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The Spearin Doctrine

By J Mark. Brewer

The Spearin doctrine is a legal principle that defines and delineates responsibilities for design specifications between contractors and owners. The doctrine was formulated after a 1918 court case involving a New York dry dock worker and the United States government. The worker, who had been contracted to build sewer lines by the government, was found to be not accountable for damages after the sewer line broke a year later. This is because a connecting sewer dam, which caused the damages, had not been included in the original design specifications provided by the government. According to the doctrine, a contractor is not “liable to the owner for loss or damage, which results solely from insufficiencies or defects in such information, plans and specifications.”

The most important effects of this formulation are warranties implied in the pre-design stage of a construction project. The first one places the onus of providing accurate and correct site information on the owner. Designers are not responsible for requirements gathering and site visits during the pre-design stage. The second warranty implies that faulty design based on incorrect information is the owner’s responsibility. Thus, by default, owners are responsible for all site information to contractors.

About the author
J. Mark Brewer is president of a legal firm that specializes in construction disputes.

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“Introduction to the Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery,” by J. Mark Brewer of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.

Established in 1996, the Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery provides a place of redemption and repentance for pious visitors, as well as for men in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America who are devoted to living the monastic tradition. The monastery is located in the small town of Kendalia, Texas, outside of San Antonio. Although it is a male-only monastery, both men and women may visit.

Eight Athonite monks and their spiritual father Elder Ephraim founded the Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery, and, today, the monastery remains a monastery of eight monks. Pilgrims may visit year round but should note that the monastery’s gates are locked after dark. Wild animals are not uncommon in this isolated area, and visitors should keep children within sight at all times.

About J. Mark Brewer: A partner at the Brewer & Pritchard law firm in Houston, J. Mark Brewer supports the Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery.

Williams Act Filings a Critical Component of Securities Law (part 2) By J. Mark Brewer Co-Founder, Managing Director Brewer and Pritchard, P.C.

The Williams Act of 1968 requires parties that own significant holdings in a publicly traded corporation to disclose information about their finances, organization, and other factors that might affect the financial health of the company. The measure, which was implemented to provide more transparency in the financial markets, applies to individuals or groups that gain control of more than 5 percent of the shares of a publicly traded corporation. In addition, the rules pertain to investment managers who oversee accounts holding fair market values of a particular security that exceeds $100 million.

The law firm Brewer and Pritchard works closely with companies and shareholders who are obliged to comply with the rules of the Williams Act. For many shareholders, compliance entails a weighty responsibility. The fact that rules of compliance change on a regular basis makes the process of reporting even more difficult and time-consuming. Working with an experienced, knowledgeable firm ensures that such efforts are accurate and provide visibility and clarity for the markets and investors.

About J. Mark Brewer: The Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Houston-based law firm, Brewer and Pritchard, P.C., J. Mark Brewer represents clients in the areas of torts, corporate, construction, and securities law. He completed a Bachelor of Music Education from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California at Cambridge, England, before earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law. J. Mark Brewer specializes in commercial and business litigation as well as such Securities and Exchange Commission documentation as filings related to Section 16 and the Williams Act.

For more information about J. Mark Brewer, call Brewer and Pritchard at (713) 209-2950.

J. Mark Brewer: Hiking in the Houston Area

As America’s fourth largest city, Houston offers numerous opportunities for leisure and entertainment. The following are two notable hiking areas:

Brazos Bend State Park
Since 1984, hikers have enjoyed this 5,000-acre park on the Brazos River. Visitors can trek along the paved, half-mile Creekfield Lake Nature Trail, which offers a worthwhile view of the wetland area.Other hiking and biking trails wind around several lakes and showcase the park’s hardwood forests. Officials recommend bringing plenty of water and keeping animals on leashes.

Buffalo Bayou Park
Located off Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, this park features more than 124 acres and numerous trails for hiking and biking. Some trails include exercise stations, and dog owners can take advantage of the facility’s dog park. Visitors can utilize water fountains and take breaks on benches.

About J. Mark Brewer: Attorney J. Mark Brewer serves as President and Managing Director of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., in Houston. In his free time, Mr. Brewer enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits, including hunting, scuba diving, and hiking.

J. Mark Brewer Discusses the Houston Symphony

For nearly a century, the Houston Symphony has provided a wide variety of music programs to Texas residents. One of the country’s oldest performing arts groups, the Houston Symphony has been led by notable music directors such as André Previn, Lawrence Foster, and Leopold Stokowski. During their tenures, they have reproduced many classical works and commissioned new pieces.

Currently housed in Jones Hall, the Houston Symphony hosts around 170 concerts every year with popular ongoing programs including the Fidelity Investment Classical Series and the Chevron Fiesta Sinfónica Familiar. The Houston Symphony also instills music appreciation in younger generations through its Music Matters! Program, which enables 40,000 elementary school students to attend concerts. Moreover, this world-renowned orchestra tours around the state with its free Sounds Like Fun! concerts.

To learn more about this organization, please visit http://www.houstonsymphony.org. The website contains information about upcoming concerts, tickets, and ways to provide support.

About the Author:

A former attorney with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps, J. Mark Brewer currently serves as Managing Director and co-founder of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. Licensed in Missouri and Texas, J. Mark Brewer practices business and tort litigation and represents clients in constitutional law issues. When not practicing law, J. Mark Brewer enjoys attending the Houston Symphony and has served on its Board of Directors for two years.

The SEC Freeze on Client Accounts Linked to Allen Stanford

In 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought fraud charges against Allen Stanford, a Texas billionaire. The regulators accused him of a $9.2 billion scheme.

In 2011, J. Mark Brewer sued the federal government for freezing the assets of clients who held accounts with firms affiliated with Allen Stanford. In a Fox television interview, he said the federal action was “unprecedented.”

J. Mark Brewer invested some of his retirement funds with a firm tied to Stanford, and thus, his assets were frozen by the SEC. He sued the agency, along with federal marshals, to regain access to his money.

The government action affected more than 30,000 individuals holding a variety of account types, including retirement funds. Those accounts may not have contributed to the alleged fraud perpetrated by Stanford, and Brewer believes the receivership reach was too broad.

J. Mark Brewer leads a 20-member team at Brewer & Pritchard, PC, a firm he cofounded in Houston. Experienced in business litigation, J. Mark Brewer represented the largest Enron creditor in a case about accounting fraud in 2006. The SEC Freeze on Client Accounts Linked to Allen Stanford

J. Mark Brewer on Reasons to Join AAJ

By J. Mark Brewer

Based in Houston, J. Mark Brewer cofounded and currently serves as President and Managing Director of Brewer & Pritchard, PC. He represents clients in matters related to business and commercial and tort litigation. In addition, J. Mark Brewer participates as a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

Also known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, AAJ is the biggest plaintiffs bar association on the globe. The organization accepts a variety of members, including law students, paralegals, law professors, and attorneys. It offers regular and associate membership levels with a range of benefits.

Members at both levels receive subscriptions to print and digital publications, including Trial magazine and AAJ News Brief, a daily email newsletter. They also receive the chance to subscribe to the Law Reporters publication and take advantage of numerous networking opportunities. At the yearly convention and lobbying events, members gather to meet federal and state legislators.

Regular members may participate more actively in AAJ by holding an office or voting. They may also access the group’s legal research and case preparation service, as well as a comprehensive media guide.