With blue-chip law school credentials and a Fifth Circuit judicial clerkship under my belt, I spent the first half of my career to date practicing at large national law firms representing primarily Fortune 500 clients. Since then, I've practiced alone or in small firms, typically representing smaller companies and sometimes individuals.
I'm proud to have been the "first-chair" or lead lawyer in almost three dozen trials on the merits — including over 25 jury trials — in the state and federal courts. Those cases have had amounts in controversy ranging from just $200 to well over $200 million.
Indeed, two of the first-chair lawsuits I've tried to a conclusion were "bet the company" cases for publicly traded corporate clients — meaning if I'd lost, those companies would have closed their doors, laid off all their officers and employees, and liquidated all their assets at fire-sale prices.
I've also been among counsel of record — sitting in something other than a "first-chair" role, but learning my craft from some very good lawyers — in more than a dozen additional trials on the merits (including ten more jury trials).
Additionally, I've been lead counsel or among counsel of record in more than a dozen additional injunction or other contested evidentiary hearings. I've participated in eight contested corporate takeovers. And I've been lead appellate counsel, or had major roles in, more than a dozen appeals. (Note: the total number of cases I've listed above is a very, very rough estimate; it would be more accurate simply to say "many hundreds" if I were only counting cases in which I've had some significant involvement, or "more than a thousand" if I were counting all cases with which I've had even minor involvement.)
Larger cases handled by senior lawyers tend go to trial only very rarely, and as much as I enjoy going to trial, circumstances just don't permit me to try as many cases now as I did when I was a young pup. But I manage to keep the rust knocked off: Since 2005, I've tried eight cases, including four first-chair jury trials that went to verdict.
PERSONAL INFO: I was born on November 27, 1957, and reared in Lamesa, Dawson County, Texas — a small town about an hour's drive south of Lubbock in the Texas Panhandle. Since 1980, when I finished up with college and law school in Austin, I've been a proud Houstonian.
My gray hair is hard-earned, but the beard comes and goes at my whim.
I'm divorced with four fabulous, bright, healthy kids — two boys and two girls, ages 23 to 16. When not plotting fiendish cross-examinations or bragging about my court triumphs, I'm a fan of online computer games; I read (mostly history and fiction); and I play the trumpet (not too badly) and the piano (not so well).
I'm also the sole author and perpetrator of BeldarBlog — "the online journal of a crusty, long-winded trial lawyer, bemused observer of politics, and internet dilettante." It reflects my personal politics, which are generally irrelevant to my law practice. It also reflects my views on laws, lawyers, and lawyering, and it serves as a repository for many of my "trial lawyer war stories."