On March 5, Addams joined the business and entertainment firm Shackelford, Melton & McKinley in Dallas as of counsel.
John Shackelford, a founding partner of the firm, says Addams is primarily a transactional attorney. Because of his business experience, Addams will be able to help clients put together deals, Shackelford says.
The business experience to which Shackelford refers is the result of the more than 25 years that Addams spent working as an executive in the construction materials business. Addams says that until April 2011, he was the chief operating officer for Holcim (US) Inc., the second largest cement producer in the United States. After retiring, he decided to return to practicing law.
“I liked practicing law, and I didn’t think I’d like not working,” Addams says.
Addams says he spent the next year or so studying for and taking the Texas and Colorado bar exams. His preparation for the exams included taking a bar review course, he says.
“Of course, I was the grandfather in the classes,” Addams says.
All of his efforts paid off. Addams is licensed to practice in Texas and Colorado as well as in California, where he says he took the bar exam in 1977.
After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977, he began practicing law as an associate in the former firm of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison in San Francisco, Addams says. He says that in 1982, he became an in-house counsel for Vulcan Materials Co. and accepted a management position in the company in 1986.
Shackelford says Addams’ contacts in the construction materials industry give him an opportunity to develop business for Shackelford, Melton in that area and enables him to provide valuable assistance to clients.
“He’s been on the inside of companies, putting together deals, understanding the business of deals,” Shackelford says.
Addams says he has not encountered problems in reviving his legal career.
“I don’t think you ever stop being a lawyer,” he says. “Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.”
— Mary Alice Robbins
Robbins is an Austin-based freelance writer and a former Texas Lawyer senior reporter.