Sam W. Cruse, III


[email protected]

Roxanne Graham


[email protected]

Sam practices all types of commercial litigation, including oil and gas, securities, construction, real estate, and fiduciary duty matters.  Sam has tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants in court and arbitration.

Sam is our go-to. He is the first guy I want to call for complex issues. He is strategic, smart and tough in both negotiations and in the courtroom.

Sam is very strategic, smart and tough in negotiations and in the courtroom.

Sam is well organized, focused and easy to work with.

  Chambers 2024

Sam Cruse is my first call for high stakes oil and gas litigation matters.  He has successfully handled several high stakes oil and gas contract and royalties disputes for us.  He is a highly effective courtroom lawyer and negotiator.
  Legal 500 2023

Sam Cruse is a phenomenal lawyer.  He has a terrific demeanor in court and is also phenomenal at solving problems outside of court.

Sam is an excellent lawyer

He is able to tackle problems and get to a practical solution.
  Chambers USA 2022-2023

Representative Matters

In re Libor-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation
Sam represents the Federal National Mortgage Association in litigation involving the suppression of Libor. Fannie Mae brought claims against major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Credit Suisse, and others. Fannie Mae has secured significant, confidential settlements with four defendants. Fannie Mae continues to pursue claims against its remaining defendants.

Bayou Corne Sinkhole Litigation
Sam represents Occidental Chemical Corporation in the sprawling litigation resulting from the Bayou Corne Sinkhole. Oxy recently prevailed in a months-long arbitration in which Texas Brine Company asserted multiple defenses to arbitration, including fraud and other theories. The case is scheduled for a merits arbitration in 2023.  In addition to the arbitration proceedings, Sam and the Gibbs & Bruns team have won two sinkhole-related trials for OxyChem in Louisiana state court. In one of those trials, the Gibbs & Bruns team defeated a substantial fraud claim brought against OxyChem.

Delaware Limited Liability Company Dispute
Sam is lead counsel for the defendant in a preemptive rights dispute pending in Delaware Chancery Court involving a billion-plus dollar project to develop an LNG export business on the West Coast of Mexico.

Oil and Gas Disputes
Sam was lead counsel for an individual plaintiff against his former employer seeking to recover interests in valuable South Texas oil and gas leases. The case settled favorably after the completion of the depositions of the principal witnesses.

Sam represented SM Energy Company in the defense of a lawsuit in which the plaintiff was seeking in over $200,000,000 in damages. The parties attempted an early mediation, but it did not work. The parties mediated again after the completion of discovery, and the case settled on confidential terms favorable to our client.

Trade Secrets Litigation
Sam represents the plaintiffs in a substantial trade secrets case pending in Harris County, Texas. The firm obtained a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against the defendants. The firm successfully opposed the defendants’ motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, where the trial court denied defendants’ motion and awarded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs. The matter is pending.

Sam was co-lead counsel for the plaintiff in trade secrets action involving research and development technology for new medicines. The case settled on confidential terms after the plaintiff successfully defeated defendant’s forum non conveniens motion.

Winter Storm Litigation
Sam represents certain defendants in the multi-district litigation that resulted from Winter Storm Uri. Sam and the firm have also handled many other disputes outside of the MDL related to the Winter Storm. Many of those disputes involve assertions of force majeure and impossibility.

Jury Trial in Galveston Federal Court
Sam was lead counsel for CGBM 100, LLC. in a warranty dispute with Flowserve US, Inc. regarding mechanical pumps purchased by CGBM for use in barges. CGBM sought damages for amounts expended to repair the allegedly faulty pumps provided and to obtain rental barges to cover its contractual obligations. We successfully defeated Flowserve’s pre-trial motions for summary judgment, and the case proceeded to a jury trial in federal court. After one week of trial, the case settled for a confidential amount.

Jury Verdict in Houston Federal Court
Sam was co-lead trial counsel for Farouk Systems, manufacturer of the popular CHI hair care products, in an action against Costco concerning the sale of counterfeit products. After a seven-day trial, the jury determined that Costco had sold a counterfeit CHI hair iron. The jury also awarded Farouk Systems the maximum statutory damages for non-willful trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. After the jury award, the court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Costco from selling counterfeit CHI hair irons.


University of Texas, J.D., with high honors, 2002
  Order of the Coif
  Member, Texas Law Review

University of Texas, B.A., with honors, 1999


Recognized by Legal 500 USA
Recommended in Energy Litigation: Oil & Gas, 2011, 2017, 2022-2023
  Recommended in General Commercial Disputes, 2022-2023
  Recommended in Securities Litigation: Plaintiff, 2021, 2023

Recognized by Chambers USA
Nationwide Oil & Gas Litigation – USA, 2022-2024
  General Commercial Litigation – Texas, 2024

Named in Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2024
  Named to “Under 40 Hot List,” 2016 (Inaugural Edition), 2017-2018

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2024
  Commercial Litigation
  Litigation – Securities

Named to Lawdragon Guides 
  “500 Leading Litigators in America,” 2022 (Inaugural Issue)-2024
  “500 Leading Energy Lawyers,” 2024
  “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers,” 2019-2024
  “The Plaintiff Issue,” 2020-2021     

Named a “Texas Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, 2017-2023

Named a “Texas Rising Star” by Thomson Reuters, 2012-2017

Admissions and Certifications

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Memberships and Affiliations

Houston Bar Association, Member
  Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow

Harris County Dispute Resolution Center, Board of Directors

Presentations and Publications

Panelist, “Analyzing and Preparing A Civil RICO Case From a Defendant’s Perspective,” Georgia ICLE RICO Seminar, November 7, 2013, Atlanta, GA