“Over the course of my career, I’ve found that my clients truly appreciate the time, effort, and creativity I put into every case. I am here to help you when you need help the most. That is a responsibility I take very seriously. “
Partner, Fitzpatrick, Hagood, Smith & Uhl, LLP, Dallas, Texas (June 2013-June 2014)
- White collar criminal defense and complex commercial litigation.
- Founding Partner, Helms, Roberts & Diaz LLP, Dallas, Texas (2010 – 2013)
- Firm specialized in civil litigation, technology transactions, criminal defense, and immigration.
- Principal, Fish & Richardson P.C., Dallas, Texas (2003 – 2010)
- Practice emphasized complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and patent litigation.
- Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (2000 – 2003)
- Prosecuted fraud, violent crime, immigration, and drug crime cases.
- Handled trial and appellate matters for the firm.
- Never lost a trial or appeal.
- Awarded Certificates of Appreciation from the U.S. Postal Inspectors for financial crime prosecutions and from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys for review of FBI terrorism reports related to the 9/11 attacks.
- Partner, Susman Godfrey L.L.P., Dallas, Texas (1994 – 2000); Associate (1991 – 1993)
- Advocated for plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation.
- Took on cases involving intellectual property, corporate litigation, securities, and class action suits.
- Elevated to partner a year early.
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles Clark, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Jackson, Mississippi (1990 – 1991)
- University of Texas School of Law, J.D. 1990, with high honors
- Chancellors, Order of the Coif, Texas Law Review Editorial Board
- Dartmouth College, B.A. English 1987,cum laude
Examples of Federal Litigation Experience:
Federal Civil Examples, Representing Plaintiffs:
Landmark Graphics Corp. et. al v. Paradigm Geophysical Corp. et al. , United States District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston). Successfully represented plaintiffs in patent infringement litigation over a 3-D seismic imaging software patent. Case settled on confidential terms.
NextiraOne v. Inter-tel , Inc. , United States District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). Successfully represented the plaintiff in a multi-million dollar breach of contract lawsuit over telecommunication equipment. Case settled on confidential terms.
Federal Civil Examples, Representing Defendants :
Multimedia Patent Trust et al. v. Microsoft Corporation , United States District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego). Served as co-trial counsel for Microsoft in a patent infringement case about a video compression patent owned by a trust set up by Alcatel/Lucent. The plaintiff sought actual damages from Microsoft of more than $415 million and future damages that could have reached into the billions. The jury found no liability after a multi-week trial.
DataTreasury Corporation v. Bank of America , United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall). Defended Bank of America in one of the largest patent infringement cases in the country. The patent involved check imaging and processing. The plaintiff sued over thirty banks and claimed over a billion dollars in alleged damages from Bank of America alone.
Federal Criminal Examples, Representing the United States :
- United States vs. Oscar L. Rager and Monica T. Peters , United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. Obtained payroll tax evasion convictions after a two-week jury trial.
- United States v. Michael Manzer and Richard Carbonaro , United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. Two-week jury trial resulted in convictions for operating a fraudulent charity designed to resemble the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Federal Criminal Examples, Representing Defendants :
- United States v. Mark De La Paz (a.k.a. “The Fake Drugs Case”) , United States District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). Represented a Dallas Police officer accused of lying about fake drug arrests. Two-week jury trial resulted in complete acquittal on all charges.
- United States v. Joong Sook “Janet” Lee , United States District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). Client pleaded guilty to creating fraudulent documents for residential real estate transactions. The Probation Officer calculated the Federal Sentencing Guideline range at over seven years’ imprisonment. Objections and a request for downward departure based on lack of loss amount resulted in a two-year sentence.
Special Prosecutor Appointments :
- Collin County District Clerk’s Office Corruption Cases, 401 s t Judicial District Court, Collin County, Texas. Appointed Attorney Pro Tem when the Collin County District Attorney’s Office recused itself. Obtained convictions of the Collin County District Clerk and her two top assistants on corruption charges after a jury trial.
- In re Douglas Paul Chapman, 121 s t Judicial District Court, Terry County, Texas. AppointedAttorney Pro Tem, when District Attorney’s Office recused itself. Conducted an investigation and resolved the matter without filing formal charges.
- United States Sentencing Guidelines— Departures and Variances After Booker : Advising and Protecting Your Client, State Bar of Texas, 35th Annual Advanced Criminal Law Course, Dallas, Texas, July 21, 2009.
- Herding Cats: Multiple Defendants In Patent Cases, 46th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, The Institute For Law & Technology Of The Center For American And International Law, Dallas, Texas, November 10, 2008.
- Surviving The Internal Investigation, State Bar of Texas, 5th Annual Advanced Business Law Course, Houston, Texas, October 25, 2007.
- Parallel Civil And Criminal Proceedings: When Worlds Collide , State Bar of Texas, State Bar College “Spring Training” 2007, Dallas, Texas March 29, 2007.
- In-House Counsel Needn’t Wear Bullseyes On Their Chests—How To Avoid Being The Next Target [Of A Criminal Investigation], State Bar of Texas, 7th Annual Advanced In- House Counsel Course, Dallas, Texas, July 24, 2008.
- The Implications Of Parallel [Civil and Criminal] Proceedings, State Bar of Texas, 4th Annual Advanced Business Law Course, Houston, Texas, October 2006.
- Lawyers Beware—I Fought The Law, And The Law Won: Criminal Prosecution Of Lawyers , Dallas Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, Horseshoe Bay, Texas, September 28, 2006.
- You’re Not Foreign, And You’re Not Corrupt, So Why Should You Care About The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? , Corporate Counsel Luncheon And Roundtable: Cutting- Edge White Collar Issues, Dallas, Texas, May 24, 2006.
- Criminal Law Issues That Every Civil Trial Practitioner Should Know, State Bar of Texas, 27th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, Dallas, Texas, August 26, 2004.
- Eyewitness Identification , Texas Lawyer, December 19, 2011.
- What To Do When The Company Is A Target , Texas Lawyer, November 7, 2011.
Current Bar Admissions :
- State Bar of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Courts: Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
Other Memberships and Recognition :
- Fellow , Dallas Bar Foundation
- Fellow , Texas Bar Foundation
- Barrister , Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court (2000 – 2003) “The Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas,” D Magazine (2004)
- “Rising Star,” Texas Monthly Magazine (2005) “The Best Lawyers in Dallas,” D Magazine 2014-2015
- “Texas Super Lawyers,” Texas Monthly Magazine 2014-2015
- Married to Jennifer Anton Helms. Children: Jack (10), Grace (5) Interests: Powerlifting, ice hockey, Scandinavian history and culture.