An attorney in private practice since 1991, I have a great deal of experience in a variety of legal matters (see practice areas). I have tried more cases than I can remember, including jury trials in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Clair County, Madison County, and in federal court. I have represented clients with interests across the country, and in fact around the world (China, and The Netherlands for example), but I currently focus my practice geographically in Missouri and Illinois.
I was born and raised in Hazelwood, Missouri. When I was in third grade, I knew I wanted to be a trial lawyer. I have spent virtually my entire life in the bi-state area, and have lived and practiced law on both sides of the river for more than two decades. I have lived in Godfrey, Illinois since 2004.
After graduating from DeSmet Jesuit High School, I attended Washington University on an ROTC scholarship. I then graduated from St. Louis University Law School in January of 1991, and began my legal career at a litigation firm in St. Louis. Prior to starting my own law firm, I was a partner in three other firms. I opened my own firm so that I could have greater control over my representation of clients. Specifically, I wanted the freedom to pursue more creative types of representation arrangements, including flat fee arrangements, hybrid arrangements (a combination of flat fee and hourly billing), contingency fee agreements, and hourly billing. This freedom allows me the opportunity to provide most prospective clients with an arrangement that suits their needs. I also wanted to run a law firm that was completely different than any other firm. Specifically, I wanted my law firm to cater to the specific needs of small businesses and ordinary individuals. In addition to my extensive legal experience, I offer my clients a unique skill set: I am a former U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer, trained in tactical and strategic intelligence analysis, and psychological operations. Intelligence officers are trained to “look deep” into the battlefield to predict future events. Psychological operations officers are trained to select themes and arguments to appeal to even hostile audiences. These skills sets inform my judgment as an attorney every day.
There is no shortage of high-priced firms that cater their practices to Fortune 500 companies and wealthy individuals. There is also no shortage of lawyers catering their practices to serious personal injury cases. I long ago recognized that too few lawyers were catering to the needs of ordinary people. Perhaps because of the overwhelming overhead of many firms, they cannot offer legal services in a cost-effective manner. If you want a lawyer with a marble foyer in a high rise office building, you have come to the wrong place. If you want an unpretentious, but skilled lawyer who can provide legal services in an effective, yet cost-effective manner, then let’s talk.
My preference is counseling people to avoid legal problems, but sometimes these issues cannot be avoided. Most lawyers choose to be either in the courtroom or in the office. However, those lawyers that have never seen how the language of a contract gets interpreted in the courtroom by a jury are not well-suited for writing the most effective contracts.
When litigation is necessary, however, I am more than capable of taking your case to verdict. There are many skilled trial lawyers in the Bi-State area, but you will be hard pressed to find any lawyer capable of giving a more compelling closing argument. Although most cases settle, it should be because you are presented with a reasonable offer, not because your lawyer is afraid to take your case to trial. Litigators settle cases. Trial lawyers try cases to verdict. If you want a litigator, I will pull out a couple thousand names from the telephone book for you to call.
My expertise is fitting a square peg into a round hole. What I mean by that is I have a proven track record of creative, successful strategies that have garnered favorable results for my clients. Most lawyers fear rocking the boat, or upsetting the judge. Although I never intentionally disrespect any judicial officer, it is my job to represent my client’s interest, not to curry favor with the judge. My job is, within the bounds of the cannons of ethics, to aggressively pursue a legal strategy to achieve the best result for my clients.
The truth is you do not know if I am a good, bad, or average attorney. The best measure of how good an attorney is is whether the analysis of your case on its first day is close to that on its last day. If your lawyer tells you that you have a million dollar case, but advises you to settle for peanuts on the court house steps, you have not been well represented. I offer my clients a very in depth, candid appraisal of their case on day one. If something changes my assessment of your case (such as a newly discovered piece of evidence) you will know about it. Otherwise, I seldom shift my analysis unless developments which could not have been anticipated occur.