About Paul Nolan

Paul Nolan Articles written 55

Articles written by Paul Nolan

A Lawyer in Love With Two Blind Disciplines: Justice and Wine-Tasting

Both Randy Roach and his wines have depth and good character

If you want to make a small fortune in the wine business, winemakers say, you have to start with a large fortune. It is a pursuit driven more by passion than by profits. But Houston attorney Robert M. “Randy” Roach Jr. has plenty of passion. “I became interested through a high school girlfriend whose family was very serious about wine,” he says. “We would get to drink great French champagnes and French burgundies, mostly in the home, but sometimes in accommodating restaurants.” That …

Being Buffalo Bill

J. Gary Trichter channels a Western hero

Even though J. Gary Trichter grew up in Miami, and spent his youth on boats and beaches in Island Marada and Key West in the summers, he always embraced “the cowboy way.” It just took him 50 years and a cowgirl to realize it. A nationally renowned DWI attorney and a founding partner of Houston- and Bandera-based Trichter & Murphy, the 58-year-old says his recreational interests were skewed toward flying historic war planes in air shows before he met and hired Dee Dee Norman as his legal …

That’s My Life Up There on the Stage!

For public defender John Littrell, the line between theater and real life got a little blurred

They say that good theater has the ability to make its audience relate to one of the characters on stage. For John Littrell, 33, a Los Angeles-based federal public defender, that wasn't difficult at all when he attended For All Time, a wide-ranging exploration of the criminal justice system that debuted in the fall of 2008 at Cornerstone Theater Company. Littrell has spent many hours with playwright KJ Sanchez, sitting for several lengthy interviews that she gathered as background to write For …

Jacqueline Harding’s Emmy

How does a labor lawyer win television's highest honor?

The success stories of Jacqueline Harding's family are prominently displayed in their home. Her children's sports trophies sit next to various plaques that she and her husband have received for career accomplishments and community contributions. But among all those items there's something special: a Regional Emmy that Harding received for producing a weekly news program in Chicago. "People ask, 'Why don't you have it encased in glass?' We have to be equal opportunity braggarts," explains …

A Man in a Big Hurry

Patrick Avakian is hooked on speed

Things don't always move as fast as  you'd like in the legal world, which is why patent attorney Patrick Avakian is grateful that he's been able to keep one foot firmly planted in the sport he has loved since his youth—auto racing. Avakian, a 34-year-old associate at Davis Wright Tremaine in Los Angeles, had a knack for mechanics and a need for speed even before he was a teenager. "I got hooked on the remote-control cars that you build yourself, and by the time I was 16 or 17, I went from …

Win or Lose. Then Draw

Marc Jacobs knows that people laugh at him. It's part of his job

Marc Jacobs, 38, uses experiences from his day job as a partner at Michelman & Robinson in Encino as inspiration for his hobby—drawing comics that lampoon the oddities and unusual aspects of the legal world.  Jacobs is a litigation lawyer. He gathers ideas by day and puts them in pictures by night, after his two children are in bed. A single illustration can take up to 12 hours to complete. Jacobs' single-panel comic, "Above the Law," debuted in 2008 in Valley Lawyer, which is published …

Media Man

John Zieser represents publishing giant Meredith Corp.

John Zieser is foremost a businessman. That was always the plan. After earning his MBA from the University of Iowa, he completed his J.D. at Cornell University, where the latter was meant to supplement the former. "I didn't think when I entered law school that I would become a lawyer," he says. "I thought it would be a good technical platform for business. I'm really more of a businessperson who happens to be very good at law." It's a combination that has worked for both Zieser and his …

The Negotiator

Louis Kushner believes any two parties can reach a settlement

Louis Kushner is the first to admit he's not exactly Johnny Excitement. "I'm the most boring person you'll ever meet," says the amiable 67-year-old partner at Rothman Gordon in Pittsburgh. "I've had one job, one wife, one house." And one reputation: as the level-headed guy who reaches settlements. "Lou shows that you get more bees with honey than vinegar," says Judge Lawrence W. Kaplan, who left the bench last year after 30 years of settling divorce and custody cases in the family division of …

In the Strike Zone

James Cavanaugh's trial by fire at Hormel

James Cavanaugh's corner office in the single-story headquarters of Hormel Foods—based in Austin, Minn., a small city on the Southeastern tip of the state—sits past a maze of 1980s-era cubicles that leave a visitor with the impression that not much changes around here. It's precisely that stability that attracted Cavanaugh to the company in 1982. As one of six in-house attorneys at Hormel, Cavanaugh began his job thinking he would focus on tax and pension matters. Six months after he …

Riding Passenger, For Fun and Profit

Chris Collins liked being a rock star, but he loves being a lawyer

When Chris Collins stepped away from his passion for playing music, he discovered that he enjoyed it even more. Collins, 37, a partner at Barlow Garsek & Simon in Fort Worth, grew up in a musical family and befriended a guitarist named Cody "Bear" Quisenberry while enrolled at Texas Tech University. The two men started a band called Passenger and, with Collins handling lead vocals, poured out soulful rock 'n' roll covers and original songs that earned a respectful fan base in Texas …

Find top lawyers with confidence

The Super Lawyers patented selection process is peer influenced and research driven, selecting the top 5% of attorneys to the Super Lawyers lists each year. We know lawyers and make it easy to connect with them.

Find a lawyer near you