What is your specific title?
I am a senior attorney in the issues and appeals section.
What led you to a legal career?
It was a long and winding road. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a lawyer that helped the “little guy.” Coming out of college, though, I thought I was a bit too shy for law school, and I was afraid of incurring law school debt. I had also fallen in love with coaching from my years of serving as a volunteer youth basketball coach. So, I spent nine years coaching and teaching after college. During a battle with cancer in 2006, my wife and I decided I should go to law school if I survived. I received a full paid scholarship to attend Texas Tech law school and attended there. What a great choice that was!
What has been your most interesting or memorable case and why?
All cases I work on present a plethora of complex legal issues and are quite memorable for various reasons. I suppose the most memorable case was the Johnson & Johnson baby powder case that became final and non-appealable in June 2021. I worked on that case going into trial and during trial, and I proudly served on the appellate team that preserved one of the largest personal injury judgments in history. This case provided me my first opportunity to witness Mark Lanier try a case, which was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. But most importantly, I remember that case because of the wonderful people we represented and the pain they had endured due to Johnson & Johnson’s wrongdoing. Our clients were brave, resilient, and kind despite all they had been through.
What litigations or projects are you currently working on?
I am working on a number of cases at the moment. They include a lawsuit brought by the State of Texas and several other states against Google for violating antitrust and consumer protection laws and injuring businesses large and small. Another example is a case in which our client is a Chinese citizen who was imprisoned and tortured after Yahoo! revealed his pro-democracy email correspondence to the communist regime in the People’s Republic of China. These cases and others are very important.
What are one or two things about you that most people don’t know?
Most people don’t know that, as a young kid, I trapped and tamed flying squirrels (aka sugar gliders). Most folks also don’t know that my family calls me “Benjie.”