Ben Geslison

Senior Associate

[email protected]

Houston

P: +1.713.229.1241
F: +1.713.229.2841
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Ben Geslison is an experienced appellate litigator and tax attorney, actively practicing in state and federal courts at all levels. Mr. Geslison's practice currently focuses on state and local tax matters, commercial disputes, and constitutional law matters. He has first-chair experience in trying jury trials to verdict in both state and federal district court. Mr. Geslison regularly handles high-profile appellate matters in state and federal appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Texas and the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Geslison also regularly advises clients on state and local tax matters, including tax audits, letter rulings, litigation, settlement negotiations with state and local taxing agencies, and providing comparative analysis of tax issues across states for clients' use in strategic planning.

Prior to attending Harvard Law School, Mr. Geslison worked for several years as a business consultant for Accenture, assisting several of Silicon Valley's tech giants optimize their systems and business processes.

Related Experience

Tax: 

  • Obtained complete victory in the Texas Supreme Court for oilfield heavy-equipment dealers in a series of property-tax lawsuits against scores of Texas counties that disagreed with taxpayers' interpretation of a formula-based statute for valuing inventory held for lease. (E.g., EXLP Leasing LLC v. Galveston Cent. Appraisal Dist., 554 S.W.3d 572 (Tex. 2018)).
  • Represent Lockheed Martin in a franchise-tax dispute with the Texas State Comptroller before the Supreme Court of Texas over proper sourcing of federally regulated sales of aircraft to foreign countries (Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Hegar, No. 18-0566, Tex. Supreme Cort).
  • Represented LNG liquefaction company as amicus in a successful mandamus action brought by Occidental Chemical Corp. in the Texas Supreme Court, seeking to end duplicate taxation by two Texas counties of property located on the county border (In re Occidental Chemical Corp., 561 U.S. 146 (Tex. 2018).
  • Successfully obtained reversal of trial court's dismissal of a property-tax dispute for lack of jurisdiction (EXLP Leasing, LLC v. Webb County Appraisal District, 511 S.W.3d 227 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015, pet. denied)).
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a lawsuit against a windfarm developer for its attempts to seek local tax incentives to facilitate the development of clean energy (Ellis, et al v. Wildcat Creek Wind Farm, LLC, No. CV19-00455, 235th Dist. Ct., Cooke County, TX) 
  • Successfully obtained nonsuit of an action filed by a county against a taxpayer and the county appraisal district, challenging a negotiated judgment settling a prior tax dispute between the taxpayer and the appraisal district. (Wise County v. USAC Leasing LLC & Wise County Appraisal Dist., No. CV19-03-204 (271st Dist. Ct., Wise County, TX).
  • Successfully obtained reversal in the Texas Supreme Court of a $13 million lower court judgment against an oil & gas lessee in a dispute over the construction of a will and the interest it devised (ConocoPhillips Co. v. Ramirez, No. 17-0822 (Tex. Jan. 24, 2020).

 Commercial Disputes:

  • Successfully obtained reversal of adverse summary judgment on behalf of ConocoPhillips in a $63m contractual indemnity action and then affirmance by the Supreme Court of Texas. (Noble Energy, Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Co., 532 S.W.3d 771).
  • Successfully represented petitioner in asbestos case construing a provision of the Civil Practice & Remedies Code in the Texas Supreme Court (Union Carbide Corp. v. Synatzske et al, 438 S.W.3d 39 (Tex. 2014)).
  • Successfully represented closely-held oil and gas partnership, obtaining summary judgment in a fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit concerning holdings worth over $1.5 billion. (Harrison v. Harrison Interests Ltd., et al, No. 2010-82117, 190th Dist. Ct.)
  • Successfully represented entrepreneur in a fraud suit against an oil & gas co-investor, obtaining injunctive relief and ultimate payment of $14 million. (Hopp v. Rieck et al, No. 12-cv-1522, 122nd Dist. Ct.)
    Represented Halliburton against former subsidiary in complex dispute over proper application of contractual arbitration clauses (Halliburton Co. v. KBR, Inc., No. 2012-39503, Texas First Court of Appeals)

 Securities and Class Actions: 

  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a 10b-5 securities fraud case against offshore energy specialty services company (Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions, 237 F.Supp.3d 492 (S.D. Tex. 2017))
  • Successfully obtained dismissal with prejudice of a derivative shareholder action for alleged breach of fiduciary duty (Markovich v. Willbros Group, Inc. et al, No. 2014-65392, 215th Dist. Court).
  • Represented Halliburton in two separate trips to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 10b-5 securities class action addressing requirements for class certification in fraud-on-the-market suits (Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co., 563 U.S. 804 (2011); (Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 573 US 258 (2014)).
  • Represented amicus curiae, Chamber of Commerce of the United States supporting appellant in an appeal of an order certifying a class in an environmental contamination class action lawsuit (Prantil v. Arkema, Inc., No. 19-20723, 5th Circuit)

Regulatory:

  • Successfully obtained reversal of adverse summary judgment on behalf of a telehealth service provider in a suit against a state regulatory agency (Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board, 453 S.W.3d 606 (Tex. App.—Austin 2014, pet. denied)).
  • Obtained a unanimous victory in the Texas Supreme Court in a state preemption case against a home-rule city. (Southern Crushed Concrete v. City of Houston, 398 S.W.3d 676 (Tex. 2013)).

Constitutional:

  • Represented amici curiae, former United States Attorneys General, supporting petitioners in the United States Supreme Court in a defamation action implicating the question whether courts or juries should decide whether speech is constitutionally protected or actionable (National Review, Inc. v. Mann & Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Mann, Nos. 18-1451 & 18-1477, U.S. Supreme Court)
  • Represented amicus curiae, National District Attorneys Association, supporting petitioner, in the United States Supreme Court, in a case involving the Fourth Amendment’s reasonable-suspicion standard (Kansas v. Glover, No. 18-556, U.S. Supreme Court)
  • Represented amici curiae, cake artists, in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 138 S. Ct. 1719 (2018)
  • Represented amici curiae, U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives supporting petitioner Trinity Lutheran in the United States Supreme Court, (Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577 (2016))
  • Represented amici curiae, U.S. Attorneys General & Secretaries of Education supporting petitioners seeking certiorari in the United State Supreme Court in a religious liberties case (Morgan v. Swanson, 132 S.Ct. 2740 (2012))
  • Represented inmate plaintiff in a § 1983 jury trial against prison guards for alleged use of excessive force and violation of constitutional rights (Adams v. Bailey, No. 4:12-cv-2520, S.D. Tex.).

Awards & Community

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2018-2019

Rated "AV Preeminent" by Peers and Judiciary (highest level) from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2018-2019

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