Waters & Kraus Announces New Partners, New offices
Charles Valles, Paul Cook, Gary Paul and Sean Tracey Selected partners; New Offices in Houston and Washington, D.C., Reflect WK’s Growing National Prominence
DALLAS – February 21, 2007 – Waters & Kraus, LLP, a leading plaintiffs’ firm with a national practice in personal injury and complex civil litigation, announced today the selection of Charles E. Valles, Paul C. Cook, Gary M. Paul, and Sean P. Tracey, as partners. The partner ships became effective January 1, 2007.
“We are very pleased that Gary, Charles, Paul and Sean have accepted leadership roles in the firm” said Peter Kraus, a founding partner of the firm. “Individually, each of these men is an outstanding attorney. Together, they represent some of the greatest legal minds in the country who have helped us achieve an exceptional level of client service and firm success. We look forward to their continued contributions as Waters & Kraus continues to grow our areas of practice on a greater national scale.”
Mr. Valles, who joined the firm in 2002 and has participated in prosecuting some of the firm’s most noteworthy asbestos cases, is based at the firm’s headquarters in Dallas.
Mr. Cook, who focuses his practice on toxic tort litigation and appellate work, is based at the firm’s Los Angeles office. He joined Waters & Kraus in 2002.
Mr. Paul also is based in Los Angeles. Paul, a CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year, noted author and presenter, and widely respected trial attorney, joined the firm last winter.
Mr. Tracey, a noted Houston plaintiffs’ attorney, joined the firm in February of this year, and is bases in Houston.
In related news, the firm also confirmed the opening of an office in Baltimre/Washington, D.C., and another in Houston, Texas. The Baltimore/Washington, D.C. office allows the firm to better serve clients in the Northeast, while the new office in Houston provides clients in South Texas greater access to the firm’s growing product liability and personal injury practices.
“WK takes more individual mesothelioma cases to verdict than any other plaintiffs’ firm in the country, “ said Andy Waters, the firm’s co-founder. “Last year, we won four multimillion verdicts, two for more than $10 million. This year, we have dozens of cases set for trial across the country. With the opening of the D.C. and Houston offices, we are now better positioned to serve clients from coast to coast.”
About Charles E. Valles
Charles Valles is an attorney at Waters & Kraus, LLP in the firm’s Dallas office. Licensed to practice in Texas and Tennessee, Valles has a special interest in toxic torts, pharmaceutical and wrongful death cases. He earned both his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Valles is a member of the Dallas Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Trial Lawyers, and the State Bar of Tennessee. He is a native of Houston, Texas.
About Paul C. Cook
Paul Cook is an attorney at Waters & Kraus, LLP, in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Cook’s practice is a mix of asbestos and pharmaceutical injury cases and appellate issues. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from California State University in Northridge, California, and his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he was editor of the law review. Cook is a native of Los Angeles. He was admitted to the California state bar in 1994.
About Gary M. Paul
Gary Paul is a partner at Waters & Kraus’ Los Angeles office. He has more than three decades of trial experience in complex civil matters. He has represented plaintiffs in more than 100 jury trials, including cases involving consumer and medical product liability, medical and professional malpractice, commercial and insurance litigation, and employment and labor law. Paul earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona and his Master of Science degree from UCLA. Prior to beginning his law career in 1975, Paul was a missile and space engineer. He worked in electronic design and system engineering for a number of prominent aerospace organizations, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His work involved the design of spacecraft that both orbited and landed on Mars. Paul earned his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University in Los Angeles in 1974. He was admitted to the State Bar of California the same year. He is co-author of California Tort Practice Guide, a five-volume law treatise published by Clark Boardman Callaghan. He is a frequent presenter at legal symposia and continuing legal education seminars. Paul is a long-time member of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles 89CAALA). He currently serves as parliamentarian for the American Association for Justice. He has served on the Board of Governors, and as president of both CAALA and CAOC. Since 2001, he has bee a board member for the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a think-tank of accomplished trial attorneys who help to strengthen the practice of trial law through educational programs, publications and research grants. The Institute works to present judges, academics and others with a balanced view of the U.S. civil justice system. Paul is also a member of the State Bar of California, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been recognized on numerous occasions for out-standing service to the legal profession and his community by the CAALA and CAOC including being selected as Trial Lawyer of the Year by CAALA. He has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
About Sean Patrick Tracey
Sean Tracey is a partner at Waters & Kraus, LLP. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Thomas University in Houston, Texas and his Juris Doctor degree from the South Texas College of Law. A member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Tracey is certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. As a well-respected trial attorney, in 2001 he was appointed lead plaintiffs’ liaison counsel for phenlpropanolamine (PPA) consolidated litigation for the Second District. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Tracey is also active in the American Association for Justice, where he is a member of the Birth Trauma, Medical Malpractice, and Products Liability sections. Tracey has twice been named a “Top Houston Layer” by H Texas magazine, and thrice recognized as a Texas Super Layer by Law and Politics magazine . He is a frequent speaker on the topic of trial techniques, particularly jury selection. Tracey is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana.
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
Waters & Kraus, LLP, is a plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases. The firm’s diverse practice includes toxic tort litigation, pharmaceutical product liability, malpractice and negligence, and consumer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistle-blower), employment and labor, insurance and commercial litigation. With offices in California, Texas and Maryland/Washington, D.C., Waters & Kraus has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the united states on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.