General . After managing a downtown Houston law firm for 20 years, I established a solo practice in The Woodlands, Texas in 2000. One of my primary goals in doing so was to provide personalized service to my clients. My policies reflect that goal.
Staffing. When a client and I agree that I am to handle their case, I handle all aspects of the case. I do not generally employ associates or staff attorneys to handle my clients’ cases. Primarily through professional experience in large cases and application of technological applications, I have developed a capacity to handle large cases on my own.
New clients — particularly those who are accustomed to having a law firm assign multiple attorneys to their cases — are often surprised by my capacity to handle large cases on my own. My ability to do so is what allows me to provide more personalized service to my clients at a lower cost than what a firm assigning multiple attorneys to the case would charge.
In larger cases that require the services of multiple attorneys, I usually handle such cases with co-counsel, who are either firms or attorneys with whom I have prior experience and hold in high regard. In such cases, the client and I specifically define and agree upon my role and that of co-counsel in the case.
Inasmuch as clear writing is crucial to success in complex business litigation matters, I personally compose, prepare, and revise all drafts of court pleadings, memoranda, and briefs. Several of my writing samples may be reviewed here.
I have been preparing my clients’ court documents for over 30 years, which I believe is the most efficient and effective manner of presenting a client’s position. Similarly, I coordinate preparation and review of these court documents with the client to facilitate the client’s understanding of the issues in their case.
Finally, I conduct my own legal research and personally handle all hearings and trials in each of my client’s cases. In cases that I handle with co-counsel, the client and I consult and agree upon whether co-counsel or I should handle a particular hearing.
In short, when a client hires me to handle their case, I personally handle their case.
Development of Resolution Strategy and Theory of the Case. Upon retaining me in a case, the client and I first develop a strategy for resolving the case in the most favorable manner under the particular circumstances of the case. The client and I then devise a “theory of the case,” which is the theme of the client’s claim or defense in the case.
During each case, I emphasize regular communication with the client regarding the status of the case. In so doing, the client and I continually review the resolution strategy and theory of the case. Based on the different variables of each case, the resolution strategy or theory of case may remain the same or change several times throughout the case.
But regardless of whether change is necessary, periodic review of resolution strategy and the theory of the case assists both the client and me to remain focused on the client’s ultimate goal — i.e., the favorable resolution of the case in the most efficient manner under the particular circumstances of the case.
Telephone Policy. My telephone policy is simple. Unless I am out of the office, on another phone call, or avoiding interruptions while working on an important project, I pick up the telephone when it rings.
My telephone number is a direct line to me because I prefer that clients and counsel be able to contact me without talking to a receptionist or secretary first. I regularly work early in the morning, late in the evening, and on weekends, and I encourage my clients to feel free to call me at those times.
If I am unavailable to take a phone call, then I attempt to return all requests for a call as soon as my schedule allows and almost always within the next 24 hours.
Client Meetings. In meeting with clients, I prefer to meet with the client in their office or other location where it is most convenient and comfortable for the client.
While managing a downtown law firm for 20 years, I noticed that clients were often inconvenienced by having to come to meetings at my firm’s office.
Accordingly, when I established my solo practice, I decided to digitize my entire practice so that I was no longer tethered to my office by client files, legal research materials, and other firm resources.
Thus, technology has allowed me greater mobility to meet with clients and still be able to access information about their cases even while I am not in my office.
If the client prefers to meet at my office, then I have multiple locations in the Houston metropolitan that I maintain for client meetings.
Billing. Although I will consider alternative fee arrangements, most of my cases are handled on an hourly fee basis.
Depending on the size and nature of the case, I may require that a retainer or fee deposit be deposited with me as a condition to the retention of my services. I use technology to assist me in providing clients with regular statements of my services and immediate access regarding the cost of those services.
I transmit statements to clients monthly, and those statements are generally delivered electronically on the first business day of the month following the month in which the services were rendered. My current hourly billing rate is $400, and an example of an engagement letter agreement between a client and me may be reviewed here.
Referral Services. I have been blessed in many ways during my legal career, and one of those blessings has been the understanding that I may not be the best attorney to handle a prospective client’s case.
Accordingly, a part of my practice involves assisting clients in ensuring that they have the best legal representation available for their particular case. You can obtain further information about my specialized services in this area here.
References. References are provided to prospective clients upon request. Please contact me by phone or email for information regarding references.