Home » Attorneys » Bittle, Lyndon F.

"My job is communication. Good writing is more than correct grammar and punctuation. It requires cutting to the heart of the issue and persuasively articulating how the law and the facts support your position."

For most of Lyndon Bittle’s clients, results are counted in dollars. That’s the case for those with insurance, business litigation, and appellate matters. But sometimes the outcome involves life or death. Whatever the stakes, clients know Lyndon is a smart trial and appellate lawyer who will make their case—and their business—his own.

Policyholder clients have for 25 years counted on Lyndon’s ability to handle their most complex coverage issues. Not only does he lead the Carrington Coleman insurance practice, he also is a past chair of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer in insurance coverage.

In the appellate realm, Lyndon is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Clients have trusted Lyndon with complex, high-profile matters, including guiding the City of Dallas through parallel state and federal appeals to resolve disputes about regulating flights at Love Field, and two shareholder-oppression cases currently pending in the Texas Supreme Court. Yet for all his litigation and appellate expertise, Lyndon—a former small-business owner—is as comfortable discussing facts and issues with a warehouse manager as with a CEO or a judge.

Lyndon’s advice has also helped countless clients avoid potentially expensive litigation. Business clients are drawn to an attorney who has the experience and judgment to know when a courthouse fight is appropriate and when it’s not the best course.

The majority of his practice is business-related, but Lyndon is proud of his pro bono work too, especially leading a team of attorneys that helped secure a new trial for a Texan on death row by convincing the trial and appellate courts that the client’s previous attorneys had not adequately investigated or presented evidence of innocence. The firm’s work in that case was chronicled in Texas Monthly and honored by an Exceptional Service Award from the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project.

“What we did in that case is exactly what we do for every client: whatever it takes to get the job done,” he said. ”We didn’t cut corners because it was pro bono. Ultimately, it was the same energy and attention to detail we give to clients who’ve got $10 million at stake. It’s that same passion.”

Insurance Coverage Experience

Lyndon has been named in Texas Monthly‘s Texas Super Lawyers listing in Insurance Coverage since 2012, and was the 2012-13 chair of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.  (“TIPS-ICLC”)

He leads Carrington Coleman’s insurance practice, which encompasses policy review and claims-handling assistance as well as litigation involving declaratory judgment, contract, and bad faith claims.

Lyndon’s policyholder clients include manufacturers, real estate owners and developers, energy companies, governmental entities, insurance brokers, and individuals. Significant policyholder representations resulting in published opinions include:

  • Admiral Ins. Co. v. Petron Energy, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26225 (N.D. Texas) insurer had duty to defend policy holder and additional insured in wrongful death lawsuit pending in Oklahoma)
  • Evanston Ins. Co. v. Keeway America, LLC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66072 (N.D. Texas) (dismissing insurer’s declaratory action for failure to plead facts indicating any prejudice caused by alleged late notice on claims-made policy)
  • Kirby Co. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31675 (N.D. Tex.) (insurer’s unreasonable delay in tendering defense breached policy and triggered additional insured’s right to select and control independent counsel)
  • Mid-Continent Cas. Co. v. Safe Tire Disp. Co., 16 S.W.3d 418 (Tex. App.—Waco 2000, pet. denied) (pollution exclusion did not bar coverage of damage caused by fire at tire recycling plant)
  • Int’l Ins. Co. v. Dresser Indus., Inc., 841 S.W.2d 437 (Tex. App.—Dallas 1992, writ denied) (manufacturer that retained control of liability litigation did not owe settlement obligation to excess insurer)

Lyndon recently obtained summary judgment in federal court for a local chamber of commerce, requiring an insurer to defend it against personal injury claims arising out of a community bikethon. He served as lead counsel for a consumer product manufacturer in litigation with its primary insurer concerning the parties’ respective rights and obligations under a self-insured retention in connection with product liability claims pending in several states. He also represented that manufacturer in coverage and claims-handling disputes with an umbrella insurer.

Other recent representations in coverage matters outside of litigation include:

  • Advising foreign tire manufacturer concerning insurance issues arising from product liability lawsuit.
  • Advising national finance company concerning insurance coverage issues in connection with a wrongful death claim arising out of an attempted repossession.
  • Advising national construction company presented with a demand for defense and indemnification against personal injury claim.
  • Advised multiple commercial property and business owners in connection with insurance claims for losses incurred as a result of vandalism, fire, windstorm, hail, and other hazards.
  • Advised governmental entity concerning the rights and obligations of the parties under an OCIP (Owner Controlled Insurance Program) developed in conjunction with a major construction project involving multiple design professionals and construction contractors.
  • Advised real estate owner and developer concerning contract, indemnity, coverage, and subrogation issues arising in connection with Builders Risk policies following destruction by fire of an apartment complex shortly before construction was completed, and represented the company in successful negotiations with insurers and other parties to resolve claims without litigation. Also represented developer in connection with general liability policies triggered by a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Advised officers and directors of several companies concerning scope and effect of D&O policies in connection with securities actions, shareholder derivative suits, and bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Provided written opinion letter to governmental construction contractor analyzing asserted indemnity obligations and coverage issues arising from personal injuries alleged by subcontractor’s employee.

Appeals Experience

Lyndon is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

He has presented briefs and oral argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, and intermediate appellate courts in Austin, Dallas, Eastland, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco.

In addition to the cases cited in connection with his insurance coverage practice, he is lead counsel on appeal in two cases currently pending in the Texas Supreme Court that may clarify Texas law on shareholder oppression: ARGO Data Resource Corp. v. Shagrithaya, 380 S.W.3d 249 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2012) (plaintiff’s judgment reversed), pet. filed, No. 12-1012 ( Tex.); and Cardiac Perfusion Services, Inc. v. Hughes, 380 S.W.3d 198 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2012) (plaintiff’s judgment affirmed), pet. filed, No. 13-0014 (Tex.)

In another case, Lyndon successfully obtained affirmance of summary judgment for an LLC against a former member and officer who sought to rescind a self-dealing transaction with the company on several grounds, including alleged securities fraud. Winn v. EPG Partners, LLC, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 10059 (Dallas, pet. denied).

He represented the City of Dallas in parallel state and federal appeals that clarified the complex relationships between federal, state, and municipal authorities controlling air traffic at Dallas Love Field Airport: American Airlines, Inc. v. DOT, 202 F.3d 788 (5th Cir. 2000) Legend Airlines, Inc. v. City of Fort Worth, 23 S.W.3d 83 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2000, no pet.)

Lyndon regularly assists other attorneys with preparation of or challenges to expert testimony, dispositive motions, jury submissions, and appeals. In addition to appeals of final judgments, he also handles interlocutory appeals and mandamus actions.

Business Litigation Experience

Lyndon represents businesses and individuals in lawsuits and arbitrations concerning business governance and fiduciary obligations, claims of shareholder oppression, unfair competition, product manufacturing or construction-related liability, and other business disputes.

On many of Lyndon’s appellate matters described above, he also represented the clients in the trial court.

Lyndon has also represented local governments and officials in matters involving aviation law, environmental regulation, intergovernmental relations, insurance coverage, and sovereign or official immunity. For example, he is currently representing a local municipality in a federal lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleges a zoning ordinance is invalid under Texas law and the U.S. constitution. He also represented the City of Dallas in its successful post-judgment effort to modify a federal court injunction concerning two unregulated landfills near the Trinity River, which resulted in construction of the new Trinity River Audubon Center.

Honors and Distinctions

Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale Hubbell (5.0 out of 5.0).

Texas Super Lawyer, 2012, 2013

Speeches/Publications

Regular contributor to Sua Sponte, Carrington Coleman’s Dallas Appellate blog.

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Contractual Exclusion, CCSB Capital Newsletter (Winter 2014).

Shareholder Oppression: Texas Supreme Court to Weigh in on National Debate, ABA Section of Litigation Commercial & Business Litigation Newsletter (February 2014).

Maintaining Confidentiality While Cooperating with an Insurer, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes (October 2013).

Evolving Rules Governing a Policyholder’s Tender of Defense, ABA-TIPS TortSource (Summer 2013).

Program Co-chair, Second Annual Insurance in the Construction Industry; Author and Presenter, Indemnity and Additional Insureds, The Seminar Group (Dallas, May 2013).

Co-author, Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?  The Struggle to Craft Remedies in Shareholder Oppression Cases, Texas Bar CLE, Damages in Civil Litigation (March 2013).

Defining the Precise Point of Risk Transfer:  Self-Insured Retentions and Large Deductibles, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program Panelist (February 2013).

Making the Hand-Off:  Transitioning from the SIR to Primary Coverage, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program Paper (February 2013).

Challenging Expert Testimony on Appeal – Is It Too Late?  Presentation to North Dallas Bar Ass’n (March 2012).

Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers: Avoiding Pitfalls 2011, Corp. Counsel Review (February 2012).

ABA HANDBOOK ON ADDITIONAL INSUREDS, Author of Chapters 2, 15A, 15C, 15G (2012).

Program Co-chair, Insurance in the Construction Industry, The Seminar Group (Dallas, 2012).

Recent Changes in Texas Insurance Law Affecting Businesses, Dallas Bar Ass’n North Dallas Clinic (December 2011).

An Overview of Insurance Coverage Issues in Construction Defect Disputes: Are You Covered?, National Business Institute Seminar, Construction Defect Litigation: From A to Z (October 2011).

Ethical Dilemmas in the Coverage Context, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program Panel Moderator (February 2011).

ABA REFERENCE HANDBOOK ON THE COMPREHENSIVE GENERAL LIABILITY POLICY, Assisting Editor (2010).

A Practical Guide to Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers, The University of Texas School of Law, 29th Annual Jay L. Westbrook Bankruptcy Conference (November 2010).

Author, D&O Insurance When the Company Goes Broke, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes (August 2010).

What Every Young Lawyer Should Know About Depositions, DAYL Lunch and Learn Panelist (May 2010).

Wrap It Up, I’ll Take It?  Advantages and Risks of OCIP Policies, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program Panel Moderator (February 2010).

OCIP and Professional Liability:  Where the Policyholder Is Not the Insured, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program Paper (February 2010).

A Late Notice Must Be Prejudicial to Deny Coverage, Dallas Bar Ass’n Headnotes (January 2010).

Texas Supreme Court Contributes to the Evolution of the Notice-Prejudice Rule as Applied to Claims-Made Policies, TIPS-ICLC Newsletter (Summer 2009).

Expert Objections segment of Appellate Lawyers at Trial, Before You Think You Need Them, panel presentation to the Dallas Bar Ass’n Solo and Small Firm Section (July 2009) and Kaufman County Bar Ass’n (October 2009).

Effective Use of Witnesses and Exhibits, Institute for Paralegal Education Seminar, A Litigation Paralegal’s Guide to Case Management (June 2009).

From Dump to Diamond: History of the Trinity River Audubon Center, presentation at the Center (June 2009).

Tensions: Pleading for Liability and Pleading for Coverage, Dallas Bar Ass’n Headnotes (December 2008).

An Overview of Insurance Coverage Disputes, National Business Institute, Insurance Coverage Litigation Seminar (August 2008).

Co-Author, Are D&O Policies At Risk of Climate Change? TIPS-ICLC Newsletter (Summer 2008).

Severability Clauses:  Protecting Policyholders from Rescission, Dallas Bar Ass’n Headnotes (December 2007).

Emerging Issues Raised by Derivative Shareholder Actions Involving Foreign Corporations Headquartered in Texas: Making Sense of the Interaction Between Texas Procedures and Substantive Law, 39 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2006) (Awarded Outstanding Lead Article).

Protecting White Hats from the Sins of Dark Hats: The Effect of Severability Clauses on Policy Rescission and Coverage Exclusions, TIPS-ICLC Mid-Year Program (February 2007).

Contributing Editor, CGL Reporter, Int’l Risk Management Institute (2005-2009).

Punitive Damages and the Eighth Amendment: An Analytical Framework for Determining Excessiveness, 75 Cal. L. Rev. 1433 (1987).

Court Admissions

Texas, 1988

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Federal Circuit

Education

University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
J.D., 1988
Senior Executive Editor, 1987-88,
 California Law Review
Associate Editor, 1986-87,
 Industrial Relations Law Journal
Order of the Coif

University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., 1971

Associations/Affiliations

American Bar Association
Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section: Chair 2012-2013, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Member, Ethics & Professionalism Standing Committee

ABA Section of Litigation

State Bar of Texas Sections: Appellate, Insurance, Litigation

Dallas Bar Association Sections: Tort & Insurance Practice, Appellate Law

Bar Association of the 5th Federal Circuit

Texas Bar Foundation: Fellow

Dallas Bar Foundation: Fellow

Dallas Theater Center: Board of Trustees (2005-2011)

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