The ‘A’ Word

04/21/2014

You see it in contracts and trusts everywhere. Judges love arbitration, because it kicks the lawsuit out of their court. Instead, the parties are forced to pay for, and present, their case to a person who acts as an arbitrator. There is no jury trial. Most of the arbitrator’s decisions are not appealable. The arbitration can last as long, and cost as Big companies love arbitration because the case is tried behind closed doors, and because many small litigants cannot afford to go through a full arbitration. To be forced to arbitrate, you have to agree to it in a contract. The Texas Supreme Court extended that in a 2012 decision to trusts – it held that a beneficiary of a trust who has accepted any distribution from the trust is held to the trust’s arbitration clause. An arbitration clause is usually found at the end of a contract in […]




Community Property Rights in Camelot

04/21/2014

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a valiant young man romanced the fairest and most beautiful maiden in the land.  But there was a problem.  Arthur was from noble bloodlines, while Guinevere was from the wrong side of the moat. Despite protestations from the King and Queen, the two lovebirds married and started their own brood. They bought and moved into a castle down the street and Arthur began to ascend the royal ladder.  Arthur was often called away to slay dragons (there was a dragon problem in the kingdom) and perform other knightly duties. Based on his dragon slaying abilities, Arthur was admitted to and became the managing partner of Camelot, LLC.  With his huge earnings from Camelot, Arthur proceeded to buy up the surrounding lands, amassing a huge kingdom and becoming King. Unfortunately, rather than celebrating good fortune with his stay at home Queen, […]




When “I Do” Really Means “I Don’t”

04/18/2014

Older couples should visit with an attorney before getting the marriage license. Why? Because marriage makes a huge impact on financial and medical rights and decisions. In Texas, the moment the marital knot is tied the couple starts accumulating community property and debts. Federal law takes over on any retirement plans governed by ERISA. Financial and medical decisions (even burial decisions!) default to the new spouse. Kids from former marriages are left out in the cold. Beneficiary designations and joint ownership on accounts may become convoluted. One spouse may lose pension benefits from a former spouse, Medicaid eligibility, or contractual alimony. Homestead rights change. What to do? Revise your estate plan, including updating your will, powers of attorney and designation of guardian. You will want to coordinate retirement plans and beneficiary designations. You may want to have a premarital agreement to address ownership of assets and division of expenses. Discuss […]




Protect Your Family Jewels

04/14/2014

As you recall from when we last met, the fair maiden Guinevere had taken 60% of King Arthur’s booty and moved to a castle by the lake with Sir Lancelot.  Much like a modern day John Bobbitt, the king awoke to find his family jewels missing.  The kingdom was abuzz. Many a knave wondered, “How was this possible?  Why would the king allow his family jewels to be exposed in such a fashion?” Despite the warnings of his parents, King Arthur had allowed love or lust to cloud his better judgment, and he did not take the necessary steps to protect his jewels.  Don’t make the same mistake. Protect your family jewels! While not being the most romantic notion, prenuptial agreements do a wonderful job of protecting your family jewels.  If you are unfortunate and your marriage does not work out, having a prenuptial agreement in place can predetermine how […]




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    “I have been in banking, underwriting and processing all types of real estate transactions, for over 25 years in three large corporate banks and three small community banks in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It has been my privilege to work closely with Hammerle Finley Law Firm, specifically Thad Finley and Cathy Vick, for the last fifteen years.  They are responsive, thorough and knowledgeable.  I highly recommend them.”  L.F., banker

    Our Locations

    • Lewisville

      2871 Lake Vista Dr.
      Suite 150
      Lewisville, Texas 75067

    • Dallas (By Appointment Only)

      17304 Preston Rd.
      Suite 800
      Dallas, Texas 75252

    • Plano (By Appointment Only)

      5700 Granite Parkway
      Suite 200
      Plano, Texas 75024

    • Corinth (By Appointment Only)

      6501 S. Interstate 35E Frontage Rd
      Suite 101
      Corinth, Texas 76210

    • McKinney (By Appointment Only)

      2150 S. Central Expressway
      Suite 200
      McKinney, Texas 75070

    • Southlake(By Appointment Only)

      950 East Highway 114
      Suite 160
      Southlake, Texas 76092