- University of Mississippi, 2000, cum laude
- Texas Tech School of Law, 2003, summa cum laude
- Commercial Litigation
- Workplace Safety/OSHA Compliance
- Premises Liability
- Trademark Registrations
- Trademark Infringement Litigation
- Creditors Rights and Collections
- Condemnations/Eminent Domain
- Labor and Employment
- Eastern District of Texas, United States District Courts
- Eastern District of Texas, United States Bankruptcy Courts
- Southern District of Texas, United States District Courts
- Southern District of Texas, United States Bankruptcy Courts
I approach every day with a mission to give my clients piece of mind. Complex commercial litigation, governmental investigations and regulations, big projects, condemnations, collecting debts, commercial transactions, and unscrupulous competitors can leave you feeling stressed, worried, and frustrated. I use creative solutions, sheer hard work, and exceptional in-firm and outside resources to help people and businesses save money, negotiate better deals, protect reputations, and ultimately sleep better at night when faced with legal problems. My practice is broad-based but focuses on areas of workplace safety (OSHA compliance and premise liability) and commercial litigation (mainly creditors rights, trade marks, trade secrets, and covenants not to compete). Please read on if you would like to learn a little more.
When governmental investigators show up at your business, you want to be prepared and ready to respond. I have been helping clients handle investigations by OSHA and other governmental entities for years. The investigations have run the gamut from severe death cases to minor documentation issues, but regardless of the incident, any citation can damage your safety record and impact business. In many cases, I have been able help clients resolve any issues at an early stage, but sometimes fully contesting a citation is necessary, and I work closely with the client to create and effectively implement a personalized plan of action. I also enjoy working with clients proactively to review their workplace safety procedures and practices, helping them to stay in compliance.
I serve on the firm’s emergency response team where we can be “boots on the ground” quickly after an unfortunate workplace accident, and we help the client thoroughly investigate the accident. We help gather and preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and evaluate potential contributing factors. This proactive work usually proves invaluable if there is a civil lawsuit against either the employer, property owner, contractor, or equipment manufacturer. I have helped defend clients from such claims, and I am experienced in asserting defenses based on Chapter 95, and RCIP and OCIP insurance plans.
Commercial litigation represents one of the other broad areas of my practice. I have tremendous respect for the time, energy, and money that businesses invest in their brand, customer relationships, and know-how. As such, I help clients defend and enforce their rights regarding covenants not to compete, trademark infringement, and disclosure and use of trade secrets. I also frequently help clients enforce their rights as creditors. My cases range from standard trade debt collections to complex transactions like equipment leases and commercial loans. Sometimes these cases require quick action, and I am experienced using extraordinary procedures such as temporary restraining orders (TROs), injunctions, attachments, writs of sequestration, and turnover orders when appropriate to bring immediate relief and preserve valuable assets for my clients. I regularly help clients navigate the complex world of mechanics’ liens and mineral liens to secure payment or fend off bogus claims. Mechanics’ liens and mineral liens involve a mind-numbing system of short deadlines and multiple notice requirements, and through years of experience I have developed the ability to recognize the potential pitfalls and opportunities.
I was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, and I work out of our firm’s Beaumont and Houston offices. Like the founder of our firm, my family came to this area following the Spindletop Oil Boom to start a law practice. I take great pride in the fact that most my work still involves the oil and gas industry, and I have had the privilege of helping clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, to land owners with tens of thousands of acres, to sole proprietors. I have challenged some of the biggest opponents too, including working on the precedent setting case Crosstex NGL Pipeline, L.P. v. Reins Rd. Farms-1, Ltd., 404 S.W.3d 754 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2013, no pet.) where we helped a landowner stop a pipeline company from forcing its way on to the landowner’s property. I have been through the cycles of that industry and understand how the needs of clients change with those cycles. From acquiring mineral rights, to supplying drilling and production equipment, to pipeline easements (representing landowners and pipeline companies), to governmental regulation of refining facilities, and even construction and operation of gas stations, I have swam in the proverbial waters of upstream, mid-stream, and downstream.
I am blessed to share this life with my beautiful wife, Patricia, and our young son. When not working or spending time with my family, you might also find me riding good horses and working cattle, photographing people and places, and shooting shotguns competitively. The Boy Scouts of America heavily influenced me when I was young (an Eagle Scout since 1994). I strive every day to implement the Scouting values in both my personal and professional life. Part of that is giving back to the community. So, I remain active in Scouting and have been a member of the executive board for the Three Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America since 2010, and currently serve as vice-president of program as well as on several committees.