Areas of Practice

 

Commercial Real Estate

I have extensive experience in most aspects of commercial real estate.

I am board certified in commercial real estate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been since 1984.

My experience runs the gamut of property type—from raw land to office buildings, apartment complexes, retail centers, and industrial complexes.

I represent land owners, subdivision developers, improved property owners and operators, and lenders—both traditional residential and commercial lending institutions and hard money lenders.

I can help you negotiate your sales and purchase agreement—including those tricky AS-IS provisions. I will, depending on your level of experience, sophistication and your desire, work with your due diligence team or conduct your due diligence during the feasibility study period of the contract. I will review the title committment and exception documents, review the survey, review and negotiate the loan documents, and close the transaction.

I can serve you in preparing or negotiating your commercial lease. Yes, most landlords will negotiate the terms of the lease, even for the small space tenant.

I can assist in the enforcement (or defense) of your leases in eviction proceedings.

I have experience negotiating complex warehouse loan agreements and whole loan sale and servicing agreements.

The devil is, of course, in the details of any transaction. My goal in such representation is to assist you in achieving your goal, to help you be successful in your transactions, with as few surprises as possible.

 

Residential Real Estate

You may have heard that the use of standardized residential contracts and conveyancing and mortgage forms eliminates the need for you to hire an attorney to help you purchase your home. And it is true that "standard" TREC contract forms State Bar of Texas deed forms and FannieMae/FreddieMac loan forms are used in the vast majority of home purchases in Texas.

But that does not mean that you do not need an attorney. Now I do not think that everyone is out to cheat you; however, my experience that taught me that even though the various people you encounter in a typical residential real estate transaction may not intend to hurt you, neither is their primary focus your interests. Instead, they are focused on their interests. I think it is beneficial, even imperative, that you have an experienced, knowledgeable person—whose sole purpose is to assist and advocate for you—assist you in one of the most important transactions of your life.

That is why I will represent you in the purchase (or sale) of your home for a flat fee. For a fee that is determined up front, I will review the contract for sale (hopefully before you sign it) the title commitment, survey, loan documents, closing statement and other closing documents, consult with you about them, and answer your questions. My goal is to make sure the transaction closes as you intend, with no surprises, and that you have the time and opportunity to review and ask questions prior to closing.

Other services involving residential real estate are available on an hourly basis.

I am board certified in residential real estate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and have been since 1984.

 

Business Organizations

Selecting the proper entity in which to do business is very important.

As I do not render tax advice, I work as a part of a team with my client and their accountant to analyze the many factors to consider in making that decision such as limitation of liability, continuity, taxation, involvement in management (or lack thereof), getting money out of the entity, and exit strategy.

My goal in this representation is to help my clients think through their dream of owning their own business and to offer practical insights and solutions to potential problems. For example, what is the downside to two people having "equal say" in running the business and how can you plan to overcome it? Another example—recent changes in Texas tax law have significantly impacted the use of limited partnerships as real estate investment vehicles—but there are still planning opportunities that weigh in favor of continued use of this entity type.

But my representation does not stop with formation of the entity. I have experience in negotiating a broad range of business contracts such as franchise and distributorship agreements, employment and confidentiality agreements, brokerage agreements, and loan agreements.

One of the most important decisions I make is what matter or case not to take. If I am not qualified or have the time to handle your particular matter, I will do what I can to assist you to find an attorney who can help—if you want the help.

 

Litigation

I took my baby steps as a lawyer in the courtroom—trying lawsuits for eviction, wrongful foreclosure, usury, and other real estate issues as well as commercial collections, probate and other general civil matters, mostly in state courts.

I have maintained an active trial docket since then. I restrict my litigation involvement to probate, real estate, and commercial cases.

Generally speaking, the courthouse is the last place anyone wants or needs to be. A lawsuit is more expensive, more time consuming, and more emotionally draining than you can imagine. You will think about it every day until it is concluded. That is why I counsel my clients to take all reasonable action to resolve a dispute by means of alternative dispute resolution techniques before filing a lawsuit. My experience has shown me that you can accomplish much more, at much less expense, by talking—and by genuinely trying to achieve an outcome that benefits all parties—rather than digging in your heels and demanding your favored outcome.

However, a lawsuit is a kind of battle; and once decided, it cannot be undertaken halfheartedly.

I require a written fee agreement and a deposit in all matters in which I am attorney of record in a lawsuit.

I also have experience in litigation of appeals in the state courts of Texas.