Sarah Toraason

4851 LBJ Freeway  Suite 601
Dallas, TX  75244
T: 972-395-5600
F: 972-833-2240

Email

An experienced litigation attorney, Sarah Toraason has ten years’ experience representing clients in complex commercial disputes involving securities, contract, business tort, insurance coverage, ERISA, and intellectual property claims in state and federal courts as well as arbitration. Sarah now applies her extensive business litigation background to representing clients in estate, trust, and guardianship disputes. She strives to be a strong advocate for her clients and approaches every matter with the goal of producing a successful and efficient resolution of their case.

Sarah graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in Music and Leadership Studies and received her M.B.A. and M.A. from the University of Cincinnati. She earned her J.D. from William & Mary School of Law. After graduating from law school, Sarah served as a law clerk to the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She then clerked for the Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin, Texas.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Sarah studied music and worked in arts administration for the Honolulu Symphony in Honolulu.

Sarah is admitted to practice in California (2003) and Texas (2004).

Representative Experience

  • Obtained favorable jury verdict for lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence in hotly contested will contest and favorable jury verdict for lack of contractual capacity and breach of fiduciary duty in same lawsuit regarding certain non-probate beneficiary designations
  • Successfully defended former CFO of a national home-building company in a securities fraud class action in the Southern District of Florida and on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit
  • Obtained denial of class certification on behalf of Fortune 500 media company and certain officers and directors in a securities class action in the Northern District of Texas and on appeal to the Fifth Circuit
  • Represented for-profit educational institution in the Southern District of Texas and on appeal to the Fifth Circuit in a suit seeking to enforce a confidentiality provision in an arbitration agreement. The Fifth Circuit upheld award of preliminary and permanent injunction based on the confidentiality clause
  • Won dismissal of claims challenging design and administration of ERISA-governed severance plan and secured award of costs in favor of defendants. Defended judgment on appeal to the Fifth Circuit
  • Defended CEO of oil and natural gas company in a series of ten shareholder and derivative suits filed in state and federal court seeking to challenge potential acquisition of the company
  • Defended oil and gas company in a hydraulic fracking case
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in a significant trademark suit
  • Represented large pharmaceutical manufacturer in putative nationwide antitrust class actions brought by direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Obtained dismissal of claims brought against insurance company and former claims adjuster in Texas state court

Publications & Public Speaking

  • Co-presenter: “Jury Selection in Probate Disputes: Avoiding the Minefield and Winning the Case,” Clear Law Institute National Webinar (September 2019)
  • Co-author/Co-presenter: “A Road Increasingly Traveled: Multistate Probate Issues,” National College of Probate Judges Spring Journal and Spring Conference (2019)
  • Co-author: “Not Your Typical Voir Dire: Selecting a Jury in a Will Contest Case,” Dallas Bar Association, Headnotes (December 2018 edition)
  • Co-author/Co-presenter: “A Road Increasingly Traveled: Multistate Probate Issues,” Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association (June 7, 2018)
  • Co-author: “Constitutional Considerations When Restricting Access to the Proposed Ward in Contested Guardianship Proceedings,” National College of Probate Judges Spring Journal (2017)
  • Co-author/Co-presenter: “Planning to Avoid Power of Attorney Litigation,” Texas Trust School (July 2017)
  • Co-author/Co-presenter: “The Quick and Dirty E-Discovery Lowdown: An Introduction To What Should Be Keeping You Up at Night,” Texas Bar CLE (June 2010)
  • Co-author: “Student Liability Lawsuits: Suggested Best Practices to Avoid Class and Mass Actions and Minimize Potential Exposure” (August 2010)

Education

  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia (1996)
  • M.B.A., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (1998)
  • M.A., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (1998)
  • J.D., Order of the Coif, William & Mary School of Law, Williamsburg, Virginia (2002)

Community and Bar Association Involvement

  • Dallas Bar Association; Probate, Trust & Estates Section Member
  • State Bar of Texas
  • The William ‘Mac’ Taylor Inn of Court, Barrister
  • Attorneys Serving the Community
  • Assistant chancellor, Episcopal Diocese of Dallas