SRJ Represents Development Group in Chuy's Restaurant Lease
Chuy's Mexican Food Restaurant established its first restaurant in the greater Waco, Texas area at the Legends Crossing commercial development after finalizing a long-term commercial lease agreement with the development group, Shoppes at Legends Crossing, LP. Legends Crossing is a large, mixed-use commercial real estate development located at I-35 and Loop 340/Highway 6. Real estate specialist and SRJ partner, Bo Routh, represented Shoppes at Legends Crossing, LP in the negotiation and drafting of the commercial lease agreement. SRJ also represents the main development group, Legends Crossing Waco Development, LP, in numerous other transactions involving medical, office, retail, hotel, and restaurant users. As a board certified real estate attorney, Bo has participated in highly complex real estate transactions in Central Texas and throughout the State of Texas which have benefited local economies and commercial real estate investors alike.
Joel Shields Encourages Prime Partners for Legal Aide
The Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association recently honored four Waco area banks for their participation in the "Prime Partners" program established by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. The Prime Partners program was created as a means of encouraging banks to voluntarily increase the interest rate they pay on IOLTA accounts – which in turn is used to provide funding for legal aide services to low income Texans, including domestic abuse, landlord/tenant disputes, denials of life-sustaining services and other civil issues.
Recent declines in overall interest rates have lead to reductions in the interest paid on IOLTA accounts resulting in a significant decrease in the funds available for legal aide. In response to these reductions and the negative effect on legal aide services, SRJ attorney Joel Shields, a Board member of the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, led the promotion of the Prime Partners program locally to encourage banks in the greater Waco area to increase the interest paid on IOLTA accounts. As a result, BBVA Compass, Fidelity Bank of Texas, First National Bank of Bosque County, and Independent Bank were all honored as Prime Partners for their participation in enabling additional funds for legal aide services. Through this and other efforts, Joel continues to be committed to the active promotion of legal aide services and assistance to low-income individuals.
Scott James is Guest Lecturer at 6th Annual Timberland Investment World Summit
SRJ attorney Scott James was a featured lecturer at the sixth annual Timberland Investment World Summit held in New York City on October 26-28, 2009. The summit is considered the definitive annual meeting for investors, paper and forest product companies, endowments, family offices, REITs, forestry management companies and other individuals and entities engaged in timberland investments. The three day conference covered every aspect of the timberland investing process from appraisal and valuation to strategies for maximizing returns. Scott was invited to speak at the summit about a landowner's legal rights when faced with eminent domain and condemnation of rural property, including timberland. His speech on "Negotiating and Litigating Easements and Condemnation" to participants addressed the numerous issues that confront property owners when their land is targeted by a condemning authority, such as an energy pipeline company, including litigation of a land taking and the negotiation of limited easements. As an owner of rural property himself, Scott proudly focuses his practice on representing landowners in condemnation and eminent domain disputes and is recognized as a leading attorney in this area of the law.
Scott James Named Young Lawyer of the Year & Fellow
The Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association named Scott James as the Young Lawyer of the Year for 2009. This award is given annually by the Waco-McLennan County Association to an outstanding young lawyer for his or her professional and community achievements. Scott was also named a Fellow by the Texas Bar Foundation in recognition of his outstanding professional service and notable contributions to the system of justice and the people of Texas. This distinction is bestowed on only one-third of one percent of licensed Texas attorneys.
Scott James speaks at Magnolia Landowner's Conference
SRJ eminent domain and condemnation attorney Scott James was invited to speak at the Magnolia Landowner Conference in Magnolia, Arkansas on September 26, 2009. The conference focused on the recent increase in easements and condemnations for mineral exploration, oil/gas wells, pipelines, utilities and highways affecting landowners throughout the region and nation. Conference organizers recognized that many landowners receive less than 30% of their property values when negotiating easements or engaging in condemnation proceedings without professional assistance due to landowner inexperience in remainder impact valuations, negotiations, and litigation practices. Scott's overview on "Litigating terms and values for easements and condemnations" addressed the complex legal issues involved in eminent domain and condemnation matters and the importance of having knowledgeable legal representation and expert property valuations when negotiating or litigating any eminent domain or condemnation proceeding. As an attorney who devotes his practice to eminent domain and condemnation matters, Scott is acutely aware of the importance to landowners of knowing their rights and having professionals on their side.