Steve Susman told us in a recent Am Law Lit Daily video chat that he makes money by settling cases — not trying them. But Susman will now have a welcome opportunity to test an exception to that rule.

On Friday a state court jury in Dallas awarded Susman Godfrey’s clients $178.7 million in a contracts case against NL Industries, its subsidiary NL Environmental Services and NL CEO Harold Simmons. Jurors concluded that the NL defendants had shortchanged the three companies (represented by Susman and co-counsel Tom Melsheimer of Fish & Richardson), which were minority shareholders in the subsidiary. The award included $33.7 million in actual damages, $140 million in punitive damages against NL Industries and $5 million in punitive damages against NL’s general counsel.

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