Emma Cano's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation with experience litigating matters in both federal and state courts. Her cases cover a range of commercial issues, including fraud, partnership disputes, franchise-related controversies, contract and construction disputes, bond claims, insurance coverage disputes and other litigation matters. Emma has developed a successful practice defending catastrophic injury and fatality claims in a variety of industries and has represented businesses in numerous tort matters.
Emma has extensive experience in all aspects of litigation: early case assessment, alternative dispute resolution procedures, all facets of discovery (including e-discovery), motion practice, pre-trial preparation, trial and settlement. She has tried more than 15 cases to jury verdict and various others before the bench, and has successfully defeated claims on summary judgment on behalf of her clients. Although Emma litigates cases throughout the state, her fluency in Spanish and Hispanic roots uniquely positions her to litigate cases throughout South Texas and to represent Latin American clients in disputes pending in the United States.
While Emma frequently represents clients in all types of business disputes resulting in litigation, she also has broad experience litigating in the following areas:
Occupational Safety and Health and Workplace Disasters. In recent years, Emma has handled more than 40 OSHA investigations, many of which resulted from industrial accidents and employee fatalities, for clients such as drilling contractors, construction companies, manufacturers, electrical contractors, and oil and gas-related companies. Emma's unique experience in this area allows her to effectively counsel clients on dealing with and responding to OSHA's involvement in their business operations. She has repeatedly obtained dismissal of citations against clients involved in OSHA proceedings.
Franchise Litigation. Emma routinely represents franchisor companies in litigation involving its franchisees. Emma has represented franchisors in various industries including, tax preparation companies, auto services and food service companies.
Oil and Gas Litigation. Emma has regularly litigated matters arising from oil and gas projects throughout south Texas. She has represented drilling operators, contractors and oilfield services companies in various litigation disputes including contract disputes, royalty disputes and tortious interference claims. Emma has represented numerous companies in lawsuits involving oil and gas-related accidents and employee fatalities.
Selected Client Representations
- Obtained favorable jury verdict in federal court for Fortune 500 steel manufacturer/distributor in breach of warranty claim asserted against manufacturer of faulty industrial electrical equipment.
- Obtained full defense verdict for large retail grocer in negligence action tried before a jury in state court.
- Two successful summary judgments and representation of individual and corporate entities in complex partnership dispute involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, and misappropriation, where adverse party claimed loss of partnership interest worth $70 million.
- Frequent representation of employers in defending against gross negligence litigation arising from industrial fatalities in a wide variety of industries.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a client defending against allegations of gross negligence arising from employee fatality.
- Representation of franchisors in franchise-related litigation.
- Represented franchisor company in successfully enforcing forum selection clause of franchise agreement.
- Continued representation of national construction aggregate supplier in payment bond litigation, contract disputes and claims for payment.
- Continued representation of large retail grocery company in customer initiated litigation throughout South Texas.
- Continued representation of large restaurant company in customer initiated litigation throughout the State of Texas.
- Awarded Pedro "Pete" Serrano Leadership Award by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and State Bar of Texas (2013)
- Recognized in S.A. Scene, S.A. Lawyers: Best of 2012 (Civil Litigation Defense)
- Recognized in S.A. Scene, S.A. Lawyers: Best of 2011 (General Litigation)
- Named by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of its "40 Under 40" rising stars for 2010
- Selected as the Outstanding Young Lawyer by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (2008)
- Selected as the Belva Lockwood Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Bexar County Women's Bar Foundation (2008)
- Named a Texas Super Lawyer "Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Texas Monthly (2007, 2008)
- "If It Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck, and Quacks Like a Duck: The Enforceability of Noncompetes Against Nonsignatories," Co-Author with Katie Dolan-Galaviz, Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4, Spring 2014.
- "e-Discovery Trends," Author and Presenter at the Advanced Civil Trials Texas Bar CLE Program (2013)
- "Advanced Civil Trials," Texas Bar CLE Program Planning Committee Member and Speaker (2013)
- "Electronic Discovery," Texas Bar CLE Program Planning Committee Member (2014)
- "Women in Law," Texas Bar CLE Program Planning Committee Member (2014)
- UT School of Law Center for Women In Law, Faculty Member on Effective Communications Workshop at Leadership Boot Camp (2011, 2013)
- "The Practical Applications of e-Discovery in Today’s Lawsuit," Panelist Speaker at the Advanced Evidence and Discovery Texas Bar CLE Program (2012)
- "You Never Miss the Water 'Til the Well Runs Dry: The Competing uses for Water in a Shale Play," Co-Author of paper prepared for the South Texas College of Law 25th Annual Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen
- "Essential Practice Skills for New Attorneys," Texas Bar CLE Program Course Director (2008)
Emma is also committed to serving her community and has developed a passion for programs that help society's youth become productive and integral members of our community. She devotes many hours every year serving on boards for various non-profit organizations and is actively involved with different youth ministries at her church.
Selected Professional, Business and Community Activities
- Leadership State Bar of Texas, Class of 2013
- Bexar County Women's Bar Association Foundation - President (2012); President-Elect (2011); Vice-President (2010); Treasurer (2008-2009); Board of Directors (2007-2009); Bench Brunch Auction Co-Chair (2006); Bench Brunch Goes Primetime Co-Chair (2008)
- YWCA of San Antonio - President (2011-2012); President-Elect (2010); Vice President (2008-2009); Board of Directors (2005-2012)
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow (2013)
- Southwest Preparatory School Education Foundation - Board of Directors and Marketing Committee (2011-2013)
- San Antonio Women's Chamber of Commerce - Board of Directors (2007-2008); Director of Networking Nights Out (2007); Director of Luncheons (2008)
- North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lab Graduate, Class of 2005
- City of Houston Municipal Courts Prosecutor, Volunteer Prosecutor (2006-2007)
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Fellow, San Antonio Bar Foundation
- Community Justice Program, Volunteer (2002-2013)
- St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Catholic Church, Parishioner and Youth Volunteer - Youth Confirmation Teacher (2010-Present); Teen ACTS Director/Co-Director (2012-2013); ACTS Team Member (2010-13)
Selected Representative Experience
Drilling Rig Fatality
Represented drilling contractor in lawsuit filed in Neuces County, Texas pertaining to oilfiled accident resulting in employee fatality.
Concrete Company Employee Fatality
Represented storage and logistics company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Oilfield Accident with Employee Fatality
Represented rental services company in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in fatality.
Oilfield Accident with Employee Fatality
Represented oilfield services company in lawsuit filed in Maverick County, Texas pertaining to oilfield accident resulting in employee fatality.
Rental Services Oilfield Accident
Represented rental services company in lawsuit filed in Dewitt County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in fatality.
Trucking Company Employee Fatality
Represented trucking company in lawsuit filed in Dimmitt County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Represented oilfield services company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas pertaining to pipeline accident resulting in employee fatality.
Armored Car Employee Fatality
Represented armored car company in lawsuit filed in Jackson County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Drilling Rig Fatality
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed during a drilling rig collapse. Also represented the company in the gross negligence lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas, as a result of the accident through its resolution.
Represented natural gas pipeline company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an oilfield explosion/flash fire that left one worker dead, and five injured. Also represented the company in the gross negligence, multi-party lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas, resulting from the accident.
Communications Tower Fatality
Represented communications tower company in lawsuit filed in Goliad County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Gas Pipeline Fatality
Represented roustabout company in lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas involving oilfield accident resulting in employee fatality.
Agricultural Employee Fatality
Represented agricultural business in lawsuit filed in McCulloch County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Masonry Employee Injury
Represented masonry company in lawsuit filed in Zavala County, Texas invovling employee injury.
Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed while working on a drilling rig. Also represented the company in the gross negligence lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas, resulting from the accident through its resolution.
Liberty Tax Prevails in Enforcing Forum Selection Clause
Prevailed in enforcement of forum selection clause and obtained transfer of civil action. Youngblood v. JTH Tax Servs., Inc.,
No. SA: 06-CA-380-XR; 2006 WL 1984656 (W.D. Tex. July 17, 2006).
Declaratory Judgment Action
Represented drilling contractor in declaratory judgment action involving insurance coverage in Webb County, Texas.
Employee Trucking Fatality
Represented trucking company in lawsuit filed in Webb County, Texas involving employee fatality.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Continuously represented regional grocery company in personal injury suits in Webb County and Maverick County, Texas.
Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed during rigging up operations. No lawsuit was filed against the company.
Drilling Rig Incident
Represented drilling company in OSHA proceedings resulting from an accident involving an employee killed while working on a drilling rig. No lawsuit was filed against the company.