• Susie Colbert - Paralegal, Office Manager
  • Rhonda Heifner - Paralegal
  • Shannon Gann - Legal Assistant


William J. Brotherton

Practices in the areas of civil litigation, business and corporate matters, energy, transportation, insurance, environmental issues, land use, administrative law, real estate, estate planning, and probate. He was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1994 after graduating the same year from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (Now Texas A&M University School of Law). He is also licensed in the State of North Dakota. When William J. Brotherton obtained his law degree in 1994 at the age of 44 after five years of night classes, he was the regional manager for BCM Engineers, Inc., a national environmental engineering firm. Prior to becoming an attorney, William worked at developing complex treatment plans for national Superfund sites and RCRA facilities as an environmental scientist. He received his MS in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and his undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota. After obtaining his law degree, he then went on to teach environmental law as an adjunct professor for 12 years at Texas Christian University and lectured in environmental and land-use law at the Center for Environmental Research and Training at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has also lectured at Lamar University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

Since 2006, William has served as a court-appointed special commissioner (judge) to determine the value of condemned property. He is knowledgeable in that area as a result of his experience serving on the Planning & Zoning Commission for the town of Flower Mound, Texas for over 6 years in addition to his service as a director of the Upper Trinity Regional Water District. Since 2006, William has represented the Denton Central Appraisal District as outside litigation counsel.

Besides being licensed in the States of Texas and North Dakota, William is licensed in the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of both Texas and North Dakota. He has been licensed since 2009 in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

William worked for 15 years on the 14th hole at Augusta National during the Masters Tournament. One of the benefits he received from Augusta National was playing the course in late May. He also worked for three years as a media officer for the (British) Army-Navy Golf Association and most recently worked The Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

William is a member of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in Swanton, Vermont, through his grandmother Nellie Bourgeois Lamphere, who was born in Québec. In October of 2016, William was elected to a four-year term on Tribal Council after having served as an appointed member in 2015. He represented the tribe as a council member in regard to the Vermont Public Service Board’s oversight of the sale and decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Active in Native American matters, he worked to resolve the Dakota Access protest in North Dakota, and traveled throughout the Standing Rock reservation to meet with tribal leadership, organizations, and members. In the summer of 2016, he became an adopted member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation in North Dakota, and was given the Sioux name of Tasunka Masa, which translates from the Sioux as Iron Horse.

William is proud of his North Dakota roots. Although he was born in South Carolina and raised in Atlanta by a mother who grew up in Vermont and a father that grew up in Augusta, Georgia, he graduated from the University of North Dakota and became a part of the Fighting Sioux family. The name was formally given to the University of North Dakota by both the Standing Rock and Spirit Lake Sioux tribes in a Chanupa (sacred pipe) ceremony performed on the campus in 1969 and had been in use at UND since 1932. When the NCAA threatened UND with sanctions because of the "hostile and abusive" nature of the name, William was hired by Sioux tribal members and a state representative to lead the fight to stop UND from changing the name.

There is also another reason for William’s fondness for North Dakota. William worked as a brakeman and conductor for the Burlington Northern Railroad in North Dakota, and also worked as a "Boomer" railroader working freight trains all across the West, including Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Minnesota. As a Boomer, he lived out of his 1976 Chevrolet van, parking it at various terminals in the Burlington Northern system. He still has that van today, now with over 1 million miles on the odometer, and it has been feted by General Motors and even featured in the Wall Street Journal... Million Mile Van. After several years as a brakeman/conductor, William was promoted to trainmaster and transferred to the Colorado & Southern Railway in Denver. There, while conducting investigations (a quasi-legal proceeding) into derailments and grade crossing accidents, William developed a taste for the law which ultimately led to his law degree. Once he started practicing law in Texas, he began telling railroad stories in the courtroom which led to the publication of his book, Burlington Northern Adventures, published in 2004 by South Platte Press. It continues to sell all over the world today and has sold over 10,000 copies.

Shawn M. Brotherton

Practices in the areas of civil litigation, probate, estate planning, real estate, title issues and easements. She is also head of the appellate law section of the firm. She frequently serves as a court-appointed guardian ad litem. She is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) and Texas Tech University, and prior to obtaining her law degree, was a land title escrow officer where she has prepared or handled over 300 sets of closing documents, including real estate purchase contracts and much more. She managed the Brotherton Law Firm fee title office for over seven years and continues to serve in that capacity as the Firm administrator.

Ms. Brotherton has a special knack for drafting dispositive motions that win. She does this by researching and knowing the law, understanding the evidence in each case, linking it with the right case law, and then writing her motion in clear concise language that a judge can understand and follow. Ms. Brotherton recently filed a dispositive motion in a very complicated easement case. The firm represented the defendants, who have been using a private road across the plaintiffs’ land for over five years. The same road had been in use for many decades prior to that. The plaintiffs filed suit over three years ago and much discovery has ensued. Ms. Brotherton marshaled the evidence, including antique maps that showed the driveway as part of an old farmstead, and pertinent deposition testimony, and drafted a motion for summary judgment on the counterclaim of easement by estoppel. She also drafted objections and a response to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on all claims. The court agreed with Ms. Brotherton and granted the motion for summary judgment on the easement by estoppel claim. The court further denied in full the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.

Shawn is also a proud member of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in Swanton, Vermont, through her great grandmother Nellie Bourgeois Lamphere, who was born in Québec. Shawn’s interests include Border Collie rescue and doting on her niece Annabel and nephew Maxim.

Steven J. Manderfeld

Steven J. Manderfeld is a 2005 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, (now Texas A&M University School of Law), having also received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of North Texas. Mr. Manderfeld joined the State Bar of Texas in 2007 and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern districts of Texas in 2016. Mr. Manderfeld has been with the firm since 2013 and has successfully litigated a variety of cases, in both state and federal courts. Mr. Manderfeld practices in the areas of city government, civil rights, zoning, real property, oil and gas, family law, and private finance. Having entered the legal profession at a later age, Mr. Manderfeld combines practical business experience with a common-sense approach to legal matters.

During his down time, Mr. Manderfeld enjoys golfing and fishing and spending time with his two young daughters.