Since passing the Bar in 1993 (Texas) and 1994 (Louisiana) my practice has been primarily related to the defense of maritime and energy companies. The majority have involved personal injuries in stevedoring or energy related industries. Often these disputes have involved claims made under the Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Worker ’s Compensation Act or the Texas Worker ’s Compensation Act as well as the interpretation and litigation of Insurance Policies and Master Service Agreements. Actively counsel clients on financial/wealth management, taxation and investments. In the last three years, I have had a similar practice but have also become an active mediator of Longshore Act, Defense Base Act and complicated Insurance/Master Service Agreement disputes.
My typical client is a stevedore, shipping/trucking/pipeline operator, oil field service company, marine construction company, refinery, offshore platform owner/operator, manufacturer, employer of injured worker, renewable energy company or insurance company.
I appear in federal and state courts in Texas and Louisiana regularly.
I have appeared before OSHA investigators where criminal charges were involved and various municipal and state courts on behalf of clients for traffic offenses and other reasons.
I have tried over 75 cases in Federal and State District Courts in Texas and Louisiana and before Administrative Law Judges in Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and California. I was lead counsel in all of them and generally sole counsel for my client.
• Tucker, Taunton, Snyder and Slade; 10370 Richmond Ave, Suite 1400 Houston, Texas 77042; 713-961-5800; 1991 to 1993; Law Clerk
• Brown Sims Wise and White P.C.; 1177 West Loop South, Tenth Floor Houston, Texas 77027; 713-629-1580; 1993 to 1999; Senior Associate
• Rice Fowler; 1221 Lamar Street, Suite 1560 Houston, Texas 77010; non-equity Partner; 1999 to 2000
• Killeen and Wheat; 811 Bering Drive, Suite 120; Houston, Texas 77057 non-Equity Partner; 2000 to 2003
• Wheat Oppermann PLLC; 848 Heights Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77008 713-861-8585; Managing Partner; May 2003 to June 2022
• State Bar of Texas
• Louisiana State Bar Association
• Louisiana Bar Foundation – Life Fellow
• Houston Bar Foundation – Fellow
• Maritime Law Association of the United States
• Former Faculty Member, University of Phoenix – Houston
• State Bar of Texas, Grievance Committee 4A (six years, chairman 3 years)
• Advisory Board, Loyola Maritime Law Journal
• Houston Bar Association
• Houston Mariners’ Club
• South Eastern Admiralty Law Association (SEALI) – Port Captain
• Galveston Propeller Club – Galveston – Sponsor (Texas A&M Galveston)
Honors & Awards
• The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
• Golden Key International Honor Society
• Eagle Scout (Silver Palm)
• Care International – Funded Micro Bank in Ranchi, India.
- Texas 1993
- Louisiana 1994
- Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern District of Texas (1993-1995)
- Eastern, Middle and Western Federal District of Louisiana (1994)
- Fifth, Eleventh Federal Circuit Courts (1994)
- The United States Supreme Court (1996)
• The University of Texas at Austin: September 1979 to December 1983 B.A. Economics
• The University of Houston Clear Lake; Fall 1986 to December 1988 Master of Business Administration
• South Texas College of Law: Summer of 1990 to December 1992. Juris Doctor.
• Loyola University New Orleans. Attended law school in summer of 1991 in Cuernavaca, Mexico to study the Civil Code, Criminal Procedure and practice Spanish legal terms.
• Texas A & M University Master of Law 2018 –2019