Sewall C. “Spike” Cutler, Jr.

email Sewall C. “Spike” Cutler, Jr.

board_certifiedSewall C. “Spike” Cutler, Jr. is a founding shareholder and President of Cutler-Smith, P.C. Mr. Cutler’s practice, spanning more than 20 years, has focused on education and advocacy of the construction industry, including the areas of contract review, preparation and negotiation, business entity formation and maintenance, employment, business and construction law, and civil litigation.

Legal Experience

1998 – Present
Cutler Smith, P.C.
Founding Shareholder
1994 – 1998
Fiedler & Akin, P.C.
Associate Attorney
1992 – 1994
Massingill, Bennett, Hodges, Leslie & Griffith
Associate Attorney


  • National University, San Diego, California
  • B.B.A. 1987, summa cum laude
  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
  • Juris Doctorate 1992


  • Mr. Cutler was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas in 1992, and is admitted to practice before all trial court and appellate court levels in the State of Texas, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas.


  • General Counsel for Independent Electrical Contractors of Texas
  • General Counsel for United Masonry Contractors Association
  • General Counsel for Subcontractors Association of the Metroplex
  • Member, Attorneys’ Council, National Subcontractors Alliance

Memberships/Professional Organizations

  • Dallas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Rotary International

Darrell W. Smith

email Darrell W. Smith

Darrell W. Smith is a founding shareholder and member of Cutler-Smith, P.C., and litigation supervisor. Mr. Smith has over twenty years of experience providing quality legal representation to individuals and companies throughout the State of Texas. Since founding Cutler-Smith, P.C. over fifteen years ago, his practice has focused on representing his clients in construction and construction defect disputes, employment and real estate disputes, in state and federal courts throughout Texas.

Practice Areas

  • Civil Litigation
  • Civil Appeals
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law

Legal Experiences

1998 to Present
Cutler Smith, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Shareholder and Member of Cutler-Smith, P.C., in the litigation section of the firm
1994 to 1997
Law Offices of Douglas W. Brady & Associates, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Associate Attorney practicing in the area of general civil litigation
1991 – 1993
Fanning, Harper & Martinson, L.L.P., Dallas, Texas
Associate Attorney practicing in the area of general civil litigation


  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Baylor Law Review
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas

Garrin B. Fant

email Garrin B. Fant

board_certifiedGarrin Fant is a shareholder and supervising attorney with Cutler-Smith, P.C. With extensive experience in commercial construction disputes, civil litigation and appeals, business litigation and employment law matters, Mr. Fant is a zealous advocate for the firm’s clients in courts throughout the state of Texas. Mr. Fant’s primary field of practice is in the area of construction litigation, including construction defect litigation, jobsite injuries, and contract disputes.

Legal Experiences

07/02 to Present
Cutler Smith, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Shareholder in the firm’s litigation department
1999 to 2002
Guinan & Guinan, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Associate Attorney in the areas of criminal defense and civil and commercial litigation
06/97 to 1999
Sumner & Schick, Dallas, Texas
Associate Attorney in the areas of general civil and commercial litigation, criminal defense, employment litigation, and family law.
01/93 to 06/97
Solo Attorney, Corpus Christi, Texas
Managing a general practice of civil, criminal and family law matters


  • University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Juris Doctor, 1992
  • Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Louisiana
    Bachelor of Arts, 1988


  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Admitted before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, in the Northern and Eastern Districts


  • State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association

Tami LaGrone

email Tami LaGrone

Ms. LaGrone is a shareholder of the firm with a practice focused on representing her commercial clients throughout Texas in the areas of construction law which includes protection of payment through the lien and bond process, contract drafting and negotiation and related business transactions; employment law including best practices and employee disputes through the administrative process; real estate transactions; business formation and HUB/MBE/WBE certification; as well as general commercial litigation. Ms. LaGrone is a also a speaker and educator on best practices in the construction industry and business/employment law, as well as topics concerning contracts and collections.

Ms. LaGrone is active in numerous construction and business trade organizations including the Subcontractor’s Association of the Metroplex (SAM), Independent Electrical Contractors of Texas, United Masonry Contractors Association, Painting and Decorating Contractor’s Association, and the Association of Professional Women in Construction.

Legal Experience

2008 to Present
Cutler Smith, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Shareholder in the firm’s transaction department
2006 to 2007
Rexel, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Associate Corporate Counsel for international electrical and datacom enterprise providing legal expertise in business and real estate transactions, employment law, information technology, and litigation oversight.


  • Thurgood Marshall School of Law
    Juris Doctorate, 2005
  • University of Oklahoma
    Journalism/Advertising, 1991


  • “Private Termination & Adoption” co-author with Susan Rankin, and presented at the 8th Annual Family Law on the Front Lines 2008 Conference.

Professional Licenses

  • State Bar of Texas


  • State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Dallas Women Lawyers Association
  • Association of Professional Women in Constructions

Brian Benitez

email Brian Benitez

Brian, a Senior Associate with the firm, is a skilled trial and appellate lawyer with significant courtroom experience gained representing his clients’ interests in hundreds of trials across the state of Texas, and in appellate courts including the Supreme Court of Texas, in matters including Construction Law; Business Entities; Commercial Litigation; Insurance Defense; Debtor/Creditor Disputes; and Civil Appeals. He brings this experience into his role as a litigation Senior Associate at Cutler-Smith, P.C., where he is a dedicated advocate for the firm’s clients.

Legal Experience

March 2016 – Present
Cutler-Smith, P.C., Dallas, Texas
Litigation Senior Associate representing the Firm’s clients in Agency Disputes; Construction Law; and other complex civil litigation matters
June 2015 to March 2016
Mayo, Mendolia & Vice, LLP, Royse City, Texas
Litigation Associate practicing in the areas of Construction Law; Commercial Litigation; and Insurance Defense
May 2014 to June 2015
Scott, Parnell & Associates, PC, Carrollton, Texas
Litigation Associate managing the advanced litigation docket for the firm; and the creditors’ rights docket for the Firm’s cornerstone client. Traveled across Texas to appear in court in support of both dockets.
November 2012 to May 2014
Jenkins, Wagnon & Young, PC, Lubbock, Texas
Litigation Associate practicing in the areas of Commercial Law; Construction Law; Creditors’ Rights; UCC Disputes; and Civil Appeals.


  • Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas
    Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2012
        Board of Barristers
        American Jurisprudence award for Excellence in Contracts
        Dallas Bar Association Judicial Scholarship for Excellence in Torts
        Contracts tutor for Professor John Krahmer
  • University of New Orleans 1992, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1992

Judicial Internship

  • 68th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas
    Hon. Martin J. Hoffman presiding.


  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Rockwall Bar Association
  • Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce – 2016 Graduate of the Leadership Rockwall program


  • State Bar of Texas
  • Admitted before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas



Nga Tran

email Nga Tran

Nga Tran, a Senior Associate, brings a solid background in insurance defense work to the firm, along with years of experience in the areas of civil litigation, construction, and banking. Nga is a dedicated client advocate with the skills needed to obtain the best results in each matter.

Ms. Tran is fluent in English and Vietnamese, with a basic knowledge of Spanish.

Ms. Tran is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, and received her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Cindy Karm

Cindy Karm

email Cindy Karm

Cindy Karm, Associate Attorney, brings a wide range of experience to Cutler-Smith, P.C. She uses her knowledge of the various aspects of corporate law to help clients protect and grow their businesses. She has litigation, transactional, and compliance experience and has worked both in law firms and as an in-house attorney at a company in the oil and gas industry.

Practice Areas

  • General Business Litigation
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiation
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Environmental Law


  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2008
  • Trinity University, Bachelor of Arts, 1997


  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts