I'm an attorney and arbitrator; I maintain a limited private practice in Houston, representing technology-focused companies. I'm also a part-time law professor; I teach advanced contract drafting and negotiation to third-year students. One of my main professional interests is exploring ways to speed up and simplify the contract-negotiation process, in the hope of helping businesses collaborate to do things more quickly. I maintain the Common Draft working notebook of contract clauses and templates, with extensive annotations and explanations.
My last name is pronounced "Tate" (it's German), just as former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner's name is pronounced "Bayner." My given name is Dell Charles, but I go by "D.C.," which my family has called me since birth to avoid confusion with my dad and my grandfather, for whom I was named.
I was formerly a partner and member of the management committee at Arnold, White & Durkee, a 150-lawyer intellectual-property boutique litigation firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States.
I left AW&D to become vice president and general counsel of BindView Corporation, a publicly-traded, 500-employee software company, with offices in six countries. As outside counsel, I'd helped the founder to start the company. I served there until the company's successful "exit" when we were acquired by Symantec Corporation, the world leader in our field.
I'm licensed to practice law in Texas and California. I'm also registered to practice in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
I was the editor and lead author of the first edition of The Law and Business of Computer Software, a one-volume treatise now published by Thomson Reuters.
I've long been active in bar-association work. I've chaired committees and served on the governing council of the Section of Intellectual Property Law of the American Bar Association; I've also served as co-chair of the Commercial Transactions Committee of the State Bar of California's Business Law Section. I'm "on the ladder" to chair the Houston chapter of the Licensing Executives Society USA/Canada.
Outside of work, I'm my parish's representative on the board of directors of Amazing Place, a non-profit day center for adults with mild to moderate dementia; I chair the Risk Management & Operations Committee and Strategic Planning Committee and serve on the Executive Committee. I was formerly a member of the vestry (the parish's elected board of directors) at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. I'm semi-retired as an adult leader of Troop 55, which we think is the largest Boy Scout troop in the U.S., with some 300 registered boys and more than 50 registered adult leaders; earlier I served as an assistant scoutmaster and then four years as chairman of the troop committee (the troop's governing body).
My undergraduate degree (in math, with high honors) and law degree (law review) are from the University of Texas at Austin.
In between college and law school, I did my ROTC scholarship payback time as a U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer.
Any views I might express here are my own and not necessarily those of my clients, my former employer, my former law firm, etc., etc. Please see also the Cautions page.
For more details about my experience and education, please see my LinkedIn profile.