#TXReads: Texas Lawyer, Engineer, Leader, Mom and Author of “The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens”

by Lili Cardiff on May 27, 2020 in Entertainment, Living Texas, What I'm Reading,
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This year, Texas Writer’s Month is being brought to you by the Author to Influencer Accelerator, a DIY book publicity membership community. Texas Writer’s Month is being celebrated a little differently this year due to COVID-19, but is no less important. 

During the month of May we are all about Texas writers and their many accomplishments. This week, we are highlighting Chrysta Castañeda, from Dallas, author of “The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens.” 

Castañeda is an engineer, a lawyer, a community leader and a mom. After receiving her degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University, she earned her law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she graduated cum laude.

Photo courtesy Chrysta Casteñeda

As the founding partner of her law firm in Dallas, Texas, this multi-talented Texan focuses on oil and gas litigation in the upstream sector, as well as commercial litigation and products liability disputes involving technical evidence. Her winning verdict in Pecos, Texas for an oil and gas plaintiff has been recognized by the National Law Journal and named to the Texas Lawyer’s Verdicts Hall of Fame. She was also a Democratic primary candidate for Texas Railroad Commission on the March, 2020 ballot, running on an environmental platform.

“The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens  is a high-stakes courtroom drama told through the eyes of Castañeda. It’s the story of an American business legend still fighting in the twilight of his life, and the woman determined to help him make one final stand for justice. 

Pickens, who was 88 by the time of the 2016 Pecos trial, had made – and lost – billions over his long career. He’d come to Pecos seeking his share of what had become the biggest oil play he’d ever invested in, an oil-rich section of far West Texas that was primed for an unprecedented boom. After years of dealing with the media, shareholders and politicians, Pickens would need to win over a dozen West Texas jurors in one last battle.

Photo courtesy Chrysta Casteñeda

To lead his legal fight, he chose an unlikely advocate — Chrysta Castañeda, a Dallas solo practitioner who had only recently returned to the practice of law after a hiatus borne of disillusionment with big firms. They shared an unwavering determination to win and formed a friendship that spanned their differences in age, politics and gender. “I am proud to have represented T. Boone Pickens in his final legal battle, and I am proud to tell this account of the courtroom drama that unfolded in the heart of oil country,” says Castañeda.

 Castañeda co-authored the book with Loren Steffy, a leading journalist who covered Pickens over the decades for “Texas Monthly” and other publications.

Inspired to read more? Then, check out these other Texas authors with newly released books: 

Judy Gaman (Dallas) – Love, Life, and Lucille

Douglas A. Burton (Austin) – Far Away Bird

Ruby Walker (Austin) – Advice I Ignored

Douglas Ferguson (Austin) – Beyond the Prototype

Jill Grimes (Austin) – The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook

Roger Duncan/Michael E. Webber (Austin) – The Future of Buildings, Transportation and Power

John Fitch (Austin) – Time Off

Now, join Marika Flatt from PR by the Book in this video celebrating May: Texas Writers Month.

Cover photo courtesy Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Lili Cardiff is an Assistant Publicist at PR by the Book and an honors graduate from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism.