I was born in Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas and graduated from Lufkin High School in 1973. My mother was a school teacher and my father worked at the local paper mill. I attended the University of Texas at Austin on full academic scholarship from 1973-1977, and I graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in History. I attended the University of Houston Law School from 1977-1980 and graduated therefrom with Honors. I passed the Texas Bar in March 1980. I came home to East Texas and began practicing law in March 1980 primarily focusing on personal injury trial law. I became a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. I continued that practice and also began practicing bankruptcy law in 1980. In the mid 1990s, I became so overwhelmed with the volume of new bankruptcy clients that I had to give up my trial practice to concentrate full time as a bankruptcy lawyer. I have exclusively concentrated on consumer and business bankruptcy cases since that time.
I was awarded a Board Certification in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2001, and I have been so certified ever since. I have represented literally thousands of satisfied clients over the past 39 years in my practice. Since 2010, I have filed more than 4,900 bankruptcy cases. I was voted 'Best Attorney- Bankruptcy' in 2007 by the Lufkin Daily News [the only year they gave that award]. I am rated with the highest qualification by Martindale-Hubbell, a peer to peer rating service for lawyers.
I have been married to Sheila Henderson Stephens for 24 years and we have six (6) grown sons who are all successful in their own right. My legal assistant is Teresa Stanley, who has been with me for over 22 years. Teresa is extremely competent in the area of bankruptcy law.