I guess we had one too many politicians over here,” says attorney and Democratic activist Sol Villasana. Whatever the case, the law firm of Geary, Stahl & Spencer now has one fewer pol: in July, Villasana was given his walking papers. told that he was spending too much time on outside political and civic projects.

Villasana, who serves on numerous boards and civic committees, including the mayor’s Dallas Together task force, says that he cut back on his outside activity and raised his tollable hours by 30 percent following a midsummer evaluation by supervising attorney Ken Bier-macher. a conservative, born-again lawyer not known for a love of politics.

Apparently, it wasn’t enough. Villasana still counts senior partner Sid Stahl as a friend and says he wishes the firm well, but admits he is “perplexed” about one thing: “They put on a full-court press to bring me here a year ago (from his post as an assistant city attorney]. I never hid my involvement in politics and the community. If it wasn’t a good match. I wish they had told me. I would have gladly gone somewhere else.”

While several of Geary. Stahl & Spencer’s top members are Republicans, Villasana does not believe the problem stemmed from ideological differences. Villasana won’t starve (“1 have my own client base, and they’ll go with me”). But he’s aware of the irony. He often beats the drum for more minority lawyers, reminding them that a law degree is not just a license to make money. “I think we have a responsibility to get involved,” Villasana says. This time, involvement had its price.


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