“Jill was with us all the way. She guided us through discovery and even drove us to trial every day. We won the case!”
Recipient of the 5th largest employment law verdict for the State of Texas (2012)
Jill Hightower is an essential component in the delivery of legal services at JHLAW. Ms. Hightower is board certified in civil trial law, a distinction she share with fewer than 20 paralegals in Dallas. She is intimately involved in case planning and execution of legal strategy. JHLAW, PLLC is a boutique litigation firm specializing in catastrophic and complex civil trial matters. Specifically, the firm specializes in business disputes, achieving the 5th highest employment law verdict in the State of Texas in 2012. The firm also litigates product liability matters primarily against the nation’s most prolific bolt-action rifle manufacturer. Finally, the firm helps victims of aviation accidents and disasters; HLG represents 8 of the 63 Americans on the Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the Boeing 777 that crashed in San Francisco on July 6, 2013.
The cases that HLG litigates are often complex. Jill’s role in the initial client interview/investigation stage requires that she meet with potential clients to coordinate the investigation. She is the point of contact for clients and maintains close communication during this process. She routinely hires private investigators to assist in gathering facts and witness statements. She arranges for site inspections, multi-party gun inspections in various states, the transfer of rifles across state lines, and many other case-specific responsibilities.
She assists in drafting and filing motions for summary judgment with corresponding affidavits and proposed orders, motions to compel witnesses and documents, motions to dismiss, non-suit of settled and/or extraneous parties. She also prepared numerous subpoenas and letters rogatory as well as coordinating witness payments. Jill prepares deposition notices and completes written discovery.
Jill has participated in ADR in nearly every case in both federal and state court for the firm. In some instances, our cases are mediated multiple times. Jill has prepared documents and notebooks for presentation of the case to the mediator and presents the damages portion of a case at mediation. Importantly, she collected and prepared numerous documents to present to an arbitrator in a case that was pending in the Middle District of Georgia, Albany Division. As a result, JHLAW achieved the first finding against a major bolt-action rifle manufacturer since 1994, including punitive damages.
Jill has been the sole trial paralegal for six trials as well as preparing several cases for trial that settled shortly before trial was scheduled to begin. Trial preparation responsibilities included preparing and filing the exhibit lists, motions in limine, witness lists and motions requesting jury questionnaires. In addition, Jill participated in voir dire planning meetings and overall trial strategy meetings. Her responsibilities also include trial subpoenas, scheduling experts to appear and coordinating lists of witnesses in the order that they will appear in trial.
- Contract dispute over the construction of a custom home. The result was a verdict for our client and the case settled post-judgment.
- Dispute over commissions owed. The trial began after selecting a jury however a mis-trial was declared after a day of testimony over an evidence matter. The case was immediately re-tried to the bench and resulted in a judgment on behalf of our client.
- Our firm was associated as trial counsel in a wrongful death case with a very difficult fact pattern. Unfortunately for our client, this case resulted in a defense verdict.
- Medical malpractice claim. This case settled in our clients favor pre-verdict.
- Dispute involving commissions and a non-compete agreement. The resulting verdict was the fifth largest employment law verdict in the state of Texas in 2012. Jill handled the organization of a large volume of documents including multiple contracts and revisions to contracts. These documents were routinely referenced quickly during witness cross-examination.
- Multi-defendant wrongful death matter. This was a hotly contested and difficult case. It settled during jury selection for the family of a prominent JPMorgan executive.
The firm has had only one appeal during Jill’s tenure. The trial court incorrectly granted summary judgment, which was overturned on appeal. The case then resolved favorably for our client. Jill was involved in all aspects at both the trial court level and the appellate level.
- M.S. in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas
- B.A. in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University
- Dallas Area Paralegal Association