Meet Lisa Pittman
For the past 25 years, I have handled disputes and lawsuits in regulatory, state, and federal litigation, predominantly in commercial business litigation, but I have handled many personal injury cases in the context of other laws such as products liability and premises liability.
I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in trial and on appeal. Based on my extensive experience, I have a good handle on case dynamics, what it will be like going to trial, and what issues will survive to trial on a wide variety of cases.
While many lawyers go to work for a firm in a certain practice area out of law school and stay there, I took an unorthodox approach to my career to satisfy my constant quest for new knowledge and experience, working at many different firms on many different types of cases. I started my career at Hays McConn in Houston – at the time a large Texas firm known for its litigation prowess.
Indeed, it was known as the “drop you in the grease” firm, meaning, we were put to work immediately – no writing research memos in a cushy office up high for seven years—no, I conducted my first deposition the day after receiving my bar results (despite the late night before!) and my first trial two months to the day after passing the bar, capping off years of training with the firm while I was in school, writing motions, taking depositions, and attending hearings on the motions I wrote.
What you learn in law school versus at the Courthouse is quite a bit different—something that
fascinated me. Out of law school, I wanted to be exposed to as many types of cases as possible so
that I would know a lot about a lot of things, instead of a lot about only one thing.
Over time, I worked at numerous firms; usually taking a new position to delve into a new area of law, though always set in litigation.
This wide experience has come in handy as I advise clients on business strategy and assist them in avoiding litigation. It has also shown me the many forms alternative dispute resolution can take in these various practice areas, and what are good and what are ineffective techniques.
I am still learning new areas of law. For the past 7 years, I have applied my experience to the new
and evolving field of cannabis law, including spending two years in Colorado to learn the ropes.
Texas is almost there, and I have been a part of advocacy and of shaping the law here. I am
appointed to the Texas Department of Agriculture Advisory Hemp Council, and to Rice University & Baker Institute for Public Policy, Drug Policy Program as a Non-Resident Fellow. I also work on laws nationwide and Chair the American Bar Association's Cannabis Law & Policy Committee.
I have the unique experience of being an attorney that actually tries cases with knowledge of marijuana and hemp laws in multiple states, enabling me to understand the issues and the interplay of state and federal law and local regulation. Whether it is a business dispute or an issue with an employee or an agency, I do not have to get up to speed on these issues to mediate them.
Specifically, my experience includes litigating breach of contract, partnership disputes, employment, banking, fraud, fiduciary duty, construction defect, deceptive trade practices, premises liability, professional liability, product liability, regulatory issues, environmental laws, intellectual property, and complex insurance coverage issues – I spent a decade defending insurance companies so I understand both sides of the coin in that world. And, I have litigated in the marijuana/hemp space.
I clerked for a Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, giving me an inside view on how Judges view carious types of cases and hearings.
People have always told me I would make a great mediator, so in 2020 I became a certified mediator and arbitrator by the University of Texas School of Law. Sure enough, I am skilled at formally mediating a case as well as informally.
I have been in hundreds of mediations in my litigation practice.
Absorbing from the best, I try to maintain calm, make friends with opposing counsel, and
find a way at the inception of a case to nip the dispute in the bud by settling it right away. In my
view, we would end up at the mediation table eventually, so why not get it out of the way first, before all that money and vitriol is spent.
This is surprisingly successful (and disarming), and even if not successful, it gives you a baseline for what the claims will be, which ones will be strong, and what the settlement range will be – it will certainly increase after litigation costs, but it’s helpful to be able to show the other side that you are reasonable, and you can tell them, “well, you had me at $20,000, but that offer is off the table now.” This will make the other side crave the original offer and it’s interesting how the dynamics of a case change over time. It also helps to set reasonable expectations for your client before you get too far down the road with the case.
Mediation is often the place where expectations are brought back down to earth.
Cases can be mediated at any juncture. While it is still a contentious argument,
while a lawsuit is being threatened or initiated, as well as right before trial when you will be required to mediate the case.
Contact me to schedule a mediation to resolve your dispute!