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 working 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 bachelor's degrees in Poli. Sci. and Economics.
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, where I studied literary theory during the heyday of post-structuralism.
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. Law firm life did not suit me. 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 do appellate work in all Texas and 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. I also follow Stephen Wolfram and his physics project.
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