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Kimberly A. Chojnacki

Associate

Kimberly Chojnacki focuses her practice on eminent domain and condemnation, complex commercial disputes, construction, and insurance defense matters. Ms. Chojnacki also has become a leader on the use of and defense against anti-SLAPP motions filed under the Texas Citizens' Participation Act.

Featured Video

The Sting of Anti-SLAPP: Considerations for HR Professionals October 2, 2019

Featured Experience

Assisted client in the acquisition of right-of-way for a 120-mile NGL pipeline in West Texas, including negotiations and condemnation as appropriate.

Defended a client in a fraud case brought by the client's former employer and valued in excess of $25 million. Successfully settled the case for less than $1 million upon the filing of dispositive motions on behalf of the client.

2016

Briefed and argued successful motions to dismiss on the basis of standing and failure to state claims in favor of one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands in a dispute valued in excess of $1.4 million. Briefed the defense of these motions on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in a favorable disposition.

Professional Biography

Overview

Ms. Chojnacki represents her clients in eminent domain proceedings, complex commercial litigation, and insurance defense disputes spanning an array of industries. She also has significant trial and appellate experience in both state and federal court.

Ms. Chojnacki's eminent domain practice includes all aspects of condemnation and right-of-way matters for pipeline owners and operators, utilities, and other common carriers. Her complex commercial litigation practice focuses in particular on trade secret misappropriation, fraud, and breach of contractual and fiduciary duties, as well as risk assessment and mitigation in the development of non-compete and nondisclosure agreements, for corporate clients. Ms. Chojnacki's insurance defense practice includes first- and third-party defense on behalf of insurance carriers and their insureds.

The nature of Ms. Chojnacki's practice typically draws her representative matters within the ambit of the Texas Citizens' Participation Act, whether on offense or defense. This statute allows defendants in civil litigation to seek early dismissal of lawsuits filed against them if those lawsuits are filed in response to certain protected conduct. It is a powerful tool for defense counsel in Texas but, because it still is a relatively new statute, many of its contours remain matters of first impression for Texas' appellate courts. In her practice, Ms. Chojnacki has leveraged such motions for early (and favorable) resolution for her clients and has successfully defended against them, both at the trial and appellate level.

Representative Matters
  • Eminent Domain

  • Assisted client in the acquisition of right-of-way for a 120-mile NGL pipeline in West Texas, including negotiations and condemnation as appropriate.

  • Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Second-chaired jury trial to a judgment favorable to clients, who were board members of Texas non-profit corporations affiliated with a historic local church, in a declaratory judgment action to determine the composition of the board amid allegations of mishandling of funds by the chairman and church members.

  • Represented the former employee of a hydrocarbon industrial corporation against claims of theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duties in two separate lawsuits, resulting in a walk-away settlement encompassing both suits upon the filing of anti-SLAPP dismissal motions.
  • Briefed and argued against dismissal motions brought under the Texas Citizens' Participation Act relating to clients' claims for trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duties, and related claims, resulting in favorable ruling for the clients. Briefed and argued the defense of this ruling on appeal to the First Court of Appeals, resulting in a favorable opinion both in the first instance and upon en banc reconsideration.

  • Defended a client in a fraud case brought by the client's former employer and valued in excess of $25 million. Successfully settled the case for less than $1 million upon the filing of dispositive motions on behalf of the client.

  • Briefed and argued successful motions to dismiss on the basis of standing and failure to state claims in favor of one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands in a dispute valued in excess of $1.4 million. Briefed the defense of these motions on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in a favorable disposition.

  • Briefed and argued successful motions to dismiss and for sanctions in arbitration resulting in dismissal of contract and fraud claims valued at $2.5 million in favor of revenue enhancement service provider in the health care industry.

  • Represented nation's largest senior living company in the investigation of a Fair Housing Act complaint filed against it in Denver, Colorado, resulting in a favorable outcome for the client.

  • Briefed a successful motion for summary judgment in favor of a collateral recovery company, who was sued for negligence following a collateral recovery.

  • Insurance Defense

  • Briefed and argued a successful traditional summary judgment in favor of a Harris County mortuary service provider alleged to have negligently handled human remains. Briefed the defense of this summary judgment on appeal to the First Court of Appeals, resulting in a favorable opinion.

  • Briefed the defense of a grant of summary judgment on appeal to the First Court of Appeals, resulting in a favorable opinion for the clients, Harris County property owners, who were sued by a trespasser claiming they maintained a dangerous trampoline on their land.

  • Briefed successful traditional and no-evidence summary judgment in favor of a Brazoria County property owner alleged to have maintained dangerous conditions on his property.

  • Briefed and argued a successful traditional and no-evidence summary judgment in favor of the owner of an apartment complex in Dallas County alleged to have maintained a dangerous condition at a vacant building.

  • Briefed and argued a successful traditional summary judgment in favor of a South Carolina resident alleged to have defamed a family member.

  • Negotiated the non-suit of a client for mental anguish claims based on a lack of essential bystander elements and recoverable damages.

  • Briefed and argued a successful partial traditional summary judgment in favor of a Montgomery County property owner alleged to have maintained dangerous snakes on his land.

  • Other Representative Matters

  • Briefed and argued a successful traditional summary judgment in favor of a Harris County property owner in a real estate possession dispute on property valued in excess of $1 million.

  • Briefed a successful traditional and no-evidence summary judgment in favor of a Houston-area commercial landlord against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conversion.

  • Briefed a successful traditional summary judgment in favor of a Houston-area commercial landlord for breach of lease by the tenant, resulting in judgment for past due rents and attorney's fees for client.

  • Negotiated a settlement for a client regarding the installation of an extensive residential security system in a multimillion dollar Houston home.

  • Negotiated a settlement for a client regarding the ownership and possession of a Houston-area home, resulting in equity payout and elimination of ongoing financial obligations in favor of the client.

  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a client regarding defamatory remarks arising from their termination from a Rodeo committee.

  • Successfully briefed a traditional and no-evidence summary judgment in favor of a commercial landlord against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conversion, as well as a traditional summary judgment in favor of the landlord for breach of lease by the tenant, resulting in a judgment for past due rents and attorney's fees.

Professional Honors & Activities
Publications
Speaking Engagements

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2012
    • Managing Editor, Articles and Notes Editor, Submissions Review Board – Texas International Law Journal
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.A., 2009

Admissions

  • Texas, 2012
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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