April 2009 Archives

Continuing Story of Stanford Financial Group

On February 17, 2009, United States District Judge Godbey granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) sought by the SEC, and appointed a Receiver to take control of the business of Stanford Financial Group and others. The TRO, later extended to a Preliminary Injunction, was drafted expansively: not only does it grant broad powers to the Receiver, but it purportedly prohibits investors from seeking legal remedies through their own litigation. As a result, many investors sought to intervene in the federal lawsuit in Dallas brought by the SEC.

The Texas Supreme Court Recently Released its Opinion on Rehearing in Entergy Gulf States v. Summers.

Previously issued as a 9-0 opinion, there were three justices (including the Chief Justice) who dissented, and two concurring opinions were written. The Court frames the issue in the first paragraph (as the majority sees the issue);

Family of Man Killed in Building Fire Has Their Day in Court

The Houston family of a 61 year old man received a bench verdict in their wrongful death lawsuit against the storeowners of an adult bookstore. After a one day bench trial, and careful consideration, the Court, Judge Michael Gomez, entered findings of fact and conclusions of law finding that the premises owners failed in their duty to properly warn and protect their patrons.

Safety First - Even In A Down Economy

On April 20, 2009, I am set to try the lawsuit of a client against his employer for failing to provide a safe working environment. The client is now quadriplegic and will never walk again. While working for his employer, he fell over thirty feet from an elevated position and fractured his cervical spine. His employer did not provide ANY safety equipment or instructions to my client prior to the fall. Rather, my client was sent to work on the roof of a large warehouse without any protection or measures to ensure his safety. As to be expected when the employer cuts corners on safety, my client suffered the terrible fall and resulting injuries.

"Miles and Miles of Danger"

Many of us never consider the fact that buried under the ground all around us are potential explosions waiting to happen. What am I talking about? The miles and miles of natural gas, oil, and propane pipelines that run through our neighborhoods. I have recently been retained to represent a family following a terrible explosion of a propane pipeline which runs from Texas to North Carolina. This case has opened my eyes to the number of pipelines which are buried in this country. As a result of the explosion in Mississippi, two people were tragically killed and several others injured. The area the rupture occurred looks like a bomb has been dropped. Structures were completely destroyed, timber and vegetation burned up, and cars melted to the ground. The pipeline which exploded was put in the ground in 1961. That's over 45 years of wear and tear when it finally failed. Other times, pipelines can explode when another person comes along and physically hits the pipe with a backhoe and/or other machinery. So if I can give one piece of advice, call before you dig. If you see, smell, or hear a leak, leave the area immediately and call 911. Next time you're in your backyard or driving through the neighborhood, stop and look to see how close you may be living to a ticking time bomb.

A Recent Volunteering Experience

I, along with other attorneys from the firm, recently had the opportunity to participate in the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program's Saturday Clinic held at The Ripley House in East Houston. HVLP provides pro bono legal services to low-income men and women of Harris County and to promote volunteerism among the legal community. We volunteered our time to help HVLP screen new cases and direct these clients to the appropriate clinic based on the type and facts of their cases. We volunteered for approximately several hours until every client was seen. The various cases ranged from divorces to guardianships of the incapacitated to help with handling debt and debt collection activities. I'd suggest that all lawyers looking for pro bono hours or a volunteer experience that is both rewarding and challenging to participate in this program. It was a rewarding experience to help those who truly need legal help but cannot afford it. But it was also challenging to screen and discuss cases we usually don't handle on an everyday basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or if you'd like more information visit the HVLP website at

46 Wrongful Deaths Blamed On Yahama Rhinos

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels and Friend is investigating deaths and catastrophic injuries caused by defective designs characteristics of the Yamaha Rhino off-road capable vehicle. The accidents involve Yamaha Rhino 450 and 660 models manufactured since 2003.

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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