Legal Counsel ServicesAshley Applewhite provides local counsel services for law firms not located in Austin or Travis County both in Texas and across the country. Prior to starting her own law firm, she previously handled complex insurance coverage litigation and therefore she can also serve as insurance policyholder independent counsel. Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can help.

Travis County Local Counsel

When your law firm has a case in an out-of-state jurisdiction, one of the most important decisions a handling attorney can make is choosing the right local counsel. Some Texas courts require by local rule that an out-of-state lawyer appearing locally must have local counsel. A good local counsel who knows the rules and customs, as well as the practices and preferences of the judges in a given jurisdiction, is invaluable. Whether required or not, having local knowledge and experience is always an advantage in litigation. Ashley Applewhite can serve as your go-to lawyer for local counsel in Austin and Travis County. Our law firm advises non-Texas lawyers and law firms on local rules, local legal customs, and the specific practices of local judges in Austin and Travis County courts. Ashley will go to court with you and either handle or participate in the litigation to the extent counsel desires. For lawyers from other parts of the country without significant experience with Texas local rules and practices, we can help.

Ashley can provide assistance in both state and federal courts, guiding you through every step of the process. Our law firm can handle filing a new lawsuit, helping with discovery, venue challenges, picking a jury, and truly any aspect of civil litigation. Our familiarity with the local court system and record of success makes us a solid choice for law firms across the country when they need experienced local counsel in Austin, Texas. If your firm needs local counsel for civil litigation, contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you by filling out our online contact form.

Independent Counsel

Insurance policyholders spend time and money researching, securing, and paying for insurance policies to protect them in a variety of circumstances. If the insurer does not do an adequate job of defending its insured in Texas or chooses not to cover a claim against its insured, state law allows the insured to retain independent counsel to evaluate the situation and to represent them in legal proceedings if needed. The phrase “independent counsel” is used in situations in which an insured is entitled to select their own counsel and control their own defense because of the existence of a specific type of a conflict of interest with their insurer. If a court finds a material conflict exists between the insured and insurer, the carrier may even be required to pay for the policyholder’s attorney’s fees.

Under Texas law, Coverage disputes regarding the duty to defend create unreasonable conflicts of interest between insureds and insurers, and insurers should avoid putting its interests above those of its insured, GuideOne Elite Ins. Co. v. Fielder Rd. Baptist Church, 197 S.W.3d 305, 307, 310-311 (Tex. 2006) and The Texas Insurance Code Chapter 542, Prompt Payment of Claims Act, applies to a request for a defense, Lamar Homes Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 242 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. 2007).