|Houston attorney John Kim in quoted in Texas Lawbook article |
Battered Personal Injury Bar Branches Out to Business Clients
|October 30, 2012 11:50 pm|
Other high-profile personal injury lawyers, including Tommy Jacks, Mike Slack and John Kim, are making similar transitions into commercial litigation.
John Kim of Houston has parlayed his business background and personal injury trial experience into oil and gas litigation. Tommy Jacks, a veteran Austin trial attorney, closed his small firm at the end of 2007 to join Fish & Richardson, a large national law firm known for patent and commercial litigation.
These lawyers say that their experience representing individuals in complex cases against large corporate defendants translates well to complicated business disputes.
"When you are trying lawsuits right and left in the personal injury setting, you get comfortable with the courtroom," says Kim. "Let's face it, most business cases don't ever make it to a verdict."
Houston's Kim spent the first decade of his legal career doing personal injury work, but says the 2003 legislative changes prompted him to look elsewhere. He has represented the beneficiaries of T. Boone Pickens' first royalty trust in a breach-of-duty claim against J.P. Morgan. Other clients include Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources and Woodside, the largest oil and gas producer in Australia.
He has surrounded himself with people who know oil and gas as he worked to get up to speed on the industry. But it hasn't always been an easy transition.
"You don't get to go out and change your shingle from tort lawyer to commercial lawyer," says Kim. "You have to work at it. So much of a lawyer's business is relationship-oriented or referral-based."
But the marketing can be worth it, he says, because "large, complex business litigation is where the home runs are now."
© 2012 The Texas Lawbook.
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