Photo of Christopher D. Kratovil

Christopher D. Kratovil Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska

Education

University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2000

  • with honors
  • Order of the Coif
  • Administrative Editor of the Texas Law Review

University of Notre Dame, B.A. magna cum laude, 1997 

Cistercian Preparatory School, Irving, Texas, 1993

Christopher D. Kratovil is the Office Managing Member of the Dallas office of Dykema, and also leads the firm’s national lateral hiring efforts as its National Hiring Member. He has been instrumental in Dykema’s substantial growth in Texas.

An experienced and respected Texas litigator, Mr. Kratovil has been recognized for five consecutive years (2016-2020) as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Texas" regardless of specialty by Texas Super Lawyers, and has been named one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas" by D Magazine for ten consecutive years (2011-2021). 

Mr. Kratovil focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes and appellate matters, representing clients in high-stakes litigation before tribunals ranging from small-town Texas trial courts to arbitrators to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court. Mr. Kratovil has presented over 35 appellate oral arguments to courts at all levels of the appellate system, and has been an integral part of dozens of trial and arbitration teams. He has argued virtually every type of motion permitted under the Texas and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.       

Beyond his appellate work, Mr. Kratovil regularly handles case dispositive briefing and argument, jury charges, complex motions, research-intensive legal issues, emergency injunctions, and error preservation in the trial courts. He has extensively litigated issues under the Texas “anti-SLAPP” statute, the Texas Citizens Participation Act (“TCPA”), including multiple successful interlocutory appeals.   

Mr. Kratovil has extensive experience litigating so-called "business divorces" and related fraud, minority shareholder rights, covenants not-to-compete and not-to-solicit, trade secrets, oil field disputes, and the law governing arbitration. Mr. Kratovil has served as lead counsel in a number of high-dollar disputes over land use and development in the DFW area, representing developers against cities and landowners. In recent years, he was worked closely with Dykema’s industry-leading DSO Practice Team to litigate issues impacting dentists and dental support organizations. 

Mr. Kratovil is the author of several high-profile amicus curiae briefs, including on behalf of United States Senator John Cornyn and, separately, for numerous members of the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate.

Prior to joining Dykema, Mr. Kratovil was a partner at K&L Gates and an associate at Jones Day. He was a law clerk to the Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Kratovil earned a B.A., magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D., with honors from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where he was an editor of the Texas Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.

Experience

  • Lead appellate counsel to a major Dallas real estate developer in obtaining the reversal of a state trial court order that would have required the demolition of a newly constructed $60 million apartment complex.
  • Lead appellate counsel to a Collin County real estate developer in securing a grant of federal mandamus from the Fifth Circuit that removed a lis pendens on a more than $300 million property, thereby allowing the sale of the property to move forward.
  • Lead counsel to the developer of a large Dallas-area music venue in securing the release of over $40 million in tax increment financing district funding owed by a municipality to the developer.
  • Lead counsel to a Fortune 500 company in the removal of a lis pendens from a Collin County corporate campus valued at more than $100 million, thereby allowing the sale of the campus to be completed.
  • Lead counsel to a Fortune 1000 energy services company in a multi-state dispute over covenants not to compete and employee raiding.   
  • Lead appellate counsel to a Fortune 50 retailer in a case involving alleged malicious prosecution and defamation, securing victory in the Fifth Circuit.
  • Lead appellate counsel to a major dental services organization in a series of interlocutory appeals involving the Texas anti-SLAPP statute, the TCPA.
  • Lead appellate counsel to a major national mortgage servicer, prevailing in the Fifth Circuit in a wrongful foreclosure case.
  • Co-lead counsel in the arbitration of a “business divorce” involving the founders of a major dental services organization.
  • Lead appellate counsel to an energy drink manufacturer in the Fifth Circuit, securing partial reversal of summary judgment and restoration of claims for breach of contract, fraud and fraudulent inducement, and remanded back to the district court for trial.
  • Lead counsel in the preparation and filing of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 20 members of the Texas Legislature in successful efforts to overturn a plastic bag ban in Laredo, Texas (Laredo Merchants Association v. City of Laredo, Texas).
  • Appellate counsel to Ford Motor Company in a successful mandamus action to the Texas Supreme Court, establishing the principle that litigants cannot seek discovery from the employer of an opposing expert witness.  In re Ford Motor Co., 427 S.W.3d 396 (Tex. 2014).  
  • Lead appellate counsel to the homeowners of the Air Park Estates neighborhood in Carrollton, Texas, in a major property rights case against developer Henry Billingsley and the City of Carrollton, who were held to have engaged in an unconstitutional scheme to seize real property from the homeowners without paying just compensation. Noell v. City of Carrollton, –S.W.3d–, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 3880 (Tex. App.—Dallas April 9, 2014, pet. filed).
  • Lead appellate counsel to ABC Hotel & Restaurant Supply, Inc., a major Austin-based hospitality supply company, in securing the affirmance of a $1 million trial court judgment arising out of a failed corporate acquisition.  Friedman & Assocs. v. ABC Hotel & Rest. Supply, Inc., 412 S.W.3d 561, (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2013, no pet.).
  • Lead appellate counsel to amici curiaeTexas Legal Services Foundation and Texas Alliance Against Sexual Assault in supporting Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Comptroller Susan Combs in the successful defense of the constitutionality of the so-called “pole tax” that imposes a tax on all sexually oriented businesses in Texas, with the revenue from such tax used to support social services for Texans adversely impacted by such businesses.   Entm't Ass'n v. Combs, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 5034 (Tex. App.—Austin May 9, 2014).
  • Appellate counsel to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, a national trade group, in the preparation of an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank, 132 S.Ct. 2065 (2012).
  • Lead appellate counsel to Mr. Balakrishna Shagrithaya, co-founder and 47% owner of ARGO Data Resource Corporation, in a $90 million shareholder oppression and fraud lawsuit currently pending after full briefing before the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Lead trial counsel to Bosch Rexroth AG, a major international engineering and manufacturing consortium, in the defense of a $20 million wrongful death and products liability lawsuit filed by Rusty Hardin & Associates in State District Court in Harris County, Texas. The matter was resolved via a confidential settlement.
  • Lead trial counsel to DeLaval, Inc., the world’s largest maker of dairy farm and milking equipment, in a series of wrongful death investigations and related products liability actions.
  • Texas counsel to Key Safety Systems, the leading domestic seat belt maker, in two high-exposure wrongful death and products liability lawsuits.
  • Lead appellate counsel in the successful vacatur of a commercial arbitration award based on the arbitrator’s failure to render his award by the deadline set by the parties—a first of its kind result under Texas law Sims v. Bldg. Tomorrow's Talent, LLC, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 4671 (Tex. App.— Amarillo April 30, 2014, pet. filed).
  • Primary draftsman of briefs in a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of taxpayers challenging the legality of secretive procedures used by the U.S. Tax Court, Ballard v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 544 U.S. 40 (2005).
  • Primary author of winning briefs to the en banc Fifth Circuit in that court's leading decision on venue transfers under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), resulting in the issuance of a writ of mandamus against the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.In re Volkswagen II, 545 F.3d 304 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc).
  • Lead Counsel in successful effort to prevent the confirmation and enforcement of a $27 million arbitration award against a foreign utility company in Federal District Court.
  • Lead appellate counsel for one of the nation's largest defense contractors in a dispute with a major union concerning the interpretation and application of the parties' collective bargaining agreement, ultimately resulting in a victory for the defense contractor in the Fifth Circuit.
  • Co-lead counsel in obtaining the dismissal in federal district court of a $25 million fraud and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against a major national law firm.
  • Assisted with successful petition for writ of mandamus in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, resulting in the issuance of a writ of mandamus against the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on a venue issue in a patent case.
  • Lead counsel in the preparation and filing of an amicus curiae brief with the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a United States Senator.
  • Lead counsel in preparation and filing amicus curiae brief in the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a Texas Representative and a state association.
  • Prepared winning briefs to the Supreme Court of Texas on behalf of a policyholder in a commercial insurance coverage dispute.
  • Lead counsel in obtaining set-aside of seven-figure default judgment in multi-tiered complex commercial proceedings involving Texas, federal and bankruptcy procedural law issues.
  • Co-counsel in preparation of amicus curiaebrief on behalf of law professors in the first major piece of "global warming litigation" heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Primary draftsman of winning briefs to the Fifth Circuit in a trademark case concerning the attempted re-litigation of "secondary meaning" of a descriptive trademark.
  • Author of prevailing briefs to the Fifth Circuit on behalf of appellant taxpayers accused of engaging in elaborate civil tax fraud and "kick-back" scheme.
  • Obtained certification of a novel question of Texas insurance law from the Fifth Circuit to the Supreme Court of Texas.
  • Author of briefs to the Fifth Circuit resulting in reversal of the trial court's grant of judgment notwithstanding the verdict in a precedent-setting multimillion dollar age discrimination lawsuit.
  • Assisted with briefing in the Fifth Circuit in an appeal resulting in the reversal of a jury verdict based on cumulative evidentiary errors by the trial judge.
  • Obtained reversal from the Dallas Court of Appeals of a grant of summary judgment in UCC Article 9 foreclosure appeal.
  • As appellate counsel, preserved a favorable class-action settlement against appellate challenges brought by multiple dissatisfied class members in the Texas Supreme Court.
  • As trial counsel in an appointed federal criminal case, achieved the partial acquittal of an inmate who had allegedly escaped from incarceration and assaulted armed guards.

Memberships & Involvement

  • Current Chair of the Appellate Section of the Dallas Bar Association
  • Former Chair of the Business Litigation Section of the Dallas Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, Committee Chair, 2010-2017
  • Higginbotham Inn of Court, Associate, 2005-2006
  • William "Mac" Taylor American Inn of Court, Bencher, 2017 – present
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Leadership Class, 2003
  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program Volunteer

Community/Civic Activities

  • Cistercian Preparatory School Alumni Association, Board of Directors, President, 2007-2008
  • Lamplighter School Alumni Council, 2005-2008
  • Notre Dame Alumni Club of Dallas
  • Texas Law Review Association, former managing director and board member, 1999-2000
  • Leadership Las Colinas-Irving Class of 2008-2009
  • Hackberry Creek Homeowners Association Board of Directors, 2013-2014
  • 2020 Strategic Partner Award for Empowerment presented by DXC Technology
  • Named a "Best Lawyer in Dallas" by D Magazine, 2011-2021
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Appellate Practice, 2017-2021
  • Recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Texas" and one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas/Fort Worth," Texas Super Lawyers®, 2016-2021
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers®for Appellate and Business Litigation, 2014-Present
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers®as a Rising Star for Appellate, 2007-2013