Judge Jorge A. Solis (Retired)
Chief Judge U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
Arbitrator, Mediator, Special Master, Mock Trials
Judge Jorge A. Solis served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, Texas, from September 1991 to May 1, 2016. He served as Chief Judge of the Northern District from November 2014 to May 1, 2016. Judge Solis served as the Texas federal judiciary’s liaison to the State Bar of Texas from June 2010 to June 2011. Judge Solis was nominated by President George H. W. Bush in June 1991 and was confirmed in September 1991.
During his nearly 25- year tenure, Judge Solis presided over 250 trials, including patent, trade secrets, trademark, oil and gas, antitrust, securities litigation, including class action suits and enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission, environmental/CERCLA, employment, and other complex commercial federal cases.
In 2008, Judge Solis presided over the Holy Land financial terrorism case. The case, which lasted over six weeks, involved the United States Government prosecuting what at the time was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation. The Government alleged that the Holy Land Foundation and its principals provided material aid and support to groups identified by the government as terrorist organizations. This was the first major effort by the government to attack the financial arms of terrorist groups by freezing and seizing their assets and by criminal prosecution for providing material aid to terrorist organizations.
ADR Experience and Qualifications:
- Served 25 years as a Federal Judge, presiding over 250 trials in various areas, including patent, trade secrets, trademark, oil and gas, antitrust, securities litigation, class action suits and enforcement actions by the SEC, environmental/CERCLA, employment, the first prosecution of a terrorist organization using asset forfeiture, and other complex commercial federal cases
- Private attorney legal practice (3 years)
- Assistant District Attorney (5 years); District Attorney (4 years); Special Prosecutor (1 year)
- Various State Bar Associations board and committee membership
- Kaneka Corp. v. JBS Hair, Inc. – patent case involving a two week jury trial. My orders are found at 2012 WL 5364699 and 2016 WL 1376368. The case was affirmed by the Federal Circuit at 643 Fed. App’x 1013.
- Merritt Hawkins & Assoc. v. Gresham, Bowden, et al. – breach of non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-interference provisions of an employment contract, and claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This involved a 5 day jury trial. My orders are at 79 F. Supp. 3d 625 and 948 F. Supp. 671. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the case but vacated the award of exemplary damages at 861 F3d 143.
- Henley v. Dillard’s – a case by Don Henley, formerly with the Eagles rock band, against Dillard’s Dept. Store for misappropriation of name and likeness. I granted Henley’s motion for summary judgment on the misappropriation of name claim. The case is found at 46 F. Supp. 587. There was no appeal.
- Transfirst Holdings v. Magliarditi, et al. – breach of non-compete clause in an employment agreement, intentional interference with contracts, and RICO claims. Following a three week bench trial, I found in favor of plaintiffs and awarded appoximately $10,000,000.00 in damages. My order is at 237 F. Supp. 444. The Fifth Circuit affirmed at 574 Fed. App’x 345 (2014).
- Benavidez v. City of Irving, Texas – suit alleging violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by use of Irving’s at large elections for the city council. Following a week long bench trial, I found for plaintiffs at 636 F. Supp. 709.
- Home Healthcare Plus, Inc. v Dept. of Health and Human Services –home healthcare provider sued the Dept. of HHS and requested a Temporary Restraining Order seeking reinstatement of its medicare billing privileges. I denied the request for TRO and dismissed the case, 85 F. Supp. 866.
- Murray v. TXU Corp. – whistleblower claims under the Sarbanes-Oaxley Act which had recently been enacted. My order is at 279 F. Supp. 799.
- Forney Messenger, Inc, v. Griffin, et. al. – claims of violations of the First Amendment and the Open Meetings Act. 959 F. Supp. 389.
- Taylor Made Golf, Inc. v. MJT Consulting Group, LLC – trademark claims case. Order is 265 F. Supp. 2d 884.
- Zeni-Max Media, Inc. v. Oculus VR, LLC – case involving misappropriation of trademark and other claims arising out of the development of virtual reality gaming software. 166 F. Supp. 3d 697.
- Elk Corp. of Dallas v. GAF – patent case. After a two week bench trial, I found that Plaintiff Elk Corp had engaged in inequitable conduct during the prosecution of the patent and found the patent unenforceable. The case was affirmed by the Federal Circuit, 168 F3d. 28.
- RSR Corp. v. International Insurance Co. – insurance case. The EPA determined that RSR had polluted land through its lead smelting operations. The suit was by RSR against its insurer, International Ins. Co., for recovery of reclamation costs incurred by RST in cleaning the pollution site. The case involved one jury trial, a number of summary judgment orders by me, and several appeals. My orders can be found at: 2002 WL 493121; 2004 WL 572360; 2007 WL 437651; and 2011 WL 1295482. The jury verdict and my orders on summary judgment were affirmed on appeal. Fifth Circuit cases: 148 Fed. App’x. 226 (2005); 426 F3d 282 (2005); and 612 F.3d 851 (2010).
- EEMSO v. Compex – misappropriations of trade secrets and unfair competition claims. After a two week jury trial, the jury returned a verdict for defendants. The case was not appealed. My order can be found at 2006 WL 2583174.
Labor and Employment expertise:
The Dallas civil docket is a busy and active docket with employment and labor cases comprising approximately 20% to 25% of the docket. The most common type of employment cases were Title VII and the ADEA. However, the docket included cases involving disputes over the payment of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employment contracts with non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-interference provisions, cases filed pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act, disputes between union and the employer, and between union and union members.
Some of the employment cases that came before Judge Solis:
- Transfirst Holdings v. Phillips, et al, case no. 06-2303, a three week non-jury trial involving claims of breach of an employment contract, RICO, and breach of fiduciary duty. My order is at 237 F. Supp. 444, and the Fifth Circuit opinion affirming is at 574 Fed. Appx. 345 (5th Cir. 2014).
- Taggart v. L&W Supply, et al, case no. 08-1098. A jury trial involving breach of an employment agreement.
- Dooley v. Select Comfort, case no. 12-586, a non-jury trial with claims pursuant to the ADEA.
- Buxbaum Group v. Haggar Clothing, case no. 12-2167, a jury trial involving a quantum meriut claims stemming from an employer/employee relationship. My opinion on motions for summary judgment is found at 2014 WL 12577071.
- Meritt Hawkins & Assoc. v. Gresham, Bowden, & Consilium Staffing, case no. 13-312, a jury trial with claims of breach of employment contract with non-compete and non-interference provisions. My orders are found at 948 F. Supp. 2d 671 and 79 F. Supp. 3d 625. The Fifth Circuit opinion affirming in part, and vacating in part, is at 861 F.3d 143.
- EEOC v. Emcare, Inc., case no. 11-2017, a six day jury trial involving claims for retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment. My order is at 2015 WL 1787766. The Fifth Circuit opinion affirming is at 857 F. 3d 678.
- Wilson v. City of Dallas, case no. 02-1065, a jury trial involving claims pursuant to Title VII.
- Pailo v. Parkland Hospital, case no. 05-2062, jury trial involving Title VII claims.
- Patrick v. Chertoff, case no. 01-152, a non-jury trial involving age discrimination claims.
- Aziz v. Texas Health and Human Services Commission, case no. 09-0619, a jury trial involving Title VII claims.
- Liaison for the Federal Judiciary to the State Bar of Texas, 2010-2011
- State Bar of Texas District Committee on Admissions, District 14, 1990-1991
- Elected 350th District Court Judge in Taylor County, Texas in 1988, Served 1989-1991
- Governor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse, 1987-1991
- Solo Practitioner in Abilene, Texas, 1988
- Special Prosecutor, West Central Texas Narcotics Task Force, 1988
- Abilene Bar Association Board of Directors, 1986-1987
- Elected Criminal District Attorney of Taylor County, Abilene, Texas, in 1982, Served 1983-1987
- Private practice with Moore and Holloway, Abilene, Texas, 1981-1982
- Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Abilene, Texas, 1976-1981
- J.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1976
- B.A., McMurry College, 1973