ttorney John Creuzot believes successful representation re-quires discovering and deal-ing with the underlying issues that determine the actions of his clients. Creuzot is the founder of the Creuzot Law Firm PLLC. He has more than 34 years of trial experience, has also served as an assistant district attorney, and for 21 years as a state district judge in Dallas. “Many clients come to my office who have been represented by other lawyers, but the other lawyers don’t know or don’t understand all of their underlying is-sues be it psychological, psychiatric or substance abuse. Nobody’s ever done that. People just keep processing them through the system,” he says. Creuzot takes a different approach by 20 | www.AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com A getting comprehensive psychological evaluations that look for what (if any-thing) in the person’s makeup that un-derlies the criminal behavior. He lever-ages that information in his client’s favor in the subsequent legal procedures. The approach has proven highly successful and has resulted in reductions in prison sentences, deferred adjudication, and even no-bills with all charges dismissed. “There are any number of things we can do prior to court or we can go fight the case. If we have to go to a punishment hearing, we basically present a person who has resolved the underlying issue. There’s no reason to sentence someone to the penitentiary or to be harsh because the person who did the crime no longer exists. I believe our chief asset here is our ability to take what seems to be a losing case and turn it into a winner,” Creuzot says. Creuzot credits his initial interest in the law to a childhood meeting with an attorney handling work for his fam-ily. His interest in litigation was sparked when he took the criminal and civil clin-ics at Southern Methodist University Law School. During the summer of 1980, he worked for State District Judge Leon-ard Hoffman. “Judge Hoffman, a civil law trial judge, tried a lot of cases so I was in the courtroom and saw a lot of things. That sparked my interest into going into trial work.” In addition to observing court, Creuzot handled and won a trial while in the SMU Law School Criminal Clinic.