Jessica B. Pulliam

Department Chair - Litigation (Dallas) and Practice Group Chair - Securities & Shareholder Litigation (Firmwide) Partner

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Jessica Pulliam

Jessica Pulliam is Chair of the Trial Department in Dallas and Co-Chair of the firmwide Securities and Shareholder Litigation Group. Jessica defends high-stakes lawsuits against public companies and their officers and directors, private enterprises and professional firms.

Chambers USA has called her “Excellent” (2019) and commented: “‘[s]he is a phenomenal architect of litigation strategy’" (2020) and “[s]he's a real star lawyer - she has a strong legal mind and brings solid preparation to everything.” (2021) and "Jessica has good instincts and is good at tailoring advice for business clients." (2023) and "She's an outstanding trial lawyer." (2023) and "She is smart, client-friendly, savvy about issues and pragmatic." (2023). Law360 (2019) and The Legal 500 (2021) have recognized Jessica's leadership in the field of securities and shareholder litigation. Jessica has tried cases in Delaware and Texas, regularly appears before regulatory agencies including the SEC and PCAOB and conducts internal investigations. Her litigation experience ranges from financial fraud and accounting restatements matters to suits involving wrongful death, whistleblowers and corporate crisis. She excels at telling a client's story and helping witnesses - everyone from a former Vice President of the United States and multiple CEOs to hard-hat wearing field workers - during testimony.

Jessica takes bold positions for her clients, driving critical legal change in multiple fields:

  • Jessica defended Halliburton Company for more than a decade in one of the most closely watched securities cases of all time, securing for defendants the right to rebut the presumption of reliance at class certification in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014) and then handling direct and cross examination of expert witnesses in the first evidentiary hearing of its kind following that landmark ruling.
  • Her work defending officers and directors in a derivative suit recently led the court to comment that the excess length of the allegations was a futile attempt to make the court conclude “that there’s a lot of smoke and so there must also be fire,” Smith v. Carrillo, Civ. Action No. 18-1399-RGA (Nov. 26, 2019).;
  • Jessica’s defense of a professional firm led to not only a take-nothing judgment but also a new standard in Texas for determining when reliance on an allegedly false statement is justified, Grant Thornton LLP v. Prospect High Income Fund, 314 S.W.3d 913 (Tex. 2010). Building on her work in Grant Thornton, Jessica crafted the defense for a major financial institution that led to yet another take-nothing judgment in JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Orca Assets G.P., L.L.C., 546 S.W.3d 648 (Tex. 2018), reh'g denied (June 15, 2018), which held that the presence of red flags, including a contractual negation of warranty, negated any reliance on allegedly fraudulent statements as a matter of law

Following graduation from law school, Jessica served as law clerk to the Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Jessica is active in the community. She long served as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Contemporary, Dallas' contemporary art museum. She serves as a Director of the Texas Law Review Association. She actively supports many other organizations including Attorneys Serving the Community, an organization of women lawyers supporting local nonprofits.

Related Experience

Securities and Shareholder Litigation

  • Fracking company – defense of Section 11 securities class action in Dallas County District Court
  • Private energy company – trial in Delaware Chancery Court concerning sale of shareholder interest in holding company of a power enterprise
  • International oil-and-gas exploration company - defense of Section 10b-5 and Section 11 securities class action in the Northern District of Texas; dismissal of derivative suit in District of Delaware for plaintiff’s failure to plead demand futility, Smith v. Carrillo, Civ. Action No. 18-1399-RGA (Nov. 26, 2019)
  • Major rent-to-own company – defended securities class action pending in the Eastern District of Texas resulting in a settlement covered by insurance; defended derivative suits in the Eastern District of Texas and Dallas County District Court without any payout from defendants
  • Officers and directors of stand-alone emergency room operator - defense of securities class action in the Eastern District of Texas and state-law fraud and securities claims in Denton, County Texas
  • Major oilfield services company – dismissal of Section 10b-5 claims in the Northern District of Texas, Magruder v. Halliburton Co., 359 F.Supp.3d 452 (N.D. Tex. 2018)
  • Major oilfield services company – more than a decade-long defense of securities class action in the Northern District of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States, which issued a landmark ruling allowing defendants to challenge applicability of the fraud-on-the-market presumption at the class-certification stage, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014)
  • Former CEO of major asset management firm – dismissal of securities claims for plaintiff's failure to adequately plead former CEO's scienter. In re Smith Barney Transfer Agent Litigation, 2012 WL 3339098 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 15, 2012)
  • Big Four accounting firm – defense of securities class action in the Southern District of New York
  • Major accounting firm – defense of securities class action in the Northern District of Texas
  • J.C. Penney Directors – defense of shareholder derivative claims in Dallas County District Court

Professional Liability

  • Multiple major accounting firms – representation in investigations by the SEC, PCAOB and various state boards of accountancy; multiple matters in which agency has issued closing letters declining to pursue charges
  • Major financial institution – hired to defend bank acting in its fiduciary capacity in post-trial matters after significant multi-billion-dollar verdict with large punitive damages component
  • Major financial institution – breach of contract and fraud suit against bank and fiduciary professional where trial court issued a take-nothing judgment and Supreme Court of Texas issued a closely-watched opinion concerning the issue of whether reliance on alleged misrepresentations is justified in the face of red flags and contractual language to the contrary, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Orca Assets G.P., L.L.C., 546 S.W.3d 648 (Tex. 2018)
  • Major financial institution – defense of tort claims against bank in its capacity as a fiduciary in connection with oil-and-gas lease transaction where court of appeals affirmed trial court’s summary judgment in favor of defendants, Dorfman v. JPMorgan, 2018 WL 5074769, Tex. App.—Ft. Worth Oct. 18, 2018)
  • Texas law firm – motion to dismiss professional liability claims with favorable outcome
  • Major accounting firm – successful defense of fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims in the Texas Supreme Court resulting in an opinion that rejected holder claims as an issue of first impression and clarified the limited scope of auditor's liability to non-clients. Grant Thornton LLP v. Prospect High Income Fund, 314 S.W.3d 913, 2010 WL 2636124 (Tex. July 2, 2010)
  • Multiple major law firms – numerous suits defending malpractice, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of intellectual property disputes and various business transactions
  • Major law firm – received reconsideration and reversal of Rule 11 sanctions order in patent suit
  • Major accounting firm – jury trial in suit involving fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and malpractice claims, including argument in directed verdict on cross-claims by firm's alleged former client

Complex Commercial Litigation and Appeals

  • Major financial institution – following mandamus proceeding in the Dallas Court of Appeals, dismissal of suit based on language in forum-selection clause, In re JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2018 WL 1312470, (Tex. App.—Dallas, March 14, 2018)
  • Medical device distributor – coordinating defense of breach of contract and tort claims in context of overall strategy for litigation, whistleblower investigation, and various transactional issues
  • Major industrial company and officer – consult concerning suits under false claims statutes and related securities litigation
  • Major energy company – defense of a class action brought by Native Americans claiming they were promised too low a royalty and bonus payments resulting in dismissal and affirmance on appeal
  • International defense contractor – defense of breach of contract and fraud claims in the Northern District of Texas, including multiple trips to Bangkok, Thailand for depositions; secured summary judgment on fraud and contract claims related to a defense contract with Taiwan government. Thai Equipment Research Co. v. Camber Corp., 3:09-cv-0023-P (N.D. Tex. Dec. 12, 2010)
  • Petrochemical company – successful petition for writ of mandamus resulting in vacatur of trial court's discovery orders. In re Exxon Corporation, 208 S.W.3d 70 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2006, no pet.)
  • Major banks – defeated petition for writ of mandamus in suit involving failed merger
  • Major bank – defeated petition for writ of mandamus concerning third-party discovery
  • Corporate directors – argued dispositive motion and jury charge in trial in directed verdict on fraud claim and a jury verdict with a favorable outcome

Awards & Community

Recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" by The Legal 500 U.S., 2022 & 2023

Recognized as a "Next Generation Partner" by The Legal 500 U.S., 2020 & 2021

Ranked for Litigation Securities in Chambers USA, 2019-2023

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer, (Thomson Reuters), 2013-2018

Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star, (Thomson Reuters), 2008-2013

Recognized as a Law360 Rising Star, 2016

Recognized in the Dallas Business Journal's list of "40 under 40", 2015


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