David Houston

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David Houston

I started as a paralegal in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1972 and retired in December of 2003.  Carbondale, Illinois is my domicile.  Prior to my retirement, I was a Litigation Paralegal, Legal Expert, and President & CEO of Paralegal Specialists Incorporated, a company that provided legal services nationwide to lawyers, law firms and judges.  We sold the company in 2003 to a group of lawyers, paralegals and investors in Seattle, Washington.  After assisting with the dissolution of the company and transition to Seattle, I retired from law at the end of December, 2003.

At the time of my retirement I had nearly 30 years experience, 6 years of legal training, and had assisted in winning over 2 billion (yes it is a "B") dollars worth of court judgments.  I worked 26 states and I specialized in the handling and management of what are known to the public as "class actions" or "complex litigations."  Class actions can be and often are used to bring about major reforms, often nationwide, but they are a headache to manage and can sometimes get you killed (school desegregation class actions in the 1970's are an example of the kind that could get you killed).  A typical and garden variety class action I helped manage was the one reported at Kendrick v. Bland, 541 F.Supp. 21 (W.D.Ky. 1981).  I served as Chairman of its Plaintiffs' Committee from 1981 to 1984, and as a consultant and paralegal in the case both before and after those years.

I was also a torts (civil wrongs), appellate procedure, constitutional and criminal law specialist.  I loved torts and constitutional law, tolerated appellate procedure and hated criminal law.  I hated criminal law because it is always very simple and boring (same 4 questions in every case) and is the only area of law in which almost nobody makes a decent wage.  Neither the police, the criminals, the prosecutors nor the defense lawyers make a decent wage.  Criminal law, although a necessary evil, is poverty law.  And I know that to be true, because I worked every angle of it over the years.  And I do mean "every" angle.  The money is in torts and class actions.  Despite my dislike of criminal law, I have assisted in several high profile criminal cases over the years, some examples being the cases of
Larry Hicks, Tony Kiritsis and Walter D. Smith.  Walter remains a friend to this day.
 
Prior to retirement I was often called in as a consultant on cases in the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington DC.  I participated in the briefing of 61 cases in that court and had 13 partial or total losses.  The rest were wins.  For example, I knew a lawyer named Richard Shapero in Louisville in the mid-1980's and assisted with some of the briefing in his support in Shapero v. Kentucky Bar Association, 486 U.S. 466 (1988), a commercial freedom of speech case for lawyers.  He won. 

I retired from law at the end of 2003 for the simple reason that I had became "burned out" with it.  I was tired of lawyers, tired of trials, tired of endless court deadlines, and tired of the legal system as a whole.  I was tired of police, tired of criminals, tired of prosecutors, tired of defense lawyers, tired of plaintiffs and tired of defendants.  Almost all of my old friends and mentors had died.

My retirement from law has allowed me to become very active with raising monies for my favorite charities.

Thank you for visiting my web site!

David Houston
 
Phone:  1.312.725.8493

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