One question that prospective clients should ask is: “Can this lawyer win my case?” In looking at the web sites of other lawyers, I have seen several that list their major past wins. The implication that you are to take from that list is that you might have a similar win if you hire them.
Let me tell you right now – no lawyer wins every case they bring. No lawyer can guarantee that you will win YOUR case. Every case is different, and just a little bit of a change in the facts or the judge or the timing of the case can lead to different results.
However, I have won my fair share of cases. (Note: In almost every case, I’ve been part of a team representing the client. I am only listing the cases in which I performed the majority of the work). In my career, I’ve mostly done public utility law. I’ve been on all sides – representing Commissions, consumers and multi-billion dollar utilities. I consider the following cases to be my most memorable wins:
Draper v. State, 621 P.2d 1142 – After law school, my first full-time law-related job was working for the Oklahoma Legislature. The Oklahoma Attorney General issued an Attorney General’s Opinion that questioned the validity of every appropriation bill that the Legislature had adopted that year. Thus, my first case was a billion-dollar dispute before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. While another lawyer signed the pleadings, I wrote the brief and reply brief that convinced the Court that the Legislature had the correct interpretation of the law.
Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power and Light Co., 459 U. S. 400 – One of the most challenging bills I worked on for the Oklahoma Legislature was one that dealt with the price of natural gas. Congress had adopted a law that effectively deregulated the price of gas, which meant that the price could go up significantly for consumers. Oklahoma adopted legislation that would restrict the price increase for certain types of gas. Kansas adopted similar legislation. Gas producers in Kansas challenged the law all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. I wrote the friend of the court brief for the State of Oklahoma, explaining how the Oklahoma law was saving gas consumers millions of dollars. The Supreme Court upheld the Kansas (and, by implication, Oklahoma) law.
Corporation Commission Appellate Counsel – I have been handling appeals since the 1980s. I worked for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and my primary job was writing briefs on behalf of the Commission. It was a very satisfying job for me, surrounded by law books and working on brief after brief. I represented:
• the Commission in Southwestern Public Service Co. v. State, 1981 OK 136, 637 P.2d 92;
• Public Service Co. of Oklahoma v. State, 1982 OK 6, 645 P.2d 465;
• Lone Star Gas Co., a Div. of Enserch Corp. v. Corporation Com’n of State of Okl.,1982 OK 79, 648 P.2d 36;
• Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Corporation Com’n of State, 1983 OK 7, 658 P.2d 479;
• State ex rel. Cartwright v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 1983 OK 40, 662 P.2d 675;
• Public Service Co. of Oklahoma v. Oklahoma Corp. Com’n, 1983 OK 124, 688 P.2d 1274;
• Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. State, 1984 OK 29, 683 P.2d 974; Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. State, 1984 OK 87, 692 P.2d 554;
• Application of Oklahoma Natural Gas Co., 1985 OK 67, 715 P.2d 477.
The ITI Certifications – I was the General Counsel/ General Regulatory Counsel for a company headquartered in Dallas called “International Telecharge, Inc.” One of the first tasks was to get the federal district court that was overseeing the AT&T break-up to recognize that operator services was not a monopoly service – that other companies could provide that service to pay telephones all around the country. We won that case. Then, the even greater challenge was to convince state regulators that ITI should be allowed to operate in their state. It was a difficult task because ITI was (in many instances) charging customers more than the traditional carrier. Through my leadership, ITI achieved certification in 42 states – more than any of its competitors.
Dallas Eviction Case – After ITI, I established a solo practice in Dallas. One of my most satisfying victories during that time was a case I handled pro bono. A couple was being threatened with eviction, just before Christmas. Even though this was not my area of expertise, I got the eviction delayed and helped the couple ultimately recover most of their stuff from their landlord.
Texas State Board of Nursing v L.M. – I have now resumed solo practice in Austin. Recently, I represented a nurse before the State Board of Nursing. The outcome was a positive resolution for the nurse.
Texas Board of Pharmacy v. M. P. – I represented a pharmacist who was accused of a number of violations of the Pharmacy Act. The Staff of the Board wanted the pharmacist to agree to a number of conditions that would have essentially ended his pharmacy career. I negotiated a much more reasonable set of conditions that should allow him to continue to practice for years to come.
Brazos Electric Cooperative Transmission Line – I was part of a team that represented a landowner fighting a transmission line. We not only got a line approved that did not affect our client – – we also got an alternative route approved that was shorter, less costly and had less impact on the landowners.
C.S. v. Police Department – I represented a police officer that was falsely accused of theft and lying. After a long period of time, we reached a settlement where her F5 was amended to “honorable.”
DS v. FM – I successfully represented a client in one of the first gay divorces in Dallas County.
ENN v Texas Board of Nursing – I was able to negotiate an Agreed Board Order that allowed my client to continue working as a nurse. The original order would have effectively ended her career.
KMS v. Texas Board of Nursing – My client was a home health nurse that had formed a special bond with a three year old boy with seizures. I worked out an Agreed Board Order that allowed her to resume taking care of that boy.
Sharyland Utilities Transmission Line – I represented a landowner who had several parcels of land that might have been affected by a proposed transmission line. We worked out an agreed route that was acceptable to all of the affected landowners and that did not impact any of my client’s land.
Yacoub v. Suretec Insurance Co., 14-13-00274-CV – I represented a businessman in Houston in an appeal to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. My brief persuaded the Court to reverse the trial court’s decision, which was a victory for my client.
M.H. v. Texas Department of Health Services – My client was a licensed therapist wrongly accused of falsifying documentation. The investigation took several years. The Department finally ended the investigation without any action against my client.
S.B. v Sheriff’s Office – I represented a sheriff’s deputy who was wrongly accused of misconduct at work. At the hearing, we played a video of one of the incidents – a video that showed that her version was correct and the accuser was wrong. She got her F5 restored to “honorable.”
These are only a few of my more notable cases. (Please note: this is not all of my cases – most lawyers do not list the cases they have lost.) Use my experience. I will give you the same level of professional attention and advocacy I have given in billion-dollar disputes and for multi-billion dollar clients. I will strive to get the best possible outcome in your case.