A persuasive, educated, and skilled legal advisor with outstanding communication skills and proven business judgment. Diverse in-house legal management, administrative and law firm experience, including recent responsibility as Assistant General Counsel of a $6.8 billion market cap NYSE-traded corporation.
Strategic Legal Counsel
Business Advisory and Solutions
08/2009 to 08/2016
Assistant General CounselPulteGroup, Inc. － Dallas, Texas
After completion of Pulte Home/Centex Corporation merger in mid-2009 was asked to continue as Assistant General Counsel for new company. Combined company operates in 50 US markets as: Pulte Homes, Centex Homes, Del Webb and Divosta.
Provide legal advice and support to senior executives, division senior management, and the general counsel of this NYSE (PHM), Fortune 500 homebuilder.
Areas of emphasis include: dispute avoidance, intellectual property, real estate and construction issues, contractor-subcontractor issues, contract review, HR/ employment claims, safety, risk management, insurance coverage and insurance procurement, implementation of company policies and procedures, and claims investigation. Preparation of board committee reports and FAS 5 compliant legal accounting reports. Advocate in mediations, trials and arbitrations for company.
Respond to government inquiries from SEC, FTC, and CPSC.
Partner with corporate communications to respond to media inquiries on issues with potential legal ramifications.
Successfully manage outside counsel in litigation, including: construction defect, product defect class actions, contract disputes, real estate, contractor-subcontractor disputes, insurance coverage, consumer class actions, personal injury/death claims, wrongful termination claims, discrimination claims, EEOC complaints, FLSA wage and hour class actions, California meal and rest period litigation, securities litigation, ERISA stock drop class litigation, merger and acquisition class litigation, and patent infringement litigation.
10/2005 to 08/2009
Vice President and Assistant General CounselCentex － Dallas, Texas
Job functions were essentially the same as noted above for Pulte while employed by this NYSE (CTX), Fortune 500 company.
Due diligence executive team member in Centex's merger with Pulte in 2009.
Recruited and managed a sophisticated, cost-effective in-house litigation team while reducing outside legal fees. Team of five professionals moved with me to Pulte.
Implemented company's first computerized litigation billing system.
Implemented company's first e-discovery/records management solution.
Managed state by state overhaul of outside counsel on approved panel with reduction in number of firms providing cost savings on legal spend.
Saved in excess of $20M/year in legal spend by enforcing additional insured status under subcontractor insurance policies.
Partnered with senior management and Division Counsel to simplify Home Warranty and Home Purchase Agreements.
Partnered with Risk Management team members in implementation of new insurance policy solution for homebuilding operations.
In addition to litigation arising out of the home building operations in US, also managed litigation arising out of former Mexico City operations.
10/1998 to 10/2005
PartnerCozen O'Connor － Dallas, TX
Am Law 200 national firm.
Successful practice in state and federal courts around the nation.
First chair trial experience.
National insurance litigation department member.
Practice group leader supervising multiple attorneys, including business development, recruiting, and training.
05/1996 to 10/1998
AssociateBracewell LLP － Houston, TX
Am Law 200 national firm.
Civil litigation team member.
Emphasis on insurance coverage related litigation.
12/1994 to 04/1995
InternUS District Judge Marcia Crone － Houston, TX
Prepared first draft of proposed legal opinions for Judge's approval and signature.
05/1992 to 09/1992
InternHouston Astros Baseball Club － Houston, TX
Baseball front office intern.
Assisted with game day press box operations.
Assisted with media requests from local reporters and ESPN analysts.
Assisted with MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Corresponded each day with Elias Sports Bureau on official statistics.
J.D.South Texas College of Law － Houston, TX
Bachelor of Journalism: Public RelationsThe University of Texas at Austin － Austin, TX
Publications and Presentations
How Current Market and Economic Forces May Impact Construction Defect Litigation, West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Conference, Disneyland, May 2008 and May 2009;
Turning the Other Cheek: Can Insurers' Defense of Coverage Suits Constitute Grounds for Bad Faith Litigation? Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1, Fall 2002 (American Bar Association) and Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Vol. 4, No. 3, June 2003 (Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas);
Primary and Excess Coverage, Covering Key Policy Provisions and Exclusions, Insurance Law Seminar, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, Nov. 2004;
First Party Coverage for the Mold Claims, Insurance Law Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, November 2003;
The Standard Insurance Policies: Key Provisions and Exclusions, Insurance Law Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, May 2001;
Independent Counsel, Texas Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 7, Number 2, May 1998 (Lexis Law Publishing);
Coverage for Long-Tail Claims: Asbestos and Beyond, 3rd Annual Insurance Law Institute, The University of Texas Law School, September 1998;
Texas' Top Ten Insurance Coverage Issues (And How the Courts Should Resolve Them), Handling Insurance & Tort Claims, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, August 1997;
Reservation of Rights in Texas: Why, Why Not, When and How, Advanced Insurance Seminar, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, March 1997;
Expert Testimony in Texas Courts After E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. v. Robinson, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, March 1996.
Litigation Management: including, but not limited to, civil litigation; commercial litigation; class actions; construction litigation; employment litigation; e-discovery; and insurance litigation.
Insurance coverage / risk management;
Corporate law / corporate governance;
Legal research and writing;
Contract management and review;
Mergers and Acquisitions;
Dispute resolution: including trials, arbitrations; mediations; and appeals.
State Bar of Texas
Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas
Bar Association of the Fifth Federal District
American Bar Association--Tort, Trial & Insurance Section
Dallas Bar Association
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans
US District Courts for Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western District of Texas
US District Court for the District of Nebraska
US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Litigation Success Examples
Defense jury verdict for company in 56 home California construction defect lawsuit where plaintiff/owners sought $24M in damages.
Summary judgment win for company in New York real estate dispute where plaintiff/land seller sought $98M in damages.
Denial of motion for conditional certification of a collective action under Fair Labor Standards Act. Field Manager class action lawsuit was filed in Florida and transferred to Texas on motion by company.
Dismissal of consumer class action in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (CA) arising from foreclosures in homes following market collapse.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals victory in dispute with master developer over rights to commercial apartments in mixed-use condo project in Hawaii.
Recovery of more than $1M in company repair expenses as part of a class action settlement with manufacturer and supplier of defective solar panels recalled by the CPSC.
Victory with $1.5M bench trial verdict against insurance company. Ruling contained express findings
that “the harm was the result of intentional malice, trickery or deceit” and
included a pattern and practice of misrepresentations in the insurance carrier's