Firm Officer, Galveston Office
Jim joined our Firm in 1978 and became a Firm Officer in 1984. Since his first week with the Firm, Jim has represented petrochemical industry members, including Amoco Oil Company, BP Amoco Chemical Company, BP Products North America Inc., CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Lyondell Chemical Company, Marathon Petroleum Company, Monsanto Chemical Company, Dow Chemical Company, as well as numerous contractors, equipment providers, small and large service providers, the Park Board of Galveston and the Port of Galveston.
Jim gained valuable trial experience early in his career by trying insurance defense cases and Workers’ Compensation lawsuits (on both sides of the docket).
Throughout his legal career, Jim has handled a diverse array of disputes dealing with a variety of legal issues, including Mass Torts, Chemical Exposure and Cancer, Construction, Jones Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, FELA, Workers’ Compensation, Longshoremen and Harbor workers, Indemnity, Insurance Coverage and First Party Claims, Probate, Arson, Adoption, Labor/Employment, Immigration/Asylum, Industrial Accidents (including severe burns and multiple death cases), Products Liability, Libel/Slander, Medical Malpractice, OSHA Regulations and Enforcement Actions, Groundwater and Neighborhood Environmental Contamination, Wrongful Discharge, Employment Discrimination and Environmental Regulation and Damage.
In his personal time, Jim serves in numerous capacities for local charitable efforts now with the Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Sea Scout Base Galveston and the Sealy & Smith Foundation. He is leading a local ‘At Risk Youth’ project with the Galveston Ministerial Alliance, Galveston Independent School District and Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts, finding, training and retaining credible leaders and role models in the relevant ‘at risk’ community.
He is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and three time local ‘Rotarian of the Year’. He served for years on the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center Board. He has served as incorporator and has secured tax exempt status for a number of local charities.
He coached YMCA league basketball and Galveston Youth Soccer Association teams (and served as Referee). He is a multi gallon blood donor, active in attempts to grow the donor base for the University of Texas Medical Branch.
He still enjoys playing (mostly for charitable events) in a Rock And Roll Band (well known as ‘Mid Life Crisis’), and still climbs and backpacks with a close group of fellow ‘Mountaineers’.
He and his wife Sally are proud of their two grown sons and one new daughter-in-law. His duck hunting Black Lab, ‘G. Rollie’, while loyal and masterful at his craft, has Jim very well trained.
Honors and Awards
- Named “Texas Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters partner publication/insert distributed by Texas Monthly 2008-2012, 2015-2016
- Rated “AV Preeminent” (highest rating possible) by Martindale-Hubbell (for years)
- Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
- Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (1983 to present)
- Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (2007 to present)
- Several years Selected as a peer reviewed ‘Best Attorney in Texas’ and ‘in America’
- Several years Selected as a peer reviewed ‘Top Attorney in Texas’
- Recipient of the ‘Public Service Award’ given by the Mayor and Council of the City of Galveston for service on the Sunset Commission
- Recipient of the ‘Public Service Award’ given by the Mayor and Council of the City of Galveston for service on the Ethics Commission
- Served as original Author, President and Lead Investigator for the City of Galveston Ethics Commission
- ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ designation by Texas Department of Human Services for work securing ‘Maternity Leave’ for adoptive parents employed by the Department of Human Services
- Secured Insurance Board findings that Bone Marrow Transplant Therapies for certain tumors like Breast Cancer were no longer ‘Experimental’ and were therefore covered by Insurance
- Three time Rotarian of the Year, Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Galveston
- Galveston Chamber of Commerce Officer, Legislative Affairs Chair, Transportation Chair and ‘Outstanding Volunteer’
- Originator of the ‘Moonlight Golfing Madness’ events sponsored by the Rotary Club of Galveston
- Incorporator, Director, Foreman and President of The Galveston Rotary VIT Foundation
- Admiral in the Texas Navy appointed by Governor Rick Perry – 2006 to present
- Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, Silver Beaver Award and numerous offices including President, Director and Chair of Island District and Friends of Scouting Banquets
- Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors
- President, Director and Outstanding Young Lawyer, Galveston County Young Lawyers Association
- Neighborhood Association – Multiple years as President
- Baylor University School of Law:
- Baylor Law Review – Associate Editor
- Magister of Hemphill Inn, Phi Delta Phi
- Mid Law Class President
- ‘Counselor’ and ‘Order of Barristers’
- Baylor Interscholastic Mock Trial, Moot Court and Client Counseling Teams
Professional Publications and Presentations
- Numerous moderator, panel member and lecture presentations on Expert Witnesses, Jury Selection/Voir Dire, Legal Ethics, Indemnity, Immigration, Adoptions, Post Accident Investigations, Toxic Torts, Pretrial Preparation, Trial, Air Pollution and Air Monitoring Networks
- Notebooks and Trial Tactics for Houston Business Roundtable, Live Oak Legal Seminars, Texas A&M-Galveston, UTMB-Galveston, State Farm Insurance Company, Texas Young Lawyers Association, Galveston County Bar Association, Galveston Young Lawyers’ Association, BP Amoco Chemical Company and BP Products North America Inc.
- Author of Adoption Options, Published by the Texas Young Lawyers Association, 1991.