I am a plaintiff’s lawyer in Tarrant County, Texas. I represent individuals who are hurting because somebody else was sloppy, distracted, drunk, or just plain ol’ greedy.
I wasn’t always a plaintiff’s lawyer. I started my legal career as a business litigator at one of the largest law firms in Dallas. I worked alongside other lawyers whose intellectual capacity was (and still is, I presume) astounding. These folks were sharp. Clients paid top-dollar for our legal services. But as it turns out, only top-dollar corporations (see Fortune 500) can generally pay for top-dollar lawyers, and I soon discovered that representing corporations was not my calling. It’s not why I signed up.
I left that firm and returned home to Tarrant County. I joined a mid-size, full-service law firm that has long been a staple in Fort Worth. It was another great experience for me, as I was paired with mentors who went above and beyond to make sure I grew as a lawyer. I learned a ton as they encouraged me to go out and generate business for the firm. They involved me in all phases of lawsuits, from client consultation, to strategy sessions, to drafting and arguing motions, to taking and defending depositions, to obtaining successful resolutions to lawsuits through negotiation, to preparing for trial. For those, like me, who best learn something by doing it, it was perfect.
I had just two problems: the business model and the type of disputes we handled. Although our rates were conservative and we were able to represent smaller companies and local businessmen and businesswomen, we still charged by the hour, not by the victory. In other words, when we were hired, we expected to be paid the exact same whether we won or lost at trial. That just never sat well with me. We were typically representing a company or its owners in lawsuits involving breach of contract claims, fraud claims, and/or violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Essentially, my job was either to help valuable companies who had been wronged become more valuable, or to help valuable companies who had done wrong pay less than they probably should. Make no mistake, many of the best lawyers out there play in this sandbox every day, and the jurisprudence they have carved out is critical to the economic growth and stability of our community and our country. I simply discovered that God did not make me a lawyer to help businesses pass money back and forth, charging them by the hour to do so. I found I belonged in a different type of sandbox.
I decided to become a plaintiff’s lawyer where I would only represent people who had been hurt because of somebody else’s negligence, people who were being taken advantage of by big businesses and big insurance companies. I now represent individuals on a contingency fee basis, which is a fancy way of saying that I only get paid if I win. This is where I belong. Just ask my wife – I wake up every day excited to get to the office and see what I can do to help folks in our community that really need help the most.
Speaking of my wife… I have a great, beautiful wife named Anna who, as it turns out, is also a lawyer. We actually met working for the same judge in Austin during law school. She’s one of those lawyers who can do just about anything you need, but a bulk of her practice is geared toward helping people with estate planning and drafting their wills. We live in Fort Worth, have two great dogs (Graham and Graford), and are regulars at Holy Family Catholic Church (and a few local watering holes).
I have started a blog (allbuckledup.com) with my goal being simply to pass along practical tips and insights on the world of personal injury and the legal process in general. My hope is that, should the unthinkable ever happen to you or a loved one, the information I share will be helpful in some way.