Maritime Proctor Blog
As a practicing attorney at Chamberlain Hrdlicka in Houston, the focus of my practice is two-fold: I represent companies and individuals in civil litigation. I also do extensive work (of both a litigation and transactional nature) in the Admiralty, Maritime, and Energy fields.
I have been licensed to practice law since 2003. During that time, I've first and second chaired several trials to verdicts, as well as handled hundreds of other cases to amicable resolutions.
I'm a product of public schools, specifically Friendswood High School in Friendswood, Texas (Class of 1996), The University of Texas at Austin (BA-2000), and The University of Texas School of Law (JD - 2003).
Texas Super Lawyers magazine named me as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in the field of Transportation/Maritime Law in 2019 and 2020. Prior to turning 40, I was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Transportation/Maritime Law “Rising Star” from 2011-2018. In the past, both H-Texas Magazine and Houstonia Magazine named me as a “Top Lawyer in Houston” in the field of Admiralty and Maritime Law.
Chamberlain Hrdlicka Blawgs
First of all, let me apologize for the lack of recent posts on this page.
Second, I want to take this opportunity to honor Professor David W. Robertson, who sadly passed away in late December 2018. Professor Robertson, along with Professor Michael Sturley, taught me Admiralty law. I was also lucky that he and I kept in touch through work on the UT Law Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference over the years.
A link to his memorial page on the webpage of the University of Texas School of Law is here:
Professor Robertson was many things. He was an accomplished attorney, a proficient and oft-cited legal scholar, and a true giant in his fields of Admiralty and Tort law. Indeed, I along with many other law students at UT Law and other schools around the country learned from casebooks that Professor Robertson co-authored in these fields.
He was also one of the most respectful and kind people I ever met.
I took Professor Robertson’s Admiralty Appellate class my second year of law school. The class was less than 20 students, and required writing a 35-40 page brief plus 3 bench memos on a total of four currently pending cases, then participating in oral arguments on those four cases as the sole lawyer for your side of the issue. When you weren’t arguing to the court, you were an associate justice on the hypothetical appellate court, and the Chief Justice was Professor Robertson.
I believe I was one of the first advocates to argue in class. It was possibly the most intimidating thing I’d done in law school to that point in time – here is a man who is a living hornbook of Admiralty law asking me, a second year law student about that very topic!
But, instead of hammering his students on mistakes (and believe me, mistakes were made in that oral argument and briefing), Professor Robertson gently corrected and redirected the focus back to the important issues. He took a very unnerving experience for a second year law student and made it about as pleasant as it could be. He did that for everyone in the class at some point in time throughout the semester.
As I’ve progressed in my career, I realized that Professor Robertson did not have to act in such a respectful fashion. Many people with that level of accomplishment and stature can and do treat those less experienced in their field with disdain or vitriol.
Not David Robertson. Instead, he was nurturing and supportive. He was patient. In short, he cared just as much about how we conducted ourselves as lawyers as the substance of our arguments. And to that end, he did his best to set an example for his students. To me, that is as much of a mark of the success and impact of his career and life as anything he published.
So, beyond the scholastic excellence, beyond the fundamental developments in Admiralty law that Professor Robertson helped to facilitate, beyond the legion of well-trained attorneys who listened to his explanations of complicated torts cases through guitar and song … I hope that people remember David Robertson for his kind soul, his gentle nature, and his impeccable and ethical conduct.
Indeed, when our class discussed the vague and amorphous concept of “the reasonable person,” the default position became – what would David Robertson do?
Because … he was the reasonable man.
Rest in peace, Professor. You are and will be missed.