My primary focus is family law - divorce, custody, child support, adoption, family violence, protective orders. I have also done a great deal of civil litigation, including breach of contract, negligence, and representing contractors and subcontractors who wish to be paid for their work. I opened my practice in July 1995.Example cases
Divorce, custody, child support, modification, adoption, step-parent adoption, protective orders, family violence, CPS cases
905 Front Street
Richmond TX 77469
I charge $250 for a consultation, which may last for one to two hours.
$250 for attorney time, $75 for assistant's time
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I chose litigation because I love being in the courtroom. The mental competition is invigorating. The planning and strategizing is exciting. It's like a sparring match, only mental instead of physical. Being in trial has an intensity that can be addictive.
I chose family law because it gives me the opportunity to help people through difficult times. Also, each case is different from the others I've had, and each is just as important to the people living through them. In family law, no two days are alike and we are never bored.
I chose collaborative law as soon as it came to Texas, because I had long recognized that litigation is often harmful to families. Litigation is by its nature adversarial, and it is often difficult to keep cases from escalating in animosity. Collaborative law provides a structure for reaching agreements outside of litigation, even in very difficult cases. I have always been skilled at seeing all aspects of a situation, and I have an ability to understand differing perspectives. These skills coupled with an empathetic nature make me a natural at collaborative law.
I believe that one of my roles as an attorney is to educate my clients about their case. For clients to make decisions about their lives, they need to understand the legal issues in their lawsuits. They need to know what their rights are, what their options are, and what different things to expect both during the process of the lawsuit and as possible outcomes. It is my job to discuss these matters with my clients and to educate them.
If a client has prepared a document that they wish me to review, I will gladly do so. I often ask clients to keep information for me in written form so that I may review it and become more familiar with their issues and the facts of their case. Occasionally, I have clients who prepare correspondence, and they want my approval and comments before sending it. I consider it wise of my client to seek this kind of input. Now and then, I have someone who wishes to retain me simply to review and comment on a document. When this is an appropriate role, I will gladly do it.
On occasion, I have coached clients who want to represent themselves. Part of my analysis in deciding whether to have this kind of relationship with a client is that client's ability to understand the legal issues and to remain rational and neutral in making decisions about the case.
I have managed my own law firm since 1995.
My philosophy is that everything we do in life and everything that happens to us should serve to make us better people and that includes better at our careers. Probably the single thing that has impacted me most as a family lawyer is being a parent. It is not until one has a child that one can truly appreciate the bond and commitment that comes with parenthood. When I have a case that involves the relationship of a child and a parent, I am even more committed than I was before I had a child at making sure that my representation of my client serves to preserve and improve that parent-child relationship.
The second experience that has made me a better lawyer is my own personal experience as a client or party in a lawsuit. I recognize the need that I have had for good quality legal representation, and I know that my clients deserve the same kind of empathy, courtesy, and dedication that I was blessed to have when I needed it.
Like many martial artists, I believe in seeking a peaceful route if it is appropriate or possible, but I'm not reluctant to use force when it is needed.
My best attribute is probably my ability to communicate - both in writing and orally. I am able to talk with people from all walks of life and I am an attentive listener.
I believe that everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect, an attitude that helps get things resolved. Even if we have to go into battle, I prefer to play clean and to take the high road in all matters. This style of dealing with the court and my opposing counsel has earned me a good reputation as an attorney with integrity, which in turn serves my clients well.
I prefer to prepare for hearings and trial, and I am not comfortable "winging it." My intention if we are in litigation is to win, and that is best done by hard work prior to any court appearance.
My personal interests are my ten year old daughter, martial arts, and rock climbing.
My daughter is imaginative and fun, always in action, and very loving.
I have been taking martial arts for about three years. I have just achieved the rank of Dan Bo Nim, which means that I am now in the advanced class, the same class that has the amazing martial artists I've admired for so long. I have just completed the first part of martial arts instructor training at my school, and I am now assisting teaching. Part of what I love about martial arts is how positive it is - the values are of self-discipline, respect, courtesy, and honor. I think martial arts helps to keep me young because I am interacting with (and competing against) other martial artists who are much younger than me.
I started rock climbing in 1973 at the age of 15. I have been a member of the local climbing club, Texas Mountain Raiders, since 1994. I am their local trip coordinator and an officer for the club. I have always been happiest when I am out on a crag somewhere, feeling the sun on my back, listening to the breeze play through the leaves in the trees, and feeling the scaly scratchiness of the rock against the skin on my arms and legs as I inch upward, one crystal or flake or nub at a time.
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