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Over 300 Jury Trials

Jim Parsons Holds AV® Preeminant® Rating

Jim Parsons has an AV® Preeminent Rating – the highest rating available from Martindale-Hubbell, the leading independent attorney rating entity. Attaining this rating is a significant achievement. An AV® Rating signifies that the lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Martindale-Hubbell has maintained Ratings for lawyers for more than a century. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary, and attest to the individual lawyer's legal ability and adherence to accepted professional standards of ethics. Jim Parsons has received a Peer Review Rating of 5.0 out of 5.

Lawyers who hold the AV Preeminent rating are designated as a Top Rated Lawyer. More information.

$500,000 Settlement Reached in West Texas Collision Case

On February 24, 2017, a settlement was reached in a case that resulted when an oilfield truck failed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and turned left in front of another oilfield truck on a busy county road in Ward County, Texas. The plaintiff in the case unsuccessfully attempted to avoid the other vehicle and ended up rolling over several times. The resulting injuries left the plaintiff with a debilitating leg injury which left him physically unable to perform the duties of his pre-collision employment position. The collision succeeded in sidelining a 28 year old man who had served 2 tours in Iraq, one of which he served as a point leader in the streets of Mosul. After being honorably discharged as a highly decorated soldier, the plaintiff had returned home and had gone to work in the oilfield while he decided what career choice he wanted to pursue. His injuries took many of his choices from him. The case was pending before Judge Martin Hoffman in the 68th District Court of Dallas County, Texas.

$1,600,000 Settlement Prior to Closing Arguments

On January 9, 2017 the parties announced they had reached a settlement. This was just prior to closing arguments and the case being turned over to the jury to decide the award. The case was the result of a collision between an 18-wheeler and a small passenger vehicle in which the driver was severely injured when the 18-wheeler ran a red light and made a left turn crashing into the plaintiff. The impact pushed the small car sideways several hundred feet and resulted in the jaws of life having to be used to remove the plaintiff from her car. Through the 45+ minutes it took for the extraction, the plaintiff thought she was going to die and believed her dog, who had been thrown from the vehicle, had been killed. Most of the testimony focused on the extent of the plaintiff's post-traumatic stress disorder that developed because of the wreck. All experts in the case agreed that PTSD is permanent and debilitating. The settlement for the 28 year old woman who had received her Master's Degree from UT Tyler just over 2 months prior to the accident included an admission of fault and an apology from the corporate representative of the trucking company. The case was pending before Judge Pam Foster Fletcher in the 349th District Court of Anderson County, Texas.

$300,000 Settlement Prior to Opening Statements

On March 12, 2015, Jim Parsons was in court and geared up to begin his opening statement in a case involving the misapplication of an aerial spraying which resulting in the killing of approximately 105 acres of mature hardwood trees (just under 4,000 trees). Mr. Parsons, who represented the Plaintiffs in the Henderson County, Texas case, was scheduled to begin his opening statement at 8:30AM. At 8:20AM he was approached by opposing counsel, with a settlement agreement. Jim and his clients are very happy with the outcome.

$352,246.865.20 Judgment

On January 15, 2015, Federal Judge Leonard Davis entered a judgment in favor of Plaintiffs Retractable Technologies, Inc. against Defendant Becton Dickinson and Co.

The Law Offices of Jim Parsons was one of the 3 law firms representing the Plaintiffs in the trial of the case, an antitrust case tried in Tyler, Texas. The trial and verdict were in September, 2013. The case is now on appeal to the 5th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.

Congratulations to Jim Parsons and all those involved in the case on a historic verdict and judgment!

Jim Parsons Spotlighted in Renaissance Man

Jim Parsons interviewed for the Spring 2012 edition of NFocus, a local magazine published by the Palestine Herald Press. View the article here.
Law Offices Freshened Up

Law Offices Freshened Up

Jim and Mike approving the new color scheme. It had been seven years since the opening of the office and a change was in order. Despite being a traditionalist, Jim readily embraces change, as he has done in using technology in his practice. He knows that change keeps us sharp. One thing that never alters is his dedication to the law and his clients.

Jim Parsons Elected TEX-ABOTA President

Jim Parsons has been elected the 2012 President of TEX-ABOTA, an organization of over 1,000 Texas trial lawyers dedicated to the preservation of the right to trial by jury.
Jim and Karen
Jim and Karen enjoying the opening reception of the 2013 TEX-ABOTA annual meeting

Showtime at the Capitol

How the State Bar Survived a Nine-Hour Hearing Before the Sunset Commission in 1990

By John Council - Texas Lawyer

August 30, 2010

Editor’s note: Texas Lawyer turned 25 on April 3. To mark our anniversary, each week the editorial department is looking back at the news we covered over the past 25 years and selecting one story to update for readers. This week, senior reporter John Council revisits an article in the Aug. 27, 1990, issue of Texas Lawyer, “Bar Looks at Reforms to Escape Sunset Ax.”

Every 12 years, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission reviews various state agencies to determine whether they should continue to exist. The commission holds hearings and accepts policy input from the public before making recommendations to the Texas Legislature about an agency’s survival. In 1990, it was the State Bar of Texas’ turn.

The day before the commission’s public hearing about the Bar, then-Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez warned the Bar’s board of directors what it was in for: “Tomorrow is showtime — it’s showtime for anyone who hates the Bar.”

Gonzalez, who was the high court’s liaison to the Bar, was right: The Aug. 17 hearing in the state Capitol dragged on for more than nine hours. Approximately 40 witnesses provided the commission with a jumble of opinions that did little to clarify the Bar’s prospects in the 1991 Legislature.

Led by the commission’s co-chairs, then-state Rep. Lena Guerrero and then-state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, both Austin Democrats, commission members listened patiently to the criticisms and suggestions of specialized bar associations and consumer groups, to personal horror stories of wronged clients, and to glowing testimonials from police officers and school teachers aided by the Bar.

Numerous problems were debated during the hearing, including the Bar’s response to client grievances; whether the Bar should continue to regulate the discipline of its own members or another agency should be created to handle that responsibility; and a proposal for mandatory pro bono.

“The Bar president sat there for nine hours and listened and the staff sat there for nine hours and listened,” Barrientos noted during the hearing. “It’s my belief that they will work closely with us. I’m more concerned about the lawyers from big firms who think they’re 900-pound gorillas.”

Barrientos, who retired from the Senate and now works as a political consultant, says, ” I was probably harsh on lawyers [during the hearing] because they have such an important place in our society. They can do so much good and do good. And a few bad apples screw it up for everybody else.”

Jim Parsons, who was State Bar president at the time, remembers there was some antagonism toward the Bar during the hearing. But he says some of the complaints he heard were justified.

“During that period of time, the Bar was not broad. It had not broadened itself,” says Parsons, of Palestine’s Law Office of Jim Parsons, referring to the Bar’s lack of diversity. “We hadn’t had a woman president; the minority bar was a stepchild. And that was reflecting itself” during the hearing, he says.

But that soon changed. After the hearing, the Bar added more minority members to its board of directors, including lawyers Alberto “Al” Gonzales, who later became a Texas Supreme Court justice and U.S. attorney general, and Sheila Jackson Lee, now a Democratic member of Congress from Houston, Parsons says. The following year the Bar elected its first female president, Harriet Miers, who later became President George W. Bush’s White House counsel.

During the hearing members of Help Abolish Legal Tyranny (HALT), a Washington, D.C.-based legal reform organization, pushed for the creation of an agency independent of the Bar to discipline lawyers.

“It was largely a concern about whether the discipline system was serving the consumers of the legal system. And because the Bar is a trade association for the profession and they’re the regulatory body charged by the Supreme Court, it’s inherently going to have difficulties trying to fulfill two roles,” says John Pomeranz, a HALT member who testified on behalf of group. But his proposal didn’t go anywhere, says Pomeranz, now a partner in D.C.’s Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg.

Darrell Jordan, a past president of the Bar who attended the 1990 hearing, says HALT “had some statistics that they felt indicated that lawyers were protecting their own. It wasn’t that way at all.” He says, “That’s the biggest issue, and it’s always been that. But we came out fine.”

Parsons say the Bar later created regional offices for grievance committees that were controlled by the Bar’s headquarters in Austin. But the disciplinary function is still within the Bar’s purview.

Mandatory pro bono also failed to gain traction after the 1990 hearing, says Jordan, managing partner of the Dallas office of Dykema Gossett.

“It would totally distort the whole volunteer aspect of pro bono. You do some things because you want to help. And forcing someone to do it is totally different,” he says.

Of course, the Bar made it through the sunset review process in 1990 and 2002 and lives on today. The commission has since changed its review schedule, so the State Bar will be up for review in 2015.

Chuck Herring, a partner in Austin’s Herring & Irwin who proposed the mandatory pro bono requirement during the 1990 hearing, says the Bar still struggles with the same issues it did 20 years ago.

“Some of these issues are built into bars, particularly in Texas where you have a mandatory bar that’s self-regulating,” Herring says. “Those fundamental issues remain, and they may remain forever.”

The Bar likely will go through another lively Sunset Advisory Commission hearing full of dissatisfied people in 2015, says Gonzalez, who is semi-retired from the practice of law but works as a mediator.

Gonzalez notes, “We’re on a journey. We’re on a quest. And these reforms are ongoing.”

John Council is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/john_council.

Judgment for Personal Injuries in Bull Attack

On November 16, 2009, Jim Parsons, after a trial, successfully obtained a judgment of $330,000 for his clients. The judgment was a result of injuries and damages sustained by the clients after an attack by a trained rodeo bull that had entered the clients’ property from a neighboring property.

News Account of $2.6 Million Settlement Published

Wrongful Death Suit Settled
By Jayson Larson, Editor
Athens Review Athens, Texas, April 1, 2009

An area attorney and former Henderson County district judge has brokered a $2.6 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last year following a fatal wreck.

The settlement was agreed upon in January and funded last month. Jim Parsons, a former three-term 3rd District Court judge who now has law offices in Palestine, Athens and three other cities, represented the plaintiff’s family.

On Nov. 17, 2007, Larry Brevell was returning home to Palestine for the end of his work week as a tractor-trailer driver for Walmart. He was pulling an empty tractor-trailer after delivering a load to Waco.

According to reports, Brevell was traveling eastbound on Hwy. 84 in Fairfield and Michael Duane Thompson, driving a 2001 Ford F250 truck for the Brenham, Texas-based Flo-Tech Testing, Inc., was headed westbound.

Department of Public Safety reports state Thompson’s truck crossed the highway’s center line and hit Brevell’s truck head-on. Thompson was thrown from his vehicle and died a short time later.

The Walmart truck burst into flames and Brevell, unable to free himself from the wreckage, died inside the truck. Cell phone records show Thompson had slept less than eight-and-a-half hours within 48 hours of the wreck, and also that he had downloaded a photograph for pay on the company cell phone at a time that would have put him on the road en route to the wreck site, according to Parsons.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Brevell’s widow, Connie, and his mother, Geraldine. They received $2.492 million in the settlement; another $128,000 went to Walmart for the truck.

“They’d much rather have their husband and son back, but they think it’s a fair result,” Parsons said.

An attempt to reach Dallas-based attorney Jim Grau, who represented Flo-Tech Testing Inc. and the estate of Thompson, was unsuccessful Wednesday.

Presentation of Exhibits Valuable to Successful Mediation

Presentation
On May 20, 2008, Jim Parsons participated in a successful mediation in a Personal Injury case. Mr. Parsons gives partial credit for his success in the mediation to strong medical exhibits including the one pictured above, which was prepared by MediVisuals, Inc. from actual x-rays and photographs of the injured party as well as the medical records provided by medical providers who treated the injured.

“Our Courthouse” Video to Educate the Public, Students

At the request of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, Jim Parsons participated with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, former Justice of the United States Supreme Court, in a video created to educate the public and high school students about the importance of the judicial branch and jury service. Click here to view excerpts from the video.

Chamber Mixer hosted at Parsons Law Office

Chamber Mixer
On November 15, 2007, the Law Office of Jim Parsons hosted a Chamber of Commerce Mixer. The picture above was taken at the Mixer. Pictured from left to right are paralegal Christy McKinley, Jim Parsons and office manager Laure Bruner.

Parsons Speaks on Jury Selection Process

In October and November 2007, Jim Parsons spoke in Austin and Houston on Jury Voir Dire for the State Bar of Texas. This was a multiple day advanced course for Texas lawyers.

Parsons Addresses Law Students on Legal Ethics

In December, 2007, the Litigation Council of the State Bar of Texas, Baylor University, and The Waco Bar Association held an ethics luncheon and seminar for third year law students. Jim Parsons was invited to give the luncheon address on legal ethics and presented on the topic Collegiality in the Court Room.

Parsons Elected to College Board of Trustees

Jim Parsons has been elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lon Morris College. Lon Morris is a 156-year old two-year Methodist College in Jacksonville, Texas. Jim and his wife Karen are graduates of Lon Morris and both are former Alumnus of the Year.

Opening of Jim Parsons Law Offices in Palestine

Law offices
The Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the Palestine offices of Jim Parsons on July 24, 2007. Mr. Parsons returned to private practice of law following a decade of service as Judge of the 3rd District Court.

Presentation on Jury Trials Made to State Bar College

Jim Parsons was asked to write an article and speak at the State Bar College “Summer School” Course in Galveston, Texas on July 19, 2007. His article was titled “Jury Service and Jury Trial Improvements.”

Judge Parsons Returns to Legal Practice

On January 3, 2007, Jim Parsons reopened his legal practice after serving 10 years as the Judge of the 3rd Judicial District of Texas. After serving his first four-year term, Judge Parsons was unopposed either the primary or general election in his two subsequent bids for reelection.

Jim Parsons Operates a Paperless Office in Digital Age

Jim Parsons Law Offices are digitally-based paperless offices, allowing coordination and access from any internet portal. All incoming documents, pleadings, discovery, correspondence, depositions, photographs, videos and evidence of any kind are scanned into a central server and filed under the client’s file, electronically. All outgoing documents, pleadings, discovery, correspondence, briefs, faxes, etc. are kept within the computer in digital format and similarly filed electronically under the client’s file. The system includes software to sort, search and produce all of the electronically-stored files. Obviously, documents of individual importance such as deeds, wills, contracts etc. are scanned but maintained in original form. Telephones are answered by a virtual pbx, and calls follow the person sought to the appropriate office. Voicemails are sent as email attachments. Incoming faxes are received on voice lines, with the virtual pbx immediately determining the incoming call as a fax. The fax is then received, converted to pdf, attached to an email and forwarded to the appropriate recipient.

Jim Parsons Law Offices are committed to better serving the client in this fast-changing world of computerization through a digitally-based paperless law practice.
On March 12, 2015, Jim Parsons was in court and geared up to begin his opening statement in a case involving the misapplication of an aerial spraying which resulting in the killing of approximately 105 acres of mature hardwood trees (just under 4,000 trees). Mr. Parsons, who represented the Plaintiffs in the Henderson County, Texas case, was scheduled to begin his opening statement at 8:30AM. At 8:20AM he was approached by opposing counsel, with a settlement agreement. Jim and his clients are very happy with the outcome.
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