I have a wife and three children. I have a few good friends. I like to hunt and fish. These things are most important to me.
I have owned two businesses, and I have worked for many. I have worked in many industries, long before law school. I worked construction at the general contractor level and at the subcontractor level. I worked both commercial and residential construction. I worked in restaurants. I detailed cars. I delivered pizzas. I have cleaned toilets, mowed yards, painted parking lot lines, dug ditches, run conduit, tied ceiling grid, worked in hot-shot delivery, worked in attics in the worst of summertime heat, repaired small engines, and managed multi-million-dollar projects. I have managed people and been managed by people. I can and do work with my hands, and I often find that work most fulfilling.
I did incredibly well in law school; I have written books and articles in my profession; and I can hold my resume next to anyone. But a resume does not hold a candle to work ethic and integrity. Resumes are paper; degrees are paper. They are not an entitlement; nor are they an indication of character. I strive to be much more than a lawyer with a good resume. And I am the same every day, good and bad, trial or no trial, working in a law firm, working on a duck blind, or being with my family.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest of lawyers. I am not him, but I strive to be. He once wrote:
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. Who can be more nearly a fiend than he who habitually overhauls the register of deeds in search of defects in titles, whereon to stir up strife, and put money in his pocket? A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.
Do you want to avoid legal problems? It’s quite easy, frankly, as a general rule. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. If you do that, most of the time you will avoid legal trouble, at least real legal trouble. There are always those that will abuse the system or who will do unto others in a way that they would not want done to them. And they can abuse you; they can accuse you; they can say false things about you; they can try to hurt you. It has happened to me, too. There are unquestionably bad people in this world. Those people you cannot help or control. But you can control you. You can help yourself legally by trying to do the right thing by others. And when you try to do that, most of the time legal trouble will not be your trouble. And if it becomes your trouble, if you abide by that principle, most of the time you are and will be just fine at the end of the day, even when falsely-accused.
But even when you do all that you can to do right by others, at times litigation is necessary. Either because it is brought against you or because you must bring it against another. I am a zealous advocate, and I walk with my clients carrying both a sword and a shield to bring justice.
No matter what the size, I will try to negotiate a resolution without involving a legal proceeding. That is the way it should be. Sometimes it is not that way. Oftentimes, mediation is used to reach an out of court agreement and settlement. However, if negotiations break down or these options fail, one must head to Judge or Jury, which can result in a settlement or trial. If the fight is in order, I fight for my clients. Zealously. But I fight with integrity.
If you have questions about a legal problem that you are facing, please call me at 903-944-7537. I will discuss your specific legal needs, explain the law, and if necessary, fight the good fight in Court.
J.D., Baylor University School of Law, 2004
Baylor Law Review
National Mock Trial Teams
BBA, Texas A&M University, 2000
State Bar of Texas
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th, 9th, and Federal Circuits
U.S. Supreme Court
Honorable T. John Ward American Inn of Court
Member Since: 2017 - Present
Vice President: 2016 - 2017
Secretary/Treasurer: 2015 - 2016
State Bar of Texas
Member Since: 2004 - Present
Smith County Bar Association
Member Since: 2004 - Present
Board of Directors From 2007 - 2009
Co-Chair of the Law Day Committee From 2006 - 2007
American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section, Patent Litigation Committee
Member Since: 2006 - 2008
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2017
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2016
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2015
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2014
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2013
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2012
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2011
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2010
- Thomson Reuters - Texas Elements of an Action - 2009
- Intellectual Property Litigation, Vol. 21, No. 1 - Remember Your Audience and Stay Simple - 2009
- American Bar Association - Co-Editor - Patent Obviousness in the Wake of KSR International v. Teleflex, Inc. - 2008
- Intellectual Property Litigation, Vol. 19, No. 2 - Pitfalls in Disclosing Prefiling Investigations and Ways to Lessen Them - 2008
- Intellectual Property Litigation, Vol. 19, No. 2 - MedImmune: How to Immunize Against It - 2008
- Intellectual Property Litigation, Vol. 18, No. 4 - The Practical Side of eBay - 2007
- Super Lawyer 2014- 2019
- Rising Star - Super Lawyers 2007 - 2013
- Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar Conference - Moderator - E-Discovery. Insights from the Drafting Table & Other Views from the Bench. Come December, What will New E-Discovery Look Like - 2015
- Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar Conference - Twombly and Rule 11 Due Diligence - East Texas Style - 2010
- American Bar Association Annual Meeting - The Outcome of CIPRO and Its Effect on Reverse Engineering - 2010
- Continuing Legal Education Teleconference - Microsoft v. AT&T: Does U.S. Patent Law Apply to Exported Software? - 2007
- Partner - Allen Gardner Law, PLLC. 2017 - Present
- Partner - Gillam & Smith, LLP. 2015 - 2017
- Partner - Potter Minton, P.C. 2004 - 2015
- Project Engineer - Vaughn Construction Company. 2000 - 2001