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I grew up around small businesses. One of my grandfathers was an insurance agent in Denton. My other set of grandparents owned a bookstore in Irving. My father ran a financial services company in north Dallas with about ten employees, and during high school I often worked in his office after classes. I spent my summers working on commercial construction sites and watching how each contractor depended on the others to perform their obligations.
At Stanford I majored in economics, in part because of its importance to business. But for me the real draw was the way in which economics approaches decision making: How do you balance expected costs and benefits to get the best possible outcome when the future is not entirely clear? This is the same way that I approach life, including litigation.
For over two decades, since completing law school at UT Austin, I have assisted business clients in a wide variety of situations including breach of contract; misrepresentation and fraud; transactions and investments; disputes with vendors, customers, and construction contractors; tenant evictions; repossessions, foreclosures, and collections; trade secrets; covenants not to compete; misappropriation of business opportunities; embezzlement by managers; disputes over business ownership and control; enforcement actions by government regulators; negotiating and drafting contracts for real estate sales, businesses acquisitions, and large financial transactions; and setting up new companies. A large portion of my practice follows these issues into bankruptcy court.
Early in my career as an attorney I also spent two years working at a medical technology company with about 100 employees. There I drafted contracts, participated in employee terminations, and worked out the legal arguments that resulted in a $100 million antitrust settlement against a Fortune 500 competitor. Most importantly, during those two years I walked in the shoes of my clients as a customer of legal services purchased from outside law firms. I understand the concerns that my clients have when they entrust me with their legal work.