"No problem is unsolvable. There’s nothing that can’t be resolved when people come together in good faith to find a solution."
With a firm belief that there is a reasonable solution for every problem, Rodney Lawson fights doggedly to find the solutions his clients want and need.
With a successful track record in healthcare law, as well as business litigation, products liability and commercial litigation, Rodney’s ability to relate to his clients, as well as opposing lawyers, judges and juries, has proven invaluable over the years.
His clients, opposing counsel, and everyone involved in his cases have found that nobody works harder or with more determination to achieve his clients’ goals. For him, being a lawyer isn’t a 9-5 job, but rather a way of life.
Outside of the office, Rodney remains actively involved in mental healthcare issues, by addressing the needs of the homeless and providing pro bono legal services to the poor.
Growing up in East Texas, Rodney enjoyed working various jobs—baling hay, working in a steel mill, laying asphalt, life guarding and loading beverage trucks. The hard work steeled his resolve to get an education so he could, as he puts it, “work in a tall building with air conditioning,” and instilled in him a work ethic that serves him and his clients every day.
Health Law/Medical Malpractice
Rodney is the head of the firm’s Health Law/Products Liability Practice Group. For more than 25 years, much of his law practice has focused on health law, primarily involving the representation of hospitals. He has successfully defended hospitals in numerous medical malpractice cases involving catastrophic injuries, including but not limited to, matters concerning emergency room care, obstetrics, anesthesiology, radiology, neurology, and surgeries of all types. By way of recent example, see Lone Star HMA, L.P. v. Wheeler, 292 S.W.3d 812 (Tex. App. — Dallas 2009, no pet.). Rodney’s experience in this area also includes prolific representation of freestanding psychiatric hospitals in medical negligence cases of all sorts, including patient suicides. He also has extensive experience representing hospitals in credentialing and peer review matters, both in the context of litigation and more often in the administrative hearing setting. Rodney has written and lectured extensively on the related subjects of physician credentialing, physician peer review, and the complex world of peer review/hospital committee privileges. Rodney also regularly advises hospitals and their committees on non-litigation healthcare issues. By way of example, he is very experienced in counseling hospitals on end-of-life legal issues.
Products Liability/Toxic Torts/Personal Injury Defense
For almost 30 years, Rodney has defended products liability cases, including but not limited to toxic tort matters. His practice has included the trial of automotive, farm machinery, and asbestos lawsuits, and the successful defense of medical device manufacturers. As discussed in greater detail below, Rodney has extensive oil and gas litigation experience. In the personal injury context, he successfully obtained a summary dismissal of a lawsuit against a major oil company after extensive litigation arising from serious personal injuries sustained as the result of an explosion at an oil storage facility.
Oil and Gas/Condemnation
Rodney grew up in Longview, Texas, in the middle of the East Texas oil field. That experience has provided him with extensive practical knowledge of the industry.
Rodney has successfully tried and argued on appeal numerous energy related matters involving such varied subject matters as title disputes over highly successful producing properties, breach of contract claims concerning a salt water disposal storage facility, and the aforementioned explosion at an oil storage facility. One case originating in Upshur County, Texas, was ultimately won in the Supreme Court of Texas, which case is cited not only for the land title law made by the Supreme Court but also because of the successful use of creative arguments relying upon federal and state constitutional law barring gender-based discrimination. Wessely Energy Corp. v. Jennings, 736 S.W.2d 624 (Tex. 1987). Other successful results include McKinney v. Waggoner-Baldridge (in an unpublished opinion, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court judgment entered following a successful jury trial in Wise County involving a mineral title dispute); Young v. Amoco Production Company, 610 F. Supp. 1479 (E.D. Tex. 1985), aff’d 786 F.2d 1161 (5th Cir. 1986) (successful defense of mineral title in federal court in Tyler concerning producing property in East Texas); The Herd Corporation, et al v. Triple J Investments, Inc. (in an unpublished opinion, the Houston 14th Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of Triple J Investments entered after a jury trial in Burleson County concerning the operation of a salt water disposal well).
Rodney has successfully represented both rural and urban landowners on numerous occasions in traditional eminent domain proceedings, as well as inverse condemnation matters.
Rodney has successfully defended numerous lawsuits throughout Texas brought against franchisors and distributors in various industries. Representative clients include John Deere Company, Ford Motor Company, and Coors Brewing Company (now Molson Coors Brewing Company). By way of example, see Dennis Nauslar, et al. v. Coors Brewing Co., et al., 170 S.W.3d 242 (Tex. App. — Dallas 2005, no pet.) (affirmance by Dallas Court of Appeals of trial court’s summary dismissal of case brought under the Texas Beer Industry Fair Dealing Law).
Rodney has successfully defended publisher defendants in litigation ranging from an antitrust lawsuit brought under the Robinson‑Patman Act to more routine breach of contract claims.
University of Texas
J.D., with honors, December 1980
Order of the Coif
B.A., summa cum laude, 1977
Phi Beta Kappa
Supreme Court of Texas
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
Member: Board of Directors, Mental Health Association of Greater Dallas
Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation; Dallas Bar Foundation
Co-Author, Doing Business With Health Care Providers, Carrington Coleman Capital Newsletter (Spring 2013).
Co-Author, New Far-Reaching HIPAA Rule Applies to More Businesses Than Ever, Carrington Coleman Capital Newsletter (Winter 2013).
Co-Author, Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 181 Amendments (2012)
Co-Author, Credentialing and Peer Review of Health Care Providers: The Process and Protections, ALI-ABA (2012).
Co-Author, Nursing Peer Review (2011).
Co-Author, The Peer Review and Self-Evaluation Privileges and Immunities – Has The Pendulum Swung Too Far?, The Sedona Conference Journal, Vol. 3 (2002).
Physician Credentialing Presents Unique Challenge, Texas Healthcare Metroplex, Vol. 2, Issue 7 (2000).
Co Author, Medical Malpractice and Physician Credentialing For General Practitioners (1998).