Clients in search of a favorable resolution to their personal injury case can depend on the experience and knowledge of Temple-based attorney Trey Pendergraft. 

Trey is from Amarillo, Texas and comes to Temple with his wife and their growing family. As a teenager, Trey was in a serious head-on car crash that led to significant injuries. Following the crash, he was living in pain and fearful of what was to come. However, the pivotal moment in his life came when his parents hired a personal injury attorney to fight for his rights. Now an attorney himself, his goal with every client is to provide the same comfort and guidance he remembers receiving from his attorney while ensuring they get justice. It is this lived experience, along with his education and training that make him the kind of lawyer clients want in the room when going up against insurance companies and negligent defendants.

He received his law degree from St. Mary’s Law School and graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.A. in Psychology. He represents clients in county and district courts throughout Texas. In addition, he is working toward admission to Texas federal courts. 

Before coming to The Carlson Law Firm, Trey began his career at a personal injury law firm in Corpus Christi, Texas. While there, he was recognized as a top performer in 2018. He was part of the team that recovered a $67 million-dollar verdict and was part of a trial team that argued for and received the highest jury verdict in Clarke County, Alabama.

Trey’s dedication to helping others extends beyond the courtroom. His volunteer work includes food drives, home repairs and maintenance for the elderly in his community, outreach programs, fundraising for animal shelters and turkey giveaways. While new to the Temple-Belton area, he intends to continue his work improving his community through his church and Carlson Cares events.

While he is ready to handle any personal injury case, his practice areas primarily focus on 18-wheeler, commercial and non-commercial vehicle crashes; premises liability; and workplace injuries. 

Trey has a lifelong love for muscle cars. In fact, he still has his first car, the 1970 Chevrolet Malibu that he and his father fully restored when he was 15. 

When he isn’t practicing law, Trey enjoys skiing on both water and snow. He also loves dogs, rock & roll and playing sports.

Jessica N. Morrison is a Temple-based personal injury attorney committed to assisting personal injury victims.

Jessica grew up an hour away from Temple in Jarrell, Texas. As a child, Jessica enjoyed making a case to her parents. Her parents, recognizing her talent, eventually recommended that she become an attorney.

She is a graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law and also received her B.A. in French from Texas Tech in 2011. While at Tech Law, she was inducted into the National Order of the Barristers. She was sworn into the Texas Bar in November of 2017 and was licensed in the Western District in November of 2018. She is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association.

Her most notable case was her first trial against the City of Austin. Jessica’s clients received a six-figure verdict settlement for injuries stemming from an auto collision.

Clients are extremely important to Jessica and her goal is to always put her clients and their interests first. Anyone represented by her can expect a compassionate attorney who listens to their stories and experiences. Further, Jessica possesses the most important trait an attorney can have—the ability to tell their stories truthfully in a courtroom. Lastly, while Jessica has no problem playing hardball, she usually walks into negotiations with such kindness that it catches opposing attorneys off guard.

When she’s not practicing law, she spends her time with her family and loves to travel.

Philip Koelsch is a Temple-based personal injury lawyer. He is dedicated to improving the lives of anyone who reaches out to The Carlson Law Firm for assistance after suffering an injury caused by another person’s negligence.

Philip was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up in Waco. He considers himself a true Central Texan and is a fourth generation Longhorn. Philip’s talent as a writer and drive to give back to his community led him to the legal field. His education provides him with a unique understanding of issues that truly impact a community.

He received his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Philip is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Government. He is a member of the Bell County Bar Association, Bell County Young Lawyers Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Clients who hire Philip can rest assured that he will fight tirelessly on their behalf. His ultimate goal is to make sure his work leaves his clients in a better position than they were during their initial intake. Philip’s compassionate representation, attention to detail, and storytelling-ability benefit clients who suffered personal injuries in car wrecks, 18-wheeler, and commercial vehicle crashes, as well as premises liability cases.

Philip’s academic career was a foreshadowing of the excellent work he does for clients. He received Special Honors in Government at UT, was awarded the Deans Excellence Full Tuition Scholarship at Baylor Law, was a member of the Baylor Law Review and was on the Baylor Law Dean’s List on three separate occasions.

Philip’s Texas roots are deep. His family has resided in Texas since 1824—before Texas was even a U.S. state.

When he’s not practicing law, Philip enjoys taking his ski boat out with friends on Lake Waco.

Jacob Mancha is a North Austin-based attorney dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims.

From a young age, Jacob knew he wanted to be a lawyer. He moved to Austin from the Rio Grande Valley to attend law school at the University of Texas. While in law school, Jacob was accepted into a select joint-degree program that offers two students a year the opportunity to complete their last year of law school in England. As a result, Jacob received two law degrees as a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Nottingham—where he received an LLM in Human Rights Law. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas-Pan American.

Following law school, he traveled the world but knew that he would eventually settle in Austin to begin his career.  He was sworn into the Texas State Bar in 2015.

Since being admitted to the Texas State Bar, he has dedicated his career to helping victims of personal injury, particularly birth injuries. Before joining The Carlson Law Firm, he practiced at a birth injury specialized Austin law firm.

Jacob prepares every case by comprehensively mapping out the laws governing his clients’ cases. In addition, he is well-versed on contemporary thought regarding personal injury jury trial methodology and studies jury trial advocacy in his free time.

He is a member of Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. In addition, he was a 2018 Covington Pro Bono Service Honoree for contributing more than 100 hours of pro-bono civil litigation representation through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas.

Jacob is working-proficient in speaking Spanish and has elementary proficiency in spoken Thai.  Jacob has traveled extensively and lived in Bangkok, Thailand for two years teaching ESL. During the 2011 flood that occurred in Bangkok, he was evacuated by a military vehicle and lived in an evacuation shelter for a month.

Johan Holter is an Austin-based nursing home abuse attorney dedicated to ensuring elderly clients are treated with respect and dignity.

As an elementary school student, Johan realized that he wanted to help people. He decided at an early age that his talents were best used in the legal field. After years moving with his military family, Johan spent his formative years in Wimberly, Texas. He decided to make Austin his home after completing law school.

Prior to coming to The Carlson Law Firm, Johan worked for a general practice law firm, where he helped clients with wills, criminal and family matters, as well as personal injury. He also did an externship with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Clients and the family of clients know that Johan goes above and beyond to get them the settlement they deserve. In addition, clients appreciate Johan’s work ethic and his drive to continue pushing until he helps resolve their issue.

Johan earned his Juris Doctrine at the Baylor School of Law (Cum Laude). He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University.

While at Baylor Law School, he served as the 2L SBA President and the Baylor Public Interest Society as the Executive Officer. He was a member of the Baylor Interschool Moot Court Competition Order of the Barristers.

He is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyer Association, Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice.

In his free time, Johan enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, dog and cat. He also loves watching football and basketball at the collegiate and professional levels.

Vernon K. Elkins is a North Austin-based personal injury attorney. He licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Texas.

Vernon is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; and received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & American History from the University of Michigan. He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in February 2008 and to the Texas State Bar in March of 2016.  In addition, he was admitted into the Northern District of Illinois in September of 2011 and will soon be admitted into the Western District of Texas.

Vernon enjoys being challenged every day and working with a great team of passionate attorneys. He focuses on helping victims of personal injury and medical malpractice. Before coming to The Carlson Law Firm, Vernon worked in Houston as a contract and compliance specialist. Prior to that, he worked in Chicago for an aviation and aerospace litigation firm for seven years.

Even though he’s made it through law school and the bar exam, Vernon continues to challenge himself and expand his knowledge of the law. He has an incredible desire to learn and acquire knowledge every day.  His greatest joy is being able to apply the years of his education and work experience to be effective counsel for his clients.

Clients should know that Vernon will give his complete attention to each case. Further, he will focus on ensuring their matter is handled with the highest care and competency. He will do all he can to ensure that clients receive the damages they are entitled to.

He is a member of the Capital Area Trial Lawyer Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

When he’s not practicing law, Vernon is a dedicated University of Michigan football and basketball fan and enjoys traveling, sporting events, music and spending time with his family and friends.

Cheryl Powell is dedicated to helping families in the Round Rock area through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Cheryl comes to The Carlson Law Firm after a solo practice focused on family, criminal, education and employment law. However, her primary focus at The Carlson Law Firm is family law.

Once a high school English and dance/drill team teacher, Cheryl became an attorney because she believes in the art of storytelling. She believes that as an attorney, her job is to tell a client’s story in the courtroom to get the best resolution possible. As a lawyer, she is at her best when she problem solves and finds creative solutions for difficult situations.

Cheryl combines her passion for the law with her tremendous compassion to help her clients. Her clients get a knowledgeable attorney who cares about the specifics of their situation. Additionally, she has a client first approach to handling family cases to get positive solutions. For your benefit throughout your legal journey, she will remain upfront and honest about your case. Because of her teaching background, she enjoys explaining the legal procedures and terminology to help clients better understand how courtroom decisions will impact their day to day lives.

She earned her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University and earned her Bachelors of Science from Texas State University.

Cheryl was appointed to the Round Rock ISD Partners in Education Board of Directors in 2019 and was also elected to Director of the Women Lawyers Section of the Williamson County Bar Association. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, and Austin Bar Association.

When she’s not telling clients’ stories in the courtroom, Cheryl enjoys reading books, swimming and “pretending” she’s crafty. She is passionate about finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and figuring out what causes it. She believes the most important thing you can do with your life is to serve others.

A quote Cheryl lives by, “There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.” –Dr. K, NBC’s This is Us

Nick Merz is a North-Austin based personal injury attorney dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice and sexual assault.

Nick served in the United States Marines from 2005-2009. He became a lawyer because he was attracted to the idea of standing for a cause through the use of the law. As a long-time member of the Austin community, he takes helping his clients seriously. He finds joy in the work he does through assisting his clients on a day to day basis—even if the clients are not aware of the small tasks that go into building the best case possible.

Clients should know that Nick will give his complete attention and focus on ensuring their matter is handled with the highest care and competency. He will do all he can to ensure that clients receive the damages they are entitled to. Nick’s incredible desire to learn and acquire knowledge is an asset. Once he learns something, he never forgets it.

Nick’s primary focus at The Carlson Law Firm is representing clients who were victims of personal injury, medical malpractice and sexual assaults.

Nick is a graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law; and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University. He was admitted to the Texas State Bar in May 2014.

He is a member of the Capital Area Trial Lawyer Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Nick was a 2014-2017 Senior Fellow in the Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession.

During his time in the Marines, Nick instructed Marines and Naval personnel martial arts under the Marine Corp Martial Program from 2008-2009.

When he’s not practicing law, Nick is a dedicated Star Wars fan. Additionally, he has been a 20-year Houston Astros fan. One of his favorite moments was going to Game Two of the 2017 American League Championship Series. In 2005, Nick made Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.

Russell Shrauner is a Lubbock-based personal injury attorney dedicated to helping victims of auto, oilfield trucking, and toxic tort injuries recover the damages owed to them. He began his journey at The Carlson Law Firm as a law clerk but is now a full-time attorney.

Russell grew up two hours away from Lubbock in Midland, Texas. He knew as a child that he had a higher calling to help the voiceless. As a member of the West Texas community, he takes pride in helping his fellow citizens. A former worker in the oilfields of West Texas, Russell knows first hand the kind of dangers that exist for hardworking oilfield employees. He decided to go to law school to create an opportunity for himself to help the people of West Texas when they’re in need.

Russell is a graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law; and received his B.A. in Philosophy from Texas A&M University. He was sworn into the Texas Bar in April 2018.

Seeing his clients recover from their injuries and get their lives back makes every minute of the hours spent studying and now practicing law rewarding for Russell. His clients are satisfied with his personal injury knowledge and professionalism. If you want an attorney who cares, will pursue your case professionally, and aggressively if the need arises then contact Russell today. Clients are impressed with Russell’s ability to tell their stories with passion and empathy in mediation or in a courtroom.

When he’s not representing clients, Russell participates in BBQ and cooking competitions. He won the Texas Tech Chili Cook-Off as a 2L. Cooking isn’t his only talent, Russell is also an expert catamaran builder.

A quote Russell lives by, “Your sword can be a sermon or the power of the pen… Make them hear you.” –”Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime

Robbye attended Texas State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude, then went on to South Texas College of Law. She is a proud member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Williamson and Bell County Bar Associations. Robbye is also part of the Delta Theta Phi International Law Fraternity. She loves helping people overcome their legal obstacles, which is why her primary practice is Personal Injury.

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