Carpenter & Carpenter, P.C. was 25 years old as of May 1st. In conjunction with our 25th anniversary we have updated our website. Please take a look at it when you have a chance and let us know what you think.
When we started our firm Kathy and I knew that we wanted to have a law firm that focused on our clients. That meant that we would only be able to take a limited number of cases. This focus allows us to get to know our clients and focus on their case. It was a leap of faith but thanks to our clients and all those with whom we have worked, we have never regretted this decision. We have been extremely fortunate in that we have amazing clients. Our clients trusted our firm and even referred us their family and friends. We greatly appreciate your referrals!
Things have changed in the past 25 years. The internet is now a way of life, and is becoming more so due to Covid 19. We are continuing to work on cases and prepare them for trial. The issues facing us as a community are confusing and challenging, but whatever the “new normal” will be, Carpenter & Carpenter, P.C. will be here for you, your family and your friends. Our focus is the same today as it was when we started 25 years ago – on our clients. We are looking forward to seeing you in the near future. Until then, if you have anything you would like to discuss or if you just want catch up, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I was driving and listening to the sports radio about how a certain sports superstar turned down a deal for tens of millions I realized that could have easily been me had I only been taller, stronger, faster, etc., etc. I was just as good a player as them if you factor in those few minor differences. Lawsuits are like that. I know that most of you have experienced the “I have a friend who had a case just like this one and they settled it for (fill in the blank – but it is a lot).” Those darn minor differences kind of determine the true value of a case. A back sprain is not the same as needing surgery, which is not the same as having surgery which is not the same as being paralyzed. A 6’0” slow high school linebacker is not the same as a college linebacker or an NFL linebacker. Even though they are somewhat the same, they are completely different, just like each injury and each lawsuit is different.
The sports discussion and salaries lead to another issue… Why is it that people seem to have no issue with an athlete or actor getting paid millions of dollars for the job they do but those same people believe that compensating a family for the injury suffered because of someone else’s carelessness is somehow wrong. How much more is the value of a mother, father, sister, or brother worth compared to how an athlete or actor performs?
Contact us for a consultation on your case.
Every few years we have the opportunity to elect our people who will represent us and in Texas those who may at some point decide our future either due to a civil dispute or a criminal matter. I believe in our judicial system and know that there is not a better way in existence to resolve disputes than through a jury trial presided over by a fair and impartial judge.
We as Texans have the right and responsibility to elect our judges. So how are you supposed to know which judge should get your vote? Maybe you should just vote straight ticket if you don’t know because that person “must think like me if they are in my same political party”? What do you do if more than one person is running for the same judicial position in the same party? Maybe by who has the name that sounds familiar or sounds more Texan or American? Maybe by the time you get to the judicial elections you are so tired of trying to figure it out that you just quit there? All of these “ways” of deciding who is the person who may be the judge deciding your case happen. They are all not only wrong but a dangerous. There have been elections in the past few years the counties around us in which the least qualified of all the candidates was elected because of one of these reasons. We have lost great judges from both parties due to a straight ticket vote swing one way or the other.
It is hard for me to make a determination on which judges I would vote for who hear strictly criminal or family cases as I only handle civil cases. Before I vote on those positions, I ask friends of mine who practice before those courts as well as do my own research to decide who I should vote for. In this election, as in elections past, I have created a list of the various courts along with who I recommend for the position. I have also listed what party they are affiliated. As an aside I understand why the people running for judge need the backing of a political party as it is expensive and time consuming to run a campaign, but once the general election comes I believe the judicial elections should just list the candidate without party affiliation and making it where any straight ticket vote would not register for either candidate.
When I hear judicial candidates proudly state that they are against lawsuits or for any particular organization for group (whether it be to limit recoveries, for locking people up, etc.), I have to wonder if they are planning on following the law or trying to make it from the bench “Judicial Activism” is the familiar term.
I know what some of you are thinking: You are supporting particular judges and want us to vote for them because they rule for you? While that would be great, it is not the case. In fact almost every one of the sitting judges, despite my brilliant arguments, has ruled against me or made a ruling which negatively impacted a position I held at least once. So why would I support them? Why not just vote for a particular party? I support these individuals because I have practiced before them, seen their work, read their opinions (or those of whom they are running against) and want the best judicial branch of the government we can get. I want a judiciary which treats everyone as equal and not as a statistic to appease their supporters and donators.
So how do you determine who you should vote for in the judicial elections? Glad you asked, here are my 5 Rules for Selecting Judges:
Five Rules for Selecting Judges
One: VOTE. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
Two: Ask attorneys who practice before the Judges and Justices who they would support and why.
Three: Read their propaganda (I mean mailers). Any decent ones are going to list the candidates’ accomplishments and biography. Here is what sends up red flags for me. Any candidate who touts that they are going to be tough on criminals, get rid of frivolous lawsuits, be more republican or democratic than their opponent, etc., etc. I know that political parties are a necessity for the backing and support of candidates (including judges) but I want an elected official who is fair to all. I want a judge who is going to have one job and that is to enforce the laws as they exist and treat everyone equally. I want a judge who believes in the innocent until proven guilty and not one who brags about putting people in jail or being tough on crime. If you enforce the law then usually the right thing happens, if you have an agenda then run for congress and not the bench. Do some investigation on the candidates before you vote on someone who may impact your life greatly in the future.
Four: Select who you would want to decide your case if everything went wrong, if you had to sue someone or were sued or if you were charged with a crime. Is that judge you are voting for someone you would want sitting up on the bench?
Five: You are allowed to take information into the voting booth. After you have done your research and made your decisions, make a list and take it with you when you vote so you don’t get forget who it was you decided on for the position of the ballot and make sure you finish the entire ballot.
Tomorrow we will post our recommendations.
Last Day for Early Voting – Friday, March 2, 2018
Fort Bend County Judicial Election Recommendations
District Attorney – 268th Judicial District Cliff Vacek
Fort Bend County District Courts:
District Judge – 240th Judicial District Chad Bridges
District Judge – 268th Judicial District John “Hawk” Hawkins
District Judge – 328th Judicial District Walter Armatys
District Judge – 458th Judicial District Ken Cannata
Fort Bend County Court:
Judge, County Court at Law No. 1 Chris Morales
Judge, County Court at Law No. 2 Jeffrey A McMeans
Judge, County Court at Law No. 3 Harold Kennedy
Judge, County Court at Law No. 4 Amy Mitchell
Judge, County Court at Law No. 6 Dean Hrbacek
District Clerk: Annie Rebecca Elliott
County Clerk: Laura Richard
Fort Bend County Treasurer: Bill Rickert
Justice of Peace Precinct 1, Place 2: Mary S. Ward
So how do you determine who you should vote for in the judicial elections? Glad you asked, here are my Five Rules for Selecting Judges:
Five Rules for Selecting Judges
One: VOTE. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
Two: Ask attorneys who practice before the Judges and Justices and who have to deal with the court clerks on a weekly basis. These are people who have a working knowledge of what is good and/or bad and deal with the consequences of both. They should be able to tell you who they would support and why.
Three: Read the mailers. Any decent literature will list the candidates’ accomplishments and biography. Here is what sends up red flags for me. Any candidate who touts that they are going to be tough on criminals, get rid of frivolous lawsuits, be more Republican or Democratic than their opponent, etc., etc. I know that political parties are a necessity for the backing and support of candidates (including judges) but I want an elected official who is fair to all. I want a judge who is going to have one job and that is to enforce the laws as they exist and treat everyone equally. I want a judge who believes in innocence until guilt is proven. Not one who brags about putting people in jail or being tough on crime. If a judge enforces the law then usually the right thing happens. If a candidate has an agenda they should run for congress and not the bench.
Four: Select who you would want to decide your case if everything went wrong and if you had to sue someone or were sued even if you were charged with a crime. Is that judge you are voting for someone you would want sitting up on the bench? I hear clients say all the time, that they never thought they would need a lawyer or be involved in litigation, i.e. I’m not one of those people (see my blog https://carpentercarpenter.com/blog/who-are-those-people-doing-all-the-suing/ )
Five: You are allowed to take information into the voting booth. After you have done your research and made your decisions on who you will be voting for, make a list and take it with you when you vote so you don’t get forget for whom you decided to vote. And please make sure you finish the entire ballot. Every race is important.
On May 1st 1995 the law firm of Carpenter & Carpenter, P.C. began with Brent, Kathy and our paralegal in one small office with two desks and one phone and a plan to represent a select group of clients in their legal matters. Twenty one years later our practice still represents a select group of clients, but with a little more space in our historic Sugar Land office on Brooks Street.
About seven years ago we expanded our areas of practice from exclusively wrongful death, personal injury and products liability to include business matters including such issues as breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder issues, non-compete, and other disputes. We also work to counsel our clients in how to avoid litigation rather than having to deal with it.
We have handled cases across the United States and tried cases which have lasted over a month, a case which was broadcast live on the internet, defended individuals who were being sued for millions of dollars by corporations, and represented a company in divesting a shareholder of interest in the company. We have also represented a family whose daughter was killed in a rollover crash against the vehicle manufacturer, parents of a young man who was killed due to the actions of a reckless driver, a widow and her children when their husband and father was killed in a refinery and many, many more.
Our firm is a Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent rated firm, Brent and Kathy are nationwide speakers, and have published a book “My Car Crash Case” to help people to handle their own smaller car crash cases without having to a lawyer. Kathy is a former director of Fort Bend Lawyers Care and has been active in community activities in Fort Bend County. Brent is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, he has been listed as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson-Reuters every year since they began this honor in 2003, is a member of the Texas College of the State Bar, former Fort Bend Bar president and ATLA product liability chair.
The constant in all of our cases is that we have been fortunate to have great clients and attorneys who trust us to work with them on their cases. When we started our firm we knew that we were not going to be a volume firm, but rather a firm that would know each client and treat them like we would want to be treated. While we only take a limited number of cases we work to make sure that every person who contacts us is provided with the information they need to make an informed decision and, if it is a matter we will not handle, we work with them to find a lawyer who will.
So if you are in the neighborhood the month of May, give us a call and come by to help us celebrate us being legal and having the best clients and co-counsels in the country.