William R. Pilat Partner
Bill, a Partner of the Firm, practices in the Litigation Section, with an emphasis in the areas of insurance coverage analysis and litigation, general commercial litigation, construction law, casualty and personal injury claims, employment law and appellate law. Bill has zealously represented clients in handling claims in more than 50 counties in Texas and federal courts in the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas.
- Labor & Employment
- University of Houston Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude
- The University of Texas at Austin, MBA
- Cornell University
- Texas, 1993
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
Distinctions & Certifications
- AV-rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Houston Bar Association, Life Fellow
- Selected by his peer for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America,© Woodward/White, Inc., 2019, for his work in Insurance Law.
- Obtained dismissal of lawsuit and award of costs three months after filing of lawsuit seeking breach of contract and extra-contractual damages arising out of two commercial property damage claims.
- Obtained plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of lawsuit seeking over $600,000 from insurance company after uncovering evidence of fraud by insured/plaintiff.
- Obtained summary judgment on lawsuit asserting a variety of first-party claims after insurer client timely paid appraisal award.
- Obtained plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of “bad faith claims settlement practices” lawsuit seeking over $200,000 after discovering that insured/plaintiff’s broker failed to procure coverage on building made the subject of the lawsuit.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court lawsuit seeking over $1.5 million in damages against commercial property insurer on claims arising from Hurricane Ike.
- In Section 1981 race-discrimination case against Houston-based publicly-traded manufacturer, obtained summary judgment dismissing suit; successfully defended that judgment on plaintiff’s appeal to Fifth Circuit.
- Defended private ambulance service in lawsuit in Orange, Texas, arising out of death of two newborns; obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims.
- Obtained defense verdict in jury trial of personal injury claims against equestrian facility alleging dangerous premises condition.
- Represented Houston Heights Association and five of its officers in defamation suit; obtained summary judgment for all defendants.
- Defended doctor in medical malpractice suit. Three days into trial, the plaintiff non-suited the doctor we were defending and then obtained verdict against our co-defendant, who settled for $500,000 one day later.
- Obtained defense verdict in bench trial in federal court in Houston on wrongful termination lawsuit alleging gender-based discrimination.
- Defended employer of forklift operator in personal injury case in Bexar County (San Antonio) District Court; obtained directed verdict after one day of trial.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court on condominium association’s claims against its insurer for breach of contract, violation of various provisions of the Texas Insurance Code and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
- Defended trucking company in case arising from accident involving three tractor-trailer rigs, which caused the plaintiff to lose a leg. Following a week-long trial in Shelby County, Texas, the jury found our client was not negligent. The jury found our co-defendant liable and awarded over $1.9 million.
- Obtained dismissal on motion for summary judgment of personal injury claims by a plaintiff, two weeks after he demanded $495,000 at mediation.
- Defense Research Institute
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
Publications & Speeches
- Richardson East Baptist Church v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 05-14-01491-CV, 2016 WL 1242480 (Tex. App.—Dallas Mar. 30, 2016, pet. denied)
- Johnson v. Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc., 2006 WL 3227316 (S.D. Tex. 2006), aff’d, 2006 WL 3627094 (5th Cir. 2006)
- Kosty v. Nugent, 2001 WL 1199049 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2001, no pet.)
- Pham Son Van v. Pena, 990 S.W.2d 751 (Tex. 1999)
- PPC Enterprises, Inc. v. Texas City, Texas, 76 F.Supp.2d 750 (S.D. Tex. 1999)
- Darden v. Houston Lighting & Power Company, 936 S.W.2d 25 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1996, no pet.)