About Jeff Steidley
Mr. Steidley grew up in a military family. His father was in law enforcement as an Air Policeman in the United States Air Force, and later became a U.S. Treasury Agent. Jeff entered the U.S Army after high school and served three years, attaining the rank of Buck Sergeant. His brother Mike served in the Air Force, and his other brother Darrell served in the Navy.
After the Army, Jeff began college at Middle Tennessee State University, ultimately graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He then attended the Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he served on the editorial board of the prestigious Vanderbilt Law Review. He was recruited from Vanderbilt Law School to come to Houston, Texas to work for Vinson & Elkins, one of the largest law firms in the country. In the year between his graduation from Vandy Law, and showing up for work at V&E, Jeff clerked for the Honorable Bailey Brown, Jr., who was a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan).
During his tenure with Vinson & Elkins, Mr. Steidley began his active trial practice, and also served the State Bar of Texas as a member of Disciplinary Committee 4-D, which he later chaired. During this time he also assisted the students at the University of Houston Law Center as an adjunct professor of law in the areas of trial and appellate practice, where he taught off and on for over a decade.
Mr. Steidley first became Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law in 1985, and has retained his board certification over the ensuing years. He continues to have significant personal injury cases, but his trial practice over the years has extended to virtually all areas of civil litigation. He has tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts and has appeared before the appellate courts of Texas and the United States. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer for many years, and has received the highest “AV” rating possible reflecting recognition by his peers as “Very High to Preeminent” in terms of his professional ability and expertise, and as “Very High” in terms of his adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics.
Mr. Steidley has three grown children, Rachel, Amalie and Winston. His interests outside of his law practice and his children include volunteer work, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, playing golf, writing, working out, yoga and meditation.
What To Expect
Comprehensive Interview and
At the outset, the questions that the lawyer has are: What happened? What do we have that will prove it? Your question is: How can you help me? In some cases, the information needed for the lawyer to answer your question is available and easily conveyed. An auto accident with a police report, coupled with medical records and bills is one such example. In other cases it may take more than one meeting and further effort at obtaining relevant information, and it may be that there are subtleties in the applicable law that require additional attention.
Negotiate or Sue?
Once the facts are in hand, the decision on how to proceed initially must be made. In many cases, the attitude and position of the other side is not known, and it makes sense to present notice of the potential suit, with a demand for payment, and then see if a resolution can be made without litigation.
More often that not, this effort is not fruitful and suit must be filed. However, if a successful negotiation does occur, the process stops here.
Suit – Now What?
Once the suit is filed, the defendant or defendants must be served. This involves the issuance of a citation by the Court, which is then served on the other side by an officer, if service is accomplished personally, or sometimes by mail.
Once the person sued is served, they have approximately one month to get a lawyer and file an answer. Once that occurs, then the process called “discovery” begins.
There are four main types of discovery that is undertaken as each side gathers information to support its case. Interrogatories are written questions that must be answer under oath. Requests for production are written requests for specific documents or categories of documents. Requests for admissions ask that the parties agree to certain facts that are not in dispute. The fourth type of discovery is the deposition, which is oral testimony given before a court reporter. It is much like courtroom testimony, only it is much, much longer in duration and is typically taken in a lawyer’s office or conference room. It may be videotaped.
Almost all courts now require some sort of formal settlement conference, called mediation. This is a process where an impartial third party attempts to bring the case to a conclusion by the agreement of the parties. It is popular with courts because it has proven effective in resolving a significant percentage of cases. No party is bound to agree to anything, however, so trial is always a possibility.
If the case cannot be settled after the discovery is accomplished, then the parties proceed to trial. Only a small percentage of cases are tried to a verdict, but each case should be prepared by the lawyer as if it is going to be one of the few that is tried.
Protect Your Rights. Let an Experienced Trial Attorney Fight for You.
If you are facing a potential legal issue in the Houston area, contact The Steidley Law Firm.
We will let you know if you have a case and help you make informed decisions about protecting your interests.