My parents made me start working when I was 13, mowing neighborhood lawns in the Texas heat. By age 15, I had graduated to squee-geeing tennis courts, cleaning swimming pools, and making keys at a key shop. To get through college at SMU from 1983-1987, I worked summers at a ramshackle box factory my dad bought in 1984. (He grew it into a multi-million-dollar operation by the time he retired in 2004.) I also worked at SMU as a dorm resident advisor during the regular school year. I graduated magna cum laude with two bachelor's degrees.
I went straight to graduate school and law school at Duke University from 1987-1990. To make ends meet during law school, I got another three-year gig as a dorm resident advisor, living alongside the undergraduates and getting a living stipend and a meal pass. I worked summers at law firms. I graduated with high honors and also obtained an M.A. in English from the graduate school at Duke.
After graduate school, I went to work as a law clerk for a federal judge beginning in 1990, then I practiced law in Washington DC until early 1998.
It's fair to say that big law firm life did not suit me (nor I them), so for a decade thereafter, inspired by architects Christopher Alexander and Johnny Grey and the wealth of old houses in the D.C. area, I built a successful design/build firm (and still do the occasional project) and was licensed as a general contractor in several states.
I started practicing law in Texas in 2007. I fight fraud in land deals and work hard to preserve homeowner rights in HOA matters. I also routinely defend homeowners against improper and illegal foreclosures. I also do appellate work in all Texas state appeals courts and the U.S. Appeals Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
I spend my free time with my wife and three boys, and every morning before work, I bang away at improbably long works of science fiction that have to do with sentient machines, genetically nonconforming humans, priests, and political malcontents.
I am honored to be a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. I have been privileged to argue important Texas Constitutional and property-rights cases before the Texas Supreme Court in Austin and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. I love writing briefs, and at any given time, I have several appeals going in the Fifth Circuit and in the Texas intermediate appeals courts and Texas Supreme Court. I also typically handle 2-3 U.S. Supreme Court petitions or responses thereto each year.
Admitted to the Texas Bar
Federal Court admissions:
- Northern District of Texas
- SouthernDistrict of Texas
- Eastern District of Texas
- Western District of Texas.
- 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court