Justin M. Waggoner


Justin M. Waggoner's primary practice areas include civil appellate law, commercial litigation, securities, and legal malpractice defense. He regularly handles litigation matters at both the trial and appellate level. Mr. Waggoner has had extensive involvement in class actions, representing both plaintiff classes that were certified by Texas and federal courts and defendants opposing class certification.

Mr. Waggoner is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has tried cases in both U.S. District Court and Texas District Court and arbitrated matters under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association.  Mr. Waggoner has briefed and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, as well as the First, Fifth, Eleventh and Fourteenth Judicial Districts of Texas. He has responded to petitions for review and mandamus petitions in the Texas Supreme Court and has filed petitions for writs of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Waggoner has been involved extensively in pro bono activities and has tried a pro bono civil rights case in federal district court. He has also served as lead counsel in a capital habeas case.

Mr. Waggoner graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, summa cum laude, first in his class. He also graduated summa cum laude, first in his class, from the University of Houston Law Center, where he served on the Houston Law Review. Upon graduation, Mr. Waggoner was selected for a prestigious federal clerkship for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


RTM Media, L.L.C. v. City of Houston

Along with partner, Craig Smyser, Mr. Waggoner obtained a summary judgment for City of Houston in a constitutional challenge to the Sign Code. The court decided the Sign Code did not violate the First Amendment. The victory involved a reversal of a temporary injunction preventing enforcement of the Sign Code.

Bravos Emergency Physicians Association

Mr. Waggoner and Craig Smyser obtained a long-fought victory for Dr. Fite and the shareholders of Brazos Emergency Physicians Association when the jury awarded a verdict of nearly $4,000,000 after the case pending for nearly a decade reached trial. The verdict also denied all counterclaims, totaling nearly $12 million.

Liquefied Natural Gas

Mr. Waggoner, along with partner Craig Smyser, represented an energy company primarily engaged in the Liquefied Natural Gas business in a dispute with one of the world's largest integrated energy companies. In an International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitration, SKV’s client won a complete victory involving a $2 billion contract. The three-member arbitration panel unanimously agreed with SKV's client's positions, rejected all contrary claims, and awarded SKV's client all costs, including SKV's attorney's fees.

Additonal Representative Matters

Benchmark Litigation Texas "Future Star" 2013-Present

"Recognized Practitioner," Chambers USA, 2016

Texas "Rising Star" by Thomson Reuters, 2004-2012

"Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters, 2013-2017

"Top Lawyer" by H Magazine

Texas Bar Foundation Fellow

Houston Bar Foundation Fellow

State Bar of Texas
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

Pro Hac Vice Admissions:
United States Court of Appeals for the Western District of Arkansas
United States Court of Appeals for the  Southern District of New York
Iowa state courts

Fifth Circuit Bar Association
Houston Bar Association 
State Bar of Texas


Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Immunity in Intellectual Property Litigation
April, 1999 American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law
14th Annual Spring CLE Program, Washington, D.C.
Justin Waggoner (co-authored with Lee L. Kaplan)

The Role of Variances in Determining Ripeness in Takings Claims Under
Zoning Ordinances and Subdivision Regulations of Texas Municipalities
29 St. Mary's L.J. 765, 797 n.135 (1998)
Justin Waggoner (co-authored with John Mixon)

Remedies Concerns in an Authorization Model of State Action
Hous. L. Rev. 229 (1997)
Justin Waggoner

So You Can't Find the Contract: Contract-Related Causes of Action 
Spring 2005, Justin Waggoner, Lecturer
Jones McClure O'Connor's Causes of Action CLE Course

Contract Actions: Remedies for Breach of Contract
Spring, 2006, Justin Waggoner, Lecturer, Texas Bar CLE 

University of Houston
B.A., Economics, summa cum laude, 1994

University of Houston Law Center
J.D., summa cum laude, 1997
Houston Law Review

Law Clerk
to the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.

Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.


Board Certified in
Civil Appellate Law
Texas Board of 
Legal Specialization

Benchmark Future 16


Waggoner -5 Years

Waggoner -2017