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James Ryland Miller

About James Miller

About me

Mr. Miller’s Estate-Planning Philosophy

Mr. Miller’s philosophy in his estate planning practice is to protect your legal rights while honoring your wishes and to do so while respecting your loved ones, financial situation, and family situation no matter how typical or atypical.

His further philosophy is that Mr. Miller wants the client to understand and be comfortable with the legal effect of their document(s) or their decisions. While Mr. Miller can’t make you a lawyer, he’ll do his best to make sure you have enough understanding that you can make an educated decision about your estate plan.

Further, Mr. Miller believes that the client should feel completely free to ask questions and not be “talked down to”, no matter how large or small, about the estate planning process. Most of Mr. Miller’s estate planning work is on a flat-fee basis; meaning that the client is not spending billable hours on questions.

Also, Mr. Miller believes an important quality of a professional is being able to say “I don’t know” if a person doesn’t know an answer. This means that he does not like to “shoot from the hip” and guess when it comes to your legal matter; if there’s doubt on an answer, Mr. Miller prefers to research the question and come up with the best answer under the law and available facts. Frequently, there is no extra charge for this assuming the work falls under the scope of a flat fee agreement. Even if there is a charge, Mr. Miller will help the client determine first if there is actually a need to research the answer to that question before spending the client’s valuable resources.

Mr. Miller further believes that a law firm lives or dies by receiving referrals from satisfied current and former clients. Mr. Miller wants to know immediately if you’re unhappy or don’t understand an aspect of the process. Mr. Miller wants to fix any unhappiness as well as teach you so you can understand the process. If you’re not willing to give us positive referrals, we want to know why so we can fix the issue for the future, and to see if there is any way to “make things right” with you. We are realists and know that not every single person can be happy; but, we want to try our best for you.

Finally, Mr. Miller believes that the estate-planning client should not be surprised or angered by the lawyer’s bill. The client should know relatively close, what the anticipated attorney’s fees and expenses should be at the beginning of representation. Because Estate Planning practice rarely involves the court, the attorney’s fees and expenses are more accurately estimated. While there are still some unknowns that can increase fees beyond the initial estimate, the costs for those unknowns and what is an ‘unknown’ will be communicated and dealt with in the fee agreement between lawyer and client so there are no big surprises. Most flat fee work will have small or very controllable unknowns; or, the unknowns can be investigated easily before signing the fee agreement.

Personal Info

Mr. Miller is a born-and-raised Texan. He graduated from Arlington High School in 2001. He attended UT Austin and earned a BA in Biology in 2004. He earned his JD from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2010 (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law), which he attended on a partial academic merit scholarship. He graduated cum laude and was a member of both Phi Delta Phi and the Law Review.

After law school, Mr. Miller entered private general civil practice, helping clients in estate planning, probate, family, and small-business law. Mr. Miller quickly identified his passion for estate planning law.

He is a past officer and board member of Rotary Club of Arlington North and is a Paul Harris Fellow. His volunteer activities have included Rotary, Dental Health for Arlington, Autism Speaks, Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, Young Men for Arlington, Arlington Young Lawyers Association, Legal Aid of North West Texas, and serving as a City of Arlington Teen Court Judge.

Mr. Miller is married to Dr. Haylie Miller, a psychology researcher studying autism at UNTHSC in Fort Worth, TX. They love their terrier-mix dog named Roly Cornelius Poly and they are expecting their first child named Thomas in July, 2015. In his free time, Mr. Miller enjoys UT football, photography, computers, cooking, science-fiction novels, and aquariums.