By Jess Davis
Law360, Dallas (April 6, 2016, 8:11 PM ET) —
Dallas litigation boutique Chamblee Ryan Kershaw & Anderson PC has opened an office in Tyler, Texas, to capitalize on its steady trial docket in East Texas, the firm announced Tuesday.
Chamblee Ryan represents insurers, trucking companies and other transportation providers, medical professionals and health care institutions, and has had a fair amount of work from East Texas clients in its 18-year history. But in the past few years, the firm has been trying more and more cases in the area surrounding Tyler and felt a need to establish a physical presence there, firm co-founder Jeff Ryan told Law360.
Ryan said he and the firm’s other co-founder, Bill Chamblee, had long weighed the idea of opening a branch office in Tyler, but had kept that plan on the back burner. As the workload for the 24-lawyer firm started to increase in East Texas, with trials in state and federal courts in Rusk, Smith, Gregg and Harrison counties becoming more frequent, they started to feel having a central office in the area would be good for the firm long-term.
“We’ve always kind of thought about it in the back of our mind,” Ryan said. “The one thing that pushed us over the edge was Jarad Kent’s interest.”
Kent, who worked as an associate at the firm for seven years out of the Dallas office before he was named partner, is a Tyler native, and wanted to move his family back to his hometown. Kent’s interest was the spark that set the long-dormant plan for an East Texas office into motion, and the Tyler branch opened in mid-March, Ryan said.
“He knows the community,” Ryan said. “We’re not just hiring somebody out of the blue. It was a natural, easy decision for us. We had the right person and we’ve certainly got the work out there.”
Ryan said the Tyler area’s economic strengths — health care, transportation and distribution — fall neatly within the firm’s area of expertise. Having an office there will help the firm better serve its existing clients, with a dedicated space for witness preparation a welcome addition, but will also help it tap new work and new clients from the growing East Texas business community, he said.
The Tyler office is starting off with just Kent but could eventually grow to include several attorneys, depending on client needs, Ryan said.
“I’m very excited to be returning home and expanding the footprint of our firm,” Kent said in a statement. “Few Texas-based firms try as many cases before a jury each year, and our reputation for preparing every case to go to trial is well known. So is our record of gaining favorable results for our clients. This move is gratifying for me personally, and I’m confident we’ll be very successful here in Tyler.”
Kent is a 2007 graduate of Baylor University School of Law and has bachelor’s degrees in politics and philosophy from The Catholic University of America.