Founding partners Kelly Curnutt and Doug Hafer brought experience from large international firms, as well as small trial boutique firms when they formed Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. The firm’s passion, expertise, and determination has earned them Super Lawyer designations and a prestigious AV rating, signifying the pinnacle of skill and integrity under the Martindale-Hubbell Rating System.
Our firm's philosophy is to treat every client's problem as if it were our own, and we focus on achieving the best bottom line results possible. To reach this goal, we have assembled a team made up of accomplished business professionals, compassionate advocates, and experienced litigators. Our attorneys are committed to applying their skills and experience to resolving your problems through creative legal solutions. It is our goal that all of our clients will give us their highest personal recommendation.
Throughout his career, Kelly Curnutt has successfully tried a wide array of cases in state and federal courts, both in Texas and other states, including complex business disputes, oil and gas cases, and injury and death claims. Additionally, Mr. Curnutt has taken and defended hundreds of depositions, briefed and argued over one hundred motions in state and federal courts, and has argued a number of cases in the appellate courts.
For ten consecutive years, Mr. Curnutt has been selected for inclusion in “Texas Super Lawyers,” a listing of top attorneys in Texas compiled through independent polling and research and is published by Texas Monthly. This distinction is held by no more than five percent of Texas lawyers each year. Mr. Curnutt is AV rated by Martindale Hubble, the highest skill and ethics and integrity ranking available. He is also Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a Past President of the Arlington Bar Association.
Oil & Gas Litigation
Throughout his career, Douglas Hafer has successfully tried cases in state and federal courts ranging from personal injury to oil and gas to complex business and employment disputes. Additionally, Mr. Hafer has taken and defended hundreds of depositions, and briefed and argued over one hundred motions in state and federal courts. Mr. Hafer also has significant appellate court experience. He has successfully represented appellants and appellees in cases argued before the federal and state appellate courts.
For nine years, Mr. Hafer has been selected for inclusion in “Texas Super Lawyers,” a listing of top attorneys in Texas compiled through independent polling and research and is published by Texas Monthly. This distinction is held by no more than five percent of Texas lawyers for the year. Mr. Hafer is AV rated by Martindale Hubble, the highest skill and ethics and integrity ranking available. Mr. Hafer is also Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Estate and Trust Litigation
Oil and Gas Litigation
Vicki Hafer concentrates her practice in family law, a very important and personal branch of practice requiring compassionate advocacy. Ms. Hafer and her team are well practiced at the nuances of these cases. They have the skillset to help people find the right paths for resolving divorce and custody disputes and begin the rebuilding process.
Ms. Hafer and her team handle divorce, custody disputes, modifications, paternity suits, grandparent access cases, child-support disputes, enforcement suits, protective order cases and adoptions.
David Petter has practiced law in Texas since 1992, serving a broad scope of civil needs. He has a predominant focus in the areas of probate, estate planning, and business transactions. For many years, Mr. Petter worked with Arlington Attorney Jerry Hoodenpyle to serve the legal needs of innumerable commercial entities and private individuals, governmental units, non-profit organizations and churches. Following Mr. Hoodenpyle’s retirement in 2013, Mr. Petter extended the tradition of offering professional and highly ethical legal representation as a solo practitioner and then in joining the law firm of Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. in 2021.
“Seeking to Serve for Christ and His Kingdom” – Mr. Petter adopted this personal motto many years ago while a student at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. It is at the core of what motivates his service as a lawyer. Mr. Petter is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law in Austin and holds a Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He is a deacon and active Children’s Bible Study teacher at Fielder Church. Additionally, Mr. Petter enjoys umpiring little league baseball and serving community needs.
Business Transactions, Contracts & Corporate Law
o Stock purchase and asset purchase agreements
o Financing and security agreements
o Contracts of all types
o Corporate documents for your full business life cycle
Estate Planning, Probate, Wills & Trusts
o Last Wills
o Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney
o Directives to Physicians
o Probate filings
Throughout his thirty-plus years’ career, Steve Kotara has successfully handled and tried a wide variety of cases in both federal and state courts, including complex business disputes, professional malpractice claims, and injury and death claims. Mr. Kotara began his legal career at one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in Dallas, and he worked for several years in Fort Worth at one of the top malpractice firms in Texas. Mr. Kotara has taken and defended hundreds of depositions and has briefed and argued over one hundred motions in state and federal court. Mr. Kotara also has significant appellate experience. In addition to handling appeals in state and federal appellate courts, Mr. Kotara was an appellate court staff attorney for over fifteen years in three Texas appellate courts.
Admitted to practice before all Texas State Courts
Admitted to practice before all Northern and Southeastern Federal District Courts of Texas
Commercial Disputes and Litigation
Fiduciary and Trust Litigation
Probate Administration and Litigation
Business Ownership Disputes and Litigation
Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Cindy Salter concentrates her practice in personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice litigation. She brings to the firm years of experience in mass toxic tort and medical malpractice litigation, with trial experience in both state and federal court in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas. With a background in small business development, Cindy is also involved in Business Development and community outreach on behalf of the firm.
• Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
• Medical Malpractice
Ryan has experience in commercial litigation and appellate work. He has practiced in Texas since 2015 in firms from Dallas to Waco.
• Commercial litigation
Lauren is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in government and a 2022 graduate of Texas Tech School of Law.
• Business litigation
• Personal injury
Tori is an Arlington native who graduated from Arlington High School and attended UT Arlington while interning at the firm.
• Probate litigation
Yvette Harper provides paralegal and administrative support to partner Doug Hafer and attorney Vicki Hafer. She also manages and oversees numerous information technology and administrative functions for the firm.
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Bachelor of Science, 1995
Major: Political Science
Southeastern Paralegal Institute (Brightwood College)
Paralegal Certificate, 1996
Deanne Schmidt provides paralegal and administrative support to partner Kelly Curnutt. She also provides oversight and service to those clients of Curnutt & Hafer who are involved in personal injury cases.
State Bar of Texas, Paralegal Division
Arlington Bar Association
Executive Secretary, 2006-2012
McMurry University, Angelo State University and
The University of Texas at Arlington
Regina Pingel provides managerial support for financial, HR, and administrative functions.
Sam Houston State University
Heather supports David Petter with Estate Planning, Probate, Wills and Trusts.
University of North Texas, Denton
Masters Degree in Library and Information Science
Nora Casillas provides paralegal and administrative support to Greg Butts and Ryan Hale. She also has extensive experience supporting personal injury litigation.
Susan provides paralegal and administrative support to Patrick Wadlington in his general practice in Decatur and Wise County.
Paralegal Certification, 1988
Donlita Cloud provides paralegal and administrative support to Senior Counsel Steve Kotara.
Hunter is a graduate of Texas Christian University with a degree in Economics and a 2023 graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
Texas Christian University
Bachelor of Science-Economics
Fort Worth, Texas
BS from University of Utah
Mrs. Smith has worked in the administrative field for over 20 years. With that experience, she loves to focus on organization and looking for ways to improve business function. She has served in a wide variety of organizations from service with work volunteer events, school boosters, church, and Girl Scouts (both as a troop leader for over 30 years and at the local Service Unit as a manager for 6 years).