James Key is recognized annually by his peers as one of the top lawyers in Tarrant County. A civil trial attorney practices complex litigation for oil and gas, business, and real estate, James has secured significant settlements and judgments for plaintiffs and has successfully defended numerous cases with multimillion-dollar claims. 

James’ extensive oil and gas experience includes handling disputes over leases, surface operations and environmental matters, royalties, conveyancing and title, joint operations, and co-tenancy issues. He also has represented real estate developers, financial institutions, shareholders, and partners in closely held entities, such as limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and close corporations. With clients operating throughout Texas, California, North Dakota, Arkansas, and the Gulf of Mexico, James is admitted to practice before Texas trial and appellate courts, the United States District Court for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, and the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota – with pro hac vice admissions in California and Arkansas.  

James also serves the community on the executive committee of the Cross Timbers Quail Coalition. He is married to Tiffany and has three children.  

Admitted to Practice 

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas 
  • U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota 


  • Juris Doctor, Texas Wesleyan University (magna cum laude) 
  • Master of Business Administration, Texas Christian University 
  • Bachelor of Arts, Texas Tech University (cum laude) 

Presentations and Publications 

  • James E. Key,  Lease Formation and the Use of Sight Drafts: So You Think You Have a Deal?,  presented to Fort Worth Association of Professional Landmen  (2012) 
  • James E. Key,  Community Leases:  A Practitioner's Guide, Oil, Gas & Mineral Title Examinations (2015) 
  • James E. Key,  The Right to Royalty:  Pooling and the Capture of Unburdened Interests, 17. Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 69 (2010) 

Additional Highlights

  • Top Attorney by  360 West  Magazine (2017-2018) 
  • Top Attorneys  (Civil Litigation) by Fort Worth, Texas  Magazine (2011) 
  • Named Rising Star, a Thompson Reuters service published in Texas Monthly (2006-2009) 
  • Board-Certified in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization 
  • Executive Committee Member, Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. (2016-present) 
  • Executive Committee Member, Cross Timbers Quail Coalition (2010-present) 
  • Advisory Council Member, Fort Worth Chapter of Texas Parks and Wildlife Stewards of the Wild (2015-2016) 
  • Founding Member, Cross Timbers Quail Coalition (2010) 
  • Board Member, Cross Timbers Chapter of Quail Unlimited (2007-2009) 
  • Member, Texas Association of Defense Counsel 
  • Barrister, Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court 
  • Law Review, Texas Wesleyan University 

Representative Cases 

  • Pro Hac Vice Admission: Union Pacific Railroad Company vs. Seeco, Inc., Case No. CV-16-28, Arkansas Court of Appeals (2016) 
  • Pro Hac Vice Admission: Josh Todd vs. Todd a Meagher, et al., Case No. BC322066, Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, County, California (2010) 
  • EOG Resources, Inc. v. Griswold, 459 S.W.3d 713 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2015, no pet.) 
  • Capitol Wireless, LP v. XTO Energy Inc., No. 02-12-00351-CV, 2014 WL 3696084 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth July 24, 2014, no pet.) 
  • EOG Resources, Inc. vs. Hurt, 357 S.W.3d 144 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2011, pet. denied) 
  • Trinity East Energy, Inc. vs. St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Civil No. 4:11-CV-814-Y (N.D. Tex. filed Oct. 19, 2011) 
  • Rickett v. Lesikar, No. 02-10-00026-CV, 2010 WL 4028102 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Oct. 14, 2010, no pet.) 
  • Stalnaker vs. Thomas W. Lett et al., Cause No. 04-09-0402 M-CV, 97th District Court, Montague County, Texas 
  • Burzynski vs. Range Resources Corporation, Cause No. 30638, 12th Judicial District, Grimes County, Texas 
  • Roten vs. EOG Resources, Inc., Cause No. C200500394, 413th District Court, Johnson County, Texas 
  • Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, LP v. Dalton Bend Ranch, Ltd., Cause No. C41407, 29th District Court, Palo Pinto County, Texas 
  • Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. vs. Novosad, Cause No. 25,442, 21st Judicial District, Burleson County, Texas 
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. vs. Parker, Cause No. 48-237709-09, 48th Judicial District, Tarrant County, Texas 
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Jet Express Couriers, Inc., Cause No. 05-11671-F, 116th District Court, Dallas County, Texas 
  • American Stone, Inc. vs. Faulkner et al., Cause No. 352-191992-02, 352nd District Court, Tarrant County, Texas