Houston Small Firm Managing Partner Charged With Attempted Sexual Assault at His Firm
William Ramey, managing partner of a small intellectual property firm in Houston, has been charged with attempting to sexually assault a co-worker in the firm’s office.
By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys | December 04, 2019
Ramey appeared in court on Sept. 27 at a probable cause hearing on the charge and is out on a $20,000 bond, according to Harris County District Clerk records. His arraignment is scheduled for next month.
In a probable cause affidavit filed Sept. 25—which Texas Lawyer recently obtained—a woman who worked with Ramey for six years told a police officer that she “believes she was sexually assaulted” by him.
Neal Davis, a Houston criminal defense attorney who represents Ramey, said when reached for comment Wednesday, “He’s not guilty.”
“We have a grand jury process in felonies. It’s a bulwark against unsupported charges and we look forward to representing our case to the grand jury in a dispassionate manner and look forward to our day in court,” Davis said.
Davis said Ramey has not entered a formal plea, but there is a presumption in state court that defendants are pleading not guilty.
Ramey did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charge. Davis said his client continues to practice law.
Ramey & Schwaller is a small intellectual property firm, with eight lawyers listed on its website. Name partner Melissa Schwaller did not immediately respond to a request for comment on behalf of the firm.
According to the affidavit, the woman—who is not identified by name—stated she and Ramey were alone in a conference room at the firm’s office at about 5:40 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2018, and he gave her an alcoholic beverage, which she consumed. He then confided some personal information to her, the affidavit said.
Ramey then turned off the lights in the room, although she asked him to leave them on, the affidavit said, citing the woman’s statement. Then, she alleged, Ramey pinned her down in her chair, got on top of her, exposed his penis, and attempted to make her perform oral sex on him.
According to the affidavit, the woman told the police officer she “resisted” and told Ramey to stop, but she then blacked out. She stated the next thing she remembered was waking up at about 2 a.m. in a bathroom at the office.
“Complainant said she had a bruised and bloody face, severe rug burn on her forehead, multiple scratches, bruising on her knees, body pain and bloody nose,” the police officer wrote in the affidavit.
The woman stated she was alone in the office and she attempted to contact Ramey several times on his cellphone, and at 3:57 a.m. he sent her a text message that said he was on the way to the office to check on her.
The next day, according to the affidavit, the woman called Ramey and confronted him about her injuries, but he denied remembering much of what happened that evening. She said Ramey told her he had texted his wife at 9:30 the night before “asking for help,” and he asked her why he would have done so, the affidavit said.
Judge Jesse McClure III
“Ramey claimed not to remember three hours of the night,” the woman stated in the affidavit.
About two days after the alleged assault, Ramey told her via text that he had left a check in her desk for $10,000 for medical expenses, the affidavit said. But after the alleged assault she never returned to the office, according to her statement.
Ramey’s case is assigned to Judge Jesse F. McClure III of the 339th District Court in Harris County.
Bio of Attorney William P. Ramey III, founder and Managing Partner of Ramey & Schwaller, LLP.
William P. Ramey III has now been selected to the Super Lawyers list consecutive years from 2014-2019, a Houston Top Lawyer for 2013-2016 as selected by H-Texas magazine and Houstonia Top Lawyer 2013-2016 as selected by Houstonia magazine is the founding partner of Ramey & Schwaller, LLP.
His practice concentrates on obtaining, enforcing and licensing intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.
He also has extensive technical and patent prosecution/preparation experience.
Bill has successfully navigated numerous patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright disputes. His experience includes the preparation of numerous opinions on intellectual property rights regarding validity, infringement and freedom to operate.
He has written more than 300 patents and prosecuted many more.
Prior to founding Ramey & Schwaller, LLP, Bill was an associate chair of the litigation practice group at a 70-person intellectual property boutique.
He has substantial experience as a first-chair lawyer litigating intellectual property and related trade secret disputes, and developing a specialty in complex business processes, including software logical architecture (such as ERP systems of SAP, MRO, Ariba, IBM, and Oracle components, including SAP R/3, SAP ECC(6.0), SAP EBP, SAP SRM 4.0 and 5.0, SAP SUS, SAP MDM, SAP BW, SAP XI, IBM Maximo in a purchase-to pay environment, electronic procurement).
Bill’s experience further includes drafting and prosecuting patent applications, conducting prior art searches and drafting opinions, including patentability, non-infringement/infringement, validity and freedom to practice.
Over the course of Bill’s legal practice, he has gained outstanding experience with numerous technologies:
Small molecule and cell biology
Mechanical, including oil field technology and service tools
Complex mechanical applications related to downhole applications and methods
Chemical, including applications related to the polymer arts and agricultural chemicals and equipment; and electrical, including computer programs and semiconductors
Bill also worked as a patent attorney for a Fortune 500 firm, where he performed due diligence for clients; assessment of portfolios for acquisition of new technologies and assessing the patent positions of the entities for acquisition; negotiating and reviewing contracts; drafting and advising on Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) procedures; and conducting intellectual property related training to maximize the capture of the company’s IP.
Bill enjoys reading and is a voracious gardener. When he and his family travel, they enjoy camping, hunting, fishing and mountain climbing, particularly in northern Utah’s High Uintas.
He is active in St. Martins Episcopal Church, Texas Master Naturalists, Houston Zoo, Houston Wellness Project and Sharks-R-Us (a Houston Rodeo Bar-B-Q team), and is a Master Mason in the Freemasons.
- Bill Ramey was selected as a Top Houston Lawyer in the area of Intellectual Property for 2013-2016.
- Bill was selected as a Super Lawyer by his peers from 2014-2016 in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation.
- Bill was selected as a Houstonia Top Lawyer 2013-2016 as selected by Houstonia magazine.
- Bill presentations and papers include:
- 2015 Texas State Bar In-House Counsel seminar on KEEPING COMPANY SECRETS WITH THE USE OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS.
- 2014 Texas State Bar In-House Counsel seminar on What every In-House Counsel Should Know About IP.
- Presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthamology (ARVO) on May 5, 2013, in Seattle, WA, on a panel covering the topic That Is the Question – Industry Funding for Research and Education. Bill’s topic will specifically cover Intellectual property development from collaborations between industry and academia.
- Revolving lecture every semester at Texas A&M University May’s School of Business to theEntrepreneurship class on the topic of A Primer in IP.
- Presented ten tips to lessen liability when physicians prescribe off-label to a crowd of over 1000 at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthamology (ARVO) from May 6-10, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The presentation was published in the June 25, 2012 edition of Ocular Surgery News, Vol. 30, No. 12. http://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/practice-management/news/print/primary-care-optometry-news/%7Be7b955ad-0469-43a1-90fa-f0bfb951acd3%7D/attorney-offers-tips-to-lessen-liability-when-prescribing-off-label
- “The Stem Cell Controversy: What to Fund after Sherley v. Sebelius,” State Bar of Texas Newsletter: Intellectual Property Law Section, Spring 2011.
- Rice University presentation on July 25, 2009, “Easy Ways to Identify and Protect Your Intellectual Property” for the 2009 commercialization workshop.
- Biomedical Technology Club presentation on June 2, 2009, “Easy Ways to Secure Your Intellectual Property.”
- National Space and Biomedical Research Institute Intellectual Property Primer for the Commercialization Workshop on May 28, 2009.
- IP Legislative Update, the 2009 Patent Reform Bill, State Bar of Texas CLE, March 5, 2009.
- Rice University presentation on “Intellectual Property as a Career” in April 2009.
- “The Exponential Burden of McKesson,” IP Today, Tamsen Valoir and William Ramey, March 2008.
- BioHouston presentation, September 27, 2007, “Patent Reform and Where We Stand”
- Small Times Nanotechnology Conference presentation on “The Three-way Train Wreck,” Santa Clara, CA, November 2007
- Panel Discussion on “Nanotechnology and University Practice,” AUTM Regional, Austin, TX, July, 2007
- Presentation to NC PMI on October 27, 2003, on “Pharmaceuticals and Generics and the Inter-relation of the Hatch-Waxman Act”
- State Bar of Texas Editor for the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal
- Amicus Committee member for HIPLA
- Giles Rich Moot Court Southern Region AIPLA Coordinator
- Society of Petroleum Engineers (2005 to the present)
- American Intellectual Property Law Society
- The Houston Intellectual Property Law Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Houston Trial Lawyers Association
- Board Member, Aggie Angel Network, Texas A&M University Engineering and Entrepreneurship Steering Council
- State Bar of Texas
- State Bar of Utah
- United States Patent and Trademark Office
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas
- U.S. District Court of Utah
- 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
- General Counsel and Board Member, The Houston Wellness Project
- St. Martins Episcopal Church
- Houston Striders running club
- Texas Master Naturalists
- Houston Zoo
- Sharks-R-Us (a Houston Rodeo Bar-B-Q team)
- Freemasons – Master Mason
- Homeless on Houston, volunteer lawyer
- South Texas College of Law, J.D.
- Texas A&M University, B.S., Chemistry; L-1: Corps of Cadets