Ed Burbach, Pat O’Connell Recognized by Texas Lawyer

November 10, 2005

AUSTIN -Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today praised two attorneys with the Office of the Attorney General for being named two of the best in-house attorneys in the state of Texas.  Ed Burbach, deputy attorney general for litigation, and Pat O’Connell, chief of the Civil Medicaid Fraud Section, were named to Texas Lawyer magazine’s list of the state’s top 50 in-house lawyers.

“It’s no surprise to me that Ed and Pat were named to this list of top-flight Texas attorneys,” Attorney General Abbott said. “I hired Ed to lead a bold civil litigation effort for the state of Texas and he has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Meanwhile, Pat has spearheaded our efforts to recover tens of millions of dollars for Texas taxpayers that was taken from the state’s Medicaid system. These men have made significant sacrifices to serve the people of Texas and I am deeply grateful to them for their work.”

Burbach serves as Texas’ lead litigator in significant cases and is charged with the responsibility of supervising the 11 litigation divisions staffed by more than 250 attorneys. His most recent significant litigation has been Texas v. Merck (Vioxx), Texas v. Brown & Williamson, Ralph Nader v. Connor, Texas v. Exxon, the congressional redistricting litigation, the $31 billion state school finance litigation, and the Oracle/Peoplesoft antitrust litigation. He also assisted Attorney General Abbott in the Ten Commandments litigation at the United States Supreme Court. He has streamlined case processing to better allocate the agency’s resources, updated and standardized technology for the litigation divisions, and worked to institute measures that increase retention of attorneys. He joined the Attorney General’s office in August 2003 from the Houston office of Strasburger & Price, LLP, where he was a partner principally practicing admiralty, energy, insurance and commercial litigation.

“In appointing me deputy for litigation, Attorney General Abbott gave me the honor of taking on what any litigator would consider to be a ‘dream job,'” Burbach said.

Since 1999, O’Connell has led the Attorney General’s Civil Medicaid Fraud Section, which pursues individuals and companies that defraud the state’s Medicaid system. Under his leadership, more than $70 million has been recovered for Texas taxpayers. Prior to his public service, he was a partner at O’Connell, Van Shellenbeck & Land in Austin. His principal areas of practice were banking, administrative and consumer litigation.

“I am honored to have been named to this list and I am grateful to Attorney General Abbott for his strong support for our efforts to protect Texans,” O’Connell said. “I am especially thankful to the attorneys and staff of the Civil Medicaid Fraud Section who have put in the long hours and work to achieve our recoveries. We hope our work will help ensure that Texans’ tax dollars go where they were intended.”

According to Texas Lawyer, attorneys were named to the magazine’s In-House Crowd list after a selection process that involved nominations and interviews with attorneys across Texas about who they thought were the top in-house counsel in the state.