Skip to content


John Vacalis is a seasoned attorney with extensive litigation and business counseling, negotiation, and case management experience in state and federal jurisdictions across the country. John works with domestic and international clients on a variety of matters including commercial litigation, energy, employment, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and finance.

Recognized as a “Recommended Litigation Firm” in Texas in Benchmark: Litigation, The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Firms and Attorneys

Received a national first-tier ranking for Commercial Litigation in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 2019

Member, Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court

Representative Matters

  • Provide counsel to sovereign wealth fund regarding potential litigation and workout issues concerning investments located throughout the United States
  • Provide representation to multiple lending institutions and investment groups regarding loan modifications, foreclosure actions, bankruptcy filings, sequestration, and breach of contract and guaranty actions
  • Provide counsel to investment group in a Utah arbitration regarding alleged environmental defects concerning certain oil and gas interests purchased from a bankrupt entity
  • Representing an individual in a complex officer and director lawsuit that is intertwined with multiple state and federal matters
  • Work with oil and gas operator and mineral owners regarding lease disputes and their respective rights and interests
  • Serve as defense counsel to an individual in a non-compete and general employment dispute brought by her former employer
  • Successfully defended an oil and gas operator in a breach of contract action brought by an equipment vendor seeking damages for alleged corrosion to rental drill pipe
  • Provide counsel to an electric cooperative regarding the reconciliation of fuel costs pursuant to a wholesale power agreement
  • Provide counsel to a physician partnership in a Montana state court action brought by former partners for non-compete and breach of contract allegations
  • Represented state agency in declaratory judgment action regarding its rule-making authority
  • Secured summary judgment in Florida breach of contract and foreclosure action resulting in multimillion-dollar judgment and dismissal of all counterclaims with prejudice
  • Secured settlement for international aeronautical manufacturer in breach of contract action
  • Defended multiple condemnation and declaratory judgment suits brought by private and governmental entities
  • Represented Chinese manufacturer against injunctive relief during an enforcement action for unfair competition and trademark infringement
  • Represented limited partnership in breach of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty suit brought in California by a former general partner
  • Secured favorable settlement for limited partnership over a multimillion-dollar wage and hour class action suit brought in California
  • Obtained temporary restraining order, permanent injunction, and agreed judgment in theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty case
  • Secured primary managing custody for pro bono client in bench trial of child custody dispute
  • Tried multiple administrative proceedings concerning City of Dallas employment disputes
  • Secured favorable arbitration award in breach of contract suit regarding manufacture licensing

Prior Employment

  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Harry W. McKee, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, 2003-2004

Honors & Affiliations


    • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Business Litigation); 2007, 2015-2017
    • Justinian Honorary Law Society


  • Member, Texas Bar Association
  • Member, Austin Bar Association
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Member, Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court

Education & Admissions


  • J.D., 2003, cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law; Executive Editor, Syracuse Law and Technology Journal
  • B.A., 2000, The University of Texas at Austin


  • Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. Texas