I’m Dan Couvrette, the publisher of Family Lawyer Magazine and Divorce Magazine. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Texas family lawyer, Brian McNamara as part of a series of interviews I’m doing with top family lawyers across the country.
Brian has been in practice since 1992. He’s based in Kingwood, Texas, but his practice covers the whole Houston area. His firm is a full-service family law firm, and they even offer prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, which isn’t common for family lawyers and I believe it makes this firm distinct and it gives them an edge when dealing with divorce cases that involve or don’t involve those agreements.
Brian has also been recognized by Avvo which is a lawyer rating service. He’s a 10 out of 10 family lawyer, and he is a fellow of the State Bar of Texas, which I will talk with him about during the interview. What follows are a few clips from the complete interview I did with Brian, which I think provided a good overview as to why so many people going through divorce in the Kingwood and Houston areas wisely chose Brian McNamara to help them through their divorce.
Brian McNamara: Thanks for inviting me, Dan.
Brian, let’s start by talking about your approach to a family law case and how both your years of experience and your overall legal experience have helped you be a better family lawyer.
Brian McNamara: I’ve always litigated throughout my career from 1992, and from the beginning, I handled family law cases, but I also handled general litigation matters, personal injury cases, a lot of consumer protection cases, some landlord-tenant cases, various civil litigation cases. And they gave me, I think, an advantage a little bit in family law because the family courts follow the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure that all the other courts follow.
They’re modified so much by the family to code, but not a lot. Lawyers who only do family law, don’t get the perspective of the full parameters of the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence as they’re applied in other cases, but can also be applied in family law. I feel like that has helped me a lot.
Also just having had so many cases and having dealt with so many people I learn each case teaches me something. So, we get better at how to present the information, better at how to ask our client to give it to us, better at how to prepare for mediation.
Brian, I know you’re a Fellow of the State Bar of Texas and what that means is that you’ve done and continue to do twice the amount of continuing legal education that is required of you by the state bar. My question is why do you do twice the amount of education that is required?
Brian McNamara: So, I continued to update myself on what the changes in the law are, and also, it’s not just substantive law. It’s also procedural matters and ways to present information. I do it because the law changes so much.
Brian, I’ve known you for a while and I know that you’re always found to be well prepared and thorough, in anything you take on. I’m wondering how those characteristics translate into the area of your family law practice and how it helps your clients who are going through a divorce.
Brian McNamara: Advocacy breaks down into negotiate or trial. So yes, we advocate strongly. We negotiate carefully and thoughtfully. I’ve had cases with lawyers that I felt were uninterested in negotiation. They really didn’t care. They just wanted to go to court, and we certainly don’t do that. We’re absolutely prepared for court. I think it gives us an advantage in all negotiations, but we also understand that most clients would like to give us their wish list and say, call me when it’s done which of course we can’t do, but most people prefer a negotiated resolution.
By being thorough and prepared they’re also compassionate and understanding of what they’re going through. It helps us to better negotiate on their behalf and when necessary, go to court for them.
Brian as the result of my divorce. I started Divorce Magazine, which completely changed my life and I know that you’ve been through a divorce yourself and you also have a young child. So, I’m wondering how these things affected how you practice family law.
Brian McNamara: I now have a six-year-old and she’s wonderful. In the last six years, having a new baby again has reminded me to understand what the clients are dealing with on an emotional level, and it made me a lot more understanding of why it is sometimes difficult to get them to provide information or to make a decision.
That helped a lot because my prior approach was similar to civil litigation and many civil litigations are a breach of contract. For example, a business is suing a business. In divorce sometimes it’s a little more difficult and going through my own that’s really what that taught me.
I want to thank Brian for speaking with me today. To learn more about Brian and his firm. I recommend that you visit his websites, www.mcnamaralawyers.com and www.texasprenup.com. Brian’s website has a tremendous amount of information and resources, including divorce guides, monthly e-newsletters, videos, podcasts, and answers to frequently asked questions that will help you through your divorce and other family law issues. Take care.