Caitlin Halpern

Associate
713.751.5228

[email protected]

Christina Pena

Assistant
713.751.5250

[email protected]

Caitlin Halpern focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation. Caitlin is also Executive Director of the Rikers Debate Project and co-founded the Houston Chapter in 2019 – The New Yorker Radio Hour: The Rikers Debate Project

Following law school, Caitlin was a law clerk to Judge Paul Adam Engelmayer, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2014-2015; and Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2015-2016. 

Caitlin joined Gibbs & Bruns in 2019 after beginning her career with Appellate Advocates in New York. Caitlin also serves as the firm’s pro bono liaison.

Representative Matters

Victories in the Bayou Corne Sinkhole Litigation
Represented Occidental Chemical Corporation and affiliated entities (“Oxy”) in a series of cases involving the collapse of a salt mine operated by Texas Brine Company, LLC on land owned by Oxy, which resulted in the Bayou Corne Sinkhole. Among other victories, defeated a fraud claim at a bench trial, won a summary judgment motion concerning waiver of arbitration, and obtained a favorable confidential award following a multi-week arbitration addressing the arbitrability of the parties’ claims. The merits were successfully resolved through a confidential eight-week arbitration in 2023.

Summary Judgment Awards in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation
Represented Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (“PIMCO”) in a series of Trust Instruction Proceedings regarding treatment of deferred principal. Briefed and argued a successful motion for summary judgment in California and won a motion for judgment on the pleadings in New York, both holding that the price to terminate a trust and purchase its assets must include deferred amounts.  

Successful Motion to Compel Arbitration Involving Matter of First Impression
Sain v. Onshore Quality Control Specialists
Briefed and argued that the “transportation worker exemption” of the Federal Arbitration Act did not apply to the plaintiff, that the plaintiff was also required to arbitrate on state-law grounds, and that Onshore’s co-defendant had the right to compel arbitration under the doctrine of intertwined claims estoppel. The federal district court adopted all three arguments, held that the plaintiff could not avoid his arbitration agreement, and compelled all of his claims to arbitration.

Favorable Settlement in Solar Energy Litigation
HCS v. Adani
Lead counsel for HCS Renewable Energy LLC in dispute concerning breach of contract and piercing the corporate veil. Case settled favorably.

Favorable Settlement in Legal Malpractice Litigation
Represented Am Law 100 firm in suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and tortious interference with contract. Achieved favorable confidential settlement.

Successful Motion to Dismiss in High-Profile Defamation Case
Michael Feinberg v. KIPP
Represented KIPP, Inc., a charter school network, and the KIPP Foundation in a suit brought by Michael Feinberg, a co-founder and former executive of KIPP. Mr. Feinberg was terminated following an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, and he alleged that KIPP made defamatory statements in connection with his termination. Obtained dismissal of all claims pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”).

Pro Bono Matters
To date, Caitlin has secured parole release for seven pro bono clients. She discussed her work during a CLE hosted by the University of Texas School of Law Parole Project (March 22, 2024).

In other criminal justice-related matters, Caitlin currently represents the youngest woman on Texas’s death row in her direct appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals. She has also defeated motions to dismiss in two ongoing Section 1983 cases.

The firm and the ACLU of Texas filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of individuals detained as material witnesses in Laredo; see Judges in Laredo Jailing Witnesses in ‘Mechanical Scheme’

Caitlin is co-chairing the Texas Defender Service’s Light of Justice Luncheon on October 22, 2024. Details are available here.

Education

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2014           
  Supreme Court Chair, Harvard Law Review
  
Finalist, Ames Moot Court Competition

Columbia University, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2009

Recognition

Named in Chambers USA  
  “Associates to Watch,” Texas Litigation: Securities, 2024

Listed in Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch
  Commercial Litigation, 2023-2024
  Litigation – Securities, 2023-2024

Named an “On the Rise” Honoree by American Legal Media 
  2021 Texas Legal Awards

Named a Houston Business Journal “40 Under 40” Honoree, 2021
  Meet Caitlin Halpern, a 40 Under 40 honoree who brought the Rikers Debate Project to Houston

Named a “Top 40 Young Lawyer On The Rise” by the American Bar Association, 2020

Admissions and Certifications

State Bar of Texas
State Bar of New York
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

 

Memberships and Affiliations

Houston Bar Association
  HAY Center Committee
  Supporting programming for youth in foster care (2022-Present)

Rikers Debate Project
  Executive Director (2020-Present)
  Board Member (2017-Present)

State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College Member (2024-)

Presentations and Publications

“Getting Started with Pro Bono Parole Representation,” University of Texas Parole Project (live webcast), March 22, 2024