David Drez is a partner in the Fort Worth office of Wick Phillips. After graduating from law school at Southern Methodist University, Drez clerked for a federal judge in Louisiana and then moved to Fort Worth. He spent the first 11 years of his career in the Fort Worth office of a national firm, and ultimately he became a partner in that firm’s business litigation group. Drez joined Wick Phillips in 2011, where several colleagues had been enjoying success after starting the firm in 2004 and adding an office in Fort Worth in 2008.
Drez has spent nearly five years at Wick Phillips, serving as one of the firm’s managing partners for three years and helping the firm grow from 18 to nearly 50 attorneys and the Fort Worth office grow to eight attorneys.
Drez and his wife, Jennifer, have three sons, ages 14, 13 and 9. The couple are active in the community, including his service on the board of Gill Children’s Services. When Drez has a break from work and his sons’ many sporting events, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors.
Which legal case in American history do you see as the most influential? Why?
Marbury v. Madison. In that case, in 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that it is the sole province of the courts to interpret the law.
What inspired you to become an attorney?
I have always been interested in history and was initially drawn to the law because our laws are based largely on the historical evolution of court decisions. In law school, I began to appreciate the human element as well. I realized that in addition to its appeal to my analytical mind, I was drawn to the advocacy and competition inherent in our adversarial system.
What is your most significant professional achievement?
In March of this year, I argued a case before the Texas Supreme Court (Chesapeake v. Hyder). Given the rising tide of energy litigation, the case was widely watched. Getting the opportunity to advocate in the highest court in Texas was a rewarding experience that very few lawyers get. It also was rewarding to be an integral part of the entire life cycle of a case. I filed that case in 2010, handled the trial in 2012, succeeded on appeal in 2014 and then succeeded again before the Texas Supreme Court in 2015. The other side has sought a rehearing of the case, so it is not over yet.
What motivates you?
Solving problems. Ultimately, that is what attorneys are hired to do.
What are the major challenges facing young attorneys?
The traps of technology. Young attorneys have grown up in an era when the manner and method of communicating is vastly different than the ways lawyers must communicate in order to be effective with the court, opposing counsel and the client. Young attorneys seem to struggle with the fact that the best and most efficient solution often is to pick up the phone or speak in person.
Do you have a specialty area of practice?
My practice largely consists of three major areas: 1) traditional commercial disputes, 2) oil and gas litigation, and 3) coordinating with other attorneys in the firm to address client needs in areas outside my core practice, which includes transactional, estate planning, tax and other non-litigation matters.
– Paul Harrel