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Scheef & Stone’s 11th Annual Women 2 Women Luncheon

By News & Events

Scheef & Stone is proud to host the 11th Women To Women Business Series Luncheon in Dallas. This exclusive event is designed to offer a meaningful networking opportunity to the leading local businesswomen and to provide an hour of inspirational business conversation amidst a plethora of professional demands.

“The women of Scheef & Stone are always delighted to welcome such a prestigious and successful group of women business leaders committed to cultivating a true sense of community in the North Texas area,” said Jane Taber, partner of the firm and chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “The fact that nearly every industry is represented in the audience, and every attendee embraces the goal of elevating one another is a particular point of pride for our firm and the planning committee.”

In addition to the one of a kind networking opportunities and Park City Club views overlooking the Dallas skyline, this year’s program will feature a deep dive into The Evolution of Conscious Leadership and Culture with our featured speakers Faith Geiger (founder, TULLA) and Cami Miller (VP, Satori Capital).

Joining Jane in officiating the program is Rebekah Steely Brooker, who will introduce the featured speakers. Table hosts include Robin Barnes, Priya Jesani, Heather Kay, Kelly Kleist, LaDawn Nandrasy, Brenda Barton Neuwirt, Margaret Ricchi, Shirley Rose, Leslie Sanderson, Becca Skupin, Kate Valent, and Jennifer Withrow.

If you have any questions or need further information, please email us at

Thirteen Scheef & Stone Partners Named to the 2023 Texas Super Lawyers List

By News & Events

We are pleased to announce that thirteen of our esteemed partners at Scheef & Stone have been recognized among the top legal professionals in Texas, earning a well-deserved place on the prestigious 2023 Texas Super Lawyers list. This achievement is a testament to their resolute commitment to excellence and their exceptional contributions to our clients and the legal community.

Please join us in congratulating:

Joe Baker

Matt Bracy

Rebekah Steely Brooker

Kelly Crawford

John Fischer

Byron Henry

Mark Hill

Mitch Little

LaDawn Nandrasy

John Scheef

Michael Smith

Bill Stone

Kate Valent

Their determined dedication to delivering outstanding legal counsel, combined with their deep-rooted passion for our community, has made them trusted advisors to our clients. Each of these partners embodies the core values of Scheef & Stone, consistently delivering excellence in every aspect of their legal practice.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to each of them for their exceptional contributions, and we look forward to their continued success in providing the #solidcounsel that defines Scheef & Stone’s reputation in the legal industry.

Scheef & Stone’s Founding Partners Roll Off Executive Committee and Challenge the Next Generation to Take the Reins

By News & Events

Scheef and Stone FoundersIn an exciting move that marks a transformative chapter in Scheef & Stone’s history, Founding members, John Scheef, Bill Stone, and Kelly Crawford have announced their decision to step down from the firm’s Executive Committee – each rolling off at different intervals over the next several months. This strategic transition, meticulously planned over the course of several years, comes as a visionary step forward, positioning the firm for unparalleled growth and expansion while fostering an environment of proactive leadership opportunities for the next generation.

John, Bill, and Kelly have been the driving force behind Scheef & Stone’s success since its inception. Leaving behind illustrious careers in Big Law, they took a bold step to establish this firm with a mission to challenge the status quo, offer innovative legal solutions, and advocate for their clients. Now, as they stand on the precipice of another exciting phase, they are determined not to rest on past accomplishments but to embrace the future with open arms. While they are relinquishing their formal positions on the committee, their commitment to the firm remains resolute. The founding partners will continue to play an active and influential role within the organization, channeling their experience and expertise toward the advancement of the firm’s goals.

“We began this journey with a vision of creating a firm that stands for integrity, inclusivity, and dynamic legal representation,” John Scheef stated. “As we step down from the Executive Committee, our commitment to these values remains steadfast. We have always believed in empowering the next generation to lead, and now it’s time to turn that belief into action.”

Bill Stone added, “We want to avoid being stagnant or resistant to change, like some of the old guard we fought against in Big Law. Our departure from the Executive Committee is an opportunity to foster fresh perspectives and ideas, ensuring our firm remains at the forefront of the legal landscape.”

Emphasizing their confidence in the incoming Executive Committee, Kelly Crawford expressed, “The next generation of leaders within our firm has proven their capabilities time and again. They have exhibited unwavering dedication and a passion for client service. We are excited to witness the growth and success they will undoubtedly bring to the table.”

Remaining steadfast in alignment with the firm’s vision and mission, the continued service of Matt Bracy, Rebekah Brooker, Mitch Little, and Richard Wallace on the Executive Committee stands as a testament to their commitment to the firm. They will carry on the legacy of their predecessors while charting new paths to navigate the complexities of a rapidly changing legal landscape.

The transition to the next Executive Committee comes with an optimism that aligns with the firm’s core values. It represents a devotion to excellence, innovation, and maintaining an advanced approach to the practice of law.

As Scheef & Stone looks to the future, it reaffirms its mission to provide exceptional legal counsel, powered by fresh perspectives and staunch dedication to both their clients and staff. It remains committed to being a beacon of positive change in the legal community and to making a lasting, positive impact on the lives of those it serves.

“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to John Scheef, Bill Stone, and Kelly Crawford for their visionary leadership and dedication to our firm,” said Rebekah Steely Brooker. Matt Bracy added, “They have been instrumental in shaping our growth, success, and culture over the past three decades.”

“As we look toward the future, we are excited about the opportunities that this transition presents,” said Richard Wallace. “The founding partners will continue to collaborate with our team, contributing their insights to pivotal projects and providing mentorship to guide our evolving strategies.” Mitch Little agreed and added, “The future ahead is bright at Scheef & Stone!”

Scheef & Stone Attorneys Recognized in 2024 Best Lawyers® Lists

By News & Events

Scheef & Stone is delighted to share that a remarkable achievement has once again graced our firm: an impressive tally of 14 of our attorneys have been handpicked by their peers for the esteemed 2024 Best Lawyers in America® lists. Among this outstanding group, thirteen attorneys have secured their well-deserved spots in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, while an exceptional attorney has also earned a coveted place in the prestigious 2024 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America list. This recognition underscores the exceptional dedication and expertise that our attorneys bring to the legal realm.

The attorneys included in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America are:

Matt Bracy – Commercial Litigation

Roger Crabb – Employment Law – Management

Kelly Crawford – Commercial Litigation

Jim Griffin – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Tax Law

Byron Henry – Appellate Practice

Michael Knapek – Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Litigation – Insurance

Mitch Little – Arbitration, Litigation – Real Estate

LaDawn Nandrasy – Appellate Practice

Mark Nielsen – Trademark Law

John Scheef – Construction Law, Litigation – Construction

Mark Simon – Employment Law – Management

Michael Smith – Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Patent, Patent Law

Bill Stone – Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law

The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America list includes attorneys who are in the earlier stages of their careers and have showcased remarkable professional excellence in the realm of legal practice. Notably, Becca Skupin has earned her place on the prestigious 2024 list, being recognized for her expertise in a range of practice areas including Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Litigation – Patent.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. More than 116,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and Best Lawyers has received more than 17 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America is considered a singular honor.

Lawyers included in the Best Lawyers lists are divided by geographic region and practice area. They are reviewed by their peers and undergo an authentication process to ensure they are in current practice and in good standing.

The full methodology for The Best Lawyers in America list and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America list is available here.

Scheef & Stone Welcomes IP Partner Keith Rawlins

By News & Events

Keith RawlinsScheef & Stone, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of IP attorney Keith Rawlins as a partner in the firm’s Dallas office.

Keith focuses his practice on all forms of intellectual property with an emphasis on the preparation, prosecution, and management of U.S. and international patent portfolios, working with clients to identify IP assets and secure protection of those assets. He also provides legal opinions and analyses for non-infringement and invalidity of patents in the U.S. and abroad with particular experience in chemical, oil & gas, polymer, software, patent system, pharmaceutical, renewable energy, and membrane separation technologies. Keith regularly serves as in-house counsel for his clients, providing strategic guidance and implementing internal processes to help cultivate and streamline their IP.

“We are excited to add depth to our patent prosecution and management team and know that Keith’s industry experience and focus on client relationships will make him an asset to our team,” said IP Partner, Robin Barnes.

Prior to joining Scheef & Stone, Keith was a partner with an IP and business law firm in Dallas. He earned his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and received his B.A. from the University of Colorado, as well as his B.S. in chemical engineering. Keith is a member of the Intellectual Property section of both the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association.

The arrival of Keith furthers Scheef & Stone’s goal of strategic growth to meet clients’ needs.

LaDawn Nandrasy Obtains Win for Policyholder in Fifth Circuit Coverage Appeal

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LaDawn NandrasyScheef & Stone is delighted to announce LaDawn Nandrasy’s victory in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in a coverage lawsuit between her client, the policyholder, and its insurer.

In a published opinion, the Fifth Circuit held that the district court’s ruling in favor of the insurer on its duty to indemnify the policyholder for potential liability in an underlying lawsuit was premature and incorrect.

The underlying lawsuit involved claims by eight plaintiffs in South Carolina against the policyholder, an online car auction company. The plaintiffs alleged that the company’s vehicles had leaked pollutants, contaminating ponds and streams on their properties. While the underlying suit was still pending, the district court in the insurer’s coverage action granted the insurer summary judgment on both the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify, based on pollution exclusions in the policies. In reaching its indemnity holding, the court reasoned that because the insurer had no duty to defend, “it follows that it has no duty to indemnify.” The Fifth Circuit reversed this holding.

The Court found “faulty,” the assumption that the duty to indemnify cannot exist where there is no duty to defend. The Court clarified that “the facts adduced at trial might differ from the allegations, and thus, a duty to indemnify could be shown notwithstanding the absence of a duty to defend.”

The Court further concluded that the underlying lawsuit’s settlement while the coverage ruling was pending on appeal did not alter the analysis. “[W]hether and to what extent the settlement amount is covered by [the insurer’s] policies,” the Court explained, “will take place on remand in this coverage litigation.” Accordingly, the insurer ultimately may be required to reimburse the policyholder for payments the policyholder made in settlement of the underlying lawsuit.

Amy Elizabeth Stewart, Managing Principal of Amy Stewart PC, joined LaDawn as co-counsel for the policyholder. The firm congratulates the entire team for their diligent efforts and successful outcome of the appeal.

This legal victory has garnered attention from prominent legal publications, including Texas Lawyer, Law360, Property Casualty 360, Attorney at Law Magazine, the Global Legal Chronicle, and others. For detailed coverage of the case, readers may access the articles through the respective websites (logins required).

Scheef & Stone’s Jim Griffin Included in Top 10 List

By News & Events

Jim GriffinScheef & Stone is thrilled to announce that Business Today has named Jim Griffin to its list of the Top 10 Texas lawyers transforming employee benefits & compensation. The selected attorneys are highlighted for their broad spectrum of knowledge in employee benefits and executive compensation.

Business Today reported that Jim’s peers had the following to say: “He is a great, great lawyer. He is very practical, down to earth, and makes things easy. He is smart and thoughtful.”

Jim is a partner in the firm’s Dallas office and for more than 30 years, he has helped clients solve their employee benefit problems. Jim enjoys helping clients break down barriers to achieve positive results in the important area of employee benefits and executive compensation. His clients count on him to provide practical solutions with common sense explanations.

Furthermore, Jim serves on the boards of several community organizations, including the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority and KCBI radio. He is also a member of the estate planning council at Southwestern Medical School and Children’s Medical Center, and he serves on the Executive Board at the SMU Dedman School of Law.

More information on the Top 10 list is available here.

Rebekah Steely Brooker Presents Session on Law Practice Management and Succession Planning at State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

By News & Events

Rebekah BrookerScheef & Stone estate planning and probate attorney Rebekah Steely Brooker returned as a speaker at the 2023 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting. This year, Rebekah and co-presenter Bill Betts discussed law practice management and specifically planned vs. unplanned succession planning. “Our objective was to deliver information about navigating the ethical rules that come up in the sudden cessation of a practice,” noted Rebekah. The presentation covered applicable Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, file management and engagement and termination letter provisions. In addition, Rebekah discussed the ethics involved in the cessation of a practice, the importance of designating a custodian attorney, as well as the Rules that apply to the sale of a law practice. “Succession planning is one additional way we can help protect our clients and provide for a seamless transition in the event we are unable to practice law,” Rebekah added.

Rebekah Steely Brooker Publishes in Texas Bar Practice Blog, Urging Bar Members to Designate a Custodian Attorney

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Scheef & Stone estate planning and probate attorney Rebekah Steely Brooker, a member of the Law Practice Management Committee and Vice Chair-elect, and co-author John Meredith, Vice Chair of the State Bar of Texas Law Practice Management Committee, delve into the issue of practice management and planning ahead, particularly in the event of disability, impairment, incapacity, or death, in their article “Succession Planning: A Day to Designate Your Custodian Attorney,” published in the Texas Bar Practice Blog. The designation of a custodian attorney, they explain, is a critical aspect of law practice management and succession planning. In fact, the State Bar President inaugurated June 21, 2023, as the first annual Designate a Custodian Day, to raise awareness of the protections a lawyer should have in place in the event that an emergency prohibits the lawyer from being able to practice. The authors note that the appointment of a custodian attorney serves to protect not only their clients’ matters but also the lawyers’ own professional reputations. The authors recommend that in addition to designating a custodian attorney, members of the Bar pass on the favor by serving as a custodian for another attorney or attorneys. To learn more about the purpose and obligations of those chosen for this role, read the full article here.

Scheef & Stone Welcomes Bryan Haynes’ Return

By News & Events

Bryan HaynesScheef & Stone is pleased to announce that Bryan Haynes has returned to the firm after serving as the Lead Trial Partner with the intellectual property firm Klemchuk LLP. Bryan has been on the front lines of litigation battles for more than 32 years, trying dozens of cases to verdict and final awards and handling countless evidentiary and non-evidentiary hearings. He has successfully tried and arbitrated patents, trade secrets, trademarks, fiduciary duty, complex contracts, business “divorces,” employment, probate, insurance coverage, wrongful death, product liability matters, and others.

“Throughout his career, Bryan has garnered a reputation for his exceptional legal skills, unwavering dedication, and unwavering commitment to achieving favorable outcomes for his clients,” said Founding Partner, Kelly Crawford. “His extensive expertise covers a wide range of practice areas, including litigation, banking, real estate, corporate and business, and intellectual property just to name a few, making him a valuable asset to our clients and our firm.”

“Bryan possesses a deep understanding of the intricate legal landscape, having previously worked at Scheef & Stone. This familiarity with our firm’s values, culture, and commitment to excellence will undoubtedly facilitate a seamless transition and enable him to hit the ground running.”

Through his experiences on both sides of the docket, Bryan has gained immeasurable knowledge and understanding of how judges, jurors, and arbitrators consider and weigh the rules, legal authorities, arguments, and, most importantly, assessing the credibility of witnesses and other evidence.

Bryan was admitted to practice in Texas in May 1991 and has appeared in courts in more than 90 of Texas’ 254 counties. He is also admitted to the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Western, and Southern Districts of Texas, Northern District of Indiana, Western District of Michigan, Western District of Missouri, Northern District of Oklahoma, and each of the Districts of Colorado, North Dakota, and Utah. He has also appeared pro hac vice in state and federal courts in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

We pride ourselves on assembling a team of exception legal professionals who are dedicated to delivering the highest caliber of legal services. With Bryan’s return, our firm’s expertise and capabilities are further strengthened, allowing us to continue providing unparalleled legal solutions to our value clients. Please join us in welcoming Bryan back to the firm!

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Bryan, please contact him via this link.