My general civil practice includes experience in business and consumer litigation and in providing comprehensive services and legal counseling for businesses and individuals. My clients include individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations.
I have represented a broad base of clients both plaintiffs and defendants, employees and management, landlords and tenants, individual consumers and business owners in disputes involving:
Contract rights and obligations and contract interpretation.
Contracts, both written and oral agreements, are at the core of our personal lives and business dealings, from sales and purchases (whether selling or buying a business, a car, a house, or a work of art), to our employment, our leases, our investments, our insurance, our agreements with customers, suppliers, vendors-the list is endless. Disputes about contract terms, and rights, obligations and duties conferred and imposed by our contractual agreements are common occurrences.
Insurance coverage and bad faith issues.
Your insurance needs, including director & officer, and general liability coverage, are important. Insurers sometimes deny that your claim is covered by your policy and insurers can violate standards set by the law in the way they treat you and the way your claim is handled.
Oil and gas issues.
Investments in oil and gas developments are not for everyone. Also, drilling, exploration, operating agreements are not for the faint of heart and you should be certain of the meaning of the terms and provisions, especially any non-standard terms.
Landlords and tenants have rights and duties under the law. Management of rental property raises many issues from late-paying tenants, eviction problems and needs, the destructive tenant, to the requirement and responsibility-or not-for repairs, for safety of tenants and visitors, and other matters involving premises liability. Tenants, too, often face the non-responsive landlord, the eviction notice deemed wrongful, loud neighbors, and many other complaints and issues.
Corporation issues including corporate governance and shareholder rights.
The rights and obligations of corporate officers and directors and shareholders, members and managers, and partners are often not understood or even subjects of inquiry until it is a serious problem, often of exposure to personal liability. Corporations and other buisness entites should maintain their books and records in accord with applicable law and by-laws to assure the legal advantages of operating and conduting business as an entity.
Commercial leases and real estate litigation.
Often your rights under a lease are disputed and contested. Competent problem-solving or litigation may be necessary, and consultation for legal guidance. Commercial leases should be negotiated by counsel or with legal consultation.
Property management issues.
See landlord-tenant rights. Ownership and management of rental property is fraught with potential liability issues. Homeowner and condominium associations should operate with legal assistance.
Employment and labor issues.
Employer policies, employee handbooks, and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations are important matters for employers and employees. Disagreements about compensation and pay and benefits, and issues about employee misconduct are not uncommon. Termination and separation agreements--- and employment contracts, for that matter, can lead to lawsuits if not carefully drafted. Employers would often benefit from a regular legal "check-up" to review and assess employment and employee policies and procedures.
Contractors often have disputes with owners and sub-contractors over quality, time and materials. Subcontractors do work but are not paid and need legal assistance. Owners are faced with materialmen's liens. Texas law provides critical and specific rights and duties for both contractors and homeowners who hire them.
Probate and trust issues.
Families often have questions and doubts about the testamentary dispositions of their loved ones and want or need to challenge or contest wills and family trusts. If families cannot resolve these questions amicably on their own or with assistance of counsel, then litigation may be necessary.
Fraud and business torts.
Business owners and consumers can be victims of fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and breaches of fiduciary duty. Consultation with counsel can be helpful.
Texas law provides protection for certain types of salespeople who earn commissions as independent contractors.
Covenants not to compete can be enforceable in Texas if properly written and performed. Employers may be better served by confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements, or protection under the common law. Employees who sign a non-compete and leave or seek to leave their employment should consider legal consultation.
Deceptive trade practices.
Texas has a consumer protection act designed to be broadly construed and interpreted to protect most individual and business consumers from "false, misleading, or deceptive" acts, including practices specifically enumerated and listed in the statute. A lawyer must be consulted.
Consumer complaints including consumer/personal debt issues.
Many individuals find themselves being contacted (and the contact is deemed harsh, harassing, over-bearing) by "debt collectors" and do not know what to do. Consumers may be victims of misleading sales techniques including impermissible in-home sales, defective products, poor installation, or a product that does not perform or operate as promised.
Trademark, copyright issues and trade secret issues.
Business owners need legal guidance to adequately protect their trademarks and service marks and copyrights from infringement. Cease and desist demands are often necessary, and sometimes litigation is warranted. Businesses with trade secrets and other proprietary or confidential matters about industrial or manufacturing processes or customer data need legal guidance on how to safeguard such and about the availability of protection of these matters from unwanted disclosure.
Professional malpractice and professional negligence including stock brokers in NYSE proceedings. Issues or concerns about professional negligence and mistakes need prompt legal attention.
Physician hospital contracts and clinic contracts and medical service and medical supply contracts. Specialized contracts need legal consultation, especially in this area.
Fair debt collection matters.
If your business has receivables that have gotten out of hand, or a customer who simply fails to pay, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance.
General corporate transactions and matters.
Small businesses need efficient and expeditious legal assistance for their general corporate transactions-contracts, including customer agreements and sales agreements, dealing with government agencies and licensing authorities Do your invoices say the right and necessary things? When was the last time your business held a shareholder and director meeting? Are your corporate minutes up to date? A legal "check-up" may be necessary.
Business and commercial law, including choice of business entity and business entity formation matters. Choosing the best business entity for your business operation could be the most important decision you make. Legal consultation will help you determine what form is best for you, whether a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, limited liability company. Maintaining the formalities of the entity you choose is important.
I am also trained as a mediator.
As a trained mediator, I believe I have learned to represent my clients with better skill during the process of mediation to settle legal disputes. Texas has an extensive statutory scheme for alternative dispute resolution of disputes in ways other than through the cost (in dollars and emotions and stress) of full-blown trials. In Dallas County, the judges generally encourage mediations where a neutral person (the trained "mediator") meets with the parties to initiate and guide discussion between the parties to encourage and help bring about a settlement and resolution.
Please Note: Nothing in these brief comments about my practice areas is intended to be or should be understood as legal advice to you. It is just general information and general observations about my practice areas. Contact me if you want more information or legal advice suitable particularly for you and your needs.