Education and Experience
Brett’s father, a wise and thoughtful man, never cared much for lawyers after his own divorce. It is no wonder, then, that Brett prides himself on being a different kind of lawyer — one focused on providing value to his clients.
Brett’s journey to becoming a lawyer was neither traditional nor boring, affording him the chance to gain diverse experiences and a wise and informed perspective. An Iowa native, Brett attended Drake University, where he lettered three years on the Drake University Football Team. He was Special Teams Captain in 1986 and 1987 and graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After graduating, Brett stayed at his Alma matter, attending the Drake University School of Law and College of Business. Never one to limit himself to a single pursuit, he graduated in 1993 with a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Business Administration.
After passing the Bar, Brett worked as a judicial law clerk in the 7th Judicial District Court in Davenport, Iowa. During his term as a law clerk, Brett had the unique opportunity to work closely with the trial court judges. He learned how they viewed the judicial process and gained a unique insight into effective witness testimony and lawyer best practices. Brett went on to practice law in the Illinois/Quad Cities area for 16 years. In 1997, he opened his own law firm. With the benefit of Brett’s experience, intellect, and dogged commitment, his firm quickly became one of the area’s preeminent firms.
Brett’s life experiences taught him that a happy wife yields a happy life, so in 2009, he and his family returned to his wife’s home state of Texas. He became a partner at Christman, Kelley, & Clarke, P.C., in 2013 and was the head of their family law practice until he departed in June 2014.
In addition to his experience practicing law, Brett brings an extensive and impressive business resume to his law practice. He has worked in both small and international business settings and has gained valuable insight into business operations that have proven vital to providing business owners with meaningful legal advice. Brett’s legal and business experience has provided him with a unique skillset and experience-backed wisdom that consistently benefits his clients. Brett is prepared to tackle the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurs and never loses sight of the needs of business owners when working on business matters or when representing a party who owns a business in a divorce. He also has served as general counsel for a variety of businesses.
Philosophy and Personal Life
Brett believes in setting his priorities: God, family, and then work. He knows the key to success in all areas is strong relationships, and communication is the foundation of every strong relationship. Brett prides himself on being responsive to his clients’ needs and is able to devote individual attention to his clients by limiting the number of and type of cases he takes.
Brett also believes that while a divorce is the beginning of a new family structure, it does not end the important role each parent should play in the lives of their children. A child of divorce and a subsequent contested custody battle himself, Brett has made it his life’s mission to shield children from the pain of divorce and to help his clients embark on new, healthy beginnings. He helps his clients focus on the future rather than the past. He represents both mothers and fathers in all aspects of family law and prides himself on his dedication, honesty, passion, and willingness to fight for the rights of his clients.
Brett and his beloved wife, Karma, have three children: Lucy, Pierce, and Peyton. Brett is first and foremost a husband and father, and it is his love for his own family that guides his family law practice philosophy. The Nelson family is service-oriented and fun-loving. They are actively involved in their church, as well as several community service projects. The family loves spending time outside and pursuing activities that promote health and fitness.