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Firm Welcomes Texas-based Ballard & Littlefield, a Litigation and Arbitration Firm, Expanding its Footprint into The Lone Star State
Houston – August 3, 2020 – The law firm Bressler, Amery & Ross announced today that it has expanded into Texas with new offices in Houston and Dallas.
The dual-office expansion is the result of Bressler’s acquisition of Ballard & Littlefield (B&L), a litigation and arbitration firm with extensive experience in the representation of national and regional financial firms in securities, employment and regulatory matters. B&L’s attorneys also have represented companies in a variety of industries in general commercial litigation, in mediations, fiduciary disputes, collection matters, garnishments, declaratory judgment actions and interpleaders. The combination, effective August 1, marks the second and third offices Bressler has opened in recent months. The firm announced a new office in Charlotte, NC in June of 2020.
Principals Jack Ballard and Donald Littlefield, who have practiced law since the mid-1980s, have substantial experience and expertise gained from years of experience handling a wide range of securities and business disputes. Also joining Bressler from B&L are attorneys Charles “Al” Hammaker, III, Susan Logsdon, Michael Rodriguez, and Mary Jo Cantu—all of them long-tenured attorneys with broad experience and a heightened focus on client service. To round out the new Texas team, Bressler’s Fort Lauderdale principal, Joelle A. Simms, will also join the Dallas office, returning to her hometown to grow Bressler’s Texas network.
“Our team is honored to become the latest addition to the Bressler family. The combination will provide needed additional resources and allow us to offer a wider range of services to our clients. We will be better lawyers and have a stronger practice with Bressler,” said Mr. Ballard, who will serve as Managing Principal of the Houston office.
Added Donald Littlefield, who will lead the Dallas office, “On a personal level, I have known the Bressler attorneys for many years. I have the utmost respect for them as practitioners, litigators, and people. We expect that, with B&L and Bressler together in Texas, we will achieve even more great results for our clients.”
As part of its long-term strategic growth plan, Bressler has been looking to establish a Texas presence to better support clients with significant business there. The addition of B&L’s Houston and Dallas offices, with experienced attorneys and a solid client base, is a perfect means for Bressler to expand its services into a critical U.S. legal market.
“We have known this talented group of attorneys from Ballard & Littlefield for decades, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Bressler family. Jack and Don, and the rest of the team, are excellent lawyers. They share our philosophy on the practice of law and are excellent people,” said Bressler Managing Principal Frank Cuccio. “The group’s reputation and experience will add to our existing practices and better position us and our efforts in the South and the West. Expanding into Texas marks the beginning of a new chapter for Bressler. We greatly look forward to what’s to come as we work together to continue providing exceptional service to our clients.”
Bressler is a full-service firm for business and insurance clients with a national reputation for integrity and client service. The new offices are the eighth and ninth for the firm, and the firm’s first offices located West of the Mississippi River. Bressler’s other locations are in Birmingham AL, Fort Lauderdale and Miami FL, Washington DC, New York City, NY, and its headquarters in Florham Park, NJ.
About the New Bressler Team in Houston and Dallas
The Houston Office
Jack D. Ballard, Managing Principal
Jack Ballard has many years of experience handling complex litigation and arbitration matters in Texas and throughout the United States. Mr. Ballard is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He began his career at Hutcheson & Grundy, becoming a partner there in 1993. After two lateral moves, Mr. Ballard started his own law firm in 2001. By 2005 The Ballard Law Firm had 17 attorneys and an active litigation and arbitration practice. In 2009 Mr. Ballard’s long-time colleague Don Littlefield joined the firm as a partner, establishing Ballard & Littlefield. Mr. Ballard believes that the Bressler Texas offices will be a “win-win” for everyone involved. Mr. Ballard received his J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1985 and previously earned a B.A., cum laude, from Texas Christian University in 1978 and an M.A. from T.C.U. in 1982.
Al Hammaker, Counsel
Al Hammaker is a seasoned litigator with more than three decades of experience handling trials, arbitrations and appeals of commercial and employment disputes. Mr. Hammaker also has substantial experience in securities industry arbitration, litigation, and regulatory matters. Mr. Hammaker received a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1986 and a B.A. in 1979 from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Hammaker was an officer in the U.S. Army, completing the combat leadership course at the Army’s Ranger School and attaining the rank of Captain.
Susan A. Logsdon, Counsel
Susan A. Logsdon handles litigation, arbitration, regulatory matters, and appeals, focusing on representing brokerage firms and financial advisors in securities-related issues before federal and state courts, state regulators, and in FINRA arbitrations. She also represents general corporate clients in a wide variety of litigation matters. Prior to joining Mr. Ballard’s firm, Ms. Logsdon assisted with complex commercial litigation cases at Fulbright & Jaworski and on a variety of maritime matters at Hill, Rivkins & Hayden. Ms. Logsdon received a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1989 and a B.A. in Psychology in 1985 from the University of Texas.
Michael A. Rodriguez, Counsel
Michael A. Rodriguez provides the firm with a broad perspective on the securities markets drawn from a lengthy legal career in private and public roles. He has a sophisticated practice in securities-industry arbitration, litigation, and regulatory matters. Mr. Rodriguez began his legal career at the Securities & Exchange Commission. He has also previously served as regional counsel for two prominent Wall Street financial services firms. He also served as a legal advisor to various stock exchanges and governmental agencies involved in the creation and development of capital markets in former Communist countries following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Mr. Rodriguez earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1979 and a B.A. in Philosophy in 1976 from Trinity University.
Mary Jo Cantu, Counsel
Mary Jo Cantu has significant experience in trial, arbitration, and appellate matters for securities and general corporate clients. Before joining Ballard & Littlefield, she was senior counsel in the appellate and trial sections at other prominent Houston firms. She earned a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in 1991 and a B.A. in English and a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University in 1988.
The Dallas Office
Donald R. Littlefield, Managing Principal
Donald R. Littlefield has been representing financial institutions and their employees for over 30 years. Having worked in private law firms and as an Executive Director and Senior Vice President for two national broker-dealers, he combines his in-depth knowledge of the securities industry with superior legal skills to provide clients with practical and effective legal strategies. He has handled commercial litigation, employment, regulatory and securities claims throughout the State of Texas and arbitration claims across the country. Mr. Littlefield teamed up with Mr. Ballard to form Ballard & Littlefield in 2009. Mr. Littlefield received a J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1986 and a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Texas in 1983.
Joelle A. Simms, Principal
Joelle A. Simms, previously based in Bressler’s Fort Lauderdale office, focuses her practice on securities, employment, and commercial litigation and arbitration. Admitted in both Florida and Texas, Ms. Simms represents financial institutions, employers, and business owners in customer, employment, commercial, and tort disputes in state and federal court, and in arbitration proceedings nationwide. A Dallas native, Ms. Simms received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 2010 and her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Richmond in 2007.