Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

Gardere Partners Richard Faulk and John Gray Earn Distinguished Legal Writing Award


Houston, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/04/2012 -- Partners Richard O. Faulk and John S. Gray of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP have been selected as recipients of the 2012 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for their article “Public Nuisance at the Crossroads: Policing the Intersection Between Statutory Primacy and Common Law.” The article, published in the Winter 2012 issue of the Chapman Law Review, may be accessed at

Mr. Faulk and Mr. Gray will receive the Distinguished Legal Writing Award during the 12th Annual Burton Awards Program and Gala on June 11 at the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, which will feature retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The Master of Ceremonies will be national radio commentator and author Bill Press.

The Burton Awards are presented by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing excellence in the legal profession. Since 1999, the organization has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing by honoring attorneys and law students who use plain, clear, and concise language in place of archaic legalese.

Mr. Faulk serves as the Chair of the Gardere Litigation Department and Environmental Practice Group. He is a board-certified specialist in federal and state appellate practice. Mr. Faulk has published more than 40 scholarly articles in his areas of practice and has performed extensive research on the legal and scientific issues surrounding global climate change and public nuisance litigation. He was the only environmental attorney included in the 2011 Texas Super Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers in Houston listing and has been recognized as a "Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law" by Chambers USA for his "expertise in all types of environmental litigation, and in particular for his experience in toxic tort litigation."

For more than 25 years, Mr. Gray has been counseling and representing clients in the energy, petrochemical, and maritime industries in administrative and civil proceedings before state and federal agencies. Prior to his law career, he worked as a licensed professional engineer. His practice and scholarly writings focus on novel legal, regulatory, and scientific positions, including the applicability of public nuisance and strict liability to public health concerns. Mr. Gray advises clients about greenhouse gas reporting, disclosure obligations and expectations, and strategies for addressing related regulations as well as risk mitigation and litigation avoidance through product stewardship initiatives and thoughtful corporate communications.

Mr. Faulk and Mr. Gray co-chair both the Climate Change Task Force and the Public Policy Litigation Team at Gardere. The 2012 award represents Mr. Faulk’s third Burton Award and Mr. Gray’s second. Other previous Gardere recipients of the Distinguished Legal Writing Award include Randy D. Gordon, Thomas A. Hagemann, and James J. Sentner, Jr.

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm founded in 1909 and one of the Southwest’s largest full-service law firms, has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City. Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of corporate, litigation, energy, tax, real estate, financial services, government affairs, hospitality, intellectual property, labor and employment and environmental. For more information, contact Kristin Butler at 214.999.4843 or