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Law Firm Website Design Companies : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Big Changes at Big Law Firm

  Legal Marketing  -   POSTED: 2007/07/18 09:37

Six of the roughly dozen litigators at Scott & Hulse, PC, one of the city’s largest law firms, will be leaving at the end of the summer to start their own firm.

W. David Bernard, a partner in the firm, said that the move “is not going to have any impact on our firm … the, let’s call it a reorganization, is being done on very friendly and cooperative terms.”

The six lawyers are part of the litigation section of Scott Hulse, as distinct from the bulk of the lawyers at the firm who handle business-related matters such as real estate transactions, probate and a host of other items. [scott hulse]

The six are Wayne Windle, Joseph Hood, Jeff Alley, Gary Norton, Eric Brittain, and J.L. Jay. The firm will be named Windle, Hood, Alley, Norton, Brittain & Jay, LLP, and is to open Sept. 1.

Bernard said litigation lawyers generally have been trending toward establishing their own practices in what he termed a “boutique environment.”

“We will continue to do commercial litigation on behalf of our clients. We expect we will be referring a lot of files where we might have a conflict to Joe (Hood) and his group. We will not have nearly the concentration on insurance litigation,” Bernard said. “Many of those lawyers do a great deal of insurance defense litigation; we and they have mutually concurred it just makes sense for them to handle that kind of practice in a different environment.”

Joe Hood, one of the lawyers who will be leaving, said “David and I have been partners for 24 years, we’ve been friends in that period of time and I expect to remain friends for as long as I’m around.”

As to how the two new firms would relate to each other regarding clients, Hood said, “clients who need real estate work, corporate business work, things of that nature, we expect to be referring those matters to the lawyers at Scott Hulse who we have the greatest confidence in.”

Another lawyer who will be leaving Scott Hulse, J.L. Jay, said it was too early to discuss which clients would be shifting to the new firm.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on that until Sept. 1,” Jay said. “The law and ethical rules make it clear, that’s the client’s decision so it will be up to the clients to decide.”

Jay called the move “an amicable departure, and we wish our current partners, our future former partners, well, since we have nothing but respect for them and their abilities.”

Scott Hulse has about 40 lawyers in the firm, which also has offices in San Antonio, and its clients represent a cross-section of the largest businesses in El Paso and the Southwest. Its main offices occupy four floors of the Chase Building Downtown. [client list]

Its roots stretch back to 1889, “when William Henry Burges Jr. (1867-1946) opened a law office in El Paso.” [history]

Jay said he wasn’t sure where the new firm would be located, saying only that the group was in negotiations for new office space.

The move follows an announcement several weeks ago regarding Delgado, Acosta Braden & Jones, another well-known large El Paso firm. That firm, as reported in the El Paso Times July 6, dissolved, with the lawyers moving to other firms in El Paso and Austin.

Background on the six lawyers who will be leaving Scott Hulse to form the new firm, Windle, Hood, Alley, Norton, Brittain & Jay, LLP:

-- Jeff Alley: [link]
-- Eric Brittain: [link]
-- Joseph Hood: [link]
-- J.L. Jay: [link]
-- Gary Norton: [link]
-- Wayne Windle: [link]


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