Eric R. Benton Partner
Eric served as the President and Chairman of Lorance Thompson from 2017 to 2021. He was an in-house attorney at one of the largest transportation companies for almost fifteen years prior to joining Lorance Thompson. After going into private practices, Eric created one of the largest transportation practice groups in the nation. He enjoys his job for its intellectual stimulation and friendships he has made during his career. Eric understands the client-attorney relationship from the in-house perspective and takes each case as if he is the client. He demands of himself excellent quality of representation with the efficiency and cost effectiveness as if he was the one paying the attorney fees. Outside of the workplace, Eric enjoys being a season ticket holder for Houston’s professional teams, the Texans and Rockets. When the opportunity presents itself, he enjoys salt water fishing out of Galveston Island where he keeps his boat. Eric also enjoys the occasional round of golf.
- Washburn University School of Law, J.D., 1981
- University of Kansas, Political Science and History, B.S., 1978
- State Bar of Texas
- State Bar of Kansas (inactive)
- State Bar of Ohio (inactive)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of Kansas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- United States District Court of International Trade
- Served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors from December 2017 to October 2021.
- Designated as a “Texas Super Attorney” from 2009 to present by Thomson Reuters; an honor bestowed upon the top 5% of attorneys in Texas.
- Rated “AV Preeminent” by both his peers and the judiciary.
- Represented his clients in multiple catastrophic accidents involving fatalities, brain damage and quadriplegia.
- Serves as national or regional counsel for several large motor carrier clients with respect to cargo and collection issues.
- Represented non-hazardous waste carrier in successfully challenging the constitutionality of City of Houston ordinance requiring transporters to pay a fee to obtain license and permit to transport non-hazardous waste originating in the city.
- Served as the chair of an arbitration panel hearing a dispute concerning the distribution of attorney fees in the Texas tobacco settlement.
- Taught “Fundamentals and Best Practice for New AAA Arbitrators” with the Vice President of Education and Training for the American Arbitration Association.
- Represented an oil-services company in “bet the company” litigation involving claims of fraud, embezzlement and breach of contract. A very favorable settlement was able to save the company.
- Represented a warehouse company in a six-month trial in bankruptcy court resulting in a complete defense verdict.
- Served as arbitrator in a dispute involving the use of tele-medicine to provide emergency room services to rural communities.
- Represented warehouse company in litigation featured in national and local media, including 20/20 and Good Morning America and obtained a very favorable settlement.
- Represented carrier in claim involving theft of computers and was able to obtain a very favorable settlement limiting liability for cents on the dollar.
- Represented small business in shareholder dispute and demand for dissolution that threatened to destroy the company. Negotiated a favorable resolution allowing original family to maintain business.
- Received a defense jury verdict in 8 minutes in a right-turn case involving a tractor-trailer and motor vehicle with extensive personal injuries.
- Drafted a multi-modal bill of lading adopted by transportation industry.
- Served as legal counsel establishing global air freight company with a world-wide network of agents.
- Counseled U.S. and Mexican representatives on transportation issues during NAFTA negotiations.
- Established leasing and third-party logistic companies in Canada and Mexico (first in the industry).
- Established the first U.S. motor carrier in Mexico.
- Served as counsel to establish first third-party logistics company.
- Established first “representative office without income” for international transportation company in Mexico.
- Established the first U.S. LTL motor carrier in Canada.
- Set up “double-dip” cross-border tax leases with European vehicle manufacturer to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.
- Member of management team that grew national transportation company to multi-billion-dollar international conglomerate.
- Transportation Lawyers Association; (First Vice President and Editor of The Transportation Lawyer 2021 to Present; Second Vice President 2020 to 2021; Secretary/Treasurer 2019-2020; Co-Chair Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee 2014-2019; Executive Committee 2005–2007; Chairman, International Trade & Transportation Committee 1994-2003).
- ALFA International (Steering Committees/Transportation Practice Group)
- Conference of Freight Counsel
- North American Committee on Surface Transportation
- U.S./Canada Cabotage Task Force
- Texas Bar Association (Section: Litigation and ADR)
Publications & Speeches
- Benton, Eric. “Eric R. Benton on The Jurisdictional Provisions of the Carmack Amendment.” LexisNexis @ Emerging Issues Analysis, Matthew Bender & Company Inc., a member of LexisNexis Group (September 2009)
- Benton, Eric. “Eric R. Benton on KLS Air Express, Inc. v. Cheetah Transportation LLC, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 62161 (E.D. Cal 2007).” LexisNexis @ Expert Commentary, Matthew Bender & Company Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group (January 2008).
- Benton, Eric. “Eric R. Benton on REI Transport Inc. v. C.H. Robinson, 519 F. D 693 (7th Cir. 2008).” LexisNexis @ Expert Commentary, Matthew Bender & Company Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group (April 2009).
- Benton, Eric. “Eric R. Benton on Rowe V. New Hampshire Motor Transportation Association: The United States Supreme Court Weighs in on Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act’s Preemption of State Law on Tobacco Deliveries, 552 U.S.___,128 S. Ct. 989, 169 L. Ed. 2d 933 (2008).” LexisNexis @ Expert Commentary, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc, a member of LexisNexis group (April 2008).
- Benton, Eric. “Eric R. Benton on Emmert Industrial Corp. v. Artisan Associates, 497 F. 30 982 (9th. Cir.2007).” LexisNexis @ Expert Commentary, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc, a member of LexisNexis group (December 2007).
- Evolution of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, The Transportation Lawyer Vol. 3 No. 3 at p. 22 (2001).
- Doing Business in Mexico, 41 Your Letter of the Law 51 (1991).
- Systematic Exclusion in the Jury Selection Process, 19 Washburn Law Journal 160 (1980).
- “Current Topics in Alternative Dispute Resolution: Drafting an Arbitration Clause and the Benefits of Arbitration,” Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida (May 2018)
- “Deregulation of North America.” The Jubilee Panel! Half Century of Game Changers that Rocked the Transpo World. 50th Transportation Law Institute, Norfolk, VA (November 2017)
- Hot Topics – “Cannabis in the Cubicle – Cannabis in the Cab” – Forty Eighth Transportation Law Institute, Columbus, Ohio (October 2015)
- “Best Practices and How to Save Your Company Money Handling Cargo Claims,” ALFA International Transportation Practice Group Seminar, Coral Gables, Florida (April 2014)
- “I Get Around: Comp. Cargo & Cabotage; Cross-Border Transportation Issues,” Forty Sixth Transportation Law Institute, Los Angles, California (November 2013).
- “What Every General Counsel Needs to Know About Transportation – A ‘Crash’ Course,” ALFA International 2013 International Client Seminar, Palm Springs, California (March 2013)
- “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” The Impact on International Treaties on Global, Multimodal Shipments, Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, Naples, Florida (May 2012).
- “Application of the Carmack Amendment to Cross-Border Transportation,” Transportation Logistics Council and the Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Association, Orlando, Florida on April 23, 2012
- “Event Data Recorders: Technology and Admissibility,” Society of Claim Law Associates Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, November 4-6, 2010
- “NAFTA: Dead or Alive,” 43rd Transportation Law Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, October 22, 2010