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The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens: Chapter 8, “The Chainsaw”

My Dad and me, after I won the Beechcraft Scholarship, c. 1980

(The following is an excerpt from The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens by Stoney Creek Publishing. Copyright 2020 Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy.)

I didn’t set out to be a lawyer. Growing up in the suburbs of Wichita, Kansas, I liked math and science. I came by my interests honestly. My dad was an aeronautical engineer who worked for decades at Beech Aircraft, which was later bought by Raytheon and is now known as Hawker Beechcraft. My sisters, Cathy and Cheryl, and my little brother, David, also studied engineering, and most of us married engineers. Law wasn’t in my DNA. Read more

How Would T. Boone Pickens Have Bounced Back from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

T. Boone Pickens and Chrysta CastañedaThis content was originally published by The Oklahoman.

T. Boone Pickens didn’t live to see the COVID-19 pandemic, but he knew something about weathering difficult times. As we deal with the economic consequences of lockdowns, I’ve thought often about what he might have said about what’s happening with the global economy.

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Chrysta Castañeda Named a ‘Trailblazer’ by National Law Journal

Chrysta Castañeda named to 2018 Texas Super Lawyers

Chrysta Castañeda

Chrysta Castañeda has been selected as a “Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal, citing her $146 million verdict on behalf of the late and notable T. Boone Pickens and his company, Mesa Petroleum Partners, her run for the Texas Railroad Commission, and her recent book, “The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens.”

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T. Boone Pickens and the “Red Bull”: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Case — and Client

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens book coverThis content was originally published in Oilman Magazine.

In November 2016, a jury in Pecos, Texas, delivered a $146 million verdict on behalf of my client, Mesa Petroleum Partners, run by the legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens.

It should have been the end of a hard-fought legal battle that had already taken too long and taken too much out of my then 88-year-old client. The jury unanimously found that the defendants in the case had breached their agreement to give Mesa rights to 15 percent of certain properties and wells in the Red Bull area of West Texas’ Reeves and Pecos counties.

But litigation almost never ends quickly, and this case was no exception. Read more

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens: Q&A with Authors Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy

Chrysta and Loren

Loren Steffy and Chrysta Castañeda

This content was originally published by The Texas Lawbook.

By Mark Curriden

There were few more colorful characters in the corporate world than T. Boone Pickens.

Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy got to know him well – Castañeda as his lawyer representing him in a major trial in West Texas and Steffy as a long-time journalist who interviewed the oilman several times over three decades.

Steffy and Castañeda teamed up to publish a book about Pickens called The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens. The authors are hosting a virtual book launch party on Thursday, May 14, at 5 p.m. For more details about the book and the webcast/virtual book launch party, please visit http://lasttrialoftboonepickens.com/.

Below is a Q&A with the authors about Pickens, the trial and writing a book. Read more

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens – The Best Three Minutes I’ve Ever Worked For Free

T. Boone Pickens and Chrysta CastañedaThis content was originally re-published by The Texas Lawbook.

(The following is an excerpt from The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens by Stoney Creek Publishing. Copyright 2020 Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy.)

I took a deep breath as the elevator doors rolled open to reveal the lobby of the Best Western Swiss Chalet. I’d long since gotten over the irony of the name. The Swiss Chalet was located in the most un-Switzerland-like spot on earth. Pecos, Texas, sits on the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, tucked under the arm of New Mexico, and its barren vistas, tumbleweeds, and blazing heat reinforce almost every Hollywood stereotype of Texas. Read more

Castañeda Firm’s $145 Million Verdict Named to Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame

Chrysta Castañeda named to 2018 Texas Super Lawyers

Chrysta Castañeda

Mesa Petroleum Partners LP v. Baytech LLP, et al. is #2 Contracts Verdict, According to VerdictSearch

The $145 million verdict in Mesa Petroleum Partners LP v. Baytech LP, et al., handed down by a Pecos jury in November 2016 has been named to Texas Lawyer’s Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame, which recognizes the Lone Star State’s largest verdicts from 2014-2018, as reported by VerdictSearch.

The jury’s award was the second largest contracts verdict in the state during that time, according to VerdictSearch. Read more

Super Lawyers Selects Chrysta Castañeda

Super Lawyers 2019In the latest in a series of recognitions for litigator Chrysta Castañeda, the founder of The Castañeda Firm has been recognized on the annual list of Super Lawyers.

“This has been a wonderful year for me and my firm, and I’m grateful to my colleagues, clients and peers for making it possible,” said Ms. Castañeda. Read more

Chrysta Castañeda Honored at DBJ’s Women in Business Awards Luncheon

DBJ Women in Business BadgeThe Castañeda Firm founder Chrysta Castañeda was honored at the Dallas Business Journal’s 2019 Women in Business Awards on Aug. 21 at Dallas’ Fairmont Hotel. The award recognizes women for their outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the Dallas business community.

In addition to the luncheon, Ms. Castañeda and the other honorees were profiled in a special edition of the Dallas Business Journal. Her firm is also featured in a Digital Spotlight on the DBJ website. Read more

‘Chernobyl’ Finale was Great TV, and a Master Class in Presenting Complex Evidence

'Chernobyl' evidence presentation

Jared Harris as Valery Legasov in HBO’s “Chernobyl”

There was recently a smallish but nonetheless startling fire at the Castañeda household. There’s no use pointing fingers, but suffice it to say, mistakes were made. Fortunately, it was quickly doused and there was little damage. And, most importantly, nobody was hurt.

I have new a new perspective on such mishaps these days, after having watched HBO’s “Chernobyl,” a five-part miniseries that dramatically re-enacts the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the former Soviet Union, as well as the trial of those accused of causing it.

Watching the miniseries yields important lessons on how to present scientific evidence at trial. Read more