Shields Legal Group Welcomes Dynamic New Attorney Hilary Liston

Shields Legal Group is proud to announce and welcome Hilary Liston as the newest attorney joining our experienced team. Hilary will be a valued addition to the transactional department and be responsible for handling real estate matters.

With over 20 years of experience, Hilary has overseen a multi-million dollar business portfolio that includes every aspect of commercial and residential real estate for mid-sized businesses and investors. Her experience includes lot and land acquisition, construction, development, leasing, management and finance. Hilary has structured and prepared commercial loan transactions and closed numerous acquisition and development projects, revolving lines of credit and credit facilities on behalf of institutional lenders, private equity groups, developers and real estate investors. Hilary has acted as general counsel for numerous businesses handling their transactional needs including start up, acquisitions, mergers, licensing, trademarks, product development, distribution agreements, contract negotiations and preparation. Hilary’s extensive experience and dedication to excellence inevitably results in high value engagement for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Hilary is a business-focused, results-oriented attorney.

Prior to joining the Shields Legal team, Hilary was a partner at Mier Law PLLC.

“I look forward to being an integral part of the team at Shields Law Group and am excited about the resources and support they can provide to my clients and me,” says Hilary.

With her impressive track record and admirable core values, we are confident that Hilary Liston will be a great addition to our team at Shields Legal Group. “To be a high value advisory services company, attracting top talent is a must”, Founder/Principal Jim Shields states. “The business community in Texas is entitled to the best people available. Solving problems and getting results is part of the foundation of success. With the recent addition of Hillary Liston to our team, Manager of our Real Estate and Finance Group, we affirm our commitment to supporting successful entrepreneurs and businesses in Texas with the best talent. As we continue to evolve and grow, our mission is to support your Legacy and commitment to excellence.”

Hilary is a Parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church and enjoys being involved with various charitable and non-profit organizations.


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R. Brian Shields Named Rising Star

R. BRIAN SHIELDSFor the third consecutive year, R. Brian Shields has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication.

“I am humbled to be named again to the Rising Star List,” Shields said. “It is an honor to be recognized in this way.”

Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in one of seventy practice areas. The rankings, which are released on an annual, state-by-state basis, are determined by a patented multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

According to Super Lawyers, the final published list “represents no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state.”

Texas LawyerTexas Lawyer Article

James Shields is passionate about entrepreneurs and helping them grow or transition out of their companies. Texas Lawyer published Shields’ article directed to lawyers with clients who want to sell their privately owned business.

Please take a moment and read it. It’s called What to Tell a Client Who Wants to Sell His Company.

If you are the owner of a middle market business and you are considering your next steps, please contact us. Our Growth to Exit™ process provides intentional strategy and deliberate focus on the key areas that have to shine for a potential buyer.

Farmers Branch City Council Supports Westwood School

Shields Legal Group is proud to represent The Westwood School in Farmers Branch, Texas in their fight against a zoning application for a special use permit that would have allowed a gun range to operate in close proximity to the school.

Westwood SchoolThe special use permit application was heard during the Farmer’s Branch City Council meeting on September 1, 2015. Approximately 400 people attended the meeting. Shields Legal Group presented the Westwood School’s position to the Council and parents and supporters of Westwood School were able to voice their opinions about the issue.

Margaret Apgar, lead attorney for the school, said that “The Council made the right decision to support the Westwood School by rejecting the application. A gun range in this location would have been inappropriate and would have irreparably harmed the school. The proposed use was inconsistent and incompatible with the surrounding community, including the Westwood School.”

After a long and contentious meeting, the Farmer’s Branch City Council voted 3-2 against the application.

Shields Legal Won Top Legal Malpractice Verdict in 2014

Top Texas Verdicts

When Henry S. Miller Commercial became the Plaintiff in a legal malpractice lawsuit, we knew we had a strong case. But when the Dallas County jury awarded $4,636,088, it became the largest verdict against a lawyer/law firm in 2014.

Verdict Search tracks and compiles the largest verdicts and settlements in Texas.

Appeals Court Upholds Marina’s $8.7M Verdict

News - Shields Legal Group

When Lake Texoma Highport asked its insurance broker to obtain coverage for its buildings and property, it had no idea of the troubles that lay ahead. It was not until a devastating flood damaged a majority of the marina and coverage was denied, that Highport learned that they did not have blanket coverage. Instead, they had unknowingly purchased a policy that did not cover the property damage caused by the flood.

Highport turned to Shields Legal Group for help. Suit was filed against the broker and various entities and the case was tried for 3 weeks in front of a jury, who awarded a total of $8.7M in damages, and one of the Defendants appealed.

On November 19, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Dallas issued its opinion, upholding the entire amount of the verdict.

Once again, David vanquished Goliath.  How may we help vanquish your Goliath?

The Battle of David and Goliath or How Do You Win a Zoning Change Request?

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Our client is a small, private airport that happens to sit in the middle of prime real estate. Pressure has been mounting to close the airport and allow developers to do their thing. The private hanger owners hired Shields Legal Group to work through these issues and provide a forceful voice at the table.

In a surprise move, the developers made a zoning change request before the city council on extremely short notice. David Shields and the Airport Board rallied the troops and organized 30-40 people to attend the hearing. The presence of that many citizens supporting the Airport was powerful. The developer also failed to submit the necessary reports and studies to demonstrate compliance with applicable property codes and statutes.

At the end of the session, the City Council voted to table the zoning request. They also strongly encouraged the developer to create a plan that provides compatible land use for all parties.

Once again, David vanquished Goliath.  How may we help vanquish your Goliath?

D Magazine

D Magazine Real Estate Daily Features Henry S. Miller Case in its Real Estate Daily Blog

Please click the link to read the latest article about the legal malpractice verdict that Shields Legal Group won for its client, Henry S. Miller Companies, against Steven Terry and his law firm, Newsom, Terry & Newsom.  The Article is titled:

Henry S. Miller Prevails in Decade-Long Conflict Involving $90 Million Real Estate Scam

How do you turn 15 into 1,000?

News - Shields Legal Group

Shields Legal Group set a goal to collect 1,000 boxes of Mashed Potatoes to donate to Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano, Texas.  Minnie’s serves the most needy in Collin County, but is always in need of food staples, such as peanut butter and jelly, mashed potatoes, beans and pasta.

Kathy Hoke, Managing Partner/Principal of SLG, saw the need and organized the firm’s response. slg_employees_174x113.jpgWord of the food drive got out, and clients and other like-minded businesses began to donate as well. Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Henry S. Miller, JBI Partners, Wilshire Wealth Management Group, Cawley Partners and the Chalak Mitra Group were very generous and helped us reach our goal.

In the end, more than 1,000 boxes were delivered to Minnie’s Food Pantry on Saturday, July 12, 2014, and 13 employees and their families volunteered for a shift to sort food and pack boxes. It was a win-win for everyone!

Verdict Search, an affiliate of the Texas Lawyer, has selected the $4,636,088 jury verdict against Newsom, Terry & Newsom to highlight in their May 26, 2014 section on the Legal Profession.

News - Shields Legal Group

In their May 26, 2014 issue, Verdict Search published an article about the legal malpractice verdict of $4,636,088 against Newsom, Terry & Newsom. The case was tried by James D. Shields (lead) and Bart F. Higgins of Shields Legal Group on behalf of Henry S. Miller Commercial. The heading of the article reads “Attorney presented defense in less than four minutes.” Look for an upcoming article in the Texas Lawyer about this same case.

Shields Legal Group wins legal malpractice $4,636,088 jury verdict against Newsom, Terry & Newsom

News - Shields Legal Group

In May of 2014, James D. Shields and Bart F. Higgins tried a legal malpractice case against the Newsom, Terry & Newsom law firm on behalf of their client, Henry S. Miller Commercial Co. in the 101st District Court, Dallas, Texas. The legal malpractice claim arose from Steven Terry’s representation of HSM in the underlying litigation over an allegedly fraudulent real estate deal. Terry was hired by Diamond State Insurance under the real estate errors and omissions policy. The jury verdict in the underlying litigation was $8,918,720, which forced HSM into involuntary bankruptcy.

In the second suit, Henry S. Miller sued Newsom, Terry & Newsom for legal malpractice, fraud, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and Diamond State Insurance for breach of Stowers and breach of insurance contract. Diamond State Insurance settled before trial.

At trial, the Dallas County jury found that Newsom, Terry & Newsom negligently represented Henry S. Miller in the underlying litigation and awarded damages of $4,636,088.

Community Service is About Giving Back

SLG recently started IMPACT l 365, a community service program that is part of Entrepreneurs for North Texas (EFNT) and Community Foundation of Texas (CFT).


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Our first project was to participate in the Reading Partners event at a DISD elementary school. The Hon. Anne Ashby(Ret.) helped a 5th grader go through her reading lessons.

Entrepreneurs for North Texas featured SLG and our IMPACT l 365 program in their Summer 2014 newsletter. Please click on this link to read the story.

Hon. Anne Ashby (Ret.) joins SLG as “Of Counsel”

News - shields Legal Group

anne_ashby_picture_smiling_for_website_79x119.jpgShields Legal Group is proud to announce the addition of Retired State District Judge Anne Ashby to the firm as proactive strategic advisor in an “Of Counsel” position.  Judge Ashby will consult in various capacities, including trial strategy, management of litigation, and providing input to businesses or family offices on their growth or exit plans.

Insurance Bad Faith/Coverage Case Set for Oral Argument

News - Shields Legal Group

In 2012, James D. Shields and Bart F. Higgins tried an insurance bad faith case before a Grayson County Jury in Sherman, Texas.  SLG represented Highport Marina in their dispute against a national retail insurance agent firm, Insurance Alliance, and Bowood Partners, Ltd, the London Broker. After a three week trial, the jury awarded a judgment to Highport in excess of $12,000,000 against Insurance Alliance and more than $1,000,000 against Bowood Partners. The judgment was appealed and oral arguments are scheduled for March 25, 2014 before a panel of Dallas Court of Appeals Justices.

SLG Names Managing Partner and New Principal

News - Shields Legal Group

James D. Shields, founder of Shields Legal Group, announced that Katherine D. Hoke has been named Managing Partner of the firm. Bart F. Higgins has been named a Principal in the firm.  “I am excited about the direction of SLG and so grateful to have exceptional partners, attorneys and staff engaged in our mission – to become Trusted Advisors for our clients, business partners and strategic networks,” Shields said.

SLG Helps Clients Resolve Issues with the Better Business Bureau

News - Shields Legal Group

James D. Shields and Bart F. Higgins have successfully and amicably worked with the Better Business Bureau to resolve rating issues and complaint issues for Enterprise Financial Group Inc.  They also successfully guided Santander Consumer USA through the Better Business Bureau accreditation process.  Santander Consumer USA became an A+ BBB accredited business on November 11, 2013. Their United States Headquarters is based in Dallas, Texas.

Shields Legal Group Represents Owner in One of the Largest Commercial Leases in Dallas History

News - Shields Legal Group

Shields Legal Group just completed the documents necessary to close on one of the largest commercial leases in Dallas history. The sheer size of the leased space (812,000 square feet – the entire Lakeside Campus complex in Richardson, formerly occupied by Ericsson) made the transaction noteworthy.

Randy Cooper and Craig Wilson with Cassidy Turley represented State Farm, while Bill Cawley, Randy Shipman and Addie Cosgrove with Cawley Partners represented the landlord.

“The client was so pleased with our work that they have engaged us on another large deal,” said Jim Shields, Principal of Shields Legal Group. “While I cannot disclose the details of the new lease, the sheer amount of spaced involved is bigger than the lease of the entire Lakeside Campus in Richardson.”

The negotiations, detailed legal work and strategic advice provided by the attorneys at Shields Legal Group is just one example of what makes SLG different.

We provide legal strategy that is aligned with your business goals. We act as your Trusted Advisor to represent your interests.

Your Needs. Our Approach. Your Business is our Priority.