M. Scott Barnard serves on the firmwide Litigation Steering Committee and on the Dallas Practice Committee. He also is currently a member of the Dallas office’s Diversity Committee.
Practice & Background
Mr. Barnard’s practice involves a wide range of business litigation in both federal and state court, specializing in securities litigation. He handles complex commercial trial work, including class actions, business torts, fraud actions, commercial contract disputes, commercial real estate litigation and trade secret disputes.
Mr. Barnard represents public companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers and board committees in securities class actions, shareholder derivative lawsuits and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) securities arbitrations. Additionally, he represents clients on allegations of accounting fraud, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, corporate governance matters and investigations initiated by either the company or a regulatory enforcement agency, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA. Mr. Barnard also advises companies, as well as officers and directors, on securities compliance, insurance and indemnification issues.
Mr. Barnard also represents businesses involved in the EB-5 immigrant investor program, regularly working with regional centers and private equity funds to develop new projects that qualify for EB-5 investments, as well as counseling on domestic and foreign regulatory requirements, broker-dealer involvement and ongoing compliance programs.
Mr. Barnard has extensive civil trial experience, handling several matters as lead trial counsel in both jury trials and arbitrations. Previously, he served as an assistant district attorney with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office, where he tried more than 25 jury trials to verdict.
Mr. Barnard received his B.A. from Trinity University and his J.D. cum laude from the Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he was a member and an editor of the SMU Law Review. Mr. Barnard is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Foundation. He graduated from the Leadership Dallas class of 2009. Mr. Barnard has also served as a barrister with the Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court from 2010 to 2013.
Mr. Barnard has been recognized in the 2015 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the Texas, Litigation: Securities category. In 2013, 2009, 2008 and 2007, Mr. Barnard was named in a survey of his peers as one of “The Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine. From 2012-2014, Mr. Barnard was named in a survey of his peers in the Texas legal field as a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly. Additionally, from 2004 to 2011, Mr. Barnard was named in a survey of his peers in the Texas legal field as a “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Monthly.
Mr. Barnard’s recent engagements include:
- obtaining a dismissal of alleged claims of breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment pending against directors of a publicly traded energy company in a derivative suit pending in Delaware Chancery Court in In re Sanchez Deriv. Lit. Consol. A. No. 9132—VCG, 2014 WL 6673895 (Del. Ch. Nov. 25, 2014)
- obtaining a complete dismissal of business tort claims for a French publicly traded company in federal court in Texas, affirmed by the 5th Circuit in Special Indus., Inc. v. Zamil Grp. Holding Co., 578 F. App’x. 325, 326 (5th Cir. 2014)
- obtaining a complete dismissal of fiduciary duty claims alleged against directors of a publicly traded company in federal court in Texas
- representing one of the largest publicly traded clearing firms in a securities class action and shareholder derivative action in Texas federal court and Texas state court
- representing officers and directors of a master limited partnership defending against allegations of tortious interference and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty in Delaware Chancery Court.
- serving as lead defense counsel in a state court jury trial for a Fortune 50 company, resulting in a complete defense verdict and recovery of client’s attorneys’ fees
- defending a Fortune 500 company in shareholder derivative actions in Delaware Chancery Court, Texas state court and Texas federal court against highly publicized allegations of stock option backdating
- representing publicly traded clearing firm in SEC and FINRA investigations into alleged accounting improprieties
- representing a Fortune 500 energy company in SEC investigations
- representing officers and directors of a publicly traded energy company in shareholder derivative actions pending in Delaware Chancery Court, Texas federal court and Texas state court
- serving as lead defense counsel in a state court jury trial for a global manufacturing company, resulting in complete dismissal of claims during trial
- defending a Fortune 500 energy corporation in a shareholder class action and shareholder derivative actions
- successfully trying a weeklong bench trial in bankruptcy court for a commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) special servicer
- representing various technology companies in audits concerning enforceability of their contracts
- serving as lead counsel for a weeklong bench trial in Texas federal court, challenging a City of Dallas ordinance for violating the Texas Religious Freedom Act, resulting in an injunction of the ordinance
- representing a CMBS special servicer in an SEC receivership pending in Utah federal court
- serving as lead counsel in obtaining a complete dismissal for breach of contract, defamation and business tort claims for a Fortune 100 company in federal court in New Mexico affirmed by the 10th Circuit in a published opinion at Cory v. Allstate Ins., 583 F.3d 1240 (10th Cir. 2009)
- obtaining dismissals of three separate state court class actions for a Fortune 500 energy corporation, two of which were appealed and affirmed
- serving as trial counsel for a leading contractor and manufacturer of sophisticated aircraft structural components prosecuting a $70 million arbitration claim brought against the manufacturer and seller of high-end, private business jets
- successfully defending an insurance company in a class action, affirmed by the Texas Supreme Court in a published opinion at Fireman’s Fund County Mutual Insurance Co. v. Hidi, 13 S.W.3d 767 (Tex. 2000).
Mr. Barnard’s community, civic and charitable activities include:
- member of the North Texas Food Bank Philanthropy Council (2014-present)
- member of the executive committee for the American Heart Association’s Cotes du Coeur gala (2010-13)
- member of the executive committee for the Trinity University Alumni Association.
- Attorney-Client Privilege Landmines for In-House Counsel, ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, Naples, Florida
- Current Ethical Issues in Global Anti-Corruption, guest lecturer for the Global Legal Executive MBA Program, University of Texas at Dallas
- Current Issues in Attorney-Client Privilege Law Facing In-House Counsel, Dallas In-House CLE Presentation
- Myths Concerning the Attorney-Client Privilege