James F. Scherr, a native El Pasoan, is the founding partner of Scherr Legate.
Jim has been practicing law for over 43 years, and has been lead trial counsel for the Plaintiff in over 250 wrongful death and personal Jury trials. Jim has handled wrongful death and personal injury cases throughout Texas and New Mexico, as well as in the States of California, Arizona, Nevada and other states. Jim has been lead counsel for victims in cases involving construction, trucking, bus, product liability, trains, tire, fires and explosions, trench collapse, building collapse, excavators, stairs, power lines, electrocutions, closed space, chemical cases, carbon monoxide, forklifts, crashworthiness, civil rights, motor vehicle and work related incidents. Jim’s cases have made national news and have been the subject of numerous films and news articles including CBS, Insider Exclusive and other programs. Jim has been featured in many publications including Forbes Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Enquirer, Las Cruces Sun News, SantaFean, El Paso Inc and El Paso Times.
In 1976, at age 22, Jim was sworn in as the youngest attorney in the State of Texas at the time, receiving one of the top grades on the Bar exam. Jim started practicing law when personal injury law was in its infancy, before the existence of any board certification, and shortly after the new legal theory of “comparative negligence” was created.
Shortly after his election as the youngest person ever elected to El Paso City Council in 1977 , Jim was introduced to help victims of personal injury law by his friend who broke his back falling from an ASARCO smelter smokestack.
Jim’s legal career has been paralleled by his active leadership and involvement in bettering his community of El Paso, like his grandparents and parents before him, and his children and grandchildren. Jim and his family are well known throughout the region for active involvement in civic, business, politics and community activities.
Founding partner Sam Legate appreciates that along with the benefits of managing El Paso’s premier personal liability law firm comes great responsibilities, too.
“We are the largest personal injury firm in El Paso. We see our obligation to help the people of El Paso any way we can.”
That begins with health care. Along with Jim Scherr, Sam donated $1 million to create the Scherr Legate Trauma Center at University Medical Center, the only Level 1 trauma center within a 280-mile radius. Sam was also the Founding Chairman of the Board for El Paso Children’s Hospital. And he is active with the Downtown Management District.
“Whether it’s trauma care or our cases, we want to see people treated justly. And we want help to advance our community’s economy.”
In his role on the Downtown Management District’s Board of Directors, Jim helps the agency revitalize the city’s oldest commercial area.
“Our Downtown is the most beautiful place in the city and one of the most beautiful places in Texas and the U.S. We’ll continue to advance that effort.”
Sam came to El Paso in the early 1990s after practicing law for five years in Oklahoma. Having grown up in another border city, Presidio, Texas, he found El Paso to be a better cultural fit for him than Oklahoma. A mutual friend, Sue Kurita, introduced Sam to Jim Scherr, saying they would make a good fit professionally.
After a lengthy interview, Sam found they had a lot in common, including an interest in real estate, doing good for the community, problem solving and a genuine desire to help people. Together, they’ve made Scherr Legate the region’s top personal injury firm.
Today, Sam is the firm’s managing partner and works on its top cases. He handles cases involving labor and employment, personal injury, product liability, as well as non-subscribers work injuries, and wrongful deaths.
Growing up in a working-class home, Oscar had worked construction jobs with his dad during the summers and on weekends. Oscar’s father wanted to teach him the value of hard work and had him endure the intense manual labor in the El Paso heat while hoping to instill in Oscar the value of an education. An education that would ultimately afford him a job where he would no longer have to work under the beating sun.
Oscar made his way to the University of Texas at El Paso where as a 20-year-old college student he received life-altering news. Oscar learned that his mother had died and his father and several other family members were badly injured in in a rollover car accident caused by tire failure. Seeking a law firm to represent him and his family, Oscar found Scherr Legate. But Oscar became more than just a plaintiff to his attorneys. After his family’s case was over, the firm offered him a position as a legal assistant while he continued his education at UTEP.
After becoming the first member of his family to earn a college degree, his mentors at the firm encouraged him to go to law school. Since graduating from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2008, Oscar has represented hundreds of clients at Scherr Legate. Today, Oscar specializes in labor and employment law, as well as workplace injury, discrimination and harassment cases. He has litigated in Texas state and federal district courts, as well as being co-counsel in a civil rights case argued before the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He doesn’t take his unique perspective for granted; the experience of being both a client, feeling fear and uncertainty, as well as that of an experienced attorney, knowing that justice can be achieved. Oscar takes pride in representing the working class. Many employees are taken advantage of, but are afraid to speak up out of fear of being fired.
Oscar pays his good fortune forward by sharing his experiences and encouraging El Paso students to go to college and law school. He recently spoke with UTEP’s Chicano Pre-Law Society members regarding applying for law school, attending law school and student loans.
Oscar and his wife have a son who is attending UTEP.
Interested in the law since high school, Joseph thought he would like to practice criminal law as he entered law school. However, as his graduation approached in 2007 at Texas Tech School of Law, the El Paso native changed his mind after interning at Scherr Legate.
Joseph’s internship allowed him to witness first hand Scherr Legate’s tireless commitment to helping those who needed it most, in the community where he was born and raised. It clicked when he witnessed how Scherr Legate fought relentlessly to help people and how it was a good fit for him. Joseph joined Scherr Legate out of law school and has practiced with the firm for 12 years, becoming a partner. He has handled a broad spectrum of cases including wrongful death, trucking and motor vehicle accidents, product liability, workplace injury, breach of fiduciary duty and trust, and medical malpractice. He has represented clients in Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas state courts, federal district courts, and has argued cases before the 5th Circuit and 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
His notable verdicts include a Texas multi-party commercial motor vehicle accident that resulted in a nine-figure verdict, a New Mexico medical malpractice wrongful death case that resulted in an eight-figure verdict, and a defective tire product liability case in Arkansas that resulted in a seven-figure verdict. All of these cases were tried before a jury.
Apart from his busy trial practice, Joseph spends time with his wife, Melissa and their two children. He also helps coach his son’s youth baseball team.
Tiffany has always had the strong-minded spirit to never give up. Determined and always striving to succeed, she found that her attitude was a perfect match as she made a career choice to enter law school.
After being admitted to the Texas Bar in 2008, Tiffany started her career in corporate litigation, but eventually found personal injury and employment law to be more fulﬁlling. For 11 years, Tiffany has been fighting for people without a voice, fighting for those who can’t ﬁght for themselves. Her areas of practice include non-workers’ compensation, workplace injuries, trucking and motor vehicle accidents, and employment law involving discrimination and harassment. Tiffany recognizes that her clients have been mistreated, in many cases by really large companies. Her passion to care for people is exemplified in her work as she litigates relentlessly on behalf of her clients.
Among her most memorable cases was a wrongful termination claim by a Southwest Airlines ﬂight attendant accused of drinking on the job. In arbitration, she proved it was a false positive and her client regained her position. Other memorable cases include her many clients who have been rightfully compensated for the injuries they have sustained due to someone’s gross negligence.
When she isn’t representing clients’ personal injury or labor and employment claims, Tiffany enjoys time with her two young sons and volunteering with Kemarah Chasing Rainbows, created in honor of Kemarah Cager, who battled heart disease until she died in 2014. The charity focuses on helping children being treated at the El Paso and Providence Children’s hospitals.
Primarily serving in the capacity of a briefing attorney in the early years of her career, Brittany Lopez works on a wide variety of cases, allowing her to be knowledgeable about different situations that may cause personal injury, wrongful death and violations in employment law. As she works with different clients, it gives her a broader understanding of how to address these types of cases. Coupled with compassion, Brittany is prepared to defend the firm’s clients.
“I’ve seen how big of an impact attorneys can have on someone’s life and what a tremendous difference they can make in the life of a client. We’re here to help people when they are faced with challenging situations.” Early on, Brittany knew she wanted to help people who were faced with difficult circumstances. While attending college at New Mexico State University, Brittany majored in Criminal Justice, with a supplemental major in Law and Society. She also worked for a nonprofit organization that offered a summer employment program for low-income, troubled youth, teaching skills necessary to gain employment, such as resume writing.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Brittany attended the University of New Mexico School of Law where she participated in the Mexican American Law Students Association and the Community Lawyering Clinic representing low-income clients in various matters, including wage theft and family law issues. After graduating from law school in 2016, Brittany began her career with Scherr Legate.
When not at the firm, Brittany enjoys spending time with her family.
Rod spent the first 10 years of his law career with Scherr Legate before leaving to build his own successful practice for 14 years. Now, he’s back where he started but with much more experience, having practiced criminal and family law in addition to personal liability. Since returning to Scherr Legate, Rod has worked primarily on motor vehicle and premises liability cases. With his return to personal injury cases, Rod knows the plaintiffs he represents are unfamiliar with courtrooms and the legal process. Rod recognizes that so many clients have never been through this with insurance companies and takes pride in knowing that he can help guide his clients and solve problems for them.
Rod who was born and raised in El Paso, followed his father and uncle into law. He earned his bachelor and law degree at the same school they did.
When away from the firm, Rod spends time with his wife and three sons. He likes to be outdoors, whether it’s hiking, biking, running or snow skiing. All three of his sons are active in the Boys Scouts of America, where Rod is a former Scout Master. He is the current Adult Committee Chair for his sons’ Troop 59.