Kelley Clark Morris
My ability to prepare strong appellate and dispositive motion briefs gives my clients an advantage. I enjoy analyzing the law and facts in a tough case from an academic perspective and using my unique writing skills to persuade the court to rule in our favor.
Kelley Clark Morris focuses her practice on resolving all types of commercial litigation and appellate matters for upstream and midstream oil and gas clients, ranging from energy-related disputes over operating agreements, title issues and royalty interests to traditional business litigation involving commercial contracts, fraud, fiduciary duties and much more. She also has significant experience representing the firm’s construction and downstream clients in litigation involving diverse issues, including contract, indemnification and insurance coverage disputes. Kelley guides clients through every stage of the trial and appellate process, in both state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration.
Before joining Gray Reed, Kelley clerked for Justice Paul W. Green of the Supreme Court of Texas for the 2013 – 2014 term, where she enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the decision-making process of the justices in a variety of energy and business disputes. Kelley also drafted opinions, prepared recommendation memoranda and presented issues at case conferences among the justices. This experience laid the foundation for Kelley’s extensive appellate practice, and other lawyers at the firm often seek her advice on appellate procedural issues and interpretation of court orders.
During law school, she interned for U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
- Obtained a take-nothing summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of oil and gas lessors in a title dispute against parties claiming competing ownership of the mineral estate.
- Obtained a partial summary judgment on behalf of a Texas bank, dismissing former customer’s claims alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of the UCC—Funds Transfers provisions.
- Obtained a summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of an offshore midstream company finding that the United States Department of Interior violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution.
- Successfully overturned a $3.5 million default judgment entered against a drilling fluids contractor through a motion for new trial.
- Obtained a take-nothing judgment on behalf of an operator sued for surface damages allegedly resulting from oil and gas operations.
- Successfully obtained a partial summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds for an oil and gas marketing company sued for alleged conversion resulting from an underlying title dispute, limiting potential damages by more than 90 percent.
- Successfully obtained a full dismissal for a Houston-based civil engineering firm in a business dispute after the plaintiffs failed to comply with Certificate of Merit requirements under Chapter 150 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
- Successfully obtained a full dismissal, with prejudice, for an engineering firm in a personal injury suit after the plaintiffs failed to comply with Certificate of Merit requirements under Chapter 150 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
- Successfully obtained a dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction through a special appearance on behalf of a Indian-national sales broker against a non-compete claim filed by the former employer, a Singaporean company, in Houston, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Represented two major U.S. retailers in a patent infringement lawsuit in federal court in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
- Ross v. Flower, No. 03-19-00516-CV, 2021 WL 904864 (Tex. App.—Austin Mar. 10, 2021, no pet. h.)
- Van Dyke v. Navigator Group, No. 11-18-00050-CV, 2020 WL 7863330 (Tex. App.—Eastland Dec. 31, 2020, pet. filed)
- LaTouche v. Perry Homes, LLC, 606 S.W.3d 878 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] July 14, 2020, pet. denied)
- Devon Energy Corp. v. Iona Energy, L.P., 02-19-00343-CV, 2020 WL 98138 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Jan. 9, 2020, pet. denied)
- Garrick v. Autoliv ASP, Inc., No. 14-17-00818-CV, 2018 WL 3385159 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] July 12, 2018, pet. denied)
- Salazar v. Worley Parsons Group, Inc., No. 01-17-00507-CV, 2017 WL 6001237 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 5, 2017, no pet.) (per curiam)
- Anglo-Dutch Energy, LLC v. Crawford Hughes Operating Company, No. 14-16-00635-CV, 2017 WL 4440530 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 5, 2017, pet. denied)
- Vinmar Overseas Singapore PTE Ltd. v. PTT International Trading PTE Ltd., 538 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2017, pet. denied)
- Shore v. Davis, 845 F.3d 627 (5th Cir. 2017)
- Texas Comm'n on Envtl. Quality v. Guadalupe County Groundwater Conservation District, No. 04-15-00433-CV, 2016 WL 1371775 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Apr. 6, 2016, no pet.)
Petitions for Review in the Texas Supreme Court
- Van Dyke v. Navigator Group, No. 21-0146 (pet. filed April 23, 2021) (for Petitioner)
- LaTouche v. Perry Homes, LLC, No. 20-0916 (pet. denied March 19, 2021) (for Respondent)
- Iona Energy, L.P. v. Devon Energy Corporation, No. 20-0226 (pet. denied August 28, 2020) (for Petitioner)
- Anglo-Dutch Energy, LLC v. Crawford Hughes Operating Company, No. 18-0050 (pet. denied March 1, 2019) (for Respondent)
- AETC II Privatized Housing , LLC v. Tom Green County Appraisal District, No. 16-0700 (pet. denied March 1, 2019) (for Respondent)
- Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp., et al., No. 16-0011 (pet. denied December 2, 2016) (for Respondent)
Amicus Curiae Briefs
- Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, No. 19-511, In the Supreme Court of the United States (Brief of ACA International, Inc.)
- Gadelhak v. AT&T Services, Inc., No. 19-1738, In the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (Brief of ACA International, Inc.)
- Named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly (2022)
- Selected by her peers for inclusion in Woodward/White, Inc.'s The Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch" in the field of Appellate Practice (2021 - 2023)
- President's Award, Houston Young Lawyers Association (2018)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Senior Executive Editor, Baylor Law Review
- Dean's Academic Excellence Scholarship, Baylor University School of Law
Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations
- Houston Bar Association, Appellate Section
- Appellate Lawyer Editorial Board (2022 – present)
- Pro Bono Committee (2017 – present)
- Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Houston Young Lawyers Foundation
- Life Fellow
- Board of Trustees (2017 – 2022)
- Houston Young Lawyers Association
- Board of Directors (2016 – 2018)
- Leadership Academy Graduate (2016)
- State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section Member
- Texas Bar College, Member
- Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, Member
Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations
- Casa de Esperanza de los Niños
- 2019 Gala Co-Chair
- Life Member, Young Professionals Group
- Junior League of Houston, Inc.
- Membership Council Member (2022 – 2023)
- Community Council Member (2018 – 2019, 2020 – 2022)
- Leadership Institute Graduate (2019)
- Trinity Valley School Alumni Association, Class Representative