Braden W. Sparks, PC
100 Crescent Court, 7th Floor
Dallas, TX 75201
Direct Number: (214) 750-3372

About

Highly experienced and adept Dallas-based trial attorney

Mr. Sparks is a stand up trial lawyer — a solo practitioner with over four decades of experience picking juries and trying jury trials.  As a former prosecutor, he tried 300 jury trials to a verdict in the first five and one-half years of practice — about one a week, or 50 a year.  He has mediated 500 cases, argued a case successfully in the U. S. Supreme Court and practiced from New York to California and Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Mr. Sparks’s goal a is to develop lawyers’ confidence and abilities to pursue solo trial practice, small firm trial practice, and also to enhance big firm trial expertise, whose lawyers rarely get the depth of experience he has been fortunate to obtain.  He enjoys mentoring and believes in doing all he can to help other lawyers become more effective at a time when jury and bench trials are becoming a thing of the past — too expensive, too long, too technical, too complicated.  These aren’t always the daunting obstacles they appear to be.  He knows from first-hand experience that standing up to meet these challenges is greatly rewarding, and that doing so provides great benefits to clients as well as counsel — even if the client never sees the inside of a courtroom.

Let’s face it — four decades of trial experience is hard to replicate.   Even so, Mr. Sparks has the credentials to bear out his experience.  Starting out at one of the most prolific D.A.’s offices in the country, he became a Chief Felony Prosecutor, overseeing a district court’s trial schedule, trying a case to a verdict at least weekly, for almost six years — murders, rapes, armed robbery and the like — mostly First Degree Felonies.  In 1979 he left to begin a solo trial practice involving state and federal criminal defense, insurance defense, personal injury (both sides of the docket), family law and commercial cases.  He was Board Certified in civil trials in 1994 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, has been “AV”– Preeminent rated (Martindale) for over 35 years, is a perennial Super Lawyer, Top Dallas Attorney, “Top 100” Trial Attorney, Top Attorneys in Texas.

Mr. Sparks’ primary focus, outside of mentoring and assisting other lawyers, is in commercial litigation and securities fraud. Many of his individual clients are defrauded private investors.  He recently won a $2.4 million securities fraud judgment in the Texas Supreme Court after a multi-court state and federal dogfight that lasted just under a decade.  In 2010, he won the reversal of a federal court’s vacatur (reversal) of an arbitration award for an individual in the U.S. Fifth Circuit.  His practice includes corporations, partnerships, trusts and other entities.  He also routinely handles appeals.  In 1988, he won his his first federal case, first civil securities case, and first appeal — by taking it all the way up to  the U.S. Supreme Court, over a period of six years, winning it 7-1 (during Kennedy’s confirmation year), reversing both the Fifth Circuit and a highly respected trial judge, Federal District Judge A. Joe Fish, former Chief Judge of the Northern District of Texas.  That case, Pinter v. Dahl, is a landmark decision in securities law.

Mr. Sparks worked as an intern during law school in the U. S. Securities & Exchange Commission. He loves business cases, securities cases, and just about any other type of hard fought legal battle.  His greatest passion, however, is for trial work — case evaluation and pre-trial strategy, discovery, pleadings, jury selection, cross-examination, and negotiations before and after trial, including mediation and arbitration, harking back to those years when his office was literally a courtroom. But he also loves to negotiate and settle cases, formally, if necessary, through mediation and arbitration.

A longtime member of PIABA (Public Investors’ Arbitration Bar Association), Sparks frequently represents defrauded investors in various venues — court, arbitration, mediation, and  state and federal appeals.  For several years he has served on the PIABA Amicus Curiae committee, assisting in writing and filing briefs filed in state and federal investors’ claims.

Personal

Working solo, Sparks won his first federal case — in the U. S. Supreme Court, reversing the Fifth Circuit and trial court (7-1; Justice Kennedy not yet confirmed). It was Sparks’s first appeal. Pinter v. Dahl, 486 U.S. 622 (1988) (landmark securities case).”

 

Mr. Sparks has worked on matters as broad as his geographic ramblings, including technology disputes, pipeline disasters, inter-state check-kiting schemes, legal, medical, engineering and accounting malpractice, all sorts of business and commercial fraud, banking, hedge funds, bond funds, fractionalized interests in oil and gas drilling projects, a professional medical association’s anti-trust attack on a member, not to mention bad wrecks, bad spouses, bad fires, bad loans, bad oil, bad walls, dogs, bad partners, and all around bad deals, as well as employment disputes, non-competition agreements, anti-compete clauses, stock fights, partnership dissolutions, wrongful terminations, marketing, trade secrets, battles over customer lists, intellectual property, oil and gas, and a host of others.

Mr. Sparks regularly works both sides of the aisle, having had occasion to serve as shadow counsel for major downtown firms. He been appointed by over a dozen judges as a mediator, and has mediated approximately 500 cases, with a success rate of over 93 percent. He has been admitted to practice in the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Tenth U.S. Courts of Appeals. In 2010, he found himself on the cover of the Texas Lawyer for winning the reversal in the U.S. Fifth Circuit of a federal judge’s wrongful vacation (reversal) of an arbitration award.

It’s fair to say Sparks has been to more than a few rodeos, but he practices now for the same reason he became a lawyer back in 1974: he loves to help people solve tough problems and negotiate fair deals, inside or outside the courtroom.

On the personal side, Mr. Sparks’s competitive and sports-oriented leanings have been softened to a degree by knee and hip-replacement surgeries.  For 25 years you could find him running around White Rock Lake (10 miles) every Saturday.  He has run 6 marathons, including Boston (P.R. 3:18), is a Masters Swimmer, a triathlete (pre-surgery), and has pursued Crossfit and Camp Gladiator along with Christie, his beautiful and forgiving wife. More complacent now, Sparks still works out several times a week and tries to find time to go fly-fishing and hack his way around the golf course.

Brady and Christie .celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary this year. They have four children, all married, in Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Two work as artists — Hannah in the fashion industry and Wheeler in documentary films. Their third, Cameron, is a preacher-man, and Abbie, their oldest daughter, is mom to three of their four grandchildren — Caleb, Lyla and Joe Buck and Braden (Hannah’s son).  Abbie also serves Director of Fine Arts at a Christian school in Edmond, OK. Believers in Christ, Brady and Christie enjoy church and charitable activities, and remain committed to being present in their families’ lives as much as possible. As Christie says, they believe “The Best is Yet to Come.”

Curriculum Vitae

  • Intern, Fort Worth Regional Office, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (1972)
  • Prosecutor, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office (Henry Wade) (1974-9)
  • Board Certified – Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (1994)
  • Rated “AV – Preeminent” by Martindale Hubble Law Directory
  • Licensed Mediator; extensive mediation experience (over 475 mediations); appointed by numerous courts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals – 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 10th Circuits
  • Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • All State Courts in Texas
  • Colorado College (1966-1970) B.S.
  • Southern Methodist University (1970-1973) J.D.
  • Master, Judge Paul Brown American Inn of Court
  • Dallas County Bar Association
  • Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas Bar Associations
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Dallas Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Judiciary Committee (’98)
    • Chair, Sub-Committee on A/V and Electronics (’97)
    • Co-Chair, Courthouse Committee (’96)
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Attorney Mediators (N. Texas Chapter)
  • State Bar of Texas
Career Milestones

  • 300 + Jury Trials
  • 450 + Mediations
  • Successful Appellant, U.S. Supreme Court – first federal trial, first appeal (1988)
  • Chief Felony Prosecutor under Henry Wade (1977-79)
  • Law Intern, U.S. Securities & Exch. Comm’n., (Ft. Worth) (1972)
Miscellaneous

  • Boston Marathon ’91; 5 other marathons
  • Marathon PR, 3:18 [Dallas White Rock, ’90].
  • Other equally foolish endurance sports
  • Active in Civic, Church, and Charitable Organizations

REPORTED CASES

Criminal:

Garrett v. U.S., 533 U.S. 917, 121 S.Ct. 2523 (2001)

U.S. v. Garrett, 250 F.3d 745 (5th Cir. [Tex] (2001)

U.S. v. Garrett, 238 F.3d 293 (5th Cir. [Tex] (2000)

Turner v. U.S., 1 F.3d 901 (10th Cir. [Kan.] 1995);

U.S. v. Turner, 44 F.3d 900, 10th Cir. [Kan.] (1995)

U.S. v. Turner, 1994 WL 409632, D.Kan. (1994)

Smith v. State, 772 S.W.2d 946 (Tex.App. – Dallas 1989);

Taylor v. State, 599 S.W.2d 831 (Tex.Cr.App. 1980);

Todd v. State, 598 S.W.2d 286; (Tex.Civ. App. 1980);

Wrenn v. State, 597 S.W.2d 369 (Tex.Cr.App. 1980);

Rogers v. State, 550 S.W.2d 78 (Tex.Cr.App., 1977);

Williams v. State, 547 S.W.2d 18 (Tex.Cr.App. 1977);

Powell v. State, 541 S.W.2d 432 (Tex.Cr.App. 1976).

Civil:

Citigroup Global Markets v. Bacon, 562 F.3d 349 (5th Cir. 2009).Download appeal

Vetco Sales, Inc. v. Vinar, et al., 98 Fed.Appx. 264, 2004 WL 179379, 5th Cir. (2004)

Jenevein v. Friedman, 114 S.W.3d 743 (Tex.App. Dallas 2003)

Viazis v. American Ass’n of Orthodontists, 314 F.3d 758, 2002-2 Trade Cases P73,907, 60 Fed.R.Evid.Serv. 428, 5th Cir. [Tex] (2002)

Viazis v. American Ass’n of Orthodontists, 182 F.Supp.2d 552, 2001-2 Trade Cases P73,455, E.D. Tex. (2001)

Edison v. Beta Financial Corp., 994 S.W.2d 827, Tex.App.-Eastland (1999)

Boggan v. Data Systems Network Corp., 969 F.2d 149 (5th Cir. [E.D.Tex.] 1992);

Pinter v. Dahl, 486 U.S. 622, 108 S.Ct. 2063, (U.S. [Tex.] 1988);

Pinter v. Dahl, 787 F.2d 985 (5th Cir. [Tex.] 1986);

Pinter v. Dahl, 794 F.2d 1016 (5th Cir. [Tex.] 1986);

Harris Data Communications, Inc. V. Dellana, 680 S.W.2d 641 (Tex.Civ.App. 1984).

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