E. Paul Cauley, Jr.



Paul Cauley is co-chair of the class action team. He helps companies navigate, defend and solve their most complex and high-profile litigation across the country. Combining the judgment and skills honed by real experience in the courtroom with procedural and analytical skills needed to manage and successfully steer multidistrict and class action litigation, Paul has successfully tried, defeated and managed high-exposure litigation for product manufacturers and other businesses across the country. His ability to grasp and effectively communicate complex technical concepts has placed him in front of courts and juries defending cases in the automotive and consumer goods industries, particularly in areas of evolving technology.

Class Actions

Paul leads teams of class action attorneys that are regularly tapped to coordinate the defense of class action suits pending in multiple jurisdictions, and he has served as lead counsel in multidistrict litigation proceedings. This includes serving as lead defense counsel for an automaker in all litigation arising out of the Takata airbag recall, the largest in U.S. history.

Representative Experience

  • National counsel for automaker in over 20 transmission-related class actions spanning multiple states.
  • National counsel for automaker in consolidated class actions alleging defects in automatic emergency braking systems.
  • Defeated certification in putative class action asserting unfair competition law and unjust enrichment claims, Consumer Legal Remedies Act restitution, and injunctive relief claims related to clutches in several model years of sports cars. Nguyen v. Nissan North America, Inc., 487 F. Supp. 845 (N.D. Cal. 2020).
  • National counsel for automaker in multidistrict litigation involving both consolidated class action proceedings and product liability injury cases arising out of recalls of Takata airbag inflators pending in the Southern District of Florida.
  • Defeated by summary judgment the claims of all plaintiffs in class action seeking to certify a nationwide class related to vehicle transmissions. Nelson v. Nissan North America, Inc., Civ. No. 11-5712 (D.N.J. 2014).
  • National counsel defending several federal putative class actions seeking to certify nationwide classes alleging odometer over-registration in violation of the Federal Odometer Act. Cases were consolidated as a federal MDL in Tennessee, and automaker granted summary judgment on all Federal Odometer Act claims in In Re: Nissan North America, Inc. Odometer Litigation, 739 F. Supp. 2d 1017 (M.D. Tenn. 2010).
  • Lead counsel defending putative class actions in California state court alleging odometer over-registration in violation of California state consumer fraud laws. Automaker granted summary judgment on all claims in coordinated proceeding and summary judgment affirmed in Lopez v. Nissan North America, Inc., 135 Cal. Rptr. 3d 116, 2011 WL 6016184 (Cal. Ct. App. 2011).
  • National coordinating counsel on behalf of auto manufacturer in the Takata II seat belt putative class actions, which led to dismissal of Texas action reported at Everett v. TK-Taito, 178 S.W.3d 844 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 2005, no pet.).
  • National counsel for automaker in class actions pending in California, Texas and Florida, which claimed breach of express warranty and violation of consumer fraud statutes alleging excessive tire wear from claimed suspension defects.
  • Defeated attempted certification of class of unsolicited fax recipients under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.


Getting his start as a trial lawyer, Paul has tried many product liability and commercial disputes to verdict and defended clients in locales throughout the United States, in addition to his home state of Texas.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended construction equipment manufacturer against fraud and tortious interference claim by a supplier seeking more than $60 million in damages.
  • Obtained defense verdict for automaker in wrongful death case alleging absence of backup assist technology. The case was only the second of its kind to go to trial in the country and the first to include a claim that the vehicle should have been equipped with a rearview monitor.
  • Obtained defense verdict for equipment manufacturer in environmental contamination claim.
  • Defense verdict for automotive supplier in burn case alleging failure of component part.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for an automaker in a wrongful death case involving claims of suspension and seat belt defects.

Faculty Positions

  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy at Stanford University — Faculty Member (2005)

Personal Interests

Outside the office, Paul enjoys golf, DIY projects, family and travel.



Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee


Stephen F. Austin State University
B.B.A. magna cum laude (1983)

University of Houston Law Center
J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review (1986)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • International Association of Defense Counsel — 20+ year member; Board of Directors, 2013-16
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) — 30+ year member
  • Product Liability Advisory Council — 15-year sustaining member
  • Dallas Bar Association — 35+ year member

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker BIddle & Reath LLP — Chair, Class Actions Team, 2019


  • Chambers USA — Nationwide, Product Liability: Automobile, 2023
  • Chambers USA — Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth & Surrounds, Litigation: General Commercial, 2021-23
  • Best Lawyers® — Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Dallas, 2014-24 (Texas Lawyer of the Year, 2018)
  • Texas Super Lawyers — 2004-23
  • Who’s Who Legal — Thought Leaders USA: Product Liability Defense, 2023
  • Who’s Who Legal — Product Liability Defense, Life Sciences – Product Liability, 2023
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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