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Juan M. Alcala
One American Center, Suite 3000
600 Congress Avenue
Area(s) of Expertise
To view Mr. Alcalá's biography in Spanish, click here.
Juan M. Alcalá is head of Gardere's Latin America Litigation & Disputes Resolution Practice. For over a decade, Mr. Alcalá has represented U.S. clients with high-exposure matters in or stemming from Latin America, as well as Latin American clients with disputes pending in the United States and other parts of the globe. These matters have involved contractual disputes, collective actions, products liability claims, environmental tort claims and intellectual property conflicts. Clients doing or wanting to do business in the region also rely on Mr. Alcalá's cross-border dispute experience for risk assessment counseling and guidance. In 2012, Latin Lawyer 250 recognized Mr. Alcalá as a leading lawyer for Latin America.
Complementing this transnational disputes practice is Mr. Alcalá's domestic litigation, trial and appellate experience. He has first or second chaired over half a dozen jury and bench trials, argued several cases to the 5th Circuit, provided strategic counseling and advice on appellate issues during the trial phase of more than a dozen high exposure trials, argued dozens of motions before federal and state courts, and taken dozens of depositions. Mr. Alcalá's domestic litigation experience has involved a wide variety of topics, including business torts, partnership conflicts, complex lending transactions, fiduciary duties, copyright and trademark disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract allegations and product defects.
Clients and Matters
Representative International Matters
- Representing global energy company in multibillion dollar dispute pending in the courts of Ecuador and involving global parallel proceedings, including an ICSID arbitration pending at the Hague, a RICO action in the S.D.N.Y. and a number of recognition and enforcement actions pending in various parts of the globe.
- Representing global energy company in licensing dispute with South American entity in case concerning intellectual property issues subject to AAA arbitration.
- Represented one of the largest reinsurance companies in ICC arbitration involving contractual dispute with Mexican soccer team.
- Represented Mexican manufacturer of hazardous material containers involved in ICC dispute over breach of joint venture agreement (U.S., Mexico; ICC).
- Represented U.S. beverage company in a multimillion dollar ICC dispute with a Mexican licensee and distributor (U.S., Mexico; ICC).
- Represented major auto manufacturer in hundreds of product liability cases pending in U.S. state and federal courts but involving events and parallel proceedings taking place in Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and Panama.
- Represented tire manufacturer in its discovery and investigation efforts related to dozens of product liability cases pending in state and federal courts but involving events taking place in Mexico.
- Represented one of the largest reinsurance companies in ICC arbitration involving contractual dispute with Mexican soccer team.
- Represented one of the largest manufacturers of containers in products liability matter pending in Texas state court, but involving dispositive issues of Mexican corporate law.
- Counseled Mexican manufacturer of hazardous containing drums with respect to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Counseled provider of measurement well drilling services and products with respect to its entrance into the Latin America market.
- Counseled imaging technology and pattern recognition company during the negotiation of non-disclosure agreement with Mexican entity.
- Counseled global pharmaceutical company involved in clinical trials matter with respect to the local laws in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.
- Counseled Fortune 500® company involved in products liability matter with respect to the local laws in several Latin America countries.
Representative Domestic Matters
- Obtained multimillion jury trial verdict in a real estate development case involving claims of fiduciary duty and fraud. Successfully defended the jury’s liability findings and actual damages award on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (McBeth v. Carpenter, No. 07-51305, 2009 WL 922071 (5th Cir. April 7, 2009)).
- Defended document management company in jury trial against allegations of fraud and breach of contract made by subcontractor (DDMS Technologies Inc. v. Anacomp, No. 4:2006cv00070 (S.D. Tex. 2006)).
- Represented provider of education software, data systems and educational assessment tools against the Texas Attorney General in trade secret dispute involving the Texas Public Information Act. Dispute resulted in partial bench trial and favorable settlement (Wireless Generation v. Greg Abbott, In His Capacity as Texas Attorney General, No. D-1-GN-06-002701, In the 53rd Judicial District of Travis County, Texas).
- Represented restaurant management company in real estate dispute, culminating in bench trial award releasing company from lease (Food Management Partners Inc. v. Sendero Commercial Investments, No. 2008-CI-15790, In the 150th Judicial District of Bexar County, Texas).
- Successfully represented Mexican product manufacturer in contract and fraud dispute against distributor, obtaining summary judgment on all claims (Zapata Hermanos Sucesores S.A. de C.V. v. Fein, No. 3:07-CV-441-GCM (W.D.N.C. 2007)).
- Successfully defended appeal of an arbitration award in a federal case involving allegations of fraud and fraudulent inducement (Netknowledge Techs LLC v. Rapid Transmit Techs, No. 07-10343, 2008 WL 681694, *1 (5th Cir. March 11, 2008)).
- Successfully represented public company in a global technology outsourcing dispute centered on claims of fraud and fraud in the inducement. Tort claims survived despite presence of limitation of liability clause, merger clause and independent injury doctrine (Regus Management Group LLC v. International Business Machine Corp., 2008 WL 1836360 (N.D. Tex. 2008)).
- Represented creditor in pre-bankruptcy distressed asset case and adversary bankruptcy proceeding involving fraudulent conveyance and receivership issues in multimillion dollar single asset proceedings.
- Provided strategic appellate counseling and advice to automotive manufacturer in over a dozen products liability trials in some of the most challenging venues in South Texas. Examples include:
- Ford Motor Company v. Ezequiel Castillo et. al., 279 S.W.3d 656 (Tex. 2009)
- Ford Motor Company v. Juan Hinojosa, 210 S.W.3d 604 (Tex. 2006)
- Ortega et. al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 2002-4556, In the Court at Law No. 3 of El Paso County, Texas (June 3, 2005)
- Garcia et. al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 03-07-10755-ZCVAJA, In the 365th Judicial District of Zavala County, Texas)
- In re Ford Motor Company, No. 04-04-00203-CV, 2004 Tex. App. Lexis 6784 (July 28, 2004)
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law (1999)
- Recipient, National Scribes Best Brief Writing Award, American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects
- Recipient, Best Brief Award, National First Amendment Moot Court Competition
- Finalist, Susman Godfrey Moot Court Competition
- Recipient, J. Henry Doscher Endowed Presidential Scholarship
- B.A., Yale University (1996)
- Recipient, Daniel E. Hogan Endowed Scholarship (full tuition)
Publications and Speeches
- Author, Transnational Disputes in a Global Economy, Texas Bar J. (July 2012).
- Co-Author, Arbitrator Disclosure Standards in a State of Flux, ICDR Awards and Commentaries (published by the American Arbitration Association and Juris) (2012).
- Author, Mexico’s Class Action Law - Closer to Taking Effect, King & Spalding Latin America Newsl. (November 2011).
- Co-Author, Arbitrator's Disclosure Standards: The Uncertainty Continues, Handbook on International Arbitration Practice (published by the American Arbitration Association and Juris).
- Co-Author, Arbitrator's Disclosure Standards: The Uncertainty Continues, 63 Dispute Res. J. 76 (2008).
- Author, Hall Street Associates LLC v. Mattel, Inc.: Narrow Legal Issues, Broad Philosophical Divide, DLA Piper International Arb. Newsl. (August 2007).
- Co-Author, Arbitration in Latin America: A First Look at the Impact of Legislative Reforms, 13 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 995 (2007).
- Author, Products Liability Update 2003, Texas Ass'n of Def. Couns. (2003).
- Speaker, Address at VII Annual Latin America Arbitration Conference: The Americanization of International Arbitration - Harmonization of Common Law and Civil Law Norms, Lima, Peru (pending).
- Speaker, Address at Texas Minority Corporate Counsel Program: Cross-Border Transactions & The Disputes That Accompany Them - Mitigating the Risks, Houston, Texas.
- Co-Speaker with Richard O. Faulk, Address at Environmental Law Section Meeting, Houston Bar Association: Developments in Deep Water Horizon Litigation - Class Action Filed in Mexico Against BP, Houston, Texas.
- Speaker, Address at Consejo Ejecutivo de Empresas Globales: La Ley Mexicana de Acciones Colectivas Dentro del Marco Internacional (presented in Spanish), Mexico City, Mexico.
- Speaker, Address at Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa: Acciones Colectivas en el Derecho Comparado (presented in Spanish), Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
- Speaker, Address at Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa: Class Actions from a Comparative Law Perspective (presented in Spanish), Mexico City, Mexico.
- Speaker, Address for Internal CLE: Drafting Traps in Transnational Agreements - A Litigator’s Perspective, Houston, Texas.
- Speaker, Address for Internal CLE Webinar: When Complex International Agreements Go Bad - Lessons Learned, Chicago, Ill.
- Speaker, Address for Internal CLE Webinar: Extraterritorial Discovery - Challenges U.S. Litigants Face in Obtaining Discovery Abroad, Houston, Texas.
- Speaker, Address at Texas State Bar Annual Conference: Foreign Data Privacy Laws v. U.S. Discovery Obligations - Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, San Antonio, Texas.
- Speaker, Address at Center for International Legal Studies, Conference on Negligence and Damages in an International Setting: Forum Non Conveniens and Choice of Law in the United States - A Two Tiered Defense, Salzburg, Austria.
- Speaker, Address to U.S.-Mexico Bar Association: Update Re. Recent Growth of International Arbitration in Latin America, Mexico City, Mexico.
- Speaker, Address at The Center for American and International Law: Insolvency at Home and Abroad - How Can You Protect Your Company's Interests, Dallas, Texas.
- Speaker, Address to U.S.-Mexico Bar Association: The Impact of U.S.-China Trade on the Maquiladora Industry, Mexico City, Mexico.
- Admitted to practice before:
- Texas State Courts
- U.S. District Court for all districts of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Member, Travis County Bar Association
- Member, International Bar Association
- Member, U.S.-Mexico Bar Association
- Former Chair, Litigation Committee
- Member, Hispanic Bar Association of Austin
- Member, Advisory Board, Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law, The University of Texas School of Law
- Member, Austin Young Lawyers Association
- Former Adjunct Professor, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, Mexico
- Class Action and Social Impact (semester course taught in Spanish).
- Oral Advocacy & Oral English - A Comparative Overview of the Mexican and U.S. Litigation Systems (semester course taught in Spanish).
Honors and Awards
- Recognized, Latin Lawyer 250, as published in Latin Lawyer (2012)
- Global Markets Advisory Group (2012-present)
- Graduate, Hispanic Austin Leadership (2003)
- Volunteer, River City Youth Foundation
- Volunteer, Humanities/Government Magnet for International Studies Law Academy
- Former Member, Community Education Consortium (appointed by Austin City Council)
- Former Member, Citizen Review Panel (appointed by Austin City Council)
- Former Member, Guidance Advisory Panel Committee (appointed by Austin City Council)
Pro Bono Matters
- Provided assistance to NGO in international human rights matter in support of a Mexican indigenous community seeking the protection of their communal lands before the Mexican Agrarian Tribunal.
- Represented mother living in Argentina in child custody dispute helping her to reunite with her infant daughter after a two-year separation.
September 27, 2012
Alcalá Explores Arbitrator Disclosure Standards with Androvett - More >
July 11, 2012
Gardere Adds Partner for LatAm Push - More >
June 28, 2012
Gardere Expands Mexico/Latin America Practice with Addition of Partner Juan Alcalá - More >
July 01, 2012
Transnational Disputes in a Global Economy - More >
March 01, 2013
The Past, Present & Future of the Energy and Environmental Sectors in Mexico - More >
January 09, 2013
Developments in Deep Water Horizon Litigation - Class Action Filed in Mexico Against BP - More >
September 24, 2012
La Ley Mexicana de Acciones Colectivas Dentro del Marco Internacional - More >