Siegmyer, Oshman & Bissinger
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IN THE NEWS: David Bissinger and Gerald Siegmyer have authored an article in the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Winter 2013 Report ("The Advocate"), "FINRA Arbitration: Fighting to Survive"(PDF).

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David K. Bissinger

photo of David Bissinger

Siegmyer, Oshman & Bissinger LLP
Tenth Floor
2777 Allen Parkway
Houston, Texas 77019
Phone: (713) 524-8811
Fax: (713) 524-4102

Email: David K. Bissinger vcard

Selected Cases
Areas of Practice

Published Works
Speeches
Memberships

DAVID K. BISSINGER practices in the areas of commercial litigation and arbitration; securities litigation and arbitration; intellectual property litigation; executive compensation; and government investigations.

Born in Colorado and raised in Minnesota and Iowa, Dave obtained his B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1990, where he graduated with high distinction and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year.

He earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 1993, where he served as the editor in chief for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law and served on the moot court board.  He clerked for Chief Justice Arthur A. McGiverin of the Iowa Supreme Court from 1993-1994. He is licensed to practice in all the State and Federal courts in Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Texas Monthly magazine has named Dave as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in 2009-2013 and “Texas Rising Star” in 2007. Martindale-Hubbell has given Dave its highest rating, AV®, since first rating him in 2003.

Selected Cases

Defense of Claim of Theft of Corporate Opportunity/Breach of Corporate Fiduciary Duty. Lead counsel in successful defense of a $19 million claim alleging usurpation of corporate opportunity relating to angel investments in a biotechnology company. An arbitration panel, voting 2-1, denied the claimants’ liability and damages claims in their entirety against our client. A copy of the award, attached to the motion for entry of same, is attached here.

Las Vegas $19 Million Deficiency Judgment. Obtained $19 million judgment on behalf of lender in contested deficiency judgment case over valuation of Las Vegas-area properties in which lender contended value had dropped from $30 million (at time of initial $13.5 million loan in 2006) to less than $4.23 million (at time of foreclosure in 2010). Court awarded full deficiency, plus interest, of $19.8 million. A video excerpt from hearing in which lender challenged guarantors’ expert can be seen here.

Prosecution of Defective Appraisal. Represented large community bank in claim against major appraisal firm for loan losses arising out of appraisals that exaggerated value of commercial real estate securing bank’s loans. Case settled favorably under confidentiality agreement. (Lead counsel.)

Insurance Commission Trial. Obtained jury verdict of $625,000 in fraud, contract, and fiduciary damages arising out of breach of oral contract to pay brokerage general agent 5% of commissions in large syndicated structure of life insurance policies; jury also found “clear and convincing” evidence of fraud as predicate for punitive damages; case settled confidentially prior to punitive damages phase. (Lead counsel.)

Auction-Rate Securities Cases. Prosecuted numerous FINRA customer claims seeking losses arising out of systemic failure of auction-rate securities market in February 2008; obtained recoveries and buy-backs of more than $10,000,000. (Lead counsel.)

Defense of Selling-Away Securities Arbitration. Defended FINRA customer claim against registered representative of major broker-dealer accused of selling real-estate limited partnerships without broker-dealer’s authorization; customer sought more than $15,000,000 in damages, including $4,400,000 in out-of-pocket losses; after eight-day hearing, FINRA panel awarded $1.3 million. (Lead counsel.)

Flynn v. 3D/I.  Filed, prosecuted, and obtained settlement for senior executive arising out of Parsons Corporation’s acquisition of 3D International, Inc.  Executive alleged 3D/I forced him to sell his shares at pre-merger “book value” price despite 3D/I’s concealed knowledge of pending merger at rumored premium of two or three times “book value.”  (Actual merger price remains confidential.) Case settled confidentially within nine months of service of process.  (Lead counsel.)

International Metal Sales, Inc. v. Prosperity Bank. Defended bank against customer suing for wrongful honor of sight drafts made against letter of credit. Obtained summary judgment dismissing customer’s claim. (Lead counsel.)

Superior Refinishing v. Prosperity Bank.  Defended bank against borrower suing for defamation and business disparagement after borrower defaulted on factoring agreement.  Obtained partial summary judgment dismissing borrower’s lost-profits claim and, ultimately, voluntary dismissal of borrower’s case.  (Lead counsel.)

Patent infringement judgment enforcement litigation. Defended two inventors against whose former company a $10 million patent infringement judgment had been secured by a major energy company. Inventors were subject to motion for contempt, allegations of fraudulent transfer and conspiracy and other claims for relief in multiple Federal court proceedings. Investors’ new company had also filed new claims of patent infringement against same major company. Case settled confidentially pursuant to mutual settlement agreement.

Diamond J. Equipment Int’l, L.L.C. v. Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery, L.L.C. Filed motion for summary judgment before scheduling conference and obtained dismissal of this $6 million breach-of-contract and lost-profits claim arising out of MEOR’s termination of distributorship agreement with Diamond J.  Case was filed before Judge Werlein in Houston Federal Court.  (Lead counsel.)

Icoworks Holdings, Inc. v. Network International, Inc., Premier Auctioneers International, Inc., and Craig Cannon v. De Bie Midland, Inc. Defended De Bie Midland, Inc. in complex tortious interference and fraudulent transfer case.  Hired six weeks before trial.  After a four-day trial, jury returned verdict denying all claims against De Bie Midland.  (Lead counsel.)

Municipal Bond Case.  Represented claimant in NASD customer claim of securities fraud, unsuitable trading and investing, churning, and breach of fiduciary duty; broker used forged account transfers in selling portfolio of millions of dollars in investment-grade municipal bonds and replacing it with obscure and speculative junk bonds that paid substantial compensation to broker. After an eight-day final hearing, panel awarded more than 100% of claimant’s out-of-pocket losses against respondent Corporate Securities Group, Inc. (n/k/a Wachovia Securities Financial Network). Three other respondent firms settled for confidential amounts. (Lead counsel.)

Desert Power, L.P. v. Teleflex, Inc., et al.  Represented plaintiff independent power provider in case involving 60MW Hitachi/GE Frame 6B gas-fired turbogeneration facility.  Claim involved allegations of fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and breach of implied warranties in connection with defendants’ emissions reduction (generally known as “dry low NOx”) combustion system.  After obtaining fast-track scheduling order and conducted focused pretrial discovery for plaintiff, case settled under confidentiality agreement.  (Lead counsel.)

FINRA commingling investigation. Defended registered representative of major brokerage firm in matter in which representative admitted to commingling customer’s funds with representative’s. After extensive written discovery and on-the-record interviews, FINRA issued “no action” letter. (Lead counsel.)

Representation of former energy merchant CFO.  Representation of former chief financial officer of major energy merchant in connection with numerous proceedings, including formal SEC investigation, large shareholder class action, three federal ERISA class actions, state court derivative case, federal court derivative case, and other collateral matters.

Representation of former mutual fund officer.  Representation of former mutual fund chief investment officer in connection with the SEC’s investigation regarding alleged market timing. Investigation was part of far-reaching and highly publicized regulatory inquiries of SEC and New York Attorney General.

Enrique Perusquia/PaineWebber Cases. The Perusquia cases are reported to be the largest securities arbitration claim in the history of NASD arbitration.  Dispute involved broker’s falsified account statements to portray customers as holding blue-chip stocks and bonds; in reality, broker had put the vast majority of customers funds in essentially one South American gold-mining company, which paid the broker large kickbacks.  Broker forged countless powers-of-attorney, authorizations, checks, and other documents.  Case settled confidentially.

Areas of Practice

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration; Securities Litigation and Arbitration; Intellectual Property Litigation; Executive Compensation; Government Investigations

Bar Admissions

Texas, 1994

Iowa, 1993

U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Education

J.D., Vanderbilt Law School, Nashville, Tennessee, 1993 (Editor in Chief, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law; Member, Vanderbilt Moot Court Board)

B.A., University of Iowa, 1990 (with high distinction; Phi Beta Kappa; Collegiate Scholar; Younger Scholar, National Endowment for the Humanities)

Published Works and Media Appearnces

FINRA Arbitration: Fighting to Survive,” State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Winter 2013 Report (“The Advocate”).

Four Jury Innovations to Use in Civil Trials,” Texas Lawyer, September 17, 2012 (evaluating the Jury Innovations Project proposals for reforming jury trials).

Working on the Clock: The Advantage of Timed Trials,” Texas Lawyer, April 2, 2012 (co-authored with Erica Harris of Susman Godfrey LLP) (discussing “the need for speed and how to use it to the client’s advantage”).

Steve Jobs’ Challenge for Trial Lawyers,” Texas Lawyer, January 9, 2012 (discussing how lawyers in the pursuit of justice for their clients should work to meet and exceed the skill Jobs used in selling smartphones).

“Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo,” December 16, 2011 (commentary regarding SEC’s civil enforcement actions against executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)

Arbitration, Bench Trial, or Jury Trial? A Functional Guide for In-House Counsel,” The Texas State Bar Litigation Report (The Advocate), Fall 2011 (coauthored with Trent McKenna, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE: FIX))

Jury Charge – An Essential Tool Throughout Litigation,” Texas Lawyer, July 25, 2011 (coauthored with appellate lawyer Kurt Kuhn) (advocating use of jury charge as guide for litigators at all stages of pretrial litigation).

“David Sokol and the Lubrizol Shares,” Bloomberg Law, Apr. 9, 2011
(discussing SEC investigation of Berkshire Hathway’s David Sokol’s
trading of Lubrizol shares weeks before Berkshire’s announced
acquisition of Lubrizol)

The Ins and Outs of Excluding Evidence,” Texas Lawyer, December 13, 2010 (discussing forces in trial practice that tend to lead to the admission, rather than exclusion, of evidence).

Lawyer as Director: Three Ways to Improve Direct Examination,” Texas Lawyer, September 27, 2010 (discussing the often-overlooked techniques for presenting testimony in direct examination).

Story Time:  Embrace Multimedia Advocacy in Trial,” Texas Lawyer, June 21, 2010 (arguing that using multimedia tools increases jurors’ ability to reach fair results), reprinted in the New York Law Journal and Law.com’s Law Technology News.

“Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo,” June 24, 2010 (commentary regarding “honest services” aspect of Supreme Court’s decision of United States v. Skilling)

Three Areas Where Listening Pays,” Texas Lawyer, March 22, 2010 (discussing examples of how lawyers can better succeed in trial by listening to the client, the witness, and the jurors).

Revolutionize Legal Education Using Work Product,” Texas Lawyer, January 11, 2010 (urging law schools to adapt the case method to use briefs, transcripts, and digital audio and video to improve the teaching of law and advocacy)

Seize the Day When It Comes to Creative Trial Advocacy,” Texas Lawyer, September 28, 2009 (describing the impact of scientific and technological advances on trials in the 21st century)

Winning on the Papers,” Texas Lawyer, June 22, 2009 (coauthored with Martin Siegel of the Law Offices of Martin J. Siegel) (explaining how a trial-lawyer’s mindset can streamline discovery and motion practice to minimize client expense and maximize likelihood of victory)

First, Do No Harm: Trial Myths That Threaten Good Advocacy,” Texas Lawyer, April 13, 2009 (coauthored with Paul Yetter of Yetter, Warden & Coleman LLP) (discussing how some trial lawyer aphorisms do more harm than good in age of vanishing jury trial)

Voir Dire: Let Go For Maximum Control,” Texas Lawyer, January 19, 2009 (coauthored with Hon. Grant Dorfman now of Nabor Industries) (discussing the need for trial lawyers to ask panelists the “hard questions” that create the biggest concerns for the lawyer’s case)

Agency Investigations Require Shift in Approach,” Texas Lawyer, November 17, 2008 (discussing advocacy in governmental investigations)

Save the Zeals: Balance Advocacy and Candor with Care,” Texas Lawyer, August 25, 2008 (discussing how lawyers and judges draw the line between ethical ‘warm zeal’ and sanctionable argument)

Preparation, Not Spontaneity, Leads to Victory,” Texas Lawyer, March 17, 2008 (discussing preparation of effective opening and closing arguments)

When to Use the Element of Surprise,” Texas Lawyer, December 31, 2007 (discussing use of suprise tactics in exposing an opponent’s fabricated claim or defense)

Salvation by Summary,” Texas Lawyer, September 18, 2007 (discussing use of summary evidence in complex trials and arbitrations), reprinted at law.com’s Large Law Firm “Litigators” page

The Smoking Email,” Texas Lawyer, July 2, 2007 (first in series on trial advocacy in the 21st century), reprinted at law.com’s Large Law Firm “Litigators” page

Corporate Governance: Year-in-Review Special Report,” Texas Lawyer, Dec. 25, 2006

Investors Should Be Wary of Risky EIAs,” Houston Business Journal, July 28, 2006, at 69 (guest commentary)

Injunctive and Monetary Relief in Class Actions in the Fifth Circuit” (co-authored with Jack O’Neill, now of DLA Piper), State Bar of Texas Bar Antitrust and Business Litigation Section Report, 2002

Depositions of Attorneys in Texas,” 64 Texas Bar Journal 245, March 2001

Speeches:

Lecturer, “Meltdown: Litigating the Credit Crisis,” presented to the Houston Bar Association’s Securities Litigation and Arbitration Section, Oct. 14, 2008; also to Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (Houston and Dallas offices); Yetter, Warden & Coleman LLP (Houston office); and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (San Francisco office). Slides from the speech can be found here.

Lecturer, “Securities Fraud in the Oil Patch,” North Houston Bar Association, 2006

Lecturer, “Divide and Conquer: ERISA Class-Action Stock-Drop Claims,” Zimmerman, Axelrad, Meyer, Stern & Wise, P.C., Houston, 2006

Lecturer, “Securities in the Six O’Clock News,” Texas Bar Association Securities Litigation and Arbitration Program, 2004

Lecturer, “The Tech Wreck,” State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

Houston Bar Association Securities Litigation and Arbitration Section

Chairman, 2005 – 2007

American Bar Association – Litigation Section

Member

Iowa State Bar Association

Member

Houston Bar Association – Litigation Section

Member