Karly Houchin thrives on being the most prepared person in the room. As a construction attorney, she guides her clients through each stage of the litigation process, from pre-claim disputes to arbitrations, discovery, negotiation, trial, and everything in between. Sometimes this means piecing together difficult, complex accounting for closeout disputes. Sometimes it means diving into the defect allegations from another party’s expert and grinding through fine details during depositions. Whatever the scenario, Karly is always prepared.
Karly primarily represents owners and general contractors in closeout disputes for multimillion-dollar projects. She also works with engineers and architects on professional liability cases and on complex, multiparty disputes. She represents clients before professional licensing boards and defends design professionals against design and construction-defect claims and construction delay cases.
During depositions, more than one client has observed that she “knew the most details” or was “the most prepared” lawyer in the room. For Karly, there is no higher praise. An essential part of her preparation is working closely with her clients who have lived through a project and are an invaluable resource. An informed, involved client is every construction attorney’s best asset, as each case is ultimately about protecting and defending the client’s interests. It’s important to Karly to generate trust with her clients. By having the facts and details at her fingertips, she is able to address what might otherwise be delicate issues straightforwardly and effectively. And clients return to her in the future—they’ve learned to trust her, they know she puts them first, and they want to work with her again. She sees her role as helping them navigate the litigation process and demystifying what can otherwise be a frustrating, confusing, and foreboding affair.
Identifying what a case is really about is fundamental to Karly’s approach to construction litigation. By analyzing the law and facts of each case, she can typically pinpoint the issues that genuinely matter, separating the wheat from the chaff. She identifies and pursues the path that is best for her client, wherever it leads. Karly is prepared to settle the case, take it to arbitration, or seek a jury’s verdict.
This flexibility also extends to her attitude toward her cases and her behavior with opposing counsel. Preparation allows her to be collegial, friendly, and cooperative most of the time, but also able to switch gears and be assertive when needed. Her reputation for professionalism typically precedes her, making negotiations more productive and efficient.
When she’s not digging into her cases, Karly is an avid golfer—she played competitively in high school and enjoys exploring courses wherever she finds herself. She’s also an enthusiastic hiker on the trails in and around Austin.
- Assisted in defense of engineer and program manager in personal injury case involving the construction of a major highway.
- Handled $7M+ claim asserted by a large Central Texas school district on behalf of MEP engineering firm, ultimately resolving case for small fraction of overall claim.
- Obtained Chapter 150 dismissal of negligence claim against design firm for its involvement with a City of San Antonio project.
- Obtained favorable negotiated settlement for architect in 10+ party dispute for claims involving alleged design and construction defects at municipal library in East Texas.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal on behalf of design professional for breach of warranty, negligence, and DTPA claims.
- Represented railroad engineering firm through successful nominal settlement in multiparty case relating to alleged design and construction defects at railroad facility.
- Intervened on behalf of rural water district in declaratory judgment action and, after bench trial, secured favorable ruling narrowing order to avoid interference with client’s state and federal rights.
- Represented general contractor through several large six- and seven-figure closeout and payment disputes, securing settlements with owners and subcontractors.
- Represented subcontractor in dispute with insurers to secure seven-figure settlement for alleged construction defects.
Presentations & Publications
- Facing the Consequentials: How to Recover, Negotiate, and Waive Consequential Damages
Place: State Bar of Texas 34th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2021)
- Causes of Action for Construction Disputes in Texas
Place: Basic Course in Texas Construction Law (2020)
- Harmonizing Dispute Resolution Provisions in Construction Contracts
Place: Construction News (February 2020)
- Handle with Care: The Standard of Care for Design Professionals in Texas
Place: Construction Law Foundation of Texas 32nd Annual Construction Law Conference (February 2019)
- Minimizing Risk by Maximizing Compliance with Rules of Professional Conduct
Place: Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Managing Engineering Liability and Risk (January 2019)
- Rebuilding the Economic Loss Rule: A Request for Information on Texas Construction Law
Place: Published in The State Bar of Texas Construction Law Journal Volume 14, Number 3 (Winter 2018)
- Drones: The Eye in the Sky on Construction Job Sites (Read More)
Place: Published by Allensworth & Porter (October 24, 2017)
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (2017-Present); Young Construction Lawyers Committee Chairperson – Austin (2022 – 2024)
- State Bar of Texas, Insurance Law Section | Member (2018-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (2017-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association | Member (2017-Present)
- Urban Land Institute | Young Leaders Committee Chair (2020-2022); Young Leaders Committee Member (2019-2020); Impact Awards Committee Member (2018)
- Austin Young Women’s Alliance | Board Member (2018-2019)
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association | Member (2017-Present)
Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters
- Rising Stars – Texas Construction Litigation (2022)
Best Lawyers by BL Rankings
- Ones to Watch: Construction Law – Austin, Texas (2022-2023)
J.D., St. Mary’s University School of Law (2017)
- The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice: Managing Executive Editor
- Sandra Day O’Conner School of Law’s Law Review on Social Justice: Credit with honors awarded for publication
- William S. Sessions American Inn of Court: Student Member
- Judge K.K. Woodley Memorial Scholarship Recipient
- B.A., University of Texas at Austin (2014)
Licenses & Certifications
- Supreme Court of Texas
- Admitted to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Admitted to U.S. District Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas