Michael Warnecke Quoted in Texas Lawbook Profile of Akin Gump Alum Sarah Teachout

The Texas Lawbook has quoted Akin Gump litigation partner Michael Warnecke in the article “Trinity Industries: Their Hard-Fought Fifth Circuit Win Yields Three Outstanding Corporate Counsel Finalists.” The article reports on Trinity’s landmark False Claims Act (FCA) win—a matter that has been selected as a finalist for Business Litigation of the Year Award by the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter and The Texas Lawbook’s 2017 Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards. (Winners will be announced at an award ceremony on January 25.)

Last September, Akin Gump, with co-counsel, represented Trinity Industries as it scored a historic FCA victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that overturned a $663 million judgment against the company regarding allegedly defective highway guardrail end terminals.

“The Trinity FCA case,” Warnecke said, “has been closely watched by industry and the legal community, as the issues presented in the appeal are of critical importance to those who do business with the government and participate in regulated industries.”

The article reports that the litigation began in 2012 when a former competitor sued Trinity for allegedly failing to inform the government, which paid for the guardrails, about changes Trinity made to the design of its product.

Sarah Teachout, Trinity’s deputy general counsel and a former Akin Gump partner, was credited by Warnecke for the appellate victory.

“Piece by piece, Sarah marshaled Trinity’s defenses and dismantled plaintiffs’ claims. Her successes reflect her exquisitely calibrated strategy and precisely choreographed execution,” said Warnecke, who, the article notes, mentored Teachout as a young associate. He added, the cases with which Teachout is involved “are as intricate as they are diverse in type, scope, and jurisdiction. Even back in 1998, I could see Sarah’s bandwidth and processing speed were unmatched. I knew back then that one day, we would all be working for her.”

To read more about the 5th Circuit win, please click here.