State Bar Director Spotlight
Interview by Eric Quitugua
Photo by Brandon Gouthier
Position: Senior trial counsel to Germer in Beaumont
Board Member: District 3 since 2016
As a lawyer, my goal was to be the best trial lawyer i could be.
In law school, the first time I competed in mock trials, I immediately knew I wanted to be a trial lawyer. For me, trying cases is of the best thing about being a lawyer. I have not accomplished my goal yet but I learn something new with every trial and from every lawyer, so hopefully one of these days I’ll reach that goal. On a personal level, my goal is to be the best person I know how to be—I am still working on that too.
My practice is primarily insurance defense, so for those people who don’t have insurance and those small companies who have been sued or been wronged, the only prerequisite for me to take their case
is that they need help and I want to help them. Most of those clients can’t pay some big hourly fee, but they deserve my time and all the effort I can put forth.
After my experience with the litigation council and the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with many departments within the State Bar,
I knew being a board director was something I wanted to be a part of. It is a privilege to represent my district and be a part of this tremendous group of people. Hopefully I can make a positive contribution to how the State Bar moves forward and all that it does for its members.
I think one of the challenges is to always remember why we are here, and that is to represent the members of the State Bar.
In this day and age, you would think communicating with our members would not be difficult given all the social media platforms, but often it is. People get barraged with emails and too often tend to hit delete, so the information is not being received. There is a particular challenge, at least in my mind, to reaching lawyers in smaller and more remote counties and solo/small firm practitioners, and we have to find a way to do better. I believe the best way to do that is through direct outreach, but that requires time and manpower.
I think the bar does a fantastic job for its members
and in many aspects, I think we are at the forefront of providing quality benefits such as CLE, health insurance, TLAP, small business help, etc. That being said, I was raised believing that no matter how good you are, you can always do better, and you can always do more. The needs of lawyers are continuously changing, and the challenge is to keep up with and meet those changing needs. In working with the board of directors and the State Bar staff, I think that is exactly what the State Bar strives to do and I think they do it very well.
Very early in my career, a more experienced lawyer told me that what you must have in this profession, above all else, is integrity.
He said there are so many opportunities to play dirty and get down in the mud with the others—but that is what pigs do, not lawyers. There is always the opportunity to take the high road. The people you deal with should be able to take you at your word. If you lose your integrity, then you lose what it means to be a lawyer. That is greatly paraphrased, because I don’t remember his exact words—but the gist of what he said has always stuck with me and the longer I practice, the more I realize just how right he was.TBJ