Tyler Carmichael


I have had epilepsy since 2010. In July 2017 I had a seizure and while in a postictal state following the seizure I lit a gasoline fire on the garage’s concrete floor of a rental house. It was an irrational attempt to defend my wife from a former friend and tenant who was attacking her. During the attack, he accidentally knocked over a gas can that spilled gas. The fire stopped the attack but also spread to the gas can, which my wife immediately threw into the front yard and was extinguished by the police that arrived a few moments later. My wife had called the police a few minutes before because the former friend had threatened to get his gun. He is also a drug user and violent, but his father is a police officer. As a result, even though my wife’s parents witnessed what happened, I was the one arrested by the police and charged with arson after the fire marshal’s office got involved.

Attorney Jim Sullivan was highly recommended to me by an associate that works at a law firm in Houston. I gave Mr. Sullivan a call that day and spoke with his associate Nancy Botts, who took thorough notes on the case, and passed the word onto Jim who then returned my call within hours. We spoke about 45 minutes about my incident and what all took place. He agreed to accept my first degree felony case that day for a very reasonable amount of money. Shortly after that we all met in person for a few hours to discuss the entire story, my medical problem and the erratic behavior that took place. After asking my wife and her parents detailed questions about their observations that day and the next, he believed that my condition played a role in the event. He believed strongly from day one that the charges were wrong and unjust. Jim always represented himself to be confident in our ability to have my case dismissed from court, long before ever having to go to trial. Jim said that it is exceedingly rare for an epilepsy defense to work, but he was confident he could do it.

Hurricane Harvey caused a delay in my case due to the courthouse flooding. Jim Sullivan always represented me in timely, professional, and caring fashion. He spent immense amounts of time researching epilepsy, learning what it is, the various types of seizure, how it affects a person, along with tons of man hours putting together an incredible defense packet to present to the grand jury. He also asked my neurologist detailed questions about whether a simple partial seizure could explain my erratic behavior, my memory recall two hours later when I was questioned by the police and other pertinent details of the case. The neurologist agreed that a simple partial seizure was entirely plausible and possible, that my behavior would have been non-volitional and agreed to write a letter explaining why. Once the grand jury read over the lengthy defense packet, the week after Thanksgiving, my case was no billed.

Throughout this entire process, I had two brain surgeries and am now seizure free. Jim Sullivan and his practice were amazing and I would highly recommend him to friends, family, and everyone. Lord forbid if I am ever again in a situation that would involve his expertise, I will certainly call Jim Sullivan and seek his counsel before ever trying anyone else.

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