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"Defending the Profession"

In the last two weeks I was able to take some time off and go on vacation. The first part of my trip took me to the middle of nowhere in Mexico to go white wing dove hunting with a couple of close friends, but mainly with people I had never met. There were 8 of us from Houston. Once there, we met 6 other guys from Dallas. From the moment I stepped onto the small charter plane to fly into to Mexico, I found myself having to defend my profession. Amongst the land developers, an oil & gas tycoon, the president of a national battery company, and even a real estate lawyer, I was somehow the villain. I was a "trial lawyer."& nbsp;

The first day or so I spent just listening. This is a trick I learned from one of my partners. As people became more relaxed and comfortable around each other, the questions started coming my way. "So, how's life after tort reform?" "If I shoot myself in the foot, can you sue the lodge for me?" "How can you justify receiving 40% of your client's recovery?" The list goes on and on. As I sat and calmly defended my clients, my profession, and me, I began to ask questions about why these individuals felt the way they did. As it turns out, none of them had ever been sued before in a personal injury lawsuit nor had any of them ever been the victim of someone else's negligence. All of these "intelligent, sophisticated, successful" men had merely made assumptions about what my firm and I do based on nothing but rhetoric heard in the media and from politicians and insurance companies. As I dug a little deeper into their attitudes about lawyers, especially "trial lawyers", I found that several of the men had bad experiences not with plaintiff's lawyers, but with their own corporate and insurance defense lawyers. The main complaint was overbilling. Being charged for every little thing and having several lawyers working on the same project at the same time. I loved responding by telling them that we don't charge our clients unless we win. Wow, that shut them up real fast

By the end of the trip, I managed to make several great new friends - friends who are already planning our next hunting trip for next year and friends who would have never given me the time of day merely because of what I do for a living. Now, they have a different outlook on my firm and what we stand for. I guess the point of this whole story is that our battle to help the image of the trial lawyer is fought everyday. No matter what country you are in or who you are speaking to, be proud of the fact that you help so many deserving families seek justice and compensation for the injuries they have suffered as a result of the negligence of another.

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Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

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