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Celebrating the Heroic Legacy of Steve Shoultz NOT GONNAWASTE A DAY
This year, I lost someone who was a very important part of my life. Describing Steve Shoultz as a mentor doesn’t begin to cover it — he was more like family to me. It’s been a tough last few months. As any of you who’ve lost someone close to you know, there are good days and bad days. But I know that by sharing Steve’s story and my memories of the incredible person he was, his legacy can live on. Steve went to the University of Toledo College of Law. When he got out of law school, he came to Dallas to practice, starting fresh with no connections. He was a family lawyer for seven years and got really good at it, but, in his heart, he knew he wanted to be a personal injury trial lawyer. So, he started his own firm and began taking cases. By the end of his career, Steve had tried over 300 personal injury trial cases. Steve was a trial lawyer through and through, more than anyone I’ve ever met. He was born to be a trial lawyer. Since he was a kid, that’s the path he knew he wanted to take. He made it a reality and turned his passion into an opportunity to help others. In 2011, Steve was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a rare type of bone marrow cancer. He spent 2012 rehabbing and, when he got back to work, had a new lease on life. He wasn’t going to waste a day; he was going to try every single case that came his way. Trying cases was what he loved to do, and he wanted to be the best he could be at it. Steve dove in, trying case after case, as well as committing 100% of his time to Don Keenan and the Keenan Edge. It didn’t matter the size of the case or likelihood of success. If someone needed a trial lawyer, Steve was there. Steve truly believed in the jury system and our rights put forth in the Seventh Amendment, and he was going to fight for them. I met Steve Shoultz in 2013 when I watched him speak at a seminar and was immediately blown away by his creativity, innovation, and fearlessness. After I saw Steve speak at that seminar, I waited for everyone to leave and introduced myself. We stayed in touch, and, over the course of the year, we began meeting up every Friday night
for dinner, where we’d talk about trial strategy, cases, and different philosophies. This became our tradition, all the way up to me starting my own firm. At that point, we began working together. In yet another way, Steve changed the game for me. I still remember the first case we tried together. Steve called me on a Friday night and told me he had a case going to trial the following week. We talked in depth about it. Saturday morning, I got another
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call from Steve. His co-counsel was sick, and he wanted to know if I would try the case with him. Of course, I said yes immediately. I spent all weekend getting up to speed. We went to trial, and it went well. The next week, the same thing happened. Steve had a case and asked if I wanted to try it with him. We went to trial and won a big verdict. After our first big verdict together and being in trial for two straight weeks, we stopped into a local suit store where Steve suggested I try some on. So, I tried on a few different suits and found some that fit really well. Well, when I came out of the dressing room, I found out Steve had already bought the suits for me. He wanted to make sure I was ready for the trials we’d be tackling together, and he was tired of seeing me wearing the same suit every single day of trial. Throughout our friendship, he encouraged me to go to every conference and seminar I could. When an opportunity to attend a trial lawyer college from the Keenan Edge came up, I was interested, but it wasn’t cheap, and I’d need to travel. But Steve was adamant. “You need to go to these,” he said. He signed me up and took care of everything. We went to a lot of the seminars together, and I constantly got better. We’d go to a seminar, come back, try a case, then do it again the next week. We did this almost nonstop for two years. It was incredible, and I learned so much.
to become an excellent trial lawyer. In his way, Steve provided me with scholarships to attend all this incredible training. It’s inspired me to pay forward his kindness. In Steve’s honor, we will be setting up a mentorship program to give young trial lawyers the opportunities Steve gave to me so his legacy can live on. Stay tuned for more in the coming months! Besides being a dynamite lawyer, Steve was an amazing father and grandfather. Family was his No. 1 priority. He was at every event for his kids and grandkids. He saved up his money to take his family on big vacations every year. I’ve become good friends with his son, Ryan, who’s an incredible person. The third of Steve’s granddaughters was born recently. She won’t get to see what a great grandpa Steve was, but I know she’ll get to learn about him through stories.
At one point before he died, I asked Steve, “Why do you do all this for me?”
“I see a lot of myself in you,” Steve told me. “I want to do everything I can to make sure you’re not just as good as I was, but better.”
That, in all his genuineness, was Steve.
Steve opened my eyes to the value of mentorship. What he did for me without me even knowing was provide me with the tools and resources
When it comes to searching for a daycare for your child, we want you to be armed with the information you need to make the best decision possible. Far too often, we have parents come see us after something terrible has already happened to their child. We love being able to help; however, it only allows us to react to unfortunate circumstances. We want to be proactive when it comes to daycare safety, not reactive. It’s important for you to understand what information is out there and how to find it. In this guide, we will answer some of the following important daycare research questions: • What’s the difference between a licensed and registered daycare? • What are some of the most important laws for me to know about childcare facilities? • What am I entitled to as a parent with a child enrolled in a daycare facility? • What legal information is available to me as a parent? How do I access it? • What does accreditation actually mean? ‘INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT’
And much more!
Start the school year equipped with the knowledge you need to keep your child safe at daycare. Download your FREE copy of attorney Ashley Washington’s “Inspect What You Expect” daycare guide, along with our other free resources, at ButtonLawFirm.com/reports.
WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES, WE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
Negligent Drivers Alter the Course of One Woman’s Life
In Collin County in July 2016, two drivers were heading north. One was distracted and weaving in and out of traffic as the second was following too closely and going too fast. One hit the other, causing a major wreck that led a tire to fly off the lead car. The tire stayed in the roadway, and a third car couldn’t avoid it, causing that driver to go airborne into a telephone pole. This driver sustained major damages to her head, body, and leg. She had several surgeries and grafting and lived every day in pain. After being turned down by other lawyers, the injured driver turned to our amazing co-counsel, Scott Snellings. Scott looked at the case and immediately called us. Once we started digging, we discovered the tire had not just been a random object in the street; it had fallen off a car after the wreck. TIME IS RUNNING OUT In Texas, the statute of limitations for this type of case is two years. It was coming up for this client, and we were running out of time. Our teams worked to get the case on file and get all responsible parties served. Our client was working hard in her recovery, and we were working hard on her case. Eventually, she needed an amputation of her leg above the knee. Unfortunately, a couple months after we filed her case and the day before her amputation, our client passed away as a result of her injuries. It was a tragic and devastating turn of events. She left two young boys and a husband behind. We worked to get them into family and grief counseling so they could find peace and closure. At the same time, we worked to get the probate process started so we could transition the case from a catastrophic injury case to a wrongful
death case. It took about six months, and then we immediately turned up the pressure on the insurance company and defense attorney. NEVER LETTING UP Once we take a case, we never let up on the defense lawyers and insurance companies. For this case, we set up the depositions of all defendants and sent letters to their insurance companies telling them to resolve the case before their depositions. Our clients just wanted closure and compensation for this tragedy. The Friday before the depositions, both insurance companies paid their full policy limits. We made sure the family didn’t have to pay any of the medical bills back, and all the money went toward their future. We are grateful to have worked with Scott on this case. We couldn’t have asked for a better co-counsel firm than Scott and his team. UM/UIM INSURANCE AND PIP In this case, our client did not have underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When you get auto insurance, get UM/UIM and PIP coverage, too. If you want to learn more, join our free VIP program and send us your policy. Ashley and I will walk you through it and give you recommendations based on what we have seen actually happen when you need to use it. AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR OUR COMMUNITY This case was an important message to the community that driving safely can prevent a subsequent wreck. It is not just those involved, but everyone on the road who is at risk. Our client was on her way home from work when the tire flew off and caused injuries that eventually led to her death. Don’t drive distracted and don’t drive aggressively.
BUTTON LAW FIRM HIGHLIGHT REEL
Car wreck resolved for Adam
Car wreck resolved for Anna
Russell speaking to trial lawyers at a national seminar for handling brain injury cases
Car wreck resolved for Kaycee
Car wreck resolved for Margaret
4315 W. Lovers Lane, Suite A Dallas, Texas 75209 WE’VE MOVED!
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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Celebrating the Legacy of Steve
‘Inspect What You Expect’
The Hope Case Result
Connecting With Our Local Daycares LITTLE GUYS AND GALS MONTESSORI
Last month, we got a phone call from Antoinette Fincher, the daycare director for Little Guys and Gals Montessori in Mesquite. Antoinette had found our website and was excited to see our guides for daycare safety. She’s passionate about keeping kids safe, just like we are. After all, it’s what she does every day. As the daycare’s website says, “Our school is a diverse, supportive community that values mutual respect. Although we are not born into the same privileges, we should all have equal opportunity.” Little Guys and Gals was gearing up for their school year, and Antoinette wanted to give out information to parents so they could know what to expect from the daycare, as well as know how to make the daycare as safe of an environment as it could be. She saw the guides on our website and knew they would be the perfect educational material for parents and for training her staff. Once Russell and Gaby heard all of this, we got to work to provide Little Guys and Gals with everything they needed for families and daycare staff to get started on the right footing. We put together packets of our guides so Antoinette could provide them to parents along with their other back-to-school resources. As the daycare’s back-to-school event was coming up, we also donated 50 backpacks, so each child could start the school year off right.
With Antoinette’s dedication to her job and the help of The Button Law Firm, the event, which took place in early August, was a success. Antoinette told us that a lot of people came from around the neighborhood and checked out their daycare. Everyone was extremely excited about the backpacks, and the parents loved the daycare guides. Moving forward, we hope to plan a daycare safety seminar for the parents of Little Guys and Gals, as well as potentially training the staff at this daycare. After all, keeping our kids safe at daycare isn’t any one person’s job — it takes a community.
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