HOUSTON -- Personal injury attorney Dan Linebaugh, founder and leader of the Linebaugh Law Firm, recently received the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Diplomates of Trial Advocacy designation. This title recognizes attorneys who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to legal education by completing more than 400 hours of qualifying AAJ educational programs.
The recognition reflects Linebaugh’s longtime interest in continuous learning about such diverse topics as trial techniques, practice management and truck litigation, the firm’s primary niche.Early in his career, Linebaugh achieved a legal victory that did not feel like a victory at all. At the time, he was an insurance defense lawyer. An injured worker had been awarded a significant amount of worker’s compensation and his team was tasked with appealing the case. They were given a verdict that resulted in the victim receiving no compensation at all.
Personal injury attorney Dan Linebaugh (right) of The Linebaugh Law Firm, Baytown, TX, receives the Diplomates of Trial Advocacy from the American Association for Justice. Photo courtesy of The Linebaugh Law Firm.
“Just because you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do,” Linebaugh told the SE Texas Record. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fulfilling."
Linebaugh asked himself if he could find a better way to use his legal skills—a way to help people. He turned his attention to personal injury cases and has dedicated his practice to advocating for victims.The Linebaugh Law Firm, which includes four attorneys in addition to Linebaugh, is client centered.
“What makes us different is that I really try to treat clients the way I would like to be treated if I were them,” he said.
In many personal injury firms, one attorney handles hundreds of cases and clients may never meet their attorney. His practice takes fewer cases, but delivers personal attention.
“We don’t have tons of cases, but the cases we take, we take seriously,” Linebaugh said.
His approach has led to numerous awards, including recognition as a “Texas Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters every year since 2003. He has also been named one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for the People by H Texas Magazine every year since 2007.
“That’s who I am; that’s what I do,” Linebaugh said.
Personal injury plaintiffs are pitted against powerful corporate entities, he said. Insurance companies have deep pockets, plenty of lawyers and many techniques for trying to defeat plaintiffs. Linebaugh said victims who pursue compensation must fight years of insurance company propaganda.
“What they never talk about is the 99 percent of cases that are quietly decided,” he added.
Such settlements often result in little compensation for victims, who may face a mountain of medical bills and uncertain futures. His work is “just my way of trying to right the wrong for the few people I represent."
A graduate of the South Texas College of Law, Linebaugh also studied at the prestigious Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming and completed advanced courses sponsored by the National College of Advocacy at Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985 and is licensed to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the southern and eastern districts of Texas, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He also serves on the board of governors for the American Association of Justice Bus Litigation Group.