stephen e couch

Steve E. Couch

713.595.6000 Phone
713.595.6001 Fax

scouch@ksklawyers.com

Mr. Couch received a B.S. Degree from the University of Houston in 1986 and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1989.  He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the South Texas Law Review from 1987 to 1989 and the South Texas College of Law National Moot Court Teams from 1987 to 1988.  Mr. Couch has written numerous legal articles and columns, including articles for The Houston Lawyer and The Texas Bar Journal, including a 1991 article on the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act which was voted Outstanding Legal Article of The Year by the Houston Bar Association.  He was also selected to and served on the Editorial Board of The Houston Lawyer from 1997-1999.  He was also selected as a "Who's Who in American Law" in 1998-1999.  

In April, 2012 and November, 2015, due to victories in cases involving arbitration, Mr. Couch was featured in the Texas Lawyer.  Among many other cases and matters which Mr. Couch is currently litigating, he is currently prosecuting claims against Harris County, Texas and other individuals arising from a November, 2014 road-rage incident which has received widespread local media attention and national media attention.  In February, 2016, Mr. Couch was featured by KTRK Channel 13 and in January, 2016 and May, 2016, he was quoted by The Houston Press and The Houston Chronicle in connection with that case.

Mr. Couch litigates and handles cases for plaintiffs and defendants involving commercial/business disputes, consumer claims, personal injury, products liability, premises liability, vehicular accidents, first party insurance claims (including insurance agents and brokers), insurance coverage, and construction-related claims.  Mr. Couch also handles appeals in the Texas Courts of Appeal, the Texas Supreme Court, and on the Federal level, in the Fifth Circuit and as necessary, in other Circuits.

Areas of Practice:

  • Commercial/Business Disputes
  • Consumer Claims
  • Personal Injury Claims (all types)
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Vehicular Accidents
  • First Party Insurance Claims
  • Insurance Defense (personal injury defense)
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Construction-Related Claims
  • Appeals (State and Federal)

Litigation Percentage:

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

  • Texas, 1990
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District Of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • Fifth Federal Circuit
Education:
  • South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, 1989, J.D.
    • Honors: Member, National Moot Court Teams, 1987-1988
    • Law Review: South Texas Law Review, Member, 1987 - 1989
  • University of Houston, 1986, B.S.

Honors and Awards:

  • Featured by Texas Lawyer, “Houston Lawyer Finds Way To Make Police-Shooting Case Stick” (March 29, 2017) 
  • Featured by SE TexasRecord, “Harris County Couple Alleges Lack of Warnings On Anti-Depressant Led To Son’s Death” (November 29, 2016)
  • Featured on KTRK, Channel 13 (February, 2016)
  • Featured by Texas Lawyer as “Appellate Lawyer Of The Week” (November 13, 2015)
  • Featured by Texas Lawyer, "Arbitration ≠ Protection" (April 16, 2012)
  • Author of Monthly Column, Bay Area Houston (May, 2004 to 2006)
  • Featured on KHOU, Channel 11:  Slip and Fall Accidents (February, 2004)
  • Who's Who in American Law, 1998-1999
  • Selected to the Editorial Board, The Houston Lawyer, 1997-1999
  • Outstanding Legal Article of The Year, Houston Bar Association, 1991

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • The Houston Lawyer, 1997-1999
    • Editorial Board
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association

Authored And Published Legal Articles:

  • "Spoliation Of Evidence: Is One Man's Trashing Another Man's Treasure?", Texas Bar Journal, March 1999
  • "Anticipation Of Litigation After National Tank Company v. Brotherton: Are We Searching For The Truth In The Dark?", The Houston Lawyer, July-August 1998
  • "Identifying Conflicts Of Interest Under Texas' Disciplinary Rule:  Don't Forget About Contract Attorneys", The Houston Lawyer, January-February, 1998
  • "Borrowing Money From A Lending Institution: Should The Borrower Be A Consumer Under The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act", The Houston Lawyer, July -August, 1990 (Voted Outstanding Legal Article of 1990 by The Houston Bar Association)
  • "Vehicle Forfeiture Under The Texas Controlled Substances Act", Voice for the Defense, June, 1988 (written and was published while Mr. Couch was still in Law School) 

Notable Appellate Court Cases:

  • Lori Annab v. Harris County, Texas, ___ S.W.3d _____; 2017 WL 1015554 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2017) (in an immediate accelerated appeal proceeding, successfully persuaded the appellate court that the trial court erred in dismissing Harris County, successfully arguing that the County failed to prove immunity from liability even though the County Officer was off-duty, driving his own personal vehicle, and using his own Gun during the incident in question) 
  • Hudson Insurance Hudson Insurance Company v. BVB Partners, 2015 WL 6758540 (Tex. App. — Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2015) (in an immediate, accelerated appeal proceeding, successfully persuaded the appellate court to reverse the trial judge and direct the trial judge to compel the requested arbitration)
  • Hudson Insurance Company v. Bruce Gamble Farms, et al., 2015 WL 6758654 (Tex. App. — Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2015) (in an immediate, accelerated appeal proceeding, successfully persuaded the appellate court to reverse two decisions by the trial judge and direct the trial judge to compel the requested arbitrations)
  • As a result of the reversals in Hudson Insurance Company v. BVB Partners and Hudson Insurance Company v. Bruce Gamble Farms, et al, (Featured by Texas Lawyer as “Appellate Lawyer Of The Week”; November 13, 2015)
  • Osornia v. AmeriMex Motor and Controls, Inc., 367 S.W.3d 707 (Tex. App. -- Houston [14th Dist.], 2012, no pet.): (in an immediate, accelerated appeal proceeding, successfully persuaded the appellate court to uphold the trial court's decision that the client's claims were not required to be arbitrated) (Featured by Texas Lawyer, "Arbitration Protection", April 16, 2012)
  • In Re Sthran, 327 S.W.3d 839 (Tex. App. -- Dallas 2010, orig. proceeding):  (obtained an extraordinary remedy, writ of mandamus, from the appellate court directing the trial judge to vacate its order granting arbitration).
  • In Re Bath Junkie Franchise, Inc., 246 S.W.3d 356 (Tex. App. -- Beaumont 2007, orig. proceeding) (per curiam): (obtained an extraordinary remedy, writ of mandamus, from the appellate court directing the trial judge to compel arbitration).
  • FDIC v. Dawson, et. al., 4 F.3d 1303 (5th Cir. 1993): (a landmark decision regarding the application of the "adverse domination" theory of tolling the statute of limitations in a case against officers and directors).

Representative Results

  • 2017:  In a vehicle accident case in which the client’s injuries initially appeared to be very minor and the client did not seek any meaningful medical treatment for months, when it became known that the client had suffered a neck injury, successfully obtained a favorable six figure settlement, which represented the maximum recovery and all of the available insurance.    
  • 2016-2017:  In a high-profile case which has received local and national media attention, obtained a favorable confidential settlement in a case in which a Houston-area psychologist allegedly failed to properly conduct a psychological screening evaluation of a Harris County Deputy Constable Officer who later shot and injured my client in a road rage incident.
  • 2016:  Obtained a favorable six-figure settlement for my client in a 1-vehicle accident which was caused by an unknown driver who fled the scene, overcoming the defenses that there was no contact between the vehicles and multiple lengthy periods during which client sought no medical treatment.
  • 2015-2016:  Successfully defended my client in a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act Regulation case; obtained summary judgment for the client, overcoming the defense that the client was liable under the FMCSR regulations because he owned the Truck involved in the accident.
  • 2014-2016:  Successfully defended a large New York-based Insurance Company in two separate cases in McAllen and Brownsville, Texas.  In both cases, obtained favorable ruling compelling arbitration; see BVB 1995:  Successfully defended clients in multi-million-dollar electrocution case.
  • BVB Partners and Bruce Gamble Farms, et al. cases; appellate cases highlighted above; successfully defended a large New York Insurance Company in the Texas Valley, obtaining an outright dismissal.
  • 2014-2015:  Obtained a favorable $237,500 settlement for my client against a Houston-area salon arising from a botched pedicure.
  • 2014:  Obtained a favorable $195,000 settlement in a trip and fall case against Tractor Supply Company, overcoming the defense that because my client was 6 foot 8 inches tall, he could see the large sheet of metal on which he tripped, which was the size of a large conference table.
  • 2013-present:  have represented one of the largest cab companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, successfully defending a number of claims and suits against the company.
  • 2011:  Obtained a favorable confidential settlement for the surviving family member clients against a nursing home where my clients’ father suffered ducubitis ulcers and eventually died, overcoming the defense that prior to being admitted to the nursing home, the decedent father had multiple, disabling, health conditions and had been terminally ill in hospice.
  • 2010:  Obtained a favorable six-figure plus settlement for my client, a mother and her minor child, arising from a dog bite incident.
  • 2008:  Obtained a favorable $192,500 settlement in a trip and call case, overcoming the defense that the hazard was open and obvious to my client.
  • 2005:  Obtained a favorable $250,000 settlement in a case against America West Airlines and TSA, where my client fell-off a TSA cart at Houston’s Bush International Airport.
  • 2005:  Obtained a favorable six-figure plus confidential settlement in a case against Borden, in which my client suffered a foot injury and contracted RSD/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
  • 2004:  Obtained a favorable $250,000 settlement for my passenger client in a case against the driver, where the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
  • 2002:  Obtained a favorable $1.725 Million settlement for my client in construction site accident case in which my client sustained an RSD/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome injury.
  • 2000:  Served as special spoliation counsel and assisted plaintiff’s in obtaining a favorable $1.45 Million settlement in a vehicular accident case involving an off-duty employee.
  • 1996:  Obtained a favorable six-figure plus settlement for my client although the “incident” simply comprised of my client stepping off a forklift.