Vietnam

Do you like interesting food? Do you like to experience a completely different culture? Do you like exploring new places? If you are looking for somewhere to go, Vietnam should be at the top of your list. I’ve been to every state in the U.S. I’ve also been to South Korea; New Zealand; Greenland; Iceland; Canada; Tasmania; Iraq; Somalia; Kenya; Ireland; England; Singapore; Australia; Indonesia; Hong Kong; Japan; both The US and British Virgin Islands; China; Bahrain; The UAE; Quatar; Italy; Switzerland; Kuwait; The Netherlands; Mexico; Cayman; the Bahamas; Turks & Caicos; Anguilla; St. Martin; Antigua; Aruba; Cuba; France and many other places I can’t think of at the moment. I strongly recommend you visit Vietnam if you ever get the chance. Of all the places I’ve been, it’s one of my absolute favorite places.

Getting to Vietnam is a challenge. It will take you just shy of twenty hours. Typically you fly through South Korea, or Taiwan, and then on to Vietnam. Most guide books will tell you to either start in the north at Hanoi and work your way south to Ho Chi Minh City, or start in the south at Ho Chi Minh City and work your way north. I disagree with this approach. Vietnam has too much to offer to attempt to explore it all in one trip. The food and culture in the north are vastly different from that of the south. I think each deserve a separate trip. Recently I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Once I arrived and rested, I chartered a boat, and went approximately 150 miles up the Saigon River, and then the Mekong River, almost into Cambodia. I spent the night one night with a local family, and then went even further. After I returned from this “side trip,” I spent the rest of my visit in Ho Chi Minh City, strolling and taking in the local sights, and more importantly, enjoying the local culture and food. Along the way, I made many friends, one of which was a local who owned several restaurants who showed me all of the restaurants considered to be the best of Ho Chi Minh. The food!!! I could see myself spending a lot more of my time in Vietnam. There is enough there to spend a month. I will be back.

 

Check out Tony Buzbee’s Vietnam travel video here!

 

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He loves to travel and his interest began during his time with the United States Marine Corps. Check out more of his travel blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.net on April 4, 2018.

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What It Takes to Be Successful

I am routinely asked to speak to various legal groups. Sometimes those making the request are new or aspiring lawyers, and most want me to speak on how to be successful as a lawyer or how to manage being a lawyer and having a “life.”

I’m always honored when I am asked to speak, and, if my schedule allows, will typically accept the invitation, no matter the group or its size.

I’ve hired more than 100 lawyers over the years. I’ve seen young lawyers from some of the highest and lowest ranked schools in the country. Over the years, I have honed my list of “what it takes to be successful” to just a few broad categories. Without any commentary, I list them here:

 

WORK HARD:

Hard work is the key to success — not luck.

There is no substitute for hard work.

You can’t succeed without hard work.

There are no shortcuts you can take to be successful, other than hard work.

 

JUST BE HONEST:

As a lawyer, the most important thing you have is your reputation. It brings you cases. Once its tarnished, you don’t get it back. Be honest, always. We don’t make the facts, we deal with the facts as given to us.

 

BE THE ONE WITH ANSWERS:

I believe that a strong law firm must have strong systems in place. No one should be so important that, in their absence, the system fails. That being said, if you want to be successful, remember:

Don’t ask someone else, especially a senior lawyer or judge, something that you can find in a book or a case. You will learn a lot more, more quickly, if you research and find the answer yourself. And, your knowledge will be much more comprehensive.

You are being paid to know the answers, or find them. If you don’t know the answer, go find it. Your bosses, the judge, and the client expects this of you. Expect it of yourself.

Your education actually begins when you graduate law school. Law school attempts to teach you to “think like a lawyer.” It doesn’t teach you to be one. Go ahead and accept that the practice of law means a lifetime of study.

Make yourself relevant. Volunteer for tasks. Step up when asked, even when not. Learn about issues you know will come up and be prepared. I quickly surmise those lawyers who will be successful and those who want simply by determining the ones who always want to be involved in whatever the firm is doing. Be that person.

 

BE GOOD TO YOUR STAFF:

Your staff can make or break you. Take care of them; they will take care of you.

Find out what each person does at your firm; have an understanding of their jobs. With regard to your personal assistant, if you have one, know that job inside and out. You may have to do it at times.

Do nice things for your staff. There will be times when you say things you wish you hadn’t. There will be times when you ask them to stay late. There will be times when you need them on the weekend. Build up good will with them; let them know you recognize their importance, because they are important.

 

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF:

It’s easy to get caught up in the law practice to the exclusion of everything else. Although certainly that type of focus is key during sometimes — like a trial — that cannot be maintained all the time. Take time for yourself. Read; write; exercise; Travel; watch good movies; go see some great art; see a musical; eat great food. You need a creative outlet; you will need to give the mind a rest at time. It will not only make your more relatable, it will make you happier, a better advocate, a more well rounded person, and better lawyer, boss, mentor, mentee, etc. This is as important as reading the latest Supreme Court case. Take care of yourself!!

In addition to focusing on yourself, focus on your personal relationships. Having a support system is key; cultivate it. Family and friends may not understand your daily trials and tribulations, but having them there for support is support enough. Better yet, lending an ear or support for them will take your mind off your own troubles, will also assist them.

DON’T CONSIDER THE ODDS:

As I have stated in the previous blog, be damned the odds. If you want to do something and believe you can (something legal, of course), go for it?

Don’t forget: WORK HARD.

 

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He has been involved in some of the most high profile cases in the United States and has earned a reputation for winning. One of his recent Big Money Wins was in the news again, read the article here! Tony Buzbee was also profiled by Bloomberg Business week and his involvement in Hurricane Harvey litigation last fall, check out the article here! Read more of his law blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.com on April 18, 2018.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas are made up of more than 700 islands, many of which are uninhabited. The Bahamas sit just east of the Florida Keys. Although Americans commonly refer to the “Bahamas” is if that is the proper name, the true name of what we commonly refer to as the Bahamas is a group of islands, under British Rule, called “The Commonwealth of the Bahamas.” Most folks who visit the Bahamas fail to really grasp the breadth and scope of the islands, and the wonderful things to see and do in the area. I love the Bahamas. They are relatively easy to get to, and once you get there — if you have a boat — it is wonderful to roam from island to island, exploring, sunning, and swimming. A few years back, rather than going to the more popular Paradise Island, or Grand Exuma, I decided to take my boat to Bimini Island. Bimini, whose main city is Bailey Town, is much more laid back than some of the other more popular areas of the Bahamas. In Bimini, there is one main resort, and lots and lots of sand and sun. On this particular trip, I put on my diving gear and swam with the hammer head sharks. Although I recommend it, such is not for the faint hearted!! In the Bahamas, unlike the United States, the laws are a bit less stringent. In the context of swimming with the sharks, this means you forgo a cage and dive right in. What an experience!!

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He loves to travel and his interest began during his time with the United States Marine Corps. Check out more of his travel blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.net on May 4, 2018.

Guest Blog: Excerpts from the Houston Business Journal

Earlier this month, Tony Buzbee, managing attorney at The Buzbee Law Firm, sat down with the Houston Business Journal to talk about his work, life and how he’s managed to build his success.

Below you will find excerpts from the Q & A by HBJ Reporter Jack Witthaus.

The excerpts contain three Q & A’s which were selected from the full article by three (unnamed) attorneys at the Buzbee Law Firm.

 

How do you think people in the business community view you?

People realize I’m really smart and there’s a method to my madness. I typically work on contingency, but some people pay the hourly rate. My hourly rate is around $1,200 an hour. Why would anyone pay that when they could get a lawyer at V&E (law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP) for about $500 an hour? The feedback I get is that they choose me because they want an attorney who can kick ass.

 

How do you approach being a boss?

I have a really good team of lawyers. But if I don’t like someone, I just get rid of them. Life is too short. They can go find any job anywhere else.

 

Why have you been successful?

When I show up, the jury expects a show. That’s what I give them and that’s why I win. I don’t take it lightly the people who trust us with their fate. Even though I’m putting on a show, I’m not shooting from the hip. It’s well thought out. I’ve tried every case in my head multiple times before I enter the courtroom.

 

The full article can be found in the May 2nd edition of the Houston Business Journal.

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He has been involved in some of the most high profile cases in the United States and has earned a reputation for winning. One of his recent Big Money Wins was in the news again, read the article here! Tony Buzbee was also profiled by Bloomberg Business week and his involvement in Hurricane Harvey litigation last fall, check out the article here! Read more of his law blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.com on May 9, 2018.

Tasmania

My brother is a professional musician who lives in Melbourne, Australia. I don’t get to see him near as much as I would like. A few years back, he and I decided we wanted to spend some time together and decided to take a trip. We wanted to do something adventurous, and both agreed that it would be fun to take a jeep and explore Tasmania. I’m glad we did. Tasmania is a small island that sits about a twelve-hour boat ride off the southern coast of Australia. Tasmania is known for its beautiful and challenging terrain, beautiful beaches, and wide open spaces. It is a wonderful place. For the trip, my brother and I took his jeep and boarded a late night ferry. After dinner on the ferry and a few drinks, we retired to our cabins. When we awoke, we were on Tasmania! We spent the next week driving across almost the entire island. During our trek, we even took yet another ferry to yet another, smaller island (Bruny Island) off the southern tip of Tasmania. Whether it be the whiskey we drank, the cigars we smoked, the wildlife we saw, or the company we kept, Tasmania stands right up there as one of the most fun and memorable trips I’ve taken. Camping on Bruny Island and fighting off the ring tale possums is just one of those nights one never forgets. Tasmania, put it on your list!!

tasmania-5-Tony-Buzbee-960x675

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He loves to travel and his interest began during his time with the United States Marine Corps. Check out more of his travel blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.net on May 18, 2018.

What Are the Odds? The Right to Trial by Jury - Part 2

Today’s blog is a continuation of my February 14th blog which addressed: The Right to Trial by Jury. If you read that blog you will understand my views on Juries.

 

Again, here are two sources of our Right to Trial by Jury for Civil Cases:

US Constitution Bill of Rights: Right to Trial by Jury is guaranteed in the 7th Amendment: “the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

Two guarantees in the Texas Constitution: Article I, section 15 is a part of our Bill of Rights.. It provides in pertinent part:

 

The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be needed to regulate the same, and to maintain its purity and efficiency.

Article V of the Texas Constitution governs the judiciary. See TEX. CONST. art. V. Section 10 provides:

In the trial of all causes in the District Courts, the plaintiff or defendant shall, upon application made in open court, have the right of trial by jury; but no jury shall be empaneled in any civil case unless demanded by a party to the case, and a jury fee be paid by the party demanding a jury, for such sum, and with such exceptions as may be prescribed by the Legislature.

 

Last month, we received a very favorable appellate decision regarding a $159 million verdict, but still have more than $100 million in verdicts on appeal in various appellate courts.

The verdict entered doesn’t end the case; indeed, many times it’s just the beginning.

I trust juries and hope the appellate courts do as well.

Read: Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Houston Attorney Helps Protect a Small Part of Tony Buzbee’s Huge Verdict

 

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. He has been involved in some of the most high profile cases in the United States and has earned a reputation for winning. One of his recent Big Money Wins was in the news again, read the article here! Tony Buzbee was also profiled by Bloomberg Business week and his involvement in Hurricane Harvey litigation last fall, check out the article here! Read more of his law blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.com on May 25, 2018.

La Plaine de Gennevilliers

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is attending art auctions at the major auction houses in New York. Whether it be Christie’s or Sotheby’s, when you attend an art auction you feel like anything can happen. It’s almost magic. The last time I attended a Christie’s auction, I was fortunate to purchase a piece by French Impressionist Claude Monet. I love the impressionist painters. They were the rebels of their day, painting in an informal way, and painting informal scenes, using a different method and basically creating a whole new movement in the art world. I’ve always liked the non-comformist, someone who suffers for what they believe. I don’t think that Pissarro, Monet, or any of those who were part of the original impressionist movement would believe the world-wide interest in their style of art today. They certainly would be shocked at the prices at which these paintings are now moving!

About Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet is a famous painter and is among the founders of the French Impressionist movement. Monet’s was known for documenting the French countryside, but he took a different direction through Impressionism. Impressionist painting is a 19th-century art style characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes. Through this technique, Monet painted the same scene several times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. He strived to paint landscapes and contemporary life rather than historical or mythological scenes. Monet’s best-known pieces come from his house in Giverny, France, where he had vast landscaping and lily ponds that inspired him.

Tony Buzbee is a distinguished attorney in Houston, Texas. While his career keeps him busy, Buzbee is passionate about the arts and is an devoted collector of paintings and sculptures. Check out more of his art blogs or follow him on Twitter!


Originally published at tonybuzbee.org on February 13, 2018.