I graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in 1981 with a history and philosophy degree. I attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and received my JD degree in 1985. I also have an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin (1998). After working with a small firm in San Antonio I was General Counsel of Metroplex Bancshares, Inc., a bank holding company in Dallas from 1987 until 1991. From 1991 until 1997 I was in solo practice. From 1997 to 2011 I was a shareholder in Harkins, Latimer & Dahl, P.C. where I concentrated on ERISA litigation on behalf of employees and insurance coverage litigation. Since 2011 I have had my own practice and continue to specialize in ERISA litigation on behalf of employees and insurance coverage litigation.
I have been board certified in Consumer and Commercial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2001.
Atkins vs. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Player Retirement Plan — I represented Gene Atkins, a former professional football player, against the NFL
Player Retirement Plan seeking additional disability benefits. The case took almost
six years and wound its way through the federal district court in Austin then to the Fifth
Circuit. We lost in the Fifth Circuit and I filed a Writ of Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court
that was recently denied. This case was important because of the ERISA issues involves
and also because it is a NFL head trauma case.
Ducre v. SBC-Southwestern Bell —
This was an important case because it addressed mental illness and a claim under
an ERISA disability plan. The expert hired by the claims adjustor reported that
the claimant was not disabled because she was not homicidal or suicidal. The Court
found abuse of discretion, pointing out that just because she wasn't suicidal or homicidal
didn't mean that she was not disabled from working due to mental illness.
Liebenguth vs. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston — This case was significant because the court found that Liberty abused its
discretion in denying Liebenguth disability benefits due to her fibromyalgia