Snell Wylie & Tibbals A Professional Corporation

Founded in 1991, Snell Wylie & Tibbals is a small firm of experienced attorneys who offer a wide range of legal representation to our clients.

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Firm Overview

Our shareholders often act as general legal advisors to our clients, which include large business organizations, small entrepreneurial "start-ups" and individuals. We have experience in handling traditional and innovative real estate, corporate, and partnership acquisition and financing projects and in complex business litigation. Our practice areas include business law (including formations, governance, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, debt financings, securities, and employer/employee relations); civil litigation; energy (including oil and gas, coal, electric power generation, wind power, and other alternative energy sources); estate planning and probate; real estate, taxation, and alternate dispute resolution (i.e., arbitration, mediation, and collaborative law).

Most of our shareholders have been partners or shareholders in large full service firms, where they handled complex business and real estate transactions or complex litigation. While having benefited from the lessons learned from that large firm experience, we have individually and collectively decided that a small firm environment allows us to be more efficient and cost effective and to remain personally responsive to our clients' needs. All of us take pride in being working attorneys and in having the capability to handle complex matters and legal issues that cross the traditional lines of specialization because we believe that this capability is necessary to meet those needs.

We hope that our website provides you with the information you need regarding our Firm, and we certainly invite you to contact us to learn more about us and the services that we can provide.
Main Office

Main Office
8150 North Central Expressway, Suite 1800
Dallas  TX  75206

  • 214-691-2500
Estate Planning
Estate planning is the area of law dealing with the distribution of a person's property after his death, taking into account Wills and Trusts which he has established, as well as the distribution of his assets.
Probate law generally involves a court proceeding to appoint an executor for the estate of the deceased, and is also the forum for any later disputes which may arise. When a person has left a valid Will, most probate proceedings in Texas are simple and efficient from the standpoint of required court appearances and procedures.

In the estate planning area, we advise clients, and prepare the appropriate documents, on:

-Lifetime transfers to minimize the various forms of taxes
-Premarital and similar agreements, especially when one or both of the parties is bringing specialized property into the marriage or has a family from a prior marriage
-Wills and various types of trust agreements (both revocable and irrevocable)
-General Powers of Attorney for business affairs
-Powers of Attorney relating to health care decisions
-Directives to Physicians ("Living Wills")
-HIPAA medical records authorizations
-Charitable giving, including both lifetime arrangements and testamentary gifts

Our probate services include:

-The offering for probate of the decedent's Will and the filing of other necessary court documents
-If the decedent died without a Will, we can assist in winding up the decedent's affairs as simply as possible
-Post-mortem income tax and estate tax planning, including the use of disclaimers
-Preparation of all applicable federal and estate and/or gift tax returns
-Income tax planning for the estate of the decedent and its effect on the estate's beneficiaries
-Proper transfer of assets to beneficiaries
-Establishment and administration of testamentary and lifetime trusts, as well as advising trustees and beneficiaries
-Probate and related litigation and mediation arising from the administration of estates and trusts

Donald H. Snell

-Commercial Real Estate
-Business Law

-Representation of developers, purchasers, sellers, borrowers and lenders in all phases of real estate development and related transactions
-Representation as local Texas counsel on Texas transactions, for out of state law firms and national clients
-Representation of real estate investors in the purchase, ownership and sale of apartment projects, shopping center projects and industrial warehouse and mini-warehouse projects throughout the southwest
-Representation of developers in the complete development process for retail projects, residential projects, and suburban and downtown office building projects, including financing and leasing and management of projects
-Representation of lenders in mortgage loan financings and foreclosure procedures
-Representation of individuals and entities in the formation of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Dallas Bar Association
-President, Real Property Law Section, Dallas Bar Association - 1998
-Member, American Bar Association
-Member, The Salesmanship Club of Dallas
-Board of Directors of S.M.U. Alumni Association, Past President 2005
-Board of Directors of Special Camps for Special Kids/Camp John Marc, Past President 1992-1994

-Southern Methodist University (B.B.A., 1969; J.D., 1973)
-Fraternities: Phi Alpha Delta; Order of the Barristers
-Member, Southwestern Law Journal, 1971-1973
  • Southern Methodist University
    Juris Doctorate , 1973

John W. Harris

-Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning, and Probate
-Business Organizations

-Representation of clients in all aspects of estate and gift planning, including Wills, Trusts, and other arrangements (including charitable arrangements)
-Representation of estate representatives and trustees in estate administration and settlement, including post-mortem planning
-Representation of estate representatives in estate, gift, and income tax compliance matters
-Entered private law practice in 1986 upon withdrawal from Arthur Young & Co.
-Partner in Arthur Young & Co. (now part of Ernst & Young, LLP) for 18 years prior to entering law practice

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Dallas Bar Association
-Member, Dallas Estate Planning Council
-Member, National Association of Estate Planners and Councils
-Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

-Certified Public Accountant, currently licensed in Texas and North Carolina

-Harvard University School of Law (J.D., 1968)
-Duke University (A.B., 1965)

-"The Federal Income Tax Treatment of Alimony Payments -- the 'Support' Requirement of the Regulations", Hastings Law Journal, November 1970 (Vol. 22, p. 53)
-Various articles, primarily on the subject of estate planning or estate and gift taxation, for publications of industry groups, trade associations, and charitable organizations

-Various presentations to private and civic groups (by invitation) on estate planning and estate and gift taxation
-Frequent instructor at Arthur Young & Co. National Tax Training Seminars on Estate and Gift Taxation, 1975 - 1986

-Phi Beta Kappa, Duke University, 1964
-Designated as Accredited Estate Planner by National Association of Estate Planners and Councils
-Board of Governors, Dallas Estate Planning Council, 1985-1987

-Member of the Advisory Council of the Dallas Foundation
-Board of Directors and Treasurer, Lutheran Via de Cristo of North Texas
-Board of Trustees, King of Glory Lutheran Church Foundation, Dallas
  • Harvard University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1968

Jerry D. Johnson

-Commercial Real Estate
-Business Law

-Representation of both lenders and borrowers relative to construction and permanent financing for development of office buildings, shopping centers, apartment projects, and residential subdivisions.
-Representation of both lenders and borrowers relative to line of credit financing of business operations.
-Representation of both landlords and tenants relative to office building, shopping center, office and warehouse, and telecommunications switch center leases (including an office lease for approximately 725,000 square feet).
-Representation of building owners regarding telecommunication provider agreements and related issues.
-Representation of both buyers and sellers of developed commercial properties (including office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, and warehouse distribution facilities), and mixed-use properties (including related golf courses, marinas, and other related facilities).
-Representation of developers, lenders, and tenants in "build to suit" transactions.

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, American Bar Association
-Member, The College of the State Bar of Texas
-Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys
-Member, Dallas Bar Association
-Member, Dallas Real Estate Lawyers Discussion Group

-University of Texas at Austin (B.A., 1968)
-University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 1971)

-Author, "Landlord Remedies in Texas," 33 South Texas Law Review 417 (June, 1990), cited by the Supreme Court of Texas in Austin Hill County Realty, Inc. v. Palisades Plaza, Inc, 948 S.W. 2nd 293 at 300 (Tex. 1995).
-Author, "Landlords May Be Liable for Their Tenants' Trademark Infringements," Real Estate Trends, Arter & Hadden LLP, 1997 ICSC Law Conference, Special Reprint Edition
-Author: "Emerging Telecommunications Issues for Owners and Managers of Office Buildings," Real Estate Trends, Arter & Hadden LLP (2001).
-Coauthor, "How to Handle Telecommunications Issues in Office Leases," The Practical Real Estate Lawyer (Vol. 17, No. 5, Sept. 2001)
-Coauthor, "Is It Reasonable To Agree To Agree To Be Reasonable?", The Real Estate Finance Journal (Spring 2002)
-Coauthor, "Office Building Security After September 11, 2001," Arter & Hadden Review, (Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2002)
-Author, "Premises Liability Issues for Office Building Owners in a Time of Terrorist Threats," Journal of Taxation of Investments (Vol. 20, No. 1, Autumn 2002).
-Author: "The Essentials of Retail Leasing," InStore Magazine, (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Jan/Feb 2007)

-"Listing Agreements and Property Management Agreements," University of Houston Law Foundation Seminar on "Real Estate Documents, Workouts, and Closings" (June, 2000, March, 2001, July, 2002, February, 2003, April 2004, April 2005, May, 2006, and March 2007).
-"Judicially Created Exceptions to the 'Non-Recourse' Loan" (Panel Member), American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting (Nov. 2002).
-"Common Areas in the Telecommunications Age," Facility Forum (April 2001).

-Briefing Attorney for Judge Wendell A. Odom, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1971-1972

-Texas, 1971
-United States Supreme Court
-U.S. District Court, Northern District
  • University of Texas School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1971

robert C. prather, Sr.

-Business Organizations, Maintenance and Planning
-Real Estate
-Broker, Seller and Buyer transactions
-Homeowner and Condominium Association
-Landlord & Tenant
-Estate Planning and Probate
-Wind Energy
-Civil Litigation
-Business Organizations
-Real Estate
-Residential Construction
-Employer/Employee Contracts
-Probate & Estate Administration
-Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR)
-Collaborative Law
-Hearing Officer

-University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas (J.D., 1970)
-University of Tasmania, School of Law (Rotary International Scholar), 1968
-University of Texas, Austin, Texas (B.Sc.; Minor Business, 1967)

-CoAuthor w/ Jerome Levy: Texas ADR Practice Guide (l995 West Group)

-Special Achievement Award, U. S. Department of Justice re Task Force and fraud prosecutions (1976)
-ARMA, Honorable Mention re article on document control in investigation and trial of voluminous document cases (1981)
-Dallas Bar Association, Outstanding Committee Chairperson (1994)
-Dallas County Grand Jury, Foreman (2008)

-8/81-Present: General, commercial, real estate, probate and civil litigation as Plaintiff or Defendant; Mediator, Arbitrator, ADR
-198081: United States Department of Justice (Dallas): appointed Economic Crime Enforcement Specialist (N.D. & W.D. Tex); Coordinated State/Fed. whitecollar crime investigations
-197480: Assistant United States Attorney (N.D. Tex.Dallas); Task Force investigation/trial of conspiracy/fraud/theft of loans, student financial aid funds by schools, administrators, lenders
-197174: Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County, Texas
-1971: Staff Attorney to Sen. William T. Moore & Deputy Comm. Clerk Texas Senate State Affairs Committee
-1970: American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C., Summer Clerk
  • University of Texas School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1970

william F. pyne

-Business Law
-Corporate and Securities
-Mergers and Acquisitions
-Estate Planning and Probate

-Representation of clients in formation, capitalization, and operation of business entities, including limited liability companies, corporations and partnerships.
-Representation of sellers and purchasers in the negotiation and documentation of the acquisition and disposition of businesses.
-Preparation of business related contracts including preformation subscription agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, non-competition agreements and stock options plans.
-Representation of issuer in private placements.
-Representation of clients in estate planning and probate matters.

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Business Law Section and Real Estate, Property and Probate Section
-Member, Dallas Bar Association

-Manhattan College (B.A., 1968)
-University of Texas (J.D., 1975)
-New York University (L.L.M. in Taxation, 1976)
-Admitted to Practice U.S. Tax Court
  • University of Texas
    Juris Doctorate , 1975

christopher K. stobaugh

-Commercial Bankruptcy; Debtor and Creditor
-Commercial Litigation
-Business Law

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Dallas Bar Association (Member, Bankruptcy Section)
-Dallas Association of Young Lawyers

-University of Texas at Dallas (B.A., Government and Politics, 1998)
-Southern Methodist University School of Law (J.D., 2001)
-Admitted to Practice U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2001

j. Michael tibbals

-Business Law
-Real Estate and Business Litigation

-Arter & Hadden LLP, Firm Executive Committee
-Arter & Hadden LLP, Chair, Dallas Litigation Section, 1995-2002
-Practice focuses on Business Law with emphasis on representation of entrepreneurs in acquisition and business transactions
-Representative clients include a broad range from NYSE & NASDAQ companies to individual entrepreneurs and investors
-Represented Hong Kong oil & gas Lender in lien priority litigation.
-Represented issuers of publicly traded stock in litigation with shareholders.
-Counsel for internet service and cable television companies in Telecommunications Act litigation and transactions
-Counsel for Infomart in $120,000,000.00 litigation
-Purchaser representation in acquisitions of beverage manufacturer, insurance agencies, staffing firm, real estate, telecommunications and publishing businesses.
-Local counsel for defense of Lanham Act claims against software technology group
-Counsel for Radio Broadcasting Network and telecommunication tower network in acquisitions and litigation
-Counsel for National Banks in stock sales and litigation
-Won multimillion dollar jury verdict for real estate developer in construction and insurance litigation
-Insurance defense litigation for GM and other businesses in class action and general commercial liability claims

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, American Bar Association
-Member, Dallas Bar Association
-Board of Directors; Dallas Mortgage Bankers Association
-Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
-Texas Land Title Association
-Texas Association of Bank Counsel
-Commissioner for Condemnation; US Highway 75 R.O.W.; Central Expressway, Dallas, Tx
-College of State Bar of Texas
-Board of Advisors, Baylor Law Alumni Association
-Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the DeBusk Foundation
-Vice President, Wylie ISD Education Foundation
-Board of Trustees, Park Cities Historic & Preservation Society

-Baylor University (J.D., 1972)
-Baylor University (B.A., 1970)
-Admitted to Practice U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas
-Admitted to Practice U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits

-Real Estate Forfeiture; Vol. II; Issue 1; Real Estate Trends, March,1995
-Real Estate Boundary Law, National Business Institute, 1997

-Dallas Bar Association, Commercial Section; National Business Institute
-National Business Institute Real Estate Seminars
  • Baylor University
    Juris Doctorate , 1972

Rhett warren

-Real Estate
-Business Law
-Commercial Litigation
-Estate Planning and Probate

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Dallas Bar Association (Member, Business Litigation Section)

-Texas Tech University (B.B.A. in Finance, minor in Spanish, magna cum laude, 1997)
-Texas Christian University (M.B.A., 2004)
-Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) (J.D., summa cum laude, 2012)
  • Texas A&M University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2012

phillip a. wylie

-Securities and Business Finance Law
-Merger, Acquisition and Divestiture Law
-Energy Law
-Corporate and General Business Law

-Securities and Business Finance Law, including structuring and handling public and private equity and debt offerings of all types; "reverse merger" transactions; exchange offers and roll-ups; "going private" transactions; hostile and friendly tender offers; proxy solicitations and proxy contests; public company reporting and regulatory compliance; asset securitizations; tax-exempt bond financings; mezzanine debt financings; bank and private loan financings; leasing transactions; leveraged buyouts; and venture capital financings.

-Merger, Acquisition and Divestiture Law, including negotiating, structuring and handling complex merger transactions, asset and stock acquisitions and asset and stock divestitures of all types (both international and domestic) in a wide variety of industries; and working with regulatory and tax issues relating to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

-Energy Law, including transactions involving negotiating, structuring, documenting and handling both simple and complex exploration and development transactions; complex property and asset acquisitions and dispositions; production agreements; lease agreements; operating agreements, farm-out and farm-in agreements, drilling and supplier contracts, oil and gas contracts, transportation agreements; title work; regulatory compliance; sale-leaseback transactions; pipeline, gathering system and power transmission transactions, independent power projects; co generation projects; refining transactions; refined products distribution and marketing transactions; and tax and regulatory issues relating to a variety of energy issues.

-Corporate and General Business Law, including (1) negotiating, structuring and documenting of all types of contracts for businesses in a variety of industries; (ii) business formations, liquidations and dissolutions; (iii) structuring and documenting tax-oriented limited partnerships and limited liability companies; (iv) designing and documenting confidentiality and information protection programs; (v) structuring and documenting corporate control and anti-takeover strategies, including severance plans, golden parachute plans and executive bonus programs; (vi) preparation of employment contracts, consulting agreements, severance agreements, personnel policies, non-competition agreements and trade secret agreements; (vii) counseling on termination issues; (viii) handling of claims and disputes relating to employment discrimination, fair labor standards, occupational safety and health, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, and general employer/employee relations; (ix) corporate and partnership restructure and reorganization transactions; (x) cooperative formations, sales, dispositions, consolidations, restructurings, dissolutions and liquidations; (xi) franchising, sales representation and distributorship transactions; (xii) aircraft purchase, sale, leasing and financing transactions; (xiii) litigation and dispute management and resolution; (xiv) corporate planning and preparation of business plans; (xv) structuring employee stock ownership, stock option, restricted stock and other stock-related plans; (xvi) structuring equity compensation and deferred compensation arrangements; (xvii) structuring employee stock ownership, stock option, restricted stock and other stock-related plans; structuring equipt compensation and deferred compensation arrangements; and (xviii) day-to-day counseling of officers, directors and owners of public and private businesses on a variety of issues.

-Member, State Bar of Texas
-Member, Dallas Bar Association
-Member, Texas Bar Foundation

-Texas Tech University School of Law (J.D. with High Honors, 1972)
-Texas Christian University (B.B.A. in Accounting, 1969)

-President's Award for Scholastic Excellence
-Order of the Coif
-Lead Articles Editor, Texas Tech Law Review (1971-1972)
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1972