Random Profile - Houston, Fred Shuchart

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Best thing about being a lawyer: No two days are ever alike.

Most important career lesson: An attorney is only as good as his or her support staff.

If I had more time, I would: spend it with my family.

A little known fact: I asked my wife to marry me on our second date.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? My wife, so I would know what it is really like to have to live with me.

Favorite saying/quote: “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.”

Family: Wife Lee, Daughter Emily and Son Stephen.

Areas of practice: Insurance coverage, coverage and extra-contractual litigation, construction defect litigation, and general defense work

Education: 1982 BA- Duke University (Durham, North Carolina); 1985 JD: Washington University School of Law (St. Louis, Missouri)

Culinary talent: Grilling swordfish and smokin’ brisket.

Who would you want playing you in a movie? Kevin Costner because he can really play baseball.

Last book you read: The Racketeer by John Grisham.

Pet peeve: Auditing companies cutting your bill just to justify their existence.

Favorite TV program: The Big Bang Theory.

The last movie I saw at the Theater: Gravity.

Favorite food: Steak.

Favorite restaurant: Delmonico’s at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Favorite sport: Baseball.

Hobbies: golf, grilling and smokin’ and travel.

Bet you didn’t know: I was once asked by Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver to find them the key to the batter’s box when I was a batboy for the St. Louis Cardinals at Spring Training.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Being able to provide personal service in an impersonal world.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? A high school or college professor.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Computer research.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Most lawyers and staff will be working remotely.

Jaimes is a shareholder in Cooper & Scully in Houston.

You can also view Fred's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next? It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile: Jerry Atherton, Tyler

Jerry AthertonFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being able to help my clients solve legal problems that they cannot solve themselves.

Most important career lesson: Be honest and punctual and always make a positive first impression.

Culinary talent: Just learned to make tamales.

Favorite restaurant: Pat Gee’s Barbeque located between Tyler and Kilgore.

If I had more time, I would: Teach young people math skills.

Bet you didn’t know: When I was younger (much younger), I could dunk a basketball (on a 10’ goal!!!).

Family: Wife, Kathy; sons, Greg & David; grandsons, Kaleb & Zephyr.

Areas of practice: Real Estate, General Business, Wills & Probate.

Education: North Texas State University (BBA & MBA); St. Mary’s University School of Law (JD).

Community Involvement: Dayspring United Methodist Church; Tyler Jr. College Legal Assistant Program; Boy Scouts.

Another little known fact: I received a very nice compliment a few years ago. Following a meeting of several men, one of the participants asked me if I was a preacher.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? The apostle Paul.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Credibility.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Investment Banking.

Who would you want playing you in a movie? Me!!!

Last book you read: Paul (the Apostle).

Favorite saying/quote: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Pet peeve: Tardiness.

Favorite TV program: ESPN Sports Center.

The last movie I saw: Two Guns.

Favorite food: Fried Chicken.

Favorite sport: Tennis.

Hobbies: Tennis.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Everything !!! We still used carbon paper when I began my law practice. I really like scanners and being able to file documents on-line.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Wow, it will take someone with much more foresight than me to answer that question.

Jerry practices at The Law Office of Jerry L. Atherton, P.C., in Tyler.

You can also view Jerry's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile: Timothy C. Ross, Houston

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being able to help the construction community and frequently dealing with interesting and cutting-edge legal issues that affect the construction industry.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Jimmy Buffett – I have always wanted to fly fish off the wing of an amphibious plane that I just landed in a remote bay.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Dealing with society’s negative perception of lawyers and the services they provide

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would likely be a contractor, building either offshore drilling rigs/vessels or custom homes.

Family: Alicia (wife), Ella (daughter – 4.5 years old), Thomas (son – 2 years old), and Keen (dog – black lab – 6.5 years old).

Areas of practice: Construction law and construction litigation.

Education: B.S. in Construction Science from Texas A&M University (2001) and J.D from South Texas College of Law (2006).

Culinary talent: Very little other than grilling (especially ribs and fish).

Most important career lesson: Get it in writing.

Favorite saying/quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller (played by Matthew Broderick) from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Pet peeve: Committing to do something and not following through.

Favorite TV program: Sport Fishing Television.

The last movie I saw: The Help – an excellent movie.

Favorite food type: Tie between Seafood and Mexican food.

Favorite restaurant: Brennan’s.

Hobbies: Offshore and bay fishing, golf and playing guitar. 

If I had more time, I would: Spend it with my family on our boat working at improving my fishing skills.

Community Involvement: Attend church at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church; member of the Texas A&M University Construction Industry Advisory Council; member of the Houston Contractors Association; member of the Associated General Contractors of America; council member of the Houston Bar Association Construction Law Section; member of the Coastal Conservation Association.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The increasing accessibility to substantial amounts of information through the internet, social media, electronic monitoring and databases, etc…, which I believe has created opportunities to gain advantages in litigation.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I suspect that: 1) businesses will increase the involvement of lawyers earlier in disputes/projects/deals to help businesses avoid the increasing costs associated with litigation/arbitration; 2) more cases will be resolved by alternative dispute resolution and fewer cases will actually be tried; and 3) more lawyers will “specialize” as federal, state, and local laws continue to become more complex.

Timothy is an associate of Porter Hedges LLP.

You can also view Timothy's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile: Lee Cusenbary, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Bet you didn’t know: I was a professional actor for the three years between college and law school, and was represented by Actors’ Clearinghouse, the same agency that represented Renee Zellweger when she won the Oscar for the film Jerry Maguire. I was featured in twelve national commercials during that time period, including Stop N Go, Volkswagon, and Nation’s Bank.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? If it were just one day, Justin Beiber.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The use of email, flash drives and cell phones has created an expectation in clients to immediately respond to needs. It’s great for people who are natural communicators. It’s very difficult for less extroverted individuals who feel a burden of having to communicate before they have finished all their research or drafting.

What most people don’t know about me: I painted most of the paintings in our home.

Favorite movie: Philadelphia Story.

The last movie: Inception.

Favorite magazine: Popular Science

Family: I am married to pediatric cardiologist Teri Hospers. We have four children, two of whom will attend college next year at UTSA and Trinity University. We also have a 13 year old at Saint Mary’s Hall

Areas of practice: I am a corporate attorney with a focus on FDA regulatory and acquisitions of pharmaceutical drug products. I have a background in pharma defense litigation as well.

Education: I attended UT Austin and have a JD from St. Mary’s University Law School. I was the Executive Editor of the Law Journal.

Another little known fact: In addition to being the General Counsel for Mission Pharmacal Company, I write, produce and direct The Ethics Follies® for the South/Central Texas Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.  This year, we’ll perform the musical ethics conference for The Texas State Bar, The Texas Minority Counsel Program, The Walmart Superconference (with Laurence Fishburne), and the San Francisco Bay Area ACC Chapter’s Fundraisering Dinner.  See video of the shows at www.ethicsfollies.com. I also write a weekly ethics blog for MySA.com, the San Antonio Express News’ Online Edition.

Bad habit: Put work and the Follies ahead of sleep in the order of importance.

Culinary talent: I make an omelet that is beyond compare.

Community Involvement: I have chaired the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and The San Antonio Mental Health Association. I am currently on the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Bar Association and serve as a trustee for the San Antonio Bar Foundation.  The Ethics Follies raised $25,000 for The Community Justice Program in 2010, which is over half its operating budget.

Mentors/heroes: Justice Phylis Speedlin has a been a good role model and taught me a lot about health care’s unique laws and regulations. My wife is one of my mentors as well since her laser focus on the future was an inspiration to do the same long term look at life.

Most important career lesson: I represented some very dominating physicians when I was a young attorney and let their expectations grow beyond what was reasonable. I learned after that to communicate regularly with the facts of the representation and bring the bad news about their deal/case when it is warranted so they have time to adjust their expectations before it becomes a reality.

Latest pursuit: I am having a great time negotiating pharmaceutical drug purchases for Mission and helping its Executive Committee define some long term growth strategies. In my spare time, I’m enjoying the fun of performing with my friends in Ethics Follies, ending the year with two shows at the Empire Theatre in San Antonio, and a show in San Francisco.

Current Project: I’m reviewing abbreviated new drug applications to determine if they would be a good purchase for Mission’s subsidiary, BioComp Pharma, Inc. in Philadelphia.

Favorite saying/quote: Ignorance is our only real enemy. (I say that a lot, and I’m sure someone else has said it before me, I just don’t know who)

Pet peeve: People not being on time.

Secret for staying young: Play with your kids. When they move on with their own families, play like a kid.

Favorite TV program: 30 Rock.

Favorite artist: Sara Bareilles

Favorite composers: Stephen Schwartz

Favorite album: 'Kaleidoscope Heart'

Favorite music/musician: all music with heart and soul.

Generally likes to read: I read ethics blogs and editorials for The Follies and my blog for the newspaper.

Memorable vacation: a two week cruise around the boot of Italy with my wife, kids, and parents for their 50th and my wife and my 20th wedding anniversaries. Amazing trip.

My favorite weekend retreats are: hiking with my family in the hill country or escaping to our back yard to work in the garden or cook in our outdoor kitchen.

If I had more time, I would: tour with the Follies all over the world to give me a semi-excuse to be on the road with my wife and friends.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping others reach their goals. I think the key to being a good lawyer is to identify your client’s goal and help them get there, all while staying within the law.

Biggest misconception about me: I’m an intimidating corporate lawyer.

The part of my job I do best is: provide guidance to get deals closed and contracts signed.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: By George Spencer, Sr., who told me to always respect law practice as a profession. It creates trust by other attorneys and helps your client get the best possible outcome.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Maintaining the integrity and nobility of the legal profession. For some attorneys, it has become a job instead of a profession.  The fiduciary duties and trustworthiness seem to be lost on some attorneys.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Billy Flynn in Chicago. He embraces the theatre of a criminal defense and is able to create reasonable doubt for all his clients. It so clearly defines the flaws of the court system, but makes the audience realize there’s really no better system than what we’ve got. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I taught law school as an adjunct and enjoyed that. I would probably teach.

Favorite place to find albums: Rhapsody download service; XM radio

Favorite sport: Basketball (Go Spurs!)

Favorite food: Mexican

Favorite restaurant: Wildfish

Talents (besides law): Sing, act, write musicals, oil painting, Photoshop, short film production/editing

Hobbies: All the things that I consider talents above. LOL

Collects: friends and acquaintances. Not into things much.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I like giving advice and thought I could get paid for doing it if I learned the law. I was right.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? I like to work in my yard, write music, paint oil paintings, work out in my home gym, edit video for Ethics Follies short films, and use Photoshop to create art for the Follies Playbill and ads.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I admire self made people who have foregone immediate gratification to get where they wanted to go. In a nutshell, people with a high emotional quotient.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? The communication age will probably cause an even higher dependence on outside counsel to participate in management of client’s companies. Being able to be on a video screen in corporate board rooms will create a comfort level with outside counsel that didn’t exist before. It’s also likely that more companies will hire outside attorneys to come in house. More attorneys will go directly to work for companies instead of first looking to law firms for employment. The billing practice will also change over the next decade. The billable hour is on the way out because it encourages waste in the small number of attorneys who have no ethical issues with billing “until the client squeeks.”  Billing for projects will be found to be the desirable way to present a fee structure to clients since it increases their predictability of budgets and incentivizes both the client and outside attorney to finish the project or settle the litigation as soon as possible.

Lee is a corporate attorney with Mission Pharmacal Company.

You can also view Lee's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile: Judge Antonia (Toni) Arteaga, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

The part of my job I do best is: Care. I take the situation at hand seriously and never lose sight of the lives affected, both positively and negatively, by my decisions.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Three things you need to be successful in court … (1) preparation (2) preparation and (3) preparation ... by the Honorable Larry Noll.

Latest pursuit: Completing my first half-marathon.

 

 Talents (beside law):  I can make an amazing princess castle cake.

Current Project: Learning how to create balloon animals.

Favorite food: Any breakfast food, especially chorizo and egg with papitas.

Favorite movie: The Poseidon Adventure (the original).

Favorite sport: basketball or football - as long as one team is UT or the Spurs.

 

Collects: I collect refrigerator magnets.

Family: Married with two children. My daughter turns 6 this month; my son is 3.

Areas of Practice: My court is one of general jurisdiction. Though I may preside over both civil and criminal matters, the 57th is traditionally a civil court.

Education: University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Bet you didn’t know: I am the youngest of eight sisters. No brothers. I was supposed to be a boy, Antonio or Tony.

Another little known fact: I played basketball in the Alamodome. As a law student, I organized an intramural women’s basketball team consisting of other law students. We made it to the final championship game which was played prior to a Spurs game in the Alamodome. Yes, we won that championship game.

Bad habit: Putting too many things on my “To Do” list each day … there’s always something left to do.

Culinary talent: I make the BEST homemade enchiladas according to my husband.

Community involvement: San Antonio Women’s and Girls’ Foundation, Bexar County Juvenile Board, NEA’s Read Across America, Texas Family Law Foundation, Mexican American Bar Association (Scholarship Committee Chair - 9 years), Community Justice Program, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Guest Speaker at area schools, 5K and 10K charity runs and more.

Mentors/heroes: Mentors include many of my Bexar County judicial friends, especially Judge Larry Noll who was also my family law professor. My hero without a doubt is my mom, a young widow left with 7 little girls (ages 2 – 12) without a high school diploma she still managed to provide a solid foundation for us in every way.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Running a business in a tough economy.

Favorite saying/quote: That’s just like Jesus.

Pet peeve: Professionally…tardiness, especially during jury trials. Personally, anything that infringes on our family time.

Secret for staying young: I have no good answer. The bench actually seems to age a person. So, if anyone knows a good way to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles, please let me know.

Favorite TV program: Top Chef.

The last movie: Was just yesterday … Gnomeo & Juliet.

Favorite magazine: Who has time?

Favorite restaurant: Paesano’s.

Hobbies: “reading” while I run – while training for the half-marathon, I began uploading audio books onto the iPod (I adversely possessed my husband’s old iPod).

Current reading material: The Help.

Memorable vacation: The Bahamas.

Favorite album: Greatest Hits of Barry Manilow, Kenny G, Selena, Sting or The Bee Gees. There, now I’m showing my true colors.

Favorite music/musician: Depends. Anything instrumental, most Tejano or contempory Christian music.

Favorite place to find albums: I only have time for iTunes.

My favorite weekend retreats are: Road trip to Grandma’s house in my hometown … no cell phone coverage, no politics.

If I had more time, I would: Spend more time with my children at the bookstore or exploring a new park.

Best thing about being a lawyer/judge: Making a positive difference in the lives of others, especially in the lives of the children.

What most people don’t know about me? I love Tejano music.

If you were not an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would want to explore a career in psychology. In the alternative, I would like to decorate cakes all day.

What’s the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? No turning point, somehow I’ve known from a very early age that I wanted to be an attorney.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Volunteer at events or just spending time with my family and friends.

Who are the people you admire the most and why? Educators. The educators I know are selfless, hard-working and truly care about the children entrusted to them.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The paperless system now used by our Bexar County Civil Courts.

Antonia is the 57th District Court Judge.

You can also view Antonia’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.
 

Random Profile: Rob Ranco, Austin

Rob RancoBest thing about being a lawyer: Helping people who desperately need help.

The part of my job I do best is: Adapt to the situation in front of me. There is no script for what I do.

Bet you didn’t know: I was a music major in college and I came to Austin for a master’s program at UT in ethnomusicology.

Another little known fact: My parents were not excited about my choice of major.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? When my wife pointed out there were no listings in the classifieds for ethnomusicologists.

Family: Wife, Laurie; kids: Megan (17), Eric (13), Tori (8) and Kasey (6)

Areas of practice: Plaintiff’s personal injury/

Education: Dartmouth College - B.A. (1990). University of Maine School of Law - J.D. (2001)

Bad habit: Espresso.

Culinary talent: BBQ ribs and chicken.

Community Involvement: Coaching kids’ baseball in Georgetown.

Mentors/heroes: My parents.

Most important career lesson: Understanding your clients, what they need and what they want is more important than being able to quote case law.

Latest pursuit: Giving piano lessons to my kids.

Current Project: Work and family; fixing up the 25 year old house we just bought.

Favorite saying/quote: Can you come in now?

Pet peeve: People who think their pets are their children. It’s OK to love your pets, but you really can’t compare the two.

Secret for staying young: Shaving my head before anyone knew I was going bald.

Memorable vacation: Bar Harbor, summer 2010.

My favorite weekend retreats are: My backyard.

If I had more time, I would: Spend more time with my family.

What most people don’t know about me: I was a bartender at TGI Fridays for 7 years.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Being with my family.

Favorite TV program: The Daily Show/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Favorite artist: Kasey Ranco (age 6).

Favorite composers: Duke Ellington/Elvis Costello/Patty Griffin.

Favorite album: John Coltrane/A Love Supreme.

Favorite music/musician: Ruthie Foster/Bob Marley/Chris Thile.

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction.

Favorite food:  Chicken parmesan, BBQ brisket.

Favorite restaurant: Gino’s Pizzeria in Round Rock.

Talents (besides law): Music (play piano); I found out recently that I’m pretty good at 3rd grade math, too.

Hobbies: Music and sports.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?  Rick Perry.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Teacher.

Rob works at The Carlson Law Firm and is the supervising attorney for the firm's three Austin offices.

You can also view Rob's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile - Viki Martino, Beeville

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: Son, Travis and daughter, Chelsea.

Areas of practice: criminal, juvenile, misdemeanor, criminal.

Best thing about being a lawyer: The opportunity to help people.

Bet you didn't know: I help my daughter raise goats for show!

Most important career lesson: document everything.

Part of my job I do best: defending motions to revoke.

Biggest challenge facing attorneys today: for criminal defense lawyers, the zero tolerance society  holds for criminals, especially juveniles, that doesn't allow for forgiveness even though they've paid their dues.

Pet Peeve: A client who believes, that because my services are free, I am not a good lawyer.

When not practicing law what do you like to do: I coach a club volleyball team, help my daughter raise goats for show, and I enjoy photography.

Favorite saying: "Life is too short to be lived in fear," and also "Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal  or greater benefit."

Favorite movie: To Kill a Mockingbird.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you'd be in? Teaching.

What was the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was teaching at the time and would talk about how I wanted to go to law school. Some of the people I told would tell me that teaching was a good job with a good summer schedule. But one day someone said to me, "well then why don't you?" It sounds cliche but I thought to myself, "why don't I?" It was what I wanted to do and at that moment I decided I would.

Viki Martino works for the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid office in Bee County.

You can also view Viki's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile: Sydney Young, Paris

Sydney YoungFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family:  Husband, Gary Young, and two children.

Areas of practice:  Real Estate, Small Estate Planning and Elder care.

Education: Wayland Baptist University, B.A. (English) 1989; Texas Tech School of Law, J.D., 1992.

Pet peeve: People who ask for a To Go Cup and a Refill. My husband and friends do not get my reasoning here.

Culinary talent:  SALADS.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?  Be ethical. IT MATTERS.

Bet you didn’t know:  I can speak in a perfect Jersey accent.

Little known fact: I lived in France for 6 weeks in the summer of 1990, when the Berlin Wall was still coming down and the European Economic Community was being formed.

Bad habit:  Extreme Toffee Coffee, everyday!

Community Involvement: Lamar County Child Welfare Board, Lamar County Coalition (President), Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas (Board Member), Leadership Lamar County (2003-04), United Way (Board Member), Lamar County Chamber of Commerce (2003), Paris Community Theater, First United Methodist Church.

Mentors/heroes: My husband, he is a Rock.

Latest pursuit: Writing

Current Project: Wind Farm Lease

Favorite saying/quote:  “A Classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”  Mark Twain

Secret for staying young:  Play!

Favorite TV program: Big Bang Theory.

Favorite artist: Artists here in Paris, Texas.

Favorite composers: Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Gershwin.

Favorite album: Impossible to name one!

Collects: Books!  Music!

My favorite weekend retreats are: A trip to Beaver’s Bend, roughing it in a lovely well-built cabin.

If I had more time, I would: Write, as I  travel the world.

Best thing about being a lawyer: I get to help people.

The part of my job I do best is: Communicate with my clients.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Something artistic – music,  theater, writing, perhaps teaching.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? Well, I was in junior high when the law was changed and no-fault divorce became legal. I noticed many women left high and dry, with nothing to fall back on. That was it for me! I chose law because I love to read,  write and analyze, and because I knew several highly respected lawyers in my home town.   

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Read, write, sing and act, and be home with my family.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My girlfriends, and that is a secret!!

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Instant communication and easy access to information.

Sydney Young is a solo practioner at Young & Young PC in Paris.

You can also view Sydney's TexasBar.com profile.


 Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile - LaDonna B. Key, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: I have one daughter, Amber, who plans to pursue meteorology at OU in the Fall.

Areas of practice: Entertainment Law, Construction Law, Family Law, and Consumer Law.

Education: Texas A&M, Commerce – BA Journalism; Texas Wesleyan University School of Law - JD.

Memorable vacation: My daughter was a contestant on Kids Jeopardy and we spent a fabulous week in Beverly Hills, CA.

Favorite saying/quote: If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re absolutely right.

Little known fact: I worked full-time and attended law school at night and some weekends I supplemented my income as a wedding photographer.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: I was told “You can do anything you set your mind to do,” by my mom, my grandma, my coaches, and my teachers…it takes a village!

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Perish the thought! Actually, I would probably still have a job dealing with regulations. Perhaps I’d be the Commissioner of the NFL or a compliance officer for an athletic conference.

Bet you didn’t know: I was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court last year in May on the same day that Justice Sotomayor was confirmed. I had the pleasure of hearing the news from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my favorite!

Community Involvement: I love young people and I find myself most drawn to causes that impact their lives. I have been a volunteer basketball coach for the YMCA, raised money for the Boys and Girls Club and have been moved to tears in the Habit for Humanity experience. Most recently I have decided to volunteer as a judge with a Teen Court program.

Mentors/heroes: My mother has been my hero. Without a scholar’s background or any exposure to the legal community, she has managed to impart the utmost wisdom and sense of pride and responsibility to her children. It is because of her example, encouragement, and discipline early in my life that I developed the ability to work through tough situations with persistence.

Current Project: Construction contracts for a $2 billion Terminal Development Program at one of the world’s largest airports.

Pet peeve: I truly get annoyed with negative people. I believe in empowerment and positive attitudes. When I meet people who never have good things to say about anything, I distance myself from them.

Favorite TV program: Law and Order (all of them) and most recently The Good Wife and Men of a Certain Age.

Talents (besides law): Photography. I still shoot film (call me old fashioned) and I use a medium format camera.

If I had more time, I would: Finish my book. I have the framework developed, but at the end of my very long days, I go to sleep instead of writing. 

What most people don’t know about me: I am unreasonably empathetic. I cannot watch shows like American Idol and when I watch any sort of television interview, I switch channels the moment I notice the person is stumbling or nervous.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Right now, probably Nancy Pelosi. I like the challenge of having a job to do and needing a team to get it done. Rally the troops, motivate the team, put some players on the bench, we have a game to win!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The economy is an obvious answer because we all need to work, but I think on a more personal note, I see fewer and fewer attorneys speaking passionately about the work they do. If we don’t love it, we shouldn’t do it.

LaDonna Key works at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

You can also view LaDonna's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

Random Profile - Patricia B. Cole, Ft. Worth

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Practice areas: Probate & Business Litigation, Estate Planning.

Education: Louisiana State University, (B.A., 1996);
Texas Wesleyan Univ. School of Law, (J.D., 2000).

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being able to help people.

Most important career lesson: Attorneys are in customer service business.

Favorite retreats: Kemah, Texas.

The last movie I saw: Avatar.

If I had more time I would: Travel more.

Favorite food: Sushi.

Favorite tv show: The Good Wife.

What most people don't know about me: I have a 25 year-old son.

The part of my job that I do best: Argue cases.

Community Involvement: Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Habitat for Humanity. Texas Humane Society.

Favorite saying/quote: "I will trust God to provide what I need."

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I would say that ethics-wise, remembering not to cut corners.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? There will be more focus on guardianship and elder law as baby boomers retire and pass away.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would want to be in? I can't imagine being anything else but an attorney.

Patricia is a shareholder in Decker Jones

You can also view Patricia's Texasbar.com profile


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.