Photo of Israel R. Silvas

Israel R. Silvas Member

Areas of Practice

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Texas, 2005
  • Northern District of Texas, 2006
  • Southern District of Texas, 2010
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2011
  • United States Supreme Court, 2013

Education

Harvard Law School (J.D., June 2004)

University of Texas at El Paso (B.A., summa cum laude, May 2001)

Israel R. Silvas is a litigation attorney at Dykema, focusing on the oil and gas industry. He advises clients on how to respond to, or avoid, complex problems, and develops strategies to address these issues when necessary.  His clients have relied on him to represent them in high stakes litigation, and he has experience at every stage of litigation – from obtaining restraining orders through trial.  He has honed his skill in simplifying complicated subject matter and presenting it to judges and juries. 

Mr. Silvas has experience in multiple facets in the oil & gas industry, including acquisition of mineral interests, litigation, and bankruptcy, and his clients include mineral buyers, operators, and service providers.  He also has extensive litigation experience representing clients (both plaintiffs and defendants) in Texas state courts, federal courts, multi-district litigation, and arbitration proceedings in various types of complex litigation, including environmental, energy, class action, antitrust, tortious interference, deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, qui tam, contract, probate, securities, and fraud. 

Reflecting the excellence of his practice, Mr. Silvas has been recognized by Texas Super Lawyers and Texas Rising Stars, honoring the top lawyers in Texas, and has been named to the National Diversity Council's list of the "Top 50 Multicultural Lawyers in Dallas". 

Mr. Silvas graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2001, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Harvard Law School in 2004. Following his graduation from law school, he clerked for United States District Judge Philip R. Martinez in the Western District of Texas.

Experience

Litigation

  • Successfully defended operator from fraudulent inducement and fraud by non-disclosure claims.  Obtained Summary Judgment on all of plaintiff’s claims.  Secured dismissal of claims pursuant to Rule 91A of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and obtained complete recovery of attorney’s fees incurred to obtain requested relief.  Prosecuting breach of contract claims to recover all attorney’s fees spent to defend this matter. 
  • Lead counsel defending former CEO of multimedia company against claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
  • Lead counsel on investigation of oil field explosion and property damage claims.
  • Lead counsel defending breach of contract claims related to the sale of mineral interests in Midland County, Texas. 
  • Successfully prosecuted breach of contract claims against oil field equipment manufacturer, and secured recovery for client.
  • Lead counsel defending against claim for declaratory relief related to the mining of limestone in Wise & Jack County, Texas.
  • Successfully negotiated payment of royalties dispute involving mineral estate in Borden County, Texas.
  • Prosecuting breach of contract claims related to the sale of condensate in midstream operations, and seeking to invalidate applicability of force majeure provisions in the oil & gas industry.
  • Successfully represented an oil & gas operator in South Texas in a breach of contract, negligence, and fraud lawsuit against a turnkey drilling contractor; prosecuted Spoliations Sanctions claim, and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of trial.

  • Defended oil & gas operator against fraud and breach of contract claims concerning mineral working interests in multiple counties throughout Texas, and ultimately resolved the matter for client.

  • Represented medical facility in prosecuting breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims against former employees operating a competing business; obtained a Temporary Restraining Order.

  • Represented technology company in prosecuting breach of contract claim against service provider; tried a four day jury trial to verdict in Longview, Texas.

  • Prosecuted breach of fiduciary duty claims in probate action involving mineral interests in Terry County, Texas.

  • Defended working interest owner against breach of contract claim, and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order that shut down a water flood project in South Texas; successfully settled claim for client on favorable terms.

  • Prosecuted breach of contract and fraud claims on behalf of investor, and obtained summary judgment ruling that client was entitled to majority control over flight school operating in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • On behalf of a services provider, prosecuted breach of contract claims related to the sale of hydrochloric acid (HCl) for use in fracking operations, and obtained a favorable settlement for client.

  • Successfully defended mineral buyer against claims for breach of contract and fraud in oil & gas litigation in Karnes County, Texas; obtained favorable Summary Judgment ruling finding that client was the legal owner of mineral interest.

  • Prosecuted breach of contract claims related to the provision of services in the oil & gas industry and obtained a favorable settlement for client. 

  • Serving as a member of a four-month jury trial team, successfully represented energy services provider in multidistrict litigation arising from the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.  Responsibilities included factual discovery and preparing witnesses for DOJ interviews and trial testimony, and briefing and assisting on the following issues: Spoliation Sanctions, Expert Reports, Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law, Class Action, and Multidistrict Litigation. 

  • As lead associate, represented members of a prominent Dallas family in RICO and probate litigation related to the $4.5 billion sale of a large oil company.

  • As lead associate, presented evidence and cross-examined witnesses at a six-day arbitration pursuant to the Texas Securities Act.

  • Defended client against fraud and breach of contract claims stemming from an alleged Ponzi scheme. 

  • Prosecuted breach of contract claims on behalf of a large banking institution, and drafted a motion for summary judgment that secured a favorable settlement.   

  • As lead associate, presented evidence (including expert witnesses) and cross-examined a party plaintiff on a four-day jury trial, and defended against deceptive trade practices and breach of contract claims; secured complete defense verdict. 

Transactional

  • Representing multiple clients in drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, mineral deeds, mineral leases, royalty conveyances, releases, indemnification agreements, commercial leases, and executive compensation agreements. 

  • Closed multiple oil & gas transactions and acquisitions valued at over $25,000,000. Resolved payment of unpaid royalty disputes involving several oil & gas operators.

  • Represented various clients in multiple funding transactions and land/facility acquisitions valued at over $10,000,000.

Bankruptcy

  • Represented oil & gas services creditor in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings against fracking company, and obtained favorable recovery on breach of contract claims.

  • Represented mortgage servicing company in validation of post-petition foreclosure; obtained injunction against third party asserting adverse possession claims.

  • Recovered pre-petition earmarked Medicaid trust funds on behalf of dental services provider.

Memberships & Involvement

State Bar of Texas

Dallas Bar Association

  • Selection to the list of Thomson Reuters' "Texas Super Lawyers" as published in Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2019
  • Selected as one of the "Top 50 Multicultural Lawyers in Dallas" by the National Diversity Council, 2017
  • Selected to the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers 2013 Leadership Program; served as the Marketing Co-Chair for the 2014 DAYL Charity Ball benefiting EPIC and Habitat for Humanity (which raised $50,000 and helped to build a home through the Carter Work Project)