About Us

There’s one good reason after another why every Your House Counsel® Member Firm is
The One To Turn To.


And those reasons begin with how we select a firm for membership: Very carefully. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the extensive vetting process we perform, all to assure you that every Your House Counsel Member Firm provides quality representation.

For example, beyond a firm’s being AV-rated or receiving comparable recognition, our due diligence also includes closely reviewing the firm’s reputation in the community and among its peers. We examine the firm’s history, the firm’s disciplinary history and their insurance coverage, and more.

All to give you peace of mind. But there are even more reasons why each of our Member Firms is The One To Turn To:

Your House Counsel® Member Firms offer uniform preferred rates and portfolio fee arrangements.
So no matter which Member Firm you turn to, the rates will work to your advantage.

You’ll be represented by a neighbor, not a stranger.
Our Member Firms know all the nuances of their jurisdictions.

Your House Counsel® Member Firms are right where You need them.
We have highly qualified Member Firms in jurisdictions across the country, and are continually adding new Members.

Finding a local law firm with proven experience will take minutes, not days or weeks.
That’s because the Your House Counsel® website makes your search for a qualified firm fast, easy and private.

A Message from the President of Your House Counsel®

Welcome to the home of Your House Counsel®, The National Consortium of Highly Regarded Insurance and Corporate Liability Defense Law Firms. While each of our firms is independent, we all share a common philosophy of client centered, results driven, cost effective defense.

As the industry has changed, the make-up of those who are hired to defend the claims and lawsuits has changed. From close friends and acquaintances, to panels, to regional and national firms. Your House Counsel® is the next step in the progression towards a national solution, joining the service and cost-effectiveness of small to mid-size firms with the reach of a national organization.

Regional and national firms may be convenient for an initial referral, but their politics, structures and hierarchies make them costly and inefficient. Each Your House Counsel® Member Firm is independent and has a Relationship Partner dedicated to your relationship and your work.

One of the things that makes working with Your House Counsel® and its Member Firms so rewarding is the type of people we have in our organization. You’ll know right away what type of people they are. Think of the defense firm with which you have the longest and closest relationship. We have an organization full of those people. And chances are you are already using at least one Your House Counsel® firm. View our Member Directory here.

As jurisdictional needs have expanded, valuable resources are stretched in an effort to maintain control over the defense. Building and maintaining a panel and communicating with that panel is a job in itself. Your House Counsel® does that for you. We know our member firms. We work with you to make sure your initiatives are rolled out throughout our Member Firms. We arrange meetings, whether on site, at an industry event or virtually.

We look forward to speaking with you to tell more about how Your House Counsel® can be your national solution. Please contact us or look for us at the next industry event.

president_HowardSShaferHoward S. Shafer, Esq.
President, Your House Counsel®

icon1Our mission is to help our Member Firms
and their clients to excel. In other words,
our mission is your success.

From day one, our goal has been to provide insurers, third party administrators, syndicates, captives, risk retention groups as well as corporate clients with ready access to a premier consortium of highly qualified insurance and corporate liability defense law firms who have been fully vetted to meet and maintain our consortium’s stringent criteria for Membership.

Today, the Your House Counsel® name has become synonymous with integrity, proven experience, accountability, affordability and commitment to service. And as our consortium expands to new jurisdictions, giving claims professionals and corporate counsel more opportunities to save the time, trouble and expense of finding excellent law firms, our standards and mission continue to guide us every step of the way. Which is why you can be assured that each Your House Counsel® Member Firm is, and will always be, “The One To Turn To.”

The answer to how Your House Counsel® and our Member Firms can help you starts right here, with your questions.

Is Your House Counsel® a Law Firm?
No, Your House Counsel® is a consortium of independent Highly Regarded Insurance and Corporate Liability Defense Law Firms.

Are Your House Counsel® Member Firms vetted?
Yes. The firm’s lawyers have received AV™ rating in Martindale-Hubbell,™  a recognition of Super Lawyers® or comparable recognition. Many firms are listed in Best’s Recommended Insurance Attorneys. The firm’s lawyers have excellent reputations and deep experience in their practice areas. The firm’s history is sound, displaying steady growth. The firm’s fee structure is reasonable and fair. The firm has incorporated technology into its day-to-day operations. The firm’s malpractice insurance has minimum limits of $1 million. The firm must provide its State Bar disciplinary history, including any grievances filed against the firm or disciplinary actions. Firm references are checked.

Is there preferred pricing with Your House Counsel® Member Firms?
Yes, speak to us about that. We have a number of different programs available.

Do Your House Counsel® firms share fees?
No, fees are neither shared with Your House Counsel® nor among Member Firms.

I have a firm that I like, can they be considered for Your House Counsel® membership?
If we do not already have a firm in their jurisdiction we will be happy to consider them.

What if I have a problem with a Your House Counsel® firm?
In the unlikely event that you have a problem and your problem is not resolved to your satisfaction by the firm, all Member Firms are answerable to the organization.

I have regional or national needs, why should I choose a Your House Counsel® firm over a regional or national law firm?
In a regional or national firm, you have one relationship Partner in one city who is the point person for your work. While your work is very important to that person and perhaps his or her local office, it is less so to those at branch offices not receiving origination credit for your work. Also, all branch offices are not created equal. The service will generally differ from office to office. With a Your House Counsel® firm each firm has a relationship Partner responsible for and invested in your work. In addition, each firm is vetted to be sure that it is indeed a known quantity in its jurisdiction.

A Message from the Your House Counsel® Group Chair.

On behalf of the many outstanding Member Firms of Your House Counsel®, welcome!

Your House Counsel® Member Firms have a long-standing tradition of and reputation for excellence in Insurance and Corporate Liability Defense. As the Your House Counsel® Group Chair, I have the pleasure of working with attorneys who concentrate their practices in a number of spheres, from Admiralty and Maritime Law to Workers’ Compensation. Despite our varied practices, I’m proud to say that we take every opportunity to exchange ideas and tactics and call upon each other’s specific experiences and skill sets in order to benefit our clients. In addition, our individual practice group chairs serve not only as a point of contact for clients, but also for Members seeking advice in specific practice areas.

The bar is set high for our Member Firms and attorneys. Collectively we have successfully managed, resolved, and defended thousands of claims—from minor incidents to catastrophic accidents. Yet while all of our Member Firms excel, we constantly strive to be more—more responsive, more accountable, more committed—as we work to provide our clients with premier legal services on a local and regional basis across the United States.

I am proud to serve as the Your House Counsel® Group Chair and proud of my association with such an outstanding group of firms and lawyers. Our membership truly lives up to the Your House Counsel® motto because each and every Member Firm is “The One To Turn To” for Insurance and Corporate Liability Defense claims in their respective jurisdictions across the U.S.

I welcome your questions and the opportunity to tell you more about Your House Counsel® and how we can provide you with a national solution for quality legal representation.

Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr.
Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A.
Group Chair, Your House Counsel®

Your House Counsel® Leadership

YHC President and Founder
Howard S. Shafer
Partner, Shafer Glazer, LLP

Howard Shafer has over 23 years of experience in the Insurance and Corporate Liability Defense field. In 2005, he formed Shafer Glazer with David Glazer. Howard is the incoming Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section of the New York State Bar Association. He founded Your House Counsel in 2010, and serves as its President.

YHC Group Chair
Joseph F. Nicholas, Jr.
President & Managing Partner, Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A.

Joe Nicholas focuses his practice on the defense of professional liability matters. He has defended professionals including lawyers, accountants, doctors, dentists, architects and insurance agents and brokers throughout his career. His practice also includes litigation of first and third party claims with regard to personal lines, various general liability matters and construction defects.

Member Engagement Chair
Alan J. Yacoubian
Partner, Johnson Yacoubian and Paysee, PLC

Alan Yacoubian, a founding partner of Johnson Yacoubian and Paysee, PLC, serves as General Counsel to Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana, Inc. and the Louisiana Restaurant Association. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Sections on General Practice, Litigation, and Torts and Insurance Practice), and many others. He serves as Guest Lecturer in Insurance Law at Tulane Law School.

Industry Event Chair
Timothy D. Crawley
Partner, Anderson Crawley and Burke, pllc

Tim Crawley has been a faculty member for many seminars, recently presenting on “The Drones: They Are Coming!” to the XChanging Claims group in London and at the ACE Annual Conference. He is a member of the American Bar Association; Mississippi Bar Association; Madison County Bar Association; Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit; and Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association.

Client Engagement Chair
Kevin W. Doherty
Partner, Doherty and Progar LLC

Kevin Doherty’s practice encompasses a broad range of civil litigation. He has been published in the field of Illinois Civil Procedure, lectured on complex litigation and trial practice and has attained a Martindale Hubbell® AV rating from his peers for each of the past 20 years. He was recently named an Illinois Super Lawyer.

NextGen Engagement Chair
Kellie L. Howard-Goudy
Partner, Collins Einhorn Farrell PC

Kellie L. Howard-Goudy, a defense litigation partner with Collins Einhorn Farrell PC, focuses her practice on professional liability claims, property insurance, complex injury litigation and First- and Third-Party auto claims. Kellie has represented a wide range of clients including a public utility company and a national airline.

Special Projects Chair
Debbie S. Champion
Partner, Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion, LLC

Debbie Champion has argued before the Missouri Supreme Court, Eastern, Western and Southern District Missouri Courts of Appeals, Illinois Court of Appeals, the federal court of the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, and the Eighth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Education Chair
Randall J. Poelma, Jr.
Partner, Doyen Sebesta

Randy Poelma’s main areas of practice include complex commercial litigation, subrogation, real estate, professional liability, product liability, construction, maritime/admiralty issues involving both property damage and personal injuries, oil and gas exploration and production both on land and offshore, as well as contractual interpretation and indemnity issues. His practice includes litigation in both federal and state courts.

Chairs are neither Officers nor Directors of Counsel Holdings, Inc.