Mr. Szygenda is a founding member of Lillard Wise Szygenda PLLC. After leaving his native Texas to attend Georgetown University, where he obtained both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate with honors, Mr. Szygenda returned home in 2001 to begin his litigation practice. He spent several years working for the international law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP and opened Lillard Wise Szygenda with Tom Lillard and Bob Wise in 2009 to provide elite representation at economical rates. While he routinely handles complex commercial disputes involving misrepresentation, contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference claims, Mr. Szygenda also has noteworthy experience litigating disputes involving misappropriation of confidential information, real property rights, and serious personal injury actions, as well as handling appeals. A substantial portion of Mr. Szygenda’s work involves the energy industry, in which he frequently represents pipeline companies, gas processors, electric utilities, and construction companies in explosion, nuisance, wildfire, electrical contact, contract, defect, and lien matters.
- Obtained a summary judgment dismissing a $20-30 million claim brought by insurers, homeowners, and a resort alleging that a client power line company started Texas’s “1148 Complex Fire” in Possum Kingdom in 2009. See Club Vista Dev. II, Inc. v. Oncor Elec. Delivery Co., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9081 (Tex. App.–Dallas Aug. 15, 2014 pet. denied).
- Obtained summary judgment dismissing nuisance claims brought by a town and certain of its residents concerning a client’s pipeline operations. See Town of Dish v. Atmos Energy Corp., No. 15-0613, 519 S.W.3d 605 (Tex. 2017).
- Favorably settled subcontractor’s eight-figure claim for non-payment for the mechanical construction of two gas processing facilities in south Texas.
- Successfully defended an appeal before the U.S. Sixth Circuit of a zero-liability judgment obtained after a bench trial of a $20 million claim for breach of contract. See City of Detroit v. TXU Energy Retail Co., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20588 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 21, 2005), aff’d, 221 Fed. Appx. 387 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2007).
- Obtained a $2.5 million summary judgment award on a railway’s indemnity claim against a feed mill operator related to a railroad crossing accident. See Kan. City So. Ry. v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30260 (W.D. La. March 29, 2010).
- Obtained dismissal of a securities fraud lawsuit in federal court based on limitations. See Mathers Family Trust, et al. v. HEI Resources, Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-01035-M, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 95019 (N.D. Tex. July 8, 2013).
- Favorably resolved numerous cases involving explosions and wildfires allegedly caused by energy companies.
- Successfully defended a claim for violation of ERISA and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees against the Plaintiff. See Redman v. TXU Long-Term Income Disability Plan, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33998 (E.D. Tex. May 26, 2006).
- Successfully represented an office building owner in a suit for loss of lateral support arising from construction of an adjacent condominium complex.
- Obtained $600,000 settlement for jet owner claiming negligent inspection of aircraft
Professional and Civic Affiliations
- Admitted in all Texas state and federal courts, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Michigan, and District of Colorado
- Member of the State Bar of Texas and Dallas Bar Association
Publications and Speeches
- Co-Author, First Refusal Rights under Texas Law, 62 Baylor L. Rev. 433 (2010)
- Co-Author, Of Lies and Disclaimers – Contracting Around Fraud Under Texas Law, 41 St. Mary’s L.J. 119 (2009)
- Speaker/Author, Judicial Developments in Utility Law (2005), a presentation to the Edison Electric Institute
- Author, Judicial Developments in Utility Law (2004), a presentation to the Edison Electric Institute
- Author, The Coming Failure of Deterrence, 9 MSU-DCL J. Int’l Law 413 (2000)
- Co-Author, Financial Institutions Fraud, Am. Crim. L. Rev. 551 (2000)
Education and Honors
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, 2001; Member, American Criminal Law Review
- B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, cum laude, 1998
- Recognized as “Texas Super Lawyer” by Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service published by Texas Monthly (2014-2019)
- Recognized as “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service published by Texas Monthly (2012-2014)