Johnson Garcia LLP
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Daniel is a 7th generation Texan who grew up in a small town in Brazoria County, Texas where he learned the values of hard working people. After finishing high school, Daniel moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy while working late nights as the Venue Manager at a local honky-tonk named Stubb’s. Before law school, Daniel went on to teach English to Japanese university students outside of Tokyo and also taught Spanish/ESL to low income, inner-city high school students in Houston, Texas. Ultimately, Daniel chose the practice of law as his profession and began the journey that led to Johnson Garcia LLP.
Daniel enrolled in law school at South Texas College of Law where he quickly distinguished himself both inside and outside of the classroom as an outstanding future trial lawyer. It was here in this first semester of law school when Daniel first met Juan Garcia. The two became study partners and good friends leading to the earliest vision of Johnson Garcia LLP more than 15 years ago. With Juan’s help, Daniel graduated as the valedictorian of his law school class, served as an Articles Editor on the Law Review Editorial Board, and won state and national championship moot court advocacy competitions, including the National Championship Moot Court Competition hosted by the American College of Trial Lawyers in New York City and a national championship at Harvard with Garcia.
After graduating at the top of the class, Daniel accepted a prestigious position as a federal law clerk where he worked closely with two different federal district court judges in handling cases before the United States District Court in Houston, Texas. In this role, Daniel gained valuable insight into the inner workings of the judicial system. He learned how to establish and maintain credibility with judges, how to ensure clients are treated fairly, and most importantly, how to make sure juries understand his clients’ stories. After completing 2 years of federal clerkships, Daniel joined the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in Houston where he practiced in the trial group until he was recruited by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP to help form the litigation section of Sutherland’s Houston office.
After joining Sutherland in 2007, Daniel ultimately rose to the Partner-in-Charge position for Houston and, in this role, was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Houston office. He also Chaired the firm’s maritime practice group. Daniel’s former practice involved both defense and plaintiff-oriented work focused on the energy and financial service sectors. He handled “bet the company” cases for some of the world’s largest corporations with a long record of successful results and many tens of millions in recoveries for plaintiffs. Over the years, Daniel has been routinely recognized in the Chambers USA publication for his insurance expertise, as a Texas Super Lawyer® Rising Star, and as a “Who’s Who in Energy” and a “40 Under 40” by the Houston Business Journal.
Despite all the successes in the corporate world, Daniel always knew his calling in the legal profession was to help those in need. So he and Juan left the “Big Law Firm” world behind to form Johnson Garcia LLP and dedicate their entire practice to recovery of damages on behalf of those who have been injured. Let Daniel help you.
Nefi Lopez grew up in Tomball, Texas – a small town about an hour north of Houston. In high school, Nefi excelled at both athletics and academics. Nefi graduated towards the top of his high school class; in sports, Nefi and the Klein Bearkats won several district and area championships in both football and track and field during his three years starting on varsity. Nefi competed in sports while also participating in Klein’s interscholastic Speech and Debate team and was member of the Klein Band as a saxophone player. Following his high school career, Nefi attended Houston Baptist University as one of the program’s inaugural football team members and played fullback and defensive line for the Huskies under head coach Vic Shealy.
In college, Nefi’s academic success continued. Along with competing on the football team, Nefi competed in the university’s mock trial team representing Houston Baptist University around the country. As the captain of the Husky Mock Trial Team, Nefi competed and won numerous national tournaments and received a number of awards as an advocate and a witness. Nefi was also a member of numerous honor societies and graduated with a bachelor’s degree with a focus in Governmental studies.
After graduation from Houston Baptist University, Nefi attended law school at South Texas College of Law Houston. In law school, Nefi quickly became a member of the law school’s nationally recognized mock trial and moot court programs under Dean T. Gerald Treece and Rob Galloway. Just after his first year of law school, Nefi won the T. Gerald Treece Summer Trial academy and received the only Best Speaker Award. Nefi went on to win the T. Gerald Treece Summer Trial academy again the year after. Ultimately, Nefi competed as a varsity advocate in over 16 mock trial and moot court competitions across the country.
Following graduation from law school and after taking the bar exam, Nefi accepted an associate position at Johnson Garcia LLP. In November of 2017, Nefi received his license to practice law from the State Bar of Texas. Since then, Nefi has worked as a lawyer during the day and by night as a coach for the mock trial and moot court teams for his alma maters, South Texas College of Law Houston and Houston Baptist University. Additionally, Nefi is actively involved in the legal community and is a proud member of the Hispanic Bar Association, Texas Young Lawyers Association, Mexican American Bar Association, Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, Hispanic National Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Houston Trial Lawyers Association, and the Houston Bar Association.
As a licensed attorney, Nefi continues to work on a wide range of cases in civil litigation, representing people injured as a result of the negligence and carelessness of others and represents a number of companies and/or individuals in personal injury and business disputes. Let Nefi help you.
Born as a native Texan in Brownsville to Mexican immigrants, Juan Garcia’s life and career are an inspiring story of hard work and dedication. Juan began working as a grocery store sacker at a young age to eventually becoming a Senior Partner at Sutherland, one of the oldest, largest and most-respected law firms in the world. Juan left this lucrative and prestigious position to form Johnson Garcia LLP to pursue his passion – helping families and individuals who have been harmed by the wrongdoing of others.
After working fourteen years for a major grocery store chain, where he rose in the ranks from sacker to become a Store Director of one of the largest stores in the Houston area, Juan resigned to attend law school. Juan’s decision to attend law school was confirmed from day 1. His natural ability as an advocate and intellectual capacity in understanding the law helped Juan rise as a distinguished student who ultimately graduated with summa cum laude honors among the top students in his class. During law school, Juan also became a national champion moot court advocate and served as a member of the Law Review. His successes resulted in numerous scholarships and awards, as well as leading to his recruitment by the most prestigious law firms that were lining up to have Juan join their firms as an associate.
After law school Juan joined the trial section of the prominent national law firm of Thompson Knight LLP. Juan again quickly distinguished himself by outworking his opponents and winning in the courtroom. His practice involved a broad array of complex cases arising out of catastrophic personal injury matters and high-stakes commercial disputes. Juan practiced at Thompson Knight until 2011 when he finally agreed to transition his practice to Sutherland as a result of Daniel’s persistent recruiting efforts. Juan’s practice continued with an emphasis on serious personal injury and complex commercial cases arising from the energy, construction, and financial services sectors. Juan rose through the ranks to Senior Partner at Sutherland in record time and was appointed as both the Deputy Head of Litigation and Co-Head of the Complex Business Litigation Group at Sutherland.
In addition to his commitment to his wife Isela and 5 children, Juan loves giving back to the community as evidenced by his tireless dedication to volunteer work and charitable activities. Juan has served as the President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston and is currently serving as a Board Member for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR), a Chairman of the HLSR Go Tejano Committee, a member of the HLSR Legal Advisory Committee, a member of the Risk Management Committee for the HLSR, Counsel Member of the Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas, and member of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston. Juan has also been repeatedly recognized for his professional achievements by being named a Texas Super Lawyer®, a “Top Lawyer” by H Texas Magazine, and a Minority Powerbroker by Law360.
Johnson Garcia LLP is life coming full circle for Juan. Despite the success Juan had in a big law firm with hundreds of attorneys, Juan felt pulled in a different direction. With the uncompromising support of his wife and the rest of his family, Juan formed Johnson Garcia LLP along with Daniel to build a law practice with one mission – to recover damages for those who have been injured. Let Juan help you.
Jackie Guevara Maldonado
Jacqueline Guevara Maldonado is a proud native Houstonian who brings over 13 years of combined experience to Johnson Garcia. Having received her B.S. from the University of Houston Clear Lake, Jacqueline has worked hard in her educational career as well as her professional one.
Her experiences to personal injury accidents include car, workplace, construction, wrongful death and insurance coverage disputes to name a few. Over the years she’s also acquired knowledge and experience in the areas of corporate and personal injury defense. Jacqueline has been able to incorporate her knowledge and experience into our firm to get our clients the best possible result when it comes to their cases.
In her off time you can catch Jacqueline cheering for the home team Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park or her family’s 10-acre ranch enjoying the outdoors.
Education: 2015 B.S. Criminology University of Houston Clear Lake
Affiliations: Omicron Delta Kappa honor society and Alpha Phi Sigma honor society
Santiago is a small town kid from Huntsville, Texas, but living out his dreams in the “Big” City of Houston. Son of hard working immigrants, he is a first generation Mexican-American from his family to attend a university. He attended Sam Houston State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. Coming from a small town, Santiago knows the value of character, integrity, and a man’s word with the simple act of a handshake. With these values instilled in him, he chose to take on the journey with partners of Johnson Garcia LLP, Daniel and Juan, because he saw their vision and dedication to helping the common folk and those in need.
Originally from Rio Grande City, Texas, Isela got to Houston as fast as she could. Isela is a graduate of Rio Grande High School and about to graduate from the University of Houston with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. She has a background in the medical field as she worked for a healthcare managed care organization for years. In this role she routinely dealt with medical providers and insurance companies. This background has assisted Isela here at Johnson Garcia as she now assists our clients as a prelitigation case manager. Isela is actively involved in our community as she is a member of several committees of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and her church.