Colin has crafted a true generalist trial practice at Gibbs & Bruns. Representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Colin has gone to trial and spearheaded cases – large and small – in the areas of oil and gas, energy and environmental regulations, banking, ponzi schemes and other financial fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, real estate, commercial contracts, mass tort, entertainment, trade secrets, excessive use of force, and more. Whether it is a high-stakes, high-dollar case or a small case that simply matters to his client – Colin is known for approaching every matter with initiative, attention to detail, and a can-do attitude.
Colin joined Gibbs & Bruns in 2011 and was elected partner seven years later.
Colin’s top-notch work has been recognized by his colleagues, peers, and clients, including in legal publications such as Legal 500 for Oil & Gas Litigation, Thomson Reuters’ “Texas Super Lawyers” and “Texas Rising Stars,” and Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List.”
Just as evident are Colin’s leadership and dedication to community service. Colin is an elected member of the Houston Bar Association’s Board of Directors, and through his HBA work he has chaired and participated in a variety of HBA committees and organizations, including serving on the Communities in Schools Committee for over a decade and serving as the current President of the Houston Lawyer Referral Service. Colin also helps lead Gibbs & Bruns’ pro bono practice. In addition, Colin is actively involved in Houston’s efforts to address educational inequity, which was highlighted in the 2020 “Texas Rising Stars” piece, “Colin Pogge’s Teachable Moments.”
Developing a trial practice that covers a wide variety of complex cases, while maintaining a commitment to community engagement, didn’t happen by accident. Colin says it’s a product of how he was raised: “Growing up in Iowa, working hard and being well-rounded were ways of life. My dad, a litigator and city councilman, coached both my soccer and mock trial teams and modeled a strong work ethic. My mom, a former teacher, ensured education was the top priority but also encouraged me to follow my interests in different extracurriculars.”
Colin carried these values to The University of Notre Dame, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science, minored in the “PPE” (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) Program, and participated in student council, vocal performance, and the track team. After Notre Dame, Colin joined Teach for America in Houston, teaching 5th Grade within HISD.
In 2007 Colin started law school at the University of Texas School of Law. As a first-year law student, Colin and a friend won the school-wide mock trial competition, the first of several successes Colin experienced in advocacy competitions while at UT. Colin served as an Articles Editor of the Texas Law Review. Graduating law school with honors, Colin returned to Houston for a one-year clerkship with The Honorable Sim Lake, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, before starting his practice at Gibbs & Bruns.
Below are descriptions of just some of the cases Colin has worked in his decade-plus tenure at Gibbs & Bruns.
Peggy Roif Rotstain, et al. v. Trustmark National Bank, et al.
Paul Blaine Smith, et al. v. Independent Bank, et al.
Harold Jackson, et al. v. James Keith Cox, et al.
Representing Trustmark National Bank in a series of lawsuits related to the collapse of the Stanford Financial Group and the decades-long ponzi scheme perpetrated by R. Allen Stanford and Jim Davis. Plaintiffs—including the Official Stanford Investors Committee (on behalf of the Stanford Receivership Estate)—brought claims against Trustmark and other bank defendants for knowing participation in breach of fiduciary duty and for aiding and abetting violations of the Texas Securities Act. Plaintiffs’ alleged billions of dollars in damages. Took lead on a number of aspects of the representation, including numerous fact and expert witnesses and addressing issues relating to the Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) laws and regulations. A few weeks before the multi-month trial of the Rotstain matter was scheduled to begin, Trustmark and the Plaintiffs reached a global settlement agreement. The motion for approval of the settlement is pending before the Stanford MDL judge in the Northern District of Texas.
Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc., et al. v. NuStar Logistics, LP
Represented Oxy plaintiffs in a lawsuit against NuStar arising from the rupture of a highly volatile liquids pipeline. The rupture occurred during the commissioning phase of a project that aimed to refurbish and reverse flow on an existing NuStar pipeline so Oxy could export LPG. After the rupture, Oxy terminated its take-or-pay and related contracts with NuStar. Took lead on several aspects of the representation before trial and in the multi-week bench trial, including addressing issues relating to pipeline integrity. Case settled after trial.
Harris County, Texas, et al. v. International Paper Company, et al.
Represented Waste Management, Inc. and Waste Management of Texas, Inc. in defense of a lawsuit brought by Harris County, which sought over $3 billion in daily penalties from our clients, their affiliate, and International Paper under the Texas Water Code and Texas Administrative Code in connection with alleged papermill waste pollution of the San Jacinto River. Shortly before trial, the court granted a summary judgment dismissal of all claims against Waste Management, Inc. After the close of evidence of the six-week jury trial, the court granted a directed verdict holding that the waste site constituted one facility for statutory purposes, meaning that Harris County could not multiply the penalties by three. On the morning closing arguments were scheduled, Harris County agreed to settle with Waste Management of Texas and its affiliate co-defendant for $29.2 million.
Trunkline Field Services, LLC v. Plains Marketing, L.P.
As lead counsel, brought breach of contract and related claims against Plains in Texas state court arising from a LACT metering unit fee agreement. Achieved favorable confidential settlement prior to trial.
BTEC New Albany LLC v. NRG Texas Power LLC
Brought claims on behalf of BTEC New Albany LLC against NRG Texas Power LLC for breach of a $110 million power-plant purchase agreement. Under the agreement, BTEC dismantled, transported to Texas, and rebuilt a gas-fired power plant, which NRG had contracted to purchase. BTEC sought declaratory judgments including that NRG was required to close under the purchase agreement and pay the contractual purchase price. BTEC also sought damages under the contract. NRG counterclaimed and sought contractual damages. After successfully maintaining a trial setting within a year of filing suit, the case settled on favorable terms.
Apache Corporation, et al., v. Pioneer Natural Resources Company, et al.
Represented Pioneer Natural Resources in a case brought by Apache Corporation and several of its subsidiaries arising out of Apache’s purchase from Pioneer of certain oil and gas assets in Argentina. Apache contended that an indemnity agreement in the sale contract obligated Pioneer to indemnify Apache for various claimed Apache losses totaling over $12 million and potential future losses of as much as $45 million. Pioneer denied that any indemnity was due under the contract and disputed Apache’s interpretation of the indemnity agreement. After taking a number of key depositions, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on contract interpretation and on certain of Apache’s underlying indemnity claims. The Court ruled in our favor on all of the summary judgment motions. Shortly thereafter, the case settled without any payment by Pioneer.
Panda Temple Power, LLC v. Stupp Bros., Inc., et al.
Represented Third-Party Defendant Stupp Bros., Inc. in two lawsuits filed in Dallas state and federal district courts. The dispute arose out of the construction of a 14-mile high-pressure natural gas pipeline, for which Stupp supplied the majority of the steel line pipe. The construction contractor alleged that it experienced delays and additional work that entitled it to substantial additional payments, and the owner of the project filed suit against Stupp seeking to recover nearly $10 million in damages. Stupp denied the allegations and counterclaimed for recovery of its unpaid invoices. After taking early depositions of plaintiff’s witnesses to confirm that the pipe supplied by Stupp fully complied with the agreed-upon specifications, Stupp moved for summary judgment on all claims against Stupp and on Stupp’s affirmative claims for payment. While Stupp’s summary judgment was pending, the plaintiff agreed to a confidential settlement on terms very favorable to Stupp.
Confidential Oil and Gas Arbitration
Representing an affiliate of a major oil and gas company as plaintiff against an affiliate of another major oil and gas company in a confidential CPR arbitration indemnification dispute that centers on costs associated with terminal facilities.
Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc. v. JupiterMLP, LLC, et al.
Represented Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc. as plaintiff in a matter seeking recovery of over $5 million in damages from defendants for breach of contract and related claims stemming from a crude oil purchasing agreement. As to the defendant that was not involved in bankruptcy proceedings, Oxy moved for summary judgment and responded to the defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment, after which the court issued a final judgment granting our motion, denying the defendant’s, and awarding our client the full amount of recovery it had sought.
Scott Martin, et al v. Martin Resource Management Corp., et al.
Represented Keeneland Capital Management, LLC (“KCM”) in a shareholder derivative and individual suit involving its investment in Martin Resources Management Corporation (“MRMC”), a closely held energy corporation in the business of transportation, storage, terminalling and processing of energy resources. KCM purchased a significant number of shares in MRMC from a key stakeholder, and was assigned that seller’s causes of action against members of management and the Board of Directors for, among other claims, shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful entrenchment and dilution, abuse of control, gross mismanagement and fraud stemming from the Directors’ alleged improper issuance of well over $50 million of MRMC stock for the purpose of entrenching management and diluting certain minority shareholders. MRMC and the MRMC Employee Stock Ownership Trust also opposed KCM in this action, and, along with the other defendants, asserted counterclaims for over $20 million in alleged damages against all plaintiffs and other third parties. After two years of intense litigation that involved several other related lawsuits, the case settled favorably for KCM for a confidential amount.
Representation Involving Allegations of Embezzlement
Represented two oil and gas entities as plaintiffs in their lawsuit against the companies’ former President and CEO for claims stemming from alleged corporate embezzlement. Case settled favorably prior to trial.
Vocal Entertainer Representation
Represented a well-known vocal entertainer and songwriter in defense of a lawsuit brought in federal court by his former record label that included claims for breach of contract and copyright and trademark infringement. The trial court granted our client’s motion to dismiss.
Venture Capital Firm Representation
Represented a venture capital firm and one of its managing partners in a dispute between two cell-tower companies involving claims for unfair competition, business disparagement, tortious interference, breach of contract, and Lanham Act and anti-trust violations.
Pro Bono Representations
Represented and is representing clients on a pro bono basis through the firm’s affiliation with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers program, on cases covering a range of subject areas, including family disputes, wills and estates, and student-loan assistance.
Represented an inmate in a lawsuit that brought § 1983 claims against Texas state prison guards for injuries the inmate sustained while being escorted to his cell.
Represented a low-income family pro bono in defense of a neighborhood public-nuisance lawsuit, which ultimately resulted in a favorable, non-monetary settlement agreement.
University of Texas, J.D., with honors, 2010
Order of the Coif
The Order of Barristers
Texas Law Review, Articles Editor
The University of Notre Dame, B.A., magna cum laude, 2005
Named in Legal 500 US
Recommended in Energy Litigation – Oil & Gas, 2019-2022
Recommended in General Commercial Disputes, 2020
Named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List,” 2021-2022
Named a “Texas Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, 2021-2022
Named a “Texas Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters’ Texas Super Lawyers, 2018-2020
State Bar of Texas
Houston Bar Association
Board of Directors, Position 1 (2023-2025)
Board of Directors, Position 3 (2020-2023)
Communities in Schools Committee (2012-present)
Mock Trial Coordinator and Co-Coordinator
Houston Lawyer Referral Service
Teach Texas Committee
Committee on Homelessness and Hunger (2020-2022)
Teach for America – Houston
Houston Region Board of Directors (2019-present)
Houston Young Lawyers Foundation
Charity Golf Tournament Committee (2011-2019)
Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow