Stephen’s practice primarily focuses on insurance and appeals. His appellate advocacy begins in the trial courts by assisting trial counsel with the preparation of critical motions and the documents that frame the findings. His representation continues after trial in post-trial motions and on appeal with the preparation of briefs and presentation of oral argument.
He began his appellate experience by serving as a briefing and research attorney at the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas. He has since continued in private practice representing clients on appeal in matters such as aviation, construction defect, eminent domain, insurance and other contract disputes, products liability, professional liability, and premises liability cases. In addition to post-verdict and appellate representation, Stephen works closely with trial counsel in the formulation of strategic legal analysis that shapes the issues presented to the trier of fact.
In the insurance field, he provides guidance and analysis in contractual and extra-contractual liability insurance disputes. Stephen’s experience in insurance matters includes advise and analysis of a wide spectrum of liability insurance policies, including commercial liability, professional liability and director’s and officer’s liability insurance. He also has extensive experience in environmental liability coverage disputes.
Stephen believes there are two essential elements to effective representation. The first is an appreciation of the need to question conventional wisdom and assumptions and use that sense of inquisitiveness to formulate novel approaches and solutions. His experience has taught him the willingness to challenge conventional thinking often leads to the best arguments. The second essential element is a commitment to communicating those solutions clearly and supporting them with a thorough, accurate, and concise analysis. Practical skepticism, clear communication, and a strong work ethic means that Stephen is willing and ready to take on challenging causes.
Stephen’s interest in innovative problem solving and clear communication stem from his pre-law interests in political science and journalism. Before attending law school, it was his good fortune to work as an assistant to the Hon. W.R. Poage during the 95th Congress. He continued these interests after obtaining his law degree by teaching courses on legal writing and civil procedure. He maintains a strong interest in legal education and speaks for bar and professional groups on topics related to insurance, appeals and civil litigation. He is also active in his community and serves as an officer on the board of his homeowner’s association.