As seen on:

Channel 2 / Houston KPRC
Channel 11/ KHOU

Marshall Davis Brown Jr: February 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Should you Brand your Law Firm?

Any business that's serious about using its reputation and customer association to gain traction is likely familiar with the benefits of branding. Basically, once you've branded your company, your brand is more likely to stick in the minds of your potential and current customers and you'll have given them a fast idea of what your company strives to do. Some people might question whether or not a law firm is the appropriate type of business to do this for, but it can truly benefit a lawyer who wants to take his or her name from local to national the way Marshall Davis Brown, Jr and other big-name lawyers have.

The reason so many people seem to think it's not appropriate for a lawyer to brand him or herself is because advertising can make lawyers look illegitimate. However, advertising has little to do with the type of branding that lawyers should do. Rather than being thought of as an ad, a brand can be thought of as a metaphor that represents the attorney/business, or even their personality. It's about creating a positive image for the company that warms the prospects up to them, therefore creating clients.

So how do you go about "branding" your name or your firm? You can start by identifying your best qualities and the ones you want the public to know you for. Are you aggressive? Professional? Speedy? It should be whichever trait sets you apart from your competitors. Bear in mind that the general public is intimidated by the law and its complexities – whatever will convince them that you're proficient and knowledgeable is good to put toward your brand.

You don't have to advertise to brand your firm, but you can come up with a slogan, use social media, keep a law blog, or add personality to your web content. This way, when prospective clients are looking to hire a lawyer, they can easily pick up on what type of firm they're working with and get a good first impression.
Branding for any company trying to sell a product or service is important for setting that company apart. Lawyers are no different from other types of business when it comes to competition – keep that in mind when you wonder whether or not it's appropriate for the profession.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Four Reasons Social Media is Important for All Businesses

If you run a business and haven't yet integrated into the internet world, you're probably one of the few in your discipline. Having a good web developer on your team can make a world of difference – after all, phone books are becoming obsolete and prospective customers are finding businesses through the web more and more frequently these days. But having social media is one way to take things a step further. Everyone from lawyers like Marshall Davis Brown in TX to large corporations like Target use Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and more to connect with their customers. Here's why:

Make it Easier to Find You
Social media is localized when it comes to searching, so if someone is looking for a business nearby, whether it's a lawyer or a pizza shop, they'll be able to find what's local on social media. If a person's friend uses these local businesses and decides to 'tag' them, talk about them, or simply 'follow' them on social media, that person will be exposed to the name through their connection. It's a great way to take advantage of modern-day word-of-mouth.

Interact with Clients
Your Facebook wall, Twitter account, Yelp! page and more make it easy for customers to review their experience with a product or service, whether it's good or bad. This gives you the opportunity to respond to them publicly so that others can see that the business cares about what its customers think. It also works well as a suggestion box, and you can even ask your customers what they'd like to see from you!

Some social media sites let you promote yourself to targeted customers, whether you're targeting locally or targeting users who are likely to search for relevant key terms. This counteracts the dated "megaphone" approach – you're actually reaching an audience who is likely to be interested, rather than just shouting into a crowd of people who may or may not care.

Assess Competition
If you've got a social media account, you can easily find the accounts of other businesses in your field. This way, you can keep tabs on what they're doing as well – what the customers are liking/disliking from them, what specials they're running, how they're choosing to advertise, which search terms they are optimizing their company for, and more.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What you Should Know Before Filing for a Texas Divorce

Though it may be difficult, it's important to tread lightly when it comes to divorce, especially in a state like Texas. It's all too easy to let your emotions get the best of you in the midst of the process, but you'll only regret it in the long run. After you've made the final decision to start the process and have hired your Texas divorce lawyer, like Marshall Davis Brown, remember to take it slow and keep these facts in mind.

Always keep Safety in Mind
Unfortunately, there's always the possibility for family violence during the process of divorce. Whether you've got a spouse who has a previous history of violent behavior, or you think the emotions may be running particular hot and there's a slight chance, always ensure that children are in safe hands and any disagreements are hashed out in front of professionals.

Make an Inventory
It's better to start taking inventory of each spouse's assets, as well as the shared ones, prior to beginning the process. Remember that Texas is a state that acknowledges any property acquired during the marriage by either party as "community property," and therefore, it is divisible. Property acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage, however, is separate, and indivisible, property.

Plan Out your New Budget
Going from living in a double-income household to a single-income household is more difficult than one might expect. Especially when there are kids involved, work out your new budget and ensure that you can continue to live your current lifestyle before you find out too late that you can't afford it.

Be Prepared to be in the Fishbowl
The time period before your divorce is finalized is considered the "fishbowl;" while this may be the most difficult time for you, your actions may also be under scrutiny by your spouse and his or her lawyers, so it's more important than ever to be mindful – and, yes, as respectful as possible – to avoid bringing up further issues in the case.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Divorce in Texas: What you need to Know

There's a lot to think about when going through a divorce on the emotional level. Attempting to disentangle your life and belongings from those of your spouse is difficult enough, but then you also have to deal with the lawsuit itself. Finding an attorney and going into the courtroom can be intimidating, especially on top of the psychological stress. Aside from having a good lawyer, there's not much you can do to detract from the demands of the process, but it certainly does help to be educated about what's about to happen. Here are the basics about Texas family law – just so that you're prepared.

Filing for a Divorce
The process begins by filing a petition for divorce. Bear in mind that in order for Texas to recognize your request, you've got to have a sound rationale, as per the Texas law. It's perfectly reasonable to file for a "no-fault" divorce which simply states that there has been a conflict or divergence of personal interest between the two spouses. A divorce can also be filed as a "fault" divorce, which would be the case should there be any history of abuse, infidelity, desertation, sustained separation, crime, et cetera on behalf of one or both parties. Giving a good reason makes the lawsuit easier to rule fairly. After filing the petition, there are other documents required by Texas law, such as the Marital Settlement Agreement, Financial Affidavit, and Child Support Worksheet if applicable.

Assessing Property
Texas is a community property state and therefore it recognizes any piece of property earned or purchased during the duration of the marriage belongs to the family as a whole. Any separate property needs tangible evidence to be proven so. Family property will be divided evenly in most cases, but in some fault divorce cases, distribution can be adjusted.

Child Care
A large percentage of Texas divorce cases involve children. It's important to remember that children take the brunt of the emotional impact, and to handle the situation with care. If the parents have not reached a mutual agreement about custody, the court will decide for them; children 12 years or older have the option to choose. Any non-custodial parent will have to pay child support to the guardian parent. It's important to find a lawyer who has the resources for family counseling, such as Marshall Davis Brown Jr, if necessary – the psychological effects of a divorce can be stressful on a child.

Final Ruling
Finally, bear in mind that it will be 60 days until you are finally legally divorced after all court procedures have taken place. Thus, you have that time period to reconsider. For best results, hiring an experienced, veteran divorce attorney is highly recommended.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer in Texas

In the midst of going through the legal processes of making your separation a divorce, you're bound to be under some emotional and psychological stress. For you, it might not be the ideal time to be making difficult decisions, like choosing a lawyer. You hear the names of family lawyers, like Marshall Davis Brown, in TX news stories and ads, but how can you know which one is going to be the best for your situation? Here are some tips to help you think clearly and make an educated decision when hiring an attorney.

Wait it Out
Since there are a lot of hard feelings involved with divorce, it can be tempting to hire the first lawyer you can find and begin playing hardball when it comes to material and monetary possessions. In truth, there's no rush to get a divorce – take some space from your spouse and use the time for both of you to cool your heads. Give one another plenty of notice when the next step will be taken once you're ready. It helps to avoid animosity in the future, and reduces the risk of you having to relinquish more than you'd like to in the divorce.

Know your Situation
What kind of attorney will you need – a hard, fast, and aggressive one? Or one who will get the process done and over with as quickly and painlessly as possible? Are there children involved? You need to have some idea of the special characteristics that your lawyer will need to have.

Get Educated
Use the internet to find the names of the most reputable family lawyers in Texas, then read up on each one. Learn about other clients' experiences with these lawyers and even set up interviews with them if that makes you feel more comfortable. Call your state bar association, too. Don't hire an attorney who doesn't make you feel at ease.

Following these tips will ensure that you've gone through the process thoroughly and that you've made the right decision. It's not one to be rushed – remember, it's your future and your possessions on the line.

Pavlas, Brown & York L.L.P.

3040 Post Oak Blvd. Ste. 1020

Houston, TX 77056

Ph (713) 222.2500

Contact Us

Pavlas, Brown & York acts for clients throughout Houston, Texas and its counties, including but not limited to Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County and Liberty County. Our Staff is expert in navigating divorce and family law proceedings, and the rules of each of the county courthouses.

Copyright 2010 Pavlas Brown & York L.L.P. Attorneys at Law. All Rights Reserved

The information contained in the Pavlas, Brown & York website is provided solely for information purposes. All information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. No viewer, recipient, or any person accessing this website, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information or content included in the website.

Individuals should always seek appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state.

Pavlas, Brown & York, L.L.P. expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken baed on any or all the contents on this website.