About Pat Evans

Pat Evans Articles written 12

Articles written by Pat Evans

The Lawyer Who Unfriended Facebook

Conor Civins negotiated a settlement for Lamebook, which parodies the social-media giant

Once upon a time, a patent lawsuit typically involved one company that had invented an amazing widget and another accused of purloining it. These days, the plaintiff is more likely to be a troll. “[They] do nothing but buy up patents, then try to enforce those patents and extract money from defendants,” says Conor Civins, a partner at the Austin office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman who often defends global companies against trolls, otherwise known as nonpracticing entities. Although he …

Cheaper to Call a Cab

Brent de la Paz on the new wave of DWI forensic law

Brent de la Paz defends clients charged with driving while intoxicated. It doesn’t sound like he wants more work. “The advice I give is to be prepared. If you’re going to drink more than one, it’s cheaper to call a cab than to call me. But if you are stopped, understand that the officer has a job to do, and it’s likely he is going to arrest you. That’s when you need me,” de la Paz says. He started handling DWI cases because that’s what walked in the door—and most often needed …

The Closer

How Suzette E. Selden quietly eviscerates witnesses

When a San Angelo couple’s home was severely damaged by a propane-tank explosion a mile away, their insurance company refused to pay, insisting the blast was too far from the house to have shaken things up. Suzette E. Selden’s Austin firm, George Brothers Kincaid & Horton, was called in by lead counsel Guy Choate to lend its expertise in insurance coverage. Choate, with Webb, Stokes & Sparks in San Angelo, says people are sometimes misled by Selden’s soft-spoken style. “Given …

Raising the Bar

Trial lawyer Ryan Zehl has a rare combination of tenacity and people skills  

Ryan Zehl has dimples when he smiles, and jurors tell him he looks like one of their kids. But the personal injury attorney is a man on a mission when he stands in front of a courtroom and lays out what went wrong, who’s to blame and how the jury can fix it. “He thinks fast, learns fast, works fast, talks fast and moves fast,” says former state Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister, who hired Zehl as a clerk after law school. “I liked that. Yet perhaps his greatest gift is his ability to …

The Puzzle Solver

How tax attorney Emily Parker became the first female managing partner in 125 years at Thompson & Knight

When Emily Parker graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1970, she wanted a career beyond the traditional roles for women at that time, like being a homemaker, teaching school, nursing or working at drug stores, such as the one in Henderson, Texas, where she grew up. “I thought I might become a doctor, but there were all those science courses,” Parker says, grinning. “I did well but the other students lived and breathed medicine. It was all-consuming to them, so I realized I …

On the Job

Daniel N. Ramirez helps employers comply with immigration and employment laws regarding employee documentation

Daniel N. Ramirez’s rise began humbly in El Paso as the son of Mexican immigrants. Through hard work, service in the Navy, the encouragement of a college professor and mentorship of a new boss, Ramirez made his way to named partner at Texas’ largest Hispanic-owned employment and immigration law firm, Houston-based Monty & Ramirez. As an undergrad at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Ramirez wasn’t thinking about a future as an attorney—instead he was set on becoming an FBI …

Defending Big Oil

Environmental litigator Rick Faulk sticks to the facts

Environmental defense lawyers are never the heroes of movies. At best they’re portrayed as unsympathetic, at worst villainous, as they spar against heroic plaintiff’s lawyers played by the likes of Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) or John Travolta (A Civil Action). Which means the courtly and warm Richard Faulk of Houston’s Gardere Wynne Sewell, who defends big oil, gas and chemical corporations in toxic tort cases and environmental litigation, is not out of central casting.  “I don’t …

The Lawyer Who transformed Texas Schools

How Mark Trachtenberg parlayed a great law school paper into billions for education

As a first-year Yale Law School student, Mark Trachtenberg took a seminar called “Education, Equity and the Law.” The professor asked students to write a paper detailing one state’s school finance litigation. A Houston native, Trachtenberg chose Texas. He found the state’s long history of educational litigation fascinating. He and another Texan, classmate Steven Farr, co-authored a 120-page whopper that lassoed law school awards and was published by the prestigious Yale Law & Policy …

56 Years of Civility in Texas Law

You can overuse the Atticus Finch comparison—few people really deserve it. Jim Coleman does

Of all the lawyers in Texas, there's likely just one who marched through Germany with Patton's Army, received the Silver Star, served in the CIA and went skydiving for his 80th birthday. At age 85, but looking way younger, Dallas civil litigator James E. Coleman Jr. is still hard at work at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, the firm he co-founded in 1970. Getting Coleman to talk about his life is like pulling teeth. Although he has been honored bountifully for his professionalism, …

A Small Town's Big Fish

Craig Brown plays in the big leagues but lives in the small ones

What’s that old saying? Everybody dies famous in a small town,” says Craig Brown, 32, of Cappolino Dodd & Krebs in Cameron, Texas, population about 5,600. That’s his way of saying he’s just fine with being a small-town lawyer, even though he has lived and worked in larger Texas cities. Brown started out in an even smaller town, born and raised in Karnes City, population 3,457, a farming and ranching community about 60 miles south of San Antonio, where he was born. “My dad was a …

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