Texas Personal Injury & Trial Lawyer
Serving Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur, & Surrounding Areas of Texas
Our Legal Team: Serving Clients through Offices in Beaumont and Orange, Texas At Bush Lewis, our attorneys focus primarily on personal injury. We are trial lawyers dedicated to preserving the right to trial by jury and using the power of the law to its fullest extent to seek compensation for damages and gain relief for the victims of wrongs by others. We focus on wrongs created by careless conduct, intentional actions, environmental pollution, medical negligence, defective or dangerous products, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against employees, elder abuse, child abuse, and insurance claims. We also handle other significant litigation, including business, commercial construction, tort claims against the government, cancer and other environmental diseases, and pharmaceutical claims.
Choosing Your Attorney
Many lawyers talk about how great they are. Bush Lewis lawyers recognize that there are certain objective criteria that are very important in assessing the qualifications of a lawyer:
- How long has the lawyer been licensed?
- Is the attorney board certified by an independent licensing board recognized by the state bar association?
- What (if any) is the lawyer's national rating from Martindale Hubbell® by judges and lawyers?
- Has the attorney ever been disciplined by the state bar?
- Has the lawyer taken care of clients' business so as to prevent ever having had a legal malpractice judgment or settlement assessed?
- Does the attorney have professional liability insurance?
You can find this objective information by research on the internet and in public documents. You can ask the lawyer because all lawyers know the answers to these questions about their professional life.
Board Certified Trial Lawyers
Our veteran team of Trial Lawyers Don Bush (37 years), Ken Lewis (36 years), John Cash Smith (47 years) and Chris Smith (16 years) are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Less than 3% of all Texas lawyers are board certified in personal injury trial law. Our lead environmental and cancer lawyer, Dale Hanks, has handled dozens of cancer cases over the last 29 years but is not board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in any specialty. Our appellate, local government, real estate, probate, wills, and office practice specialist, Andrew Culpepper, is not board certified. He formerly served as a briefing clerk for the 9th Court of Appeals in Beaumont and handles drafting and closings for local title companies and banks. Our newest attorney, Stephen Townsend, is in his third year of practice as one of our trial lawyers, has a computer/IT undergraduate degree, with almost two decades of law firm IT, mass document organization, and multimedia preparation and presentation work prior to law school. He is not yet eligible for board certification in any specialty, but works diligently in all areas of litigation and heads Bush Lewis employment law work. As of February 2013, our firm's seven lawyers have a combined total of 177 years of law practice, averaging over 25 years experience each. Our four board certified trial lawyers average 34 years experience each.
Ken Lewis, Don Bush, and Jack Smith, the three senior lawyers at Bush Lewis, PLLC, have all been AV Preeminent® rated in the Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Ratings™ for over a decade. Martindale Hubbell first listed a reliable lawyer in every American city in 1868 and has been rating all lawyers since 1896. Their ratings attest to what other lawyers and judges say about a lawyer's ethics and professional ability. An AV rating is their highest possible rating. Bush Lewis, PLLC and its predecessor firms have been continuously received Martindale Hubbell's highest rating (AV) since 1992.
Super Lawyer (SL)
Bush Lewis, PLLC lawyers Ken Lewis, Don Bush, and Jack Smith have all been recognized as Super Lawyers in the area of plaintiff's personal injury law by superlawyers.com, a service of Thomson Reuters. These Super Lawyer selections specifically include Don Bush in 2007-2013, Ken Lewis in 2006-2009 and 2013, and Jack Smith in 2006 and 2010-2013. That same Thomson Reuters service selected Bush Lewis lawyer Chris Smith as a rising star among younger lawyers in 2006 and 2008-2009. For over a decade, the publishers of Super Lawyers have been using a complex system of peer review and professional achievement markers, along with a system of checks and balances and safeguards to end up with an objective list of what it considers the top 5% of lawyers in the state.
None of our lawyers have been disciplined (or even issued a warning or reprimand) for any unethical conduct. No legal negligence settlement has been paid or a judgment entered against any of our lawyers or our firm for legal malpractice. However, we maintain (and have always maintained) legal liability insurance to protect our clients should any of us ever make a mistake that causes injury to a client. We use redundant and sophisticated computer and paper systems with multiple checks and balances to assure we miss no mandatory deadlines in our cases.
Other Important Factors in Choosing a Lawyer
Other important information involves judgment on your part from what you determine in your interactions with the lawyer and the lawyer's staff:
- Does the attorney have sufficient staff and resources to handle complicated cases?
- Is the lawyer on time?
- Does the attorney answer questions you ask?
- Is the lawyer realistic about the good and bad in your case?
- Is the attorney organized?
- What is the lawyer's background of experience in handling your type case?
- How much time does the attorney spend talking about the lawyer instead of your case?
- Does what the lawyer says seem too good to be true?
- Are the lawyer and the lawyer's firm involved in making a difference?
Bush Lewis Lawyers
At Bush Lewis, we believe it is our duty to make a difference in our community, in the legal profession, in the civil justice system and its trial by jury, and, like you, in the life of our families. Bush Lewis lawyers have the combination of commitment, integrity, and experience to make that difference. We work with passion and energy every day to successfully make that difference — both in our clients' cases and in the other areas.
Success in wrongful death and personal injury cases, in employment cases, in insurance cases, in medical malpractice cases, in business litigation, and other serious civil litigation is not always measured in dollars. Perhaps 90% of all cases settle without going to trial, but it is thorough and knowledgeable trial preparation, along with the experience and reputation of being able and willing to try tough cases, that generate fair settlements. Sometimes this means a personal injury, medical malpractice, employment, or business lawyer must have the courage to try hard cases that a corporation or insurance company will not settle, and be willing in the right cases to risk loss to find out what a jury thinks about a case.
Continued success in tough cases requires the ability to handle a case all the way through appeals to the highest court, and the wherewithal to try the case again if the judgment is reversed or ordered to a new trial. Some complex cases may involve three or more trials before any money is ever recovered. This involves commitment by the individuals and the team to do a complete job and stay the course. We expect our clients to be part of our team and do the part requested of us on their cases. This commitment has helped our Beaumont personal injury attorneys and our Orange personal injury lawyers and staffs to play key roles in major litigation in our area, state, and nation. Often these cases have focused attention on unsafe conditions, manmade disasters, defective products, governmental abuse, improper conduct (including child sexual abuse and pornography), workplace and employment sexual harassment and discrimination, racial discrimination, disability and age discrimination, dangerous roadways, intersections and crossing, unfair practices by insurance companies, improper marketing of drugs, medical devices, and other consumer products, and on unfair wage practices.
Committed to Community Values and Civil Justice by Jury Trial
At Bush Lewis, we think that the most important question a consumer can ask about a lawyer is: Why are you a lawyer? The Bush Lewis commitment to clients and ourselves is to use the American civil justice system and trial by jury to promote responsibility by holding wrongdoers accountable, to use civil litigation as a strong force for positive change, and to allow juries of local citizens to democratically determine safety and community standards without the involvement of big government and its bureaucracy. Only juries of citizens of the community can determine community values and that is ultimately accomplished in the civil trial which is the hallmark of American democracy. This is done through the presentation of evidence to those citizens who sit on the jury in a particular trial. The values of American citizen juries determine American standards.
The Bush Lewis team knows: if no one is accountable, no one is safe. Juries enforce community values by holding rule-breakers accountable. We grow up understanding accountability in our schools, our churches, our teams, our workplace, and on our roads. Juries only fairly determine accountability if a case is competently and fairly presented to them with integrity by experienced and committed trial lawyers. That is what Bush Lewis lawyers do with passion and energy. We think that communities have the wisdom to decide in trial the appropriate standards for both conduct and damages for those who harm others.
Not everyone has a case that can be successfully handled or, even if successfully handled, can result in a recovery sufficient to pay expenses, the lawyer's time, and a net recovery to the client. Our job is to evaluate your case and, when it is not a case we can successfully pursue for you, to let you promptly know the situation so that you can talk to other lawyers who may have a different viewpoint. Contrary to what lobbyists for big business and insurance and some politicians claim, no one gets rich from filing a lawsuit. The law only allows the winner of a lawsuit to recover their losses. Litigation is not some kind of game of chance. It is a serious business of gathering all the facts and presenting those facts in the best way possible so that either the defendant or its insurance company can try to fairly resolve the case before trial or a jury or judge can resolve the case at trial. The huge verdicts sometimes reported in the news media are sometimes correct; sometimes they are erroneous or not the final outcome. When there is a very large recovery it is always because they are very big injuries or damages. Our experience at Bush Lewis is that no one gets something for nothing in litigation because jurors tend to have good, solid community values and do not give verdicts to undeserving parties in lawsuits — even when they do not like the other party in the case. Americans on juries almost always try as hard as possible to be as fair as possible.
Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation
For a review of your personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, employment, abuse, harassment, insurance, maritime, or estate dispute in Texas, contact our personal injury attorneys and employment lawyers. We have offices in Beaumont, Texas, and Orange, Texas, and can be contacted by phone or through our online contact form.
Know This Before An Accident
No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.