Texas Supreme Court

Joe Stephens argued a famous reported case  before the Texas Supreme Court

The case arose out of the wrongful death of Luis Gutierrez.  He was shot and killed during a robbery at the Quarry Market Mall in San Antonio.  The mall had a known crime problem on its premises. There had been over 200 major crimes on the property with 14 of them very violent such as aggravated robbery, bank robbery, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Despite the known problem,  the mall’s property manager Trammell Crow did not provide any visible security in or around its 53 acre parking lot.  Instead, it provided undercover security guards.

The defense was that Mr. Gutierrez was the victim of a violent personal and targeted attack due to the manner of the attack.  We argued that the attack was more consistent with a random robbery because the assailant took Mr. Gutierrez bracelet and wallet.

The jury found that the mall was negligent in failing to provide adequate security to protect the patrons, given the mall’s knowledge of the known risk that its patrons were placed in harm’s way when they shopped at the Quarry.  The trial judge affirmed the jury’s $6.5 million dollar award and entered judgment against Trammell Crow.  The 4th  Court of Appeals in San Antonio upheld the award.

The argument you see below is Mr. Stephens actual argument before the nine Justices of the Texas Supreme Court.  The legal issue was whether there were a sufficient number of past similar crimes to make this crime  foreseeable, triggering a duty to protect Mr. Gutierrez.

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SELECTED AS SUPER LAWYER 2008-2015
Joe Stephens was selected from a statewide list of lawyers as a Texas SuperLawyer for 2008-2015 which is published by Texas Monthly magazine. He has also been invited to serve on the Blue Ribbon Panel that reviews whether other lawyers qualify.

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Selected as OUTSTANDING YOUNG
TRIAL LAWYER in America

In 1999, Joe Stephens was selected as the Most Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer in America by AAJ, which is America's largest lawyer organization.

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DOUBLE BOARD CERTIFIED
Less than one percent of Texas lawyers have one board certification. Joe has TWO. One is a National Board Certification showing his competence to try civil lawsuits before juries, the other shows special competence in Personal Injury Law

Houston, Texas personal injury law firm, The Stephens Law Firm serves clients across Texas. We give you straight facts about your legal options. We have handled cases from Austin to Houston, San Antonio to Dallas, and everywhere in between, including: Katy, Beaumont, Richmond, Rosenberg, Wharton, Corpus-Christi, Waller, Brownsville, and McAllen. We handle cases in Harris County, Ft Bend County, Nueces County, Wharton County, Bexar County, Liberty County, and Jefferson County.