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Julie Abernethy focuses her practice on business and oil and gas litigation. She has extensive experience representing clients in the financial and oil and gas industries in disputes involving contract rights, business torts, and disputes over royalties.

Recognized as one of the top firms in the United States for Energy Litigation – Oil and Gas by The Legal 500 US 2020

Received a national first-tier ranking for Commercial Litigation in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 2020

Representative Matters

  • Assisted in representing a bank in fraud and breach-of-contract cases against borrowers and guarantors of loans, obtaining order compelling the production of documents under the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege and obtaining judgments for fraud and breach of the loan agreements
  • Assisted in defending energy company in fraud and breach-of-fiduciary-duty case, obtaining dismissal of the plaintiffs’ conspiracy claim
  • Represented sports team in breach-of-contract case, successfully arguing motion for summary judgment and motion for sanctions
  • Assisted in representing mortgagee owning loan secured by tenant’s leasehold estate, obtaining a temporary injunction suspending the ground leases’ termination and restraining landlord from impairing or violating mortgagee’s rights under the ground leases
  • Assisted in representing successors to grantee in 1927 oil and gas deed in lawsuit regarding the interpretation of the nature and size of the royalty interest granted in the deed, obtaining a favorable summary judgment determining the royalty interest that the deed granted
  • Assisting in defending oil and gas company in class action lawsuits involving disputes over oil and gas royalties
  • Assisting in defending oil and gas company in lawsuit asserting claims for fraudulent inducement, fraud by nondisclosure, conversion, negligent misrepresentation, and injunctive relief involving sale of interests in oil and gas wells in North Dakota
  • Represented animal welfare association in an appeal of a civil forfeiture of over 70 animals from a hoarder situation, obtaining judgment upholding the forfeiture

Prior Employment

  • Judicial Intern for the Honorable Nelda Rodriguez, Texas Court of Appeals, Thirteenth District, 2005

Honors & Affiliations


  • Top 50 Texas Women Up-and-Coming Attorneys, Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters, 2018
  • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Business Litigation), 2014-2021


  • Member, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
  • Member, Federal Bar Association

Education & Admissions


  • J.D., 2007, cum laude, SMU Dedman School of Law; Order of the Coif; Dean’s List; Associate Managing Editor, SMU Law Review Association; National Moot Court Team; Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity; Student Bar Association
  • B.A., 2004, summa cum laude, Vanderbilt University; Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society; Vice President, Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society


  • Texas

Thompson & Knightis now part of
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