  • Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu Fellowship in Japanese Law (2002)
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Trustee, Huston-Tillotson University (2021-2022)
  • Director, Air Alliance Houston Board of Directors (2021-2022)
  • Director, Houston Bar Association (2021-2022)
  • Vice Chair,  American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section’s Trial Practice Committee (2021-2022)
  • Chair, Houston Bar Association Lawyers for Literacy Committee (2021-2022)
  • Vice Chair of Trial Practice Committee, American Bar Association, Antitrust Section (2018-2019)
  • Ambassador, Houston Bar Association (2019-2021)
  • Co-Chair of Communities in the Schools Committee, Houston Bar Association (2018-2019)
  • National Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
  • Life Member, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Former Board Member, Writers in the Schools
  • Co-Founder, Sweatt Equity Group
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. — Nu Beta Chapter
  • New York State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas