Selected Publications

Wills, Probate, and Trust Drafting in Light of the Estates Code

This article, designed for practitioners and prepared for the General Practice Institute at Baylor University Law School, April, 2014, discusses the drafting and practice implications and requirements of the new Estates Code that went into effect on January 1, 2014. It discusses both changed and new provisions that significantly affect choices about planning and choices about estate administration under the provisions of the Code.

Planning Lessons from Litigation

Updated for presentation to the Collin County Probate Bar Association in April, 2014, this outline provides a discussion off planning lessons in both estate and business planning contexts. (See description below.)

Planning Lessons from Litigation

Prepared for the 2011 General Practice Institute sponsored by Baylor Law School and the General Practice and Solo section of the state bar, this outline provides a discussion off planning lessons in both estate and business planning contexts. From the introduction: The hope present when doing most legal planning is that there will be no resulting litigation. Often it is assumed that validly executed documents and an appropriate legal structure are sufficient concerns of the lawyer involved. As I have been in practice longer, and have recently become increasingly involved in litigation both as an advocate and as an expert, it has become apparent that limiting concerns to those narrow areas is not sufficient. It is also essential that the practitioner identify the possibility and likelihood of conflict arising from the transaction under consideration and take appropriate action where there is a context indicating a high probability of later conflict.

In the news: Sibling Agreements: Dallas Morning News, March 8, 2007

Commentary on School Funding 2

This commentary on proposed Congressional redistricting was prepared for broadcast on KERA 90.1 Radio, Dallas, Texas. July 21, 2005.

Commentary on School Funding

This commentary on proposed Congressional redistricting was prepared for broadcast on KERA 90.1 Radio, Dallas, Texas. October 5, 2004.

Commentary on Congressional Redistricting

This commentary on proposed Congressional redistricting was prepared for broadcast on KERA 90.1 Radio, Dallas, Texas. July 9, 2003.

Closing a Business

This brief article provides a checklist of considerations in closing a going business. It was prepared for inclusion in the Japan Yellow Pages information section. December, 1998.

Considerations for Practitioners in Solo and Small Practice:Planning your Own Estate

This outline provides an overview of basic estate planning substantive law, and a practical discussion of the strategies, tools, and techniques appropriate to solving both typical and special estate planning problems sometimes encountered by lawyers in solo and small practice environments planning their own estate. It was prepared for use in a presentation to the Dallas Bar Association Solo and Small Practice Section. December, 1997.

Estate Planning: Frequently Asked Questions

Written for use with non-lawyer groups, this article answers frequently asked questions regarding lifetime planning, Wills, and Trust. In addition, it suggests other considerations that may require attention by those doing planning. September, 1997, updated December 2001.

Overview of Estate Planning: A Conceptual Approach.

While there are many resources which provide technical guidance on the particular requirements of individual estate planning tools and techniques, few approach the problems of estate planning from the perspective of how to choose, combine, and use tools appropriate to the needs of particular clients. This outline provides one analytic pattern for such decision-making. It states a working definition of estate planning, discusses obstacles which must be considered by the attorney providing estate planning advice, if the advice is to fully meet the needs (both perceived and unacknowledged) of the client, and provides a step-by-step approach to choosing and using tools appropriate to the client’s needs.

A working knowledge of the law of Wills, trusts, probate, business entities, real property, donative transfers, income taxation, and transfer taxation is assumed, since these form the foundation of the estate planning and probate practice. Accordingly, this outline focuses on the problems and opportunities presented by the characteristics and interactions of these fundamental areas.

Prepared in conjunction with a presentation for the 1993 Wills, Probate, and Alternatives course of the State Bar of Texas Professional Development Program.

The Mediator's Use of Risk in Mediation

This brief article considers the role and function of the mediator, and how the mediator may effectively use risk to work to resolution of a dispute.

Prepared for use as supplemental materials for a presentation to the Texas Woman's University Continuing Education Program 40 Hour Civil Mediation Course, January, 1999.

Effective Mediation Advocacy in Probate and Trust Litigation

The past decade has brought a substantial growth in the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures as either a supplement to or replacement for litigation, particularly mediation. This development has followed two separate tracks which are now converging. First, lawyers and litigants alike perceived a need to make dispute resolution less costly in time and expense. Second, non-legal professionals sought a dispute resolution mechanism with less psychological cost to the disputants. Each of these threads brings specific, sometime conflicting, demands and priorities into this maturing area of practice. To perform effectively, the advocate must understand the roles of the disputants and advocates in that process, the mediation process, and the special strategic and tactical considerations which should be taken into account to effectively perform as an advocate. This outline focuses on two areas: first, an examination of the strong tensions resulting from the interplay between the ethical obligations of attorney as advocate and the mediation process; second, practical suggestions regarding preparation and participation as an effective advocate in the mediation process in the context of those tensions.

Prepared for presentation to the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trust, and Estate Section, October 1997.

Pro Se Litigants, Mediation, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law

This outline considers the meaning of the term "practice of law," and its implications for mediation by non-lawyers, particularly when litigants or potential litigants appear pro se. It then offers some practical suggestions regarding measures which might be taken by a non-lawyer mediator to minimize the risk of allegations of the unauthorized practice of law.

Prepared in conjunction with a presentation to the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) Dallas Chapter, September, 1997.

Legal Analysis

This article discusses a formalized understanding of the process of legal analysis. Prepared for class use in law school Property classes, 1993-1996.