Robert D. Hemphill
A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Attorney Robert Hemphill has been serving individual and business clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. While previously a principal in two Dallas firms, Mr. Hemphill focused on business litigation, general corporate and municipal law. Since 1984, he has continuously received an "A.V." rating, the highest available, from the Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory, which uses a copyrighted rating system based upon peer review by judges and other attorneys. He has served as adjunct professor of business law in the University of Dallas graduate school and for the Dallas County Community College system.
Mr. Hemphill achieves client objectives through negotiation and other litigation alternatives whenever possible but has the experience to move aggressively in court when necessary to protect the client's rights. He has been counsel of record in a wide range of cases in state and county courts, the US District courts and bankruptcy courts at both the trial and appellate level. He is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts as well as the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern districts of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Hemphill presently handles a blend of business, consumer and other civil litigation as well as business and real estate transactions, municipal and probate law. Specific matters he can assist with include:
Litigation and appeals: All phases of litigation, from preparing your lawsuit or defense to trial before the judge or jury as well as any necessary appeal. He will fight for your interests based on a full evaluation of the facts and applicable law. His experience includes collections on accounts, negotiable instruments and promissory notes, breach of contract, enforcement or defense of non-compete clauses and other employment contract disputes, trade secrets, prosecution or defense of deceptive trade practice claims, premises liability, nuisance abatement, business torts (Texas Theft Liability Act, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, business disparagement, tortuous interference with business contracts and relationships) and evictions involving commercial or residential properties.
Business formation, conversion and dissolution: Assisting with the selection and formation of the type of business entity which will best serve your needs, whether it be a Texas limited liability company (LLC), corporation (electing either subchapter C or subchapter S tax status), general or limited partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), or a professional entity such as professional corporation (PC) or professional limited liability partnership (PLLP). One business form may also be converted to another to adapt to changed business, personal or tax planning objectives. Related documentation includes corporate minutes, bylaws for corporations or company agreements for limited liability companies, partnership agreements, buy-sell agreements to insure orderly transfers of business interests and employment agreements. It may also be necessary to register an assumed name or trademark in order to protect the good will developed by the new business. In certain cases, failure to register an assumed name used by the business is a criminal offense.
Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise: Obtaining certification of a business as a Minority or Woman Owned Business Enterprise in accordance with Texas Government Code 481.101(3). It may be advantageous to designate and obtain certification of a corporation or LLC as Minority or Woman Owned to qualify for participation in certain government contracts and other small business programs.
Out of state businesses: Securing a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State of Texas which is generally required for an out-of-state company to do business in the state Texas. Likewise, securing the certificate of good standing often needed by a Texas business in order to qualify to do business in another state.
Business and real estate transactions: No transaction can be safely undertaken without legal documents that accurately and clearly reflect the terms and parties' intentions and will stand up in court. Mr. Hemphill can prepare documents for your transaction such as purchase, sale or lease of real estate, purchase/sale of a business or its assets, foreclosure of mortgage or security interest (judicial or non-judicial), and specific transactions listed under "Contracts" below.
Contracts: Businesses often require assistance in drafting contracts for specific relationships or transactions. Examples include confidentiality agreements in connection with possible business sales, agreements for marketing or sales personnel acting as agents or independent contractors, consulting agreements as well as transactions listed under General Corporate above.
Municipal Law: Securing zoning changes required for new business operations such as manufacturing or industrial facilities or commercial development. Representation can be undertaken reporting to in-house counsel or to the property owner. He can also assist with land use issues such as subdivision plat approval, exceptions from development standards required for particular tracts of land and proceedings involving the termination of nonconforming uses (land uses which were legal when begun but not permitted under subsequently adopted zoning ordinances); and representing property owners in proceedings to enforce building and other city codes, disputes over municipal employment and other contracts, utility services, open meetings and open records requests.
Probate: Securing your appointment as executor or administrator in the administration of the decedent's estates, including independent administration (where a valid will names an independent executor who is qualified and available to serve), independent administration with will annexed (as where no independent executor is named in the will or the executor named is not available to serve but all distributees agree on an individual or entity to act as independent administrator pursuant to court order), or dependent administration (in which there is no will and/or no agreement as to who can act as administrator). Representation is also available for applications to determine heirship where there is no will (determining the identity of heirs and property passing to each under Texas inheritance law) and disputes regarding the validity or interpretation of wills and trust agreements.
Wills, trusts and estate planning: Preparing key estate planning documents such as a will and/or trust to insure that the client's property will pass to the desired beneficiaries with a minimum of expense and without excessive tax liability or inconvenience. Also provided are basic personal and estate planning documents which everyone must consider, including: (1) durable power of attorney (either general or limited to specific purposes) to designate a trusted person to attend to the client's affairs (e.g. signing contracts or paying bills) during a period of disability or absence from the country, (2) directive to physicians or "living will" (setting out the client's desires as to medical treatment in the event of terminal illness and certain other situations), (3) medical power of attorney (designating a person to make medical treatment decisions in the event of the client's incapacity), (4) inter vivos (living) trust agreements to provide for management of investments during disability and/or transfers of property without a probate administration and (5) guardianship declarations to designate a person to act as guardian in advance of the need.
Areas of Practice
- Litigation and Appeals
- Real Estate
- Business and Commercial Law
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Constitutional Law / Civil Rights
- Employment Law
- Estate Planning
- State, Local and Municipal
- Business Organizations
- 55% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Texas, 1974
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1998
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1983
- The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas
- J.D. - 1974
- Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi
- B.S. cum laude - 1970
- Honors: With Honors
- Major: Business Administration
- Minor: Accounting
- University of Houston, Houston, Texas
- Honors: Alpha Tau Omega (Social)
- Honors: Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership)
- Major: Post Baccalaureate Studies
- Vignon Corporation
- Kaufman Hardware, LLC
- Buckeye Fire Equipment Company
- Republic Waste Services of Texas
- "Business Contracting in Texas" Including Topics Related to Contract Law, Lorman Education Services, 2001
- Adjunct Professor, Business Law Graduate, University of Dallas, 1979 - 1980
- Adjunct Professor, Business Law , Dallas County Community College, 1977 - 1978
Honors and Awards
- Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1988-1991
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Way Back House Inc (Non-Profit), Director, 1986 - Present
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Director and Secretary, 1978 - 1979
Past Employment Positions
- Law Office of Robert D. Hemphill, Owner, 1995 - 2008
- Stollenwerck Moore & Silverberg, Shareholder, 1993 - 1995
- Nichols Jackson Kirk & Dillard, Partner, 1980 - 1993
- Nichols Jackson Kirk & Dillard, Associate, 1974 - 1980
- Omicron Delta Kappa
- Alpha Tau Omega