I believe that trying a case to a jury is the best part of my job. That belief is the basis for the entire way I handle cases at Samples Ames PLLC. When our firm accepts cases, I am evaluating the prospects of that case in front of a jury. I size up the case, and I also size up the client. I always ask myself if a jury will relate to my client, and our firm regularly conducts focus groups before we accept the case.
Big case or small case, it doesn't matter. For me, it all comes down to whether I have a good case for a jury. Sure, we settle many cases in our firm. But that’s because the client receives an offer that the client wants to take. Make no mistake, an attractive settlement offer only comes because the opposing party recognizes the jury appeal of the case and understands that our firm has positioned the case for trial. When our clients choose to accept a settlement offer, they do so because they truly have an option to go to trial. That option is only available when a firm handles its cases with that goal in mind.
How I Came to Practice Law
Trial law is a second career for me. In 1996, I left my prior job as in investment banker and went to law school at Baylor University in Waco. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M in 1982 and 1986, so before law school, Waco was just the place where I got off of I-35 and onto Highway 6. But I really enjoyed my time in Waco, and I enjoyed my time at Baylor. While there, I was selected as the Justice Jack Hightower Scholar and was selected for membership in the Order of the Barristers and the Baylor Law Review.
Since 1999, I have only worked with firms that focus their practice on contingent-fee plaintiff’s litigation. From 1999 to 2003, I worked with Tom Hall and Mike Freden at Hall & Freden in Fort Worth. In 2003, I moved to the Noteboom law firm in Hurst and stayed there through the end of 2013. In 2014, I left to start my own firm, and that firm is now called Samples Ames PLLC.
More About My Background
I grew up in Dallas and Carrollton, but I live in northeast Tarrant County. Our firm has offices in Fort Worth and Dallas, and I live right in the middle. I tend to spend most of my time in Tarrant County, and my partner, James Ames, is generally in the Dallas office.
Our caseload keeps us pretty busy, but I enjoy two hobbies. I used to travel extensively in my prior career, and I picked up an appreciation for architectural photography. Wherever I go today, I generally have a camera with me. And since I was in college, I have always had at least one Australian Shepherd in the house. Around 2010, I started competing with my dogs in obedience. That turned out to be a great hobby, and I was really proud when one of my dogs was ranked in the national top-10. That experience in learning how a dog should be handled is helpful to me as I represent dog-bite victims, which is a growing practice area in our firm.