Press Release

Munsch Hardt’s Growing Houston Office Adds Two Energy Litigation Shareholders, One Tax Shareholder

Feb 8, 2019

 (DALLAS) Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. (Munsch Hardt) is pleased to announce the addition of three new Shareholders to its Houston office: Well-known Energy Litigation Shareholders Richard “Dick” Schwartz and Todd S. Frank, as well as Tax attorney and City of West University Place Mayor, Susan V. Sample.

“Last year we expanded our footprint in Houston by 40 percent to accommodate for new attorneys,” said Phil C. Appenzeller, Jr., CEO of Munsch Hardt. ”Dick, Todd and Susan are hard-working, well-respected attorneys who bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the Firm. They are exactly the type of attorneys we were hoping to attract, and we are delighted they have found a new home at Munsch Hardt. We hope this is just the beginning of an active and successful lateral recruiting year for us in Houston.”

About Munsch Hardt’s new shareholders:

Richard “Dick” Schwartz – Energy Litigation
Schwartz is one of the premier “go to” litigators in the energy field. Schwartz offers clients extensive knowledge regarding the business of oil and gas exploration, production and refining. Within this context, he handles complex matters arising from refinery and well site operations, including explosions, fires and well control events, and investigations.

Equally known for his complex commercial litigation practice, Schwartz has more than 40 years of accomplishments and has tried more than 65 cases in forums throughout the United States. He currently has active cases for clients within the energy, construction, insurance, and steel industries. Schwartz also counsels clients and handles litigation involving a myriad of general litigation matters, such as business break-ups, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, executive employment contracts, terminations, and separations, claims of retaliation, breach of non-competition/non-solicitation/confidentiality agreements and theft of trade secrets, and performs investigations and audits of contract compliance. 

In addition, Schwartz has authored papers and lectured for a number of educational programs. He has also served as president, treasurer, secretary and national delegate for the Federal Bar Association’s South Texas Chapter, served for eight years as a National Trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation (he is the current Executive Director of Houston’s Garland Walker Inn of Court), is an Adjunct Professor at University of Houston Law School, where he teaches ethics, and is chairman of the District 4 State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee. Schwartz joins the Firm from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP where he was a partner in the Houston office and a member of the litigation group. 

Schwartz earned his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He also completed two Harvard Law School programs on Negotiation and Leadership, The University of Houston’s A. A. White Dispute Resolution Center’s Commercial Arbitration Course and obtained IADC’s certification for Well Control (Supervisor Level). 

Todd S. Frank – Energy Litigation
An experienced trial attorney, Frank primarily handles complex commercial litigation in both state and federal court, with an emphasis on upstream oil and gas litigation. He offers clients extensive experience when faced with catastrophic accidents, including massive property damage (e.g. refinery explosions, fracture stimulation vehicle fires, vessel sinkings), personal injury and wrongful death claims. He also is accustomed to managing matters that arise from contracts, intellectual property, business disparagement and corporate officer and director responsibilities. Frank joins the Firm from Watt Thompson Frank & Carver, where he was a named partner.

Todd received his J.D. South Texas College of Law in Houston and his B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonino.

Susan V. Sample – Tax 
As a tax controversy expert, Sample guides clients through federal income and employment tax audits, IRS appeals, state tax audits and special projects. Sample previously served as a Senior Tax Advisor at Shell Oil Company, and prior to her in-house role, she worked as Tax Controversy Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she represented corporations, partnerships, high-wealth individuals, and estates before the IRS. 

Outside of the office, Sample is an active member of her community. Sample serves as Mayor of the City of West University Place, located minutes from downtown Houston and recently ranked as No. 1 on the 2018 “America's 50 Best Cities to Live” list released by 24/7 Wall Street. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Society of CPAs and, as a former Board Director, will chair the Houston CPA Society Charity Extravaganza in 2019. 

Sample earned her J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Houston, MPA from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and B.A.s from both Rice University and the University of Houston.

“Munsch Hardt’s Energy Litigation practice has continued to diversify and expand over the past several years, and both Dick and Todd add invaluable trial experience and depth to our already strong practice”, stated D. Mitchell McFarland, Managing Shareholder of the Firm’s Houston office. “Additionally, Susan is a smart tax attorney with an outstanding reputation, and her recent in-house experience will serve our Firm and clients well.” 

In addition to the these three shareholders, Munsch Hardt also hired a new Paralegal, Ann Petry. Ann joins the firm from Watt Thompson Frank & Carver LLP, and she will work primarily with the Firm’s Energy Litigation practice.