After earning his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law, Fernando Bustos served as briefing attorney to the Honorable Sam R. Cummings, U.S. District Court Judge, Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division from 1997 to 1999. He then spent several years sharpening his skills as a partner with one of the oldest and largest law firms in Lubbock before founding the Bustos Law Firm, P.C.
Fernando is the former chairman of the Court Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas. This is a select group of attorneys from the Dallas–Fort Worth, Panhandle, and South Plains regions who advise the federal courts on current practice issues. From 2000 through 2013, he taught Civil Rights Law and Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation as an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University School of Law.
Sample litigation experience
Obtained a multi-million dollar pre-suit settlement for two physicians in a local medical practice who were defrauded by their managing partner.
Victory before the Texas Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, holding that speech on the subject of tenure for professors in higher education is a matter of public concern, entitled to protection, earning Mr. Bustos the honor of “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” by Texas Lawyer Magazine.
Successful settlement of multiple overtime class action lawsuits in federal court in New Mexico, saving oil and gas business clients millions of dollars in claimed overtime.
Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals victory, holding that the subject of tenure is a protected matter of public concern for free speech purposes, and reversing and remanding a business school professor’s claims for retaliation in violation of his First Amendment free speech rights.
Co-counsel in securing a nationwide permanent injunction against the Obama Administration Department of Labor’s “Persuader Rule.” National Federation of Independent Business v. Perez, No. 5:16-CV-66-C, In the United States District Court of the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division. In 2017, the District Court awarded Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs, and Defendants appealed both rulings to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, the Department of Labor dismissed its appeals, agreed to $128,930 in attorneys’ fees, expenses and court costs, and agreed to maintain the permanent injunction.
Defended a large regional oil and gas services company against the U. S. Department of Labor’s overtime action, saving the client approximately $1 million in penalties and claimed wages.
Six figure securities fraud federal court jury verdict, including punitive damages, against two investment firms and two brokers.
Co-lead counsel for over 200 farmers who successfully filed involuntary bankruptcy petition against an agricultural processing plant and brokered a settlement involving over $25 million in claims.
- 2012 – 2014
Obtained over $4 million dollars in securities fraud judgments against international money launderers in Lubbock federal district court; judgments against primary defendants affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Receiver in action brought by SEC arising from investor fraud involving over 250 investor victims and approximately $45 million in losses. Operated four restaurant chains and tennis club as part of estate operations.
Successfully defended two class action lawsuits in San Antonio federal district court under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Cases were voluntarily dismissed without any payment to Plaintiffs after a challenge to class certification.
Co-counsel in a case representing 38 Lubbock-area homeowners who brought suit against the manufacturer and distributor of Kitec® residential plumbing pipe. Defendants removed the case to federal court. After successfully remanding the case back to state court, the case was resolved to the homeowners’ satisfaction under a confidential settlement agreement.
Secured a six-figure award after a four-day arbitration hearing for a large regional health care employer in a case involving breach of a non-compete agreement.
Obtained permanent injunction in trademark infringement case.
Obtained a preliminary injunction in an employment non-competition case in federal district court after a two day hearing.
Obtained a $150 million judgment in state district court in an investment fraud case.
Served as hearing officer and final decision-maker for City of Lubbock in two-day evidentiary hearing for dismissed city council chief of staff who claimed First Amendment retaliation and race discrimination claims.
Dismissed with prejudice a case of first impression alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act claiming “expediters” at high-end restaurant could not lawfully participate in a tip pool. The federal district court denied plaintiff’s motion for collective (class) action certification, and opined that plaintiff’s case would fail on the merits. Plaintiff dismissed the lawsuit within two months of filing in exchange for defendants dropping their claims for attorneys’ fees.
Obtained a quarter-million dollar summary judgment for plaintiff in a commercial litigation matter in Lubbock federal district court based on breach of brokerage contract.
- April 2003–2009
Receiver in Lubbock federal district court which included satellite litigation in that court and San Antonio bankruptcy court, plus managing 20 property interests, including a business generating gross revenue of approximately $4 million per year.
Successfully defended a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act for a large regional employer, obtaining summary judgment in federal district court which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- December 2001–2005
Co-litigation counsel in $60 million declaratory judgment action for a multinational company in Lubbock, Texas federal court, and in ten separate state court lawsuits. Argued all hearings in federal and state courts. Defeated a motion to dismiss the federal declaratory judgment action, and obtained summary judgment in same court on federal preemption and UCC limitation of remedies issues. Assisted in winning case on appeal to the Fifth Circuit, and assisted in preparation for argument at United States Supreme Court.
- March 2000–May 2001
Served as co-counsel in $1 billion patent ownership lawsuit in Lubbock, Texas federal court. Defeated a motion to dismiss, and the case was successfully settled for the client.
- January 2000–2002
Represented nationwide retailer in a commercial litigation jury trial in Lubbock County district court, and obtained a favorable verdict and successfully defended the judgment on appeal.
- Firearms Seminar
Amarillo Bar Association
April 19, 2013, Amarillo, Texas
Constitutional Law/Second Amendment
.5 hour seminar/Paper presented
- 35th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course
State Bar of Texas
August 24, 2012, Dallas, Texas
October 19, 2012, Houston, Texas
Federal Law Update
- Demystifying the Fifth Circuit and Federal Practice Bar Association of the Fifth Federal
Circuit September 24, 2010, Lubbock, Texas
1 hour seminar
- 17th Annual Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course
State Bar of Texas
April 29, 2004, Houston, Texas
“Cookin’ With HB 4”
.5 hour seminar/paper presented
- 2001 Suing and Defending Governmental Entities MCLE Course
State Bar of Texas
July 26–27, 2001, San Antonio, Texas
“Making a Federal Case of It: Pleadings in Federal Court”
.5 hour seminar/paper presented
- Wagner v FedEx Freight, Inc., No. 5:17-CV-264-M-BQ, 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 80264 (Apr. 17, 2018) (denying plaintiff’s motion to remand and holding that claim for wrongful death against Texas worker’s compensation subscriber did not fall under prohibition against removal to federal court)
- Wetherbe v. Goebel, No. 07-16-00179-CV, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 1676 (Tex. App.—Amarillo Mar. 6, 2018) (topic of tenure in higher education is protected matter of public concern under Texas Constitution free speech clause)
- Wetherbe v. Tex. Tech Univ. Sys., 699 F. App’x 297 (5th Cir. 2017) (topic of tenure in higher education is a protected matter of public concern under First Amendment’s free speech clause)
- Nat’l Fed. Of Indep. Bus. v. Perez, No. 5:16-CV-00066-C, 2016 U.S. Dist. (N.D. Tex Jan. 18, 2017) (entering nationwide permanent injunction against U.S. Department of Labor’s new Persuader Rule, which restricted the advice exemption under the Labor Management Relations Act for violating the First and Fifth Amendments.)
- Venture Cotton Cooperative et al. v. Freeman, et al., 435 S. W. 3d 222 (Tex. 2014) (rights under Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act not waived by agreement to arbitrate under American Cotton Shippers’ Association rules)
- Teague v. Norcold, Inc., 774 F. Supp. 2d 817 (N.D. Tex. 2011) (defeated defendant’s motion to dismiss in products liability case under Texas economic loss doctrine).
- Panorama Constr., Inc. v. Farm Credit Services of Ctrl. Kansas, et al, 733 F.Supp. 2d 748 (N.D. Tex. 2010) (refusing to apply relation-back doctrine, and holding a deed of trust lien extinguished later-created mechanic’s lien).
- Lentz v. Spanky’s Restaurant II, Ltd., d/b/a Double Nickel Steakhouse, 491 F. Supp. 2d 661 (N.D. Tex. 2007) (case of first impression denying plaintiff’s motion for collective (class) action certification and opining no violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act where Plaintiff claimed “expediters” at a high-end restaurant could not lawfully participate in a tip pool).
- Wamco XXVIII, Ltd. V. Casa Grande Cotton Finance Co.; Chickasaw Cotton Oil Co. And Michael D. Hicks, Substitute Trustee, 314 F. Supp. 2d 655 (N.D. Tex. 2004) (case of first impression interpreting Texas Property Code provision related to substitute trustees).
- Dow AgroSciences LLC v. Bates, et al., 205 F. Supp. 2d 623 (N.D. Tex. 2002) (order granting summary judgment based on federal preemption and UCC limitation of remedies).
- Galindo v. Dean, 69 S.W.3d 623 (Tex. App.—Eastland, 2002) (affirming summary judgment in medical malpractice case on basis of suicide affirmative defense statute).
- Williams v. Viswanathan, 65 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. App.—Amarillo, 2001) (brief author) (overruling opposing party’s motion to recuse court of appeals justice).
- Williams v. Viswanathan, 64 S.W.3d 624 (Tex. App.—Amarillo, 2001) (brief author) (affirming jury verdict in medical malpractice case dealing with jury misconduct issues).
- Nutrition Physiology Corp. v. Enviros Ltd., 87 F. Supp.2d 648 (N.D. Tex. 2000) (granting motion to dismiss for want of personal jurisdiction in international intellectual property case).