Virene, Joe Photo

Our People

Joe Virene

Partner
Education
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, Order of the Barons, 2007
  • B.S., The University of Texas, 2003
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Texas

Joe Virene represents suppliers, distributors, subcontractors, engineers, general contractors, construction owners, and service companies in both the construction and oil and gas industries. He has successfully prosecuted and defended various claims including those related to: construction defects, design defects, M&M liens, mineral liens, the Texas Construction Trust Fund Act, covenants not to compete, trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, products liability, security interests, and the UCC.  He has also defended numerous clients from preferential and fraudulent transfer claims arising out of bankruptcy.  Joe has briefed numerous appeals in various Texas courts of appeal and the Texas Supreme Court for both appellants and appellees.

In addition to litigation, Joe routinely drafts, reviews, and negotiates construction contracts, master service agreements, master purchase agreements, distributorship agreements, personal guarantees, security agreements, general terms and conditions, covenants not to compete and nondisclosure agreements. Additionally, Joe routinely provides counsel to his clients regarding a wide variety of matters that arise during construction projects and their daily operations including general employment matters, insurance, contract review, project suspensions and delays, design and construction defects, lien filings, and collections.

Joe is an active member of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, has written numerous articles on construction law topics, and has been named as a Texas Rising Star.

Representative Experience

  • Defense of large, international manufacturer of valves against alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Defense of an exploration and production company sued for allegedly overcharging for indirect operating expenses under an operating agreement. 
  • Defense of electrical distributorship and its CEO against alleged violations of restrictive covenants and alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented a large high-rise condominium association in a construction defect case against the general contractor and its subcontractors and obtained favorable resolution. 
  • Represented world’s leading waste and environmental service provider in connection with construction of a Mixed Materials MRF Project.
  • Won a bench trial on behalf of Schlumberger Technology Corp. in a suit against a former drilling fluids specialist for breach of the non-competition and training reimbursement provisions of his employment agreement. The court issued a permanent injunction enforcing the restrictive covenant and awarded Schlumberger damages and attorneys’ fees for the employee’s breach of his training reimbursement obligation.
  • Obtained a temporary injunction against former employees of an oil field services company for violations of covenants not to compete.
  • Obtained numerous successful resolutions on behalf of parties prosecuting and defending against covenants not to compete.
  • Obtained numerous summary judgments on behalf of construction suppliers against subcontractors who failed to pay for materials purchased on credit.
  • Filed and successfully prosecuted numerous mechanic's liens.
  • Obtained a dismissal of negligence and breach of contract claims against an electrician and an award of attorney fees against plaintiff in arbitration.

Reported Decisions

  • Grynberg v. M-I L.L.C., 398 SW3d 864 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi 2012, pet. filed)
  • M-I L.L.C. v. Stelly, 733 F. Supp. 2d 759 (S.D. Tex. 2010)
  • Dealers Elec. Supply Co. v. Scroggins Const. Co., 292 S.W.3d 650 (Tex.2009)
  • Scoggins Constr. Co. v. Dealers Elec. Supply Co., No. 13-06-00368-CV, 2009 WL 3390324 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi 2009, pet. denied)
  • Morales v. Cemex Construction Materials South, 14-10-00727-CV; 2011 WL 3628861 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, no pet. h.).

Past Legal Experience

During law school, Joe interned for the Honorable Lynn Hughes, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and Justice Terry Jennings, First Court of Appeals of Texas.

Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association
  • Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association
  • Gray Reed Pro Bono Committee member

Honors

  • Named a Texas Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazines (2015-2017)
  • Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2017)