Legal Team

1b96ab7 (1)Lynne M. Jurek – Managing Director

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
-Booker T. Washington

Lynne M. Jurek (f/k/a Lynne Jurek Shannon) is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated and the firm’s Managing Director. She focuses her practice on Civil Litigation and is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has also been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She recently completed the St. Louis University program and received her certification in Corporate Ethics and Compliance Management (CECM).

Lynne has extensive experience representing insurance companies and their insureds, as well as other self-insured corporate and individual clients in cases involving First and Third Party Property Claims, Oil and Gas Litigation, Public Sector, Admiralty and Maritime Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, General Commercial Litigation, Transportation/Trucking, Construction, Probate Litigation, Family Law, Health and Corporate Law.  Lynne is an avid litigator who is adept at handling cases in state and federal courts, from inception of the case through trial and appeal. 

An accomplished writer, Lynne co-authored “Proposed Wyoming Title Standards, Part I of III” for the Wyoming Law Review (2013) and “The Business of Gas Pipeline Condemnation: A Multistate Analysis” for the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal (2013). She has also spoken locally and nationally on the issues of cost containment and construction claims, handling admiralty and personal injury lawsuits, as well as on good faith claims handling practices and litigation procedures for claims adjusters.

Lynne is a member of the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists, the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal District, the Minnesota State Bar and the Houston Bar Association. Lynne is also a member of the Risk Management Society (RIMS), the Inns of Court, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC Greater Houston). She is an active member of Victory, a branch of the American Cancer Society, the Girl Scouts of America (San Jacinto Council), and is a Founder of Protectors’ Memorial Foundation.  She also enjoys playing recreational soccer with the Houston Women’s Soccer Association and the TORSO Soccer League.

Lynne received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota in 1987. She also studied at Exeter University in England in 1986.  She obtained her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1991.  Lynne is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, Texas and has been admitted pro hac vice in Louisiana. She is admitted to practice before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas.

NOTABLE LITIGATION AND APPEALS – Lynne M. Jurek

  • Supermedia LLC v. Law Offices of Asherson, Klein & Darbinian, 2012 WL 460288, Tex. App. – Dallas, February 15, 2012). Special appearance affirmed in breach of contract claims.
  • Willis v. Fugro Chance, Inc. 278 Fed.Appx. 443, 2008 WL 2131030 (5th Cir. May 21, 2008) – represented Fugro Chance, Inc. (Summary Judgment affirmed by Fifth Circuit); Willis v. Noble Drilling, May 2010, favorable defense verdict in LHWCA 905(b) claim– represented Noble.

integrity

  • Morgan v. Essex Insurance Company – March 2010. Complete defense verdict on behalf of insurance carrier in $11.8 million bad faith case in Waco, Texas involving a sunken paddleboat.
  • Rowan Companies Inc., et al v. Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc., et al,-Rowan sought $9 million indemnity in addition to attorneys’ fees and interest.  Summary Judgment granted in favor of client, Acadian in United States District Court Southern District of Texas – Houston Div.
  • Kinder Morgan Inc. v. Southwest Pipe Services Inc., a/k/a Southwest Pipe Co.; No.200730117 (280th Judicial District, Harris County). Successful breach of contract trial followed by appeal
  • Warnke v. Nabors Drilling USA, L.P., 2011 WL 1312340, Tex. App – Hous. (1 Dist.), Apr. 07, 2011; Opinion Withdrawn and Superseded on Denial of Rehearing by Warnke v. Nabors Drilling USA, L.P., 358 S.W.3d 338, Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.), Aug. 25, 2011. Appeal from granting of motion for summary judgment.

Johali Muzaliwa – Associate

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” – GK Chesterton
Johali (1)Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Johali and her family moved to Boise, Idaho when she was eight years old. Johali attended Boise State University where she graduated cum laude with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics and Latin. After graduation, Johali moved to Houston where she worked as a case manager for a local refugee resettlement agency. Johali attended the University of Houston Law Center where she was a Notes and Comments Editor of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal and a Chair of the Rocky Mountain Black Law Students Association. Johali is a certified mediator and arbitrator and focuses her practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution as well as Business Litigation and Corporate Compliance.

An avid reader, Johali has read almost every book that has ever been written by an author who has been dead for at least 50 years. Johali’s favorite books include Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, and Les Miserable. Her favorite movies are all in black and white and she is in love with the Turner Classic Movies channel. Having grown up in the Northwest, Johali also enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, camping and whitewater rafting. Johali also speaks Swahili.

Ved Chitale – Law Clerk

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.” – David Brinkley
Ved-Chitale-Bio-PictureVed Chitale will be a 2016 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. Ved gathered a variety of experience while studying law including a judicial internship at the 1st Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Radack. Additionally, Ved interned for the Office of the Attorney General (Consumer Protection), Lone Star Legal Aid, and a prominent civil rights law firm in Houston, Texas. At the University of Houston Law Center, Ved served as a student justice on the student run Honor Court, conducted research on relator claims under the False Claims Act for a Law Professor, traveled to competitions as a member of the school’s prestigious interscholastic mock trial team, headed the Corporate and Tax Law Society, and promoted UHLC as a student ambassador. Prior to law school, Ved worked in business development and marketing for a prominent education company for four years. Ved received his undergraduate degree from the Mays Business School and Texas A&M University in 2009.

Ved’s professional areas of interest include consumer law (Deceptive Trade Practices Act, debt collection, secured financing, insurance), commercial law (contracts, business torts, trade secrets, employment litigation), and IP (Trademarks, Copyrights, Digital Transactions, Licensing).

Ved is an Eagle Scout, deeply involved in his local temple’s activities, and enjoys playing drums, guitar, tennis, and basketball in his spare time.

Mary Ellen Jurek – Office Administrator

There is no giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.” – Peter A. Cohen

Picture_-_ME_Jurek_-_Website_pdf__1_page_Mary Ellen comes to us recently after retiring from the Mayo Clinic Health Service in Red Wing, MN, where she had been working closely with the physicians and overseeing the transcription department for the past 13 years in the capacity of supervisor/lead.

Mary Ellen received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colorado Institute of Art in Denver, CO, in 1999. She owns her own business named “MEJ Designs” specializing in the areas of digital imaging, graphic design, hand lettering, graphite pencil portraits, and quilting.  ME Loves being creative as well as being technically innovative, which keeps her active and knowledgeable in all areas of the business world.

Previously, Mary Ellen had worked for State Farm Insurance for many years starting in Bloomington, Illinois, moving next to Rochester, Minnesota and ending her State Farm career in Houston, Texas.  She has worked in various areas throughout State Farm such as legal, claims and research.  She was hired three times throughout her career and found State Farm to be a great place to work and great people to work with.

Mary Ellen has also worked as legal secretary to the Former Lieutenant Governor and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice A.M. Sandy Keith, who while serving as the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court actually swore Lynne into Minnesota State Bar.

Alicia Elkins – Paralegal

“What’s the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable” – unknown

alicia-elkinsAs our newest member of the firm, Alicia Elkins brings a passion for helping others. As a former educator, Alicia shares her knowledge, strengths, and talents as part of our legal team.

Upon receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Mount St. Joseph College in Cincinnati Ohio, Alicia worked as a designer for WKRC-TV. However, the warmer climate of the south was calling her so she moved to Houston, Texas in 2005. During this time, Alicia felt a calling to help people so she received her Masters in Education from Texas A&M University in 2012.

Alicia taught high school Biology and Environmental Systems prior to realizing she had a thirst for the law. She brings insight, organization, and understanding to the firm as a legal assistant.

Alicia is an avid biker, soccer player, and outdoor enthusiast. She also loves animals. She has four rescue parrots, a German Shepherd, and a Chihuahua. Alicia is also a classically trained pianist and studied at the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) preparatory program at the University of Cincinnati. She shares JLG’s compassion and vision for success and we are pleased to have her as a valued member of the team.