Richard W Alexander
Richard Alexander is an experienced and respected attorney with more than thirty years of state and federal trial experience. He counsels individual and business clients on legal matters including litigation, employment, E-discovery and document preservation policies, and civil and criminal government investigation and enforcement actions.
* Business Litigation in State and Federal Courts
Any business dispute today has the potential to become expensive and complex regardless of the merits or significance of the issues actually involved. In this litigious environment, strategy, experience and good judgment are the keys. Mr. Alexander targets a clientâ€™s core business objectives and determines whether litigation is a necessary, cost-effective or likely path to achieve worthwhile goals.
Mr. Alexanderâ€™s approach to legal controversies depends on observation (carefully taking stock of the facts surrounding a dispute) and objectivity (identifying the drivers most likely to determine the outcome). Tempered by decades of in-court trial experience with judges and juries, he knows that very little information actually becomes admissible evidence in court and very few of the participants in an event actually become witnesses. Early in the process he strives for focus and clarity in understanding the real controversy. In this way he can give his clients the widest range of options to approach and resolve their business challenges.
* E-Discovery/Document Preservation Policies
Businesses of all sizes rely on electronically stored information (ESI) for the conduct of communications and transactions on a daily basis. When disputes, investigations or lawsuits arise, the process of discovery of electronic data, or e-discovery, becomes crucial. Your organization must preserve the essential ESI concerning a particular controversy in a way that is reasonably accessible. At the same time, you must avoid blindly accumulating huge quantities of unnecessary ESI that require expensive, business-crippling effort to search and cull when e-discovery is required.
The best solutionâ€”often overlooked until too lateâ€”is proactive e-document preservation policies and procedures that retain business essential ESI and routinely cull and delete useless ESI before it becomes a liability. Implementation of such a policy requires legal expertise in a team approach with your business. Mr. Alexander has remained on the leading edge of developing legal principals in e-discovery law. Consequently, he can aid his clients in identifying and avoiding pitfalls in e-discovery preparedness â€“ before litigation is even an issue. In a developing dispute, he is quick to access and use ESI strategically both to develop his clientâ€™s evidence and attack credibility of his opponentâ€™s proof. Early assessment and preservation of significant ESI can often determine the outcome of a case or controversy.
* Government Investigation and Enforcement Actionsâ€”Civil and Criminal
Increasingly, state and federal regulation has set the standard for business services, products and conduct. With regulation comes the power of government to grant or withhold licenses or permission for particular business activities. When these public interests clash with a clientâ€™s private concerns, a delicate legal touch is called for. Mr. Alexander uses his instinct and strategic view of a public agencyâ€™s agenda in order to determine whether cooperation or going on the offense is the best course of action. The objectâ€”favorable termination of government actionâ€”can require speed or patience depending on the regulatory or enforcement environment. When criminal sanctions or punishment can result, the balance in legal approach becomes even more sensitive.
Mr. Alexander has a unique blend of civil and criminal investigation and enforcement litigation experience, and has often been on the defense against agencies with superior resources and funds. He has stood up for clients on trial for their human lives (the Texas death penalty) and their business lives (antitrust criminal violations, debarment from public contracting, bank fraud). He has invoked the power of government and the courts to protect his clients through presenting complaints for criminal fraud or embezzlement, as well as vindicating his clients through civil actions for malicious prosecution against immunized witnesses or for libel against public media.
* Employment and ERISA Litigation
Competition and changing economic environments have made job changes commonplace. Since our future economic security often resides in our earning capacity and our accumulated employee retirement benefits, these areas can produce serious disputes between employers and employees. Mr. Alexanderâ€™s practice includes counseling and litigating in a broad spectrum of areas concerning the employment relationship, such as:
- terms of employment
- covenants not to compete
- protection of trade secrets and confidential information
- stock options
- severance agreements
- disputes over adverse employment decisions based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age or disability
- constructive termination
- hostile work environment
- retaliation for protected conduct
Employee benefits including pension and profit sharing plans, retirement benefits and other employer sponsored plans, produce disputes over claims and entitlement to benefits. Just as common are legal challenges that employer trustees or investment advisors have breached fiduciary duties causing loss or damage to these plans and the funds entrusted to them. Since 1974 this area of law is occupied by a federal statute, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (â€œERISAâ€). The rights and remedies under ERISA are a curious mix of highly technical requirements and vague concepts specialized in by tax attorneys, labor lawyers and a few trial attorneys. Mr. Alexander has litigated and tried ERISA claims on behalf of employer trustees as well as employee claimants in federal and state courts. Recent changing legal interpretations have expanded the claims and remedies potentially available to employees and their beneficiaries although this continues to be a very specialized area of law.
Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer - National Board of Legal Specialty Certification
Richard W Alexander
Attorney & Counselor at Law
2112 Rio Grande St
Austin TX 78705
Tel: 512 482-9500
Fax: 512 474-0954
- Business Litigation in State and Federal Courts
- E-Discovery/Document Preservation Policies
- Government Investigation and Enforcement Actions--Civil and Criminal
- Employment and ERISA litigation
Mr. Alexander has represented public corporations, small business and individuals in a variety of contexts, focusing principally on commercial litigation and business-related torts. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has engaged in 41 jury trials and 44 bench trials. During his 32 years of private practice, he has litigated at all levels of state and federal courts in jury and non-jury trials on behalf of business plaintiffs and defendants. His practice also includes white-collar criminal investigations and business crimes.
Mr. Alexanderâ€™s trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts includes mediations, arbitrations and trials in a wide variety of legal areas. His core areas of expertise include:
1. Disputes within business structures, often involving disagreements between Stakeholders, divisions in a board or governing body, or between employees and management. Examples of these include corporate and partnership disputes, ERISA, employment law, fiduciary liability, franchise law, legal malpractice, lender liability, trade secrets, covenants not to compete, internal corporate investigations, and thefts of business assets or opportunities.
2. Controversies between competing businesses or a business and its suppliers, customers, dealers, or other subcontractors. These challenges involve breach of contract actions, real estate disputes, business or product disparagement, interference in existing or prospective business relationships, fraud, theft of trade secrets, antitrust law, securities fraud, bankruptcy litigation, deceptive trade practices, libel and slander, and trademark, copyright, and patent infringement.
3. Conflicts with local, state or federal governments that take the form of regulatory disputes. These can include licenses, zoning or code enforcement, claims of improper, unsafe or illegal business practices, problems in complying with government standards, requirements or contracts. These difficulties can lead to administrative law hearings or court actions, responses to civil investigative demands, audits, state or federal investigations, civil rights claims, grand jury subpoenas, and defense of actions for fines, suspensions of licenses, penalties or alleged criminal law violations, and malicious prosecution actions.
Electronically stored information (ESI) and its use to conduct all levels of business communications and transactions have changed the landscape of legal disputes. Mr. Alexanderâ€™s litigation practice has been at the forefront of these changes. E-Discovery (the difficulties of ESI in litigation) is perhaps the single most difficult legal issue facing small and large companiesâ€™ CEOs, HR and IT departments today. Mr. Alexander routinely lectures on the cutting edge requirements for effective document retention and destruction polices in todayâ€™s electronic era. He has applied his experience in litigation and government investigations to help clients prevent those problems before they occur. He also knows how to handle the complexities of E-Discovery issues in court cases, which often shapes the outcome of lawsuits today.