John H. McFarland
Recognized in:Commercial Litigation
Law School:University of Texas School of Law
Location:712 Main Street, Suite 1500Houston, TX 77002
- University of Texas School of Law, Juris Doctorate, graduated 1995
- The University of Texas at Austin, Plan II Honors Liberal Arts, graduated 1991
- Texas, 1995
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for work in:
- Commercial Litigation
Tell us a little bit about your practice and what makes it unique.
- My practice is unique because I tailor my approach to each case based on what my client's needs and goals are. I have adopted principles in practicing law that focus on one unifying theme: securing value for the client in the face of litigation, which is usually not a value proposition. I have written about many of these principles, including the 80/20 principle (sometimes called the Pareto Principle), Good Enough is Good Enough, and the Parable of the Red-Bellied Rocks. After more than a decade of practicing law in the Big Law mode that posits that "good enough is not good enough," I have spent the last decade plus using my experience and insight to avoid costly pitfalls in litigation and to secure my client's goals without making the cure worse than the disease.
What common questions are you asked by clients, and what are your answers?
- Clients commonly ask, what is your area of expertise?
I tell clients and potential clients that my practice focuses on the sort of commercial litigation that justifies a boutique-level lawyer but is not existential to the client's existence. I have broad experience in commercial litigation but my real skill set is finding the story in a client's problem and using that story to solve the problem. I have an agile mind with a broad educational background and wealth of experience; those advantages help me figure out the story and make useful analogies.
Clients also ask, how is your practice different from your twin brother's practice?
My twin brother (Charles McFarland) focuses exclusively on eminent domain litigation, where a condemning authority, usually the state, takes a private property owner's property through eminent domain. He's very, very good at it. My practice focuses on business problems like shareholder disputes, breach of fiduciary duty cases, fraud, and breach of contract. Our practices do not overlap at all.
Were there any particular inspirations (people or events) that spurred your interest in your practice area(s)?
- My dad (Van McFarland) was a trial lawyer in Houston for over thirty years. He raised me and my brothers, and definitely inspired me (and my twin brother Charles) to become trial lawyers. I still run into lawyers that remember my dad and they always tell me how well they thought of him.
What other interests do you have?
- I love to think and talk about public policy, and I like to write about public policy in clear, common-sense terms. I love to coach and have coached kids in soccer, baseball, basketball, and flag football.