• Monday, October 22, 2018


When you receive emails addressed to “Dear TEX-ABOTA member”, you may wonder exactly what TEX-ABOTA is, and how you got to be a member.  

Here’s the quick answer: TEX-ABOTA is the regional organization that serves as the “umbrella” for the 16 ABOTA chapters in Texas. It’s a way to keep the over 1,200 ABOTA members in Texas informed and connected.

As a member of a Texas chapter of ABOTA, you are automatically a member of TEX-ABOTA.  There are no additional dues, but we do ask you to attend Board meetings if you’re a Chapter Officer or National Board Representative.  

We also hope you’ll be an active member of your chapter and participate in TEX-ABOTA activities, including our annual Santa Fe CLE Roundup.  It’s a way to keep the 16 chapters and over 1,300 Texas members informed and connected.  

Here are some facts about TEX-ABOTA.

There is a TEX-ABOTA Executive Board. (each chapter also has its own Board)
For 2017, TEX-ABOTA officers are:

 Ann Hennis (Corpus Christi)  – President

 Curt Fenley (East Texas) – President Elect

Grace Weatherly (Dallas) – Vice President

Robby Alden (Austin) – Secretary

Eileen O’Neill (Houston) – Treasurer

Guy Choate (Central West Texas) – 2016 TEX-ABOTA President

David Chamberlain (Austin) – 2015 TEX-ABOTA President

Don Jackson (Houston) – 2014 TEX-ABOTA President

  • Each Board member in a Texas chapter is automatically on the TEX-ABOTA Board of Directors.
  • TEX-ABOTA was formed in 1991. Founder Bob Vial (Dallas) was elected the first president and served in that capacity until 1995.  
  • TEX-ABOTA holds an unusually fun, unique and informative CLE program each year in June.  It has been held in Santa Fe, NM since 2008. 
  • The prestigious Lawyer of the Year, Jurist of the Year and Champion of Civil Justice awards are presented each year at the TEX-ABOTA Annual Dinner in Santa Fe, NM.  It is on the Saturday of the event. 
  • TEX-ABOTA committees can provide chapters and members with information on Legislative activities that affect trial lawyers, defending judges who have been unfairly attacked, ways to energize chapters and much more.   (see list of Committees below) 
  • Please let us know when your chapter has an event and we’ll put it on the calendar. 


Here are our Committees for 2017.  We’d love to have you serve on one or more of them.
ABOTA Foundation – work with ABOTA Foundation, raise funds
Access to Justice
Amicus Curiae

Annual Meeting Sponsorships – get sponsors for Santa Fe meeting

Champion of Civil Justice – honoring someone who has worked to promote and maintain civil justice

Civility Matters – program promoting civility among lawyers

Defense of the Judiciary – when they are unfairly attacked in media, social media

Diversity/Inclusion – encouraging a diverse membership

Expedited Jury Trial & Civil Procedure Committee – how will it work?

Jurist of the Year – accept nominations from chapters for Jurist of the Year

Law Rules – grass roots program to promote the right to trial by jury

Legislative & Education Fund (LEF) – ABOTA members speak at state legislature

Legislative – what’s going on, how it affects trial lawyers

National Board Lisiason
Chapter Relations & Membership – forming new chapters, invigorating others

State Bar Liaison & Task Force – communicating with the SBOT

Trial Lawyer of the Year – – accept nominations from chapters for 

Civics Education Committee
–       James Otis Lecture Series (Constitution Day) – students come to Capitol on Constitution Day to hear great speakers.
–       Teachers’ Law School – lawyers, judges speak 
–       7th Amendment Symposium – high school students learn about its importance
Website and History Committee

Now that you know more about it, we hope you’ll help TEX-ABOTA help you.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact an officer or TEX-ABOTA Executive Director Ms. Cay Dickson (in Houston) at tex-abota@abota.org or 713.524.6965.


Here is some additional information about TEX-ABOTA:

TEX-ABOTA will foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy so litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public benefit from traditional principles of litigation.

In association with the American Board of Trial advocates (ABOTA), we shall seek to:

(1) Elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession;

(2) Aid in further education and training of trial lawyers; work for the preservation of our jury system; serve as an informational center; discuss and study matters of interest to attorneys;

(3) Honor the Texas members of the American Board of Trial Advocates who exhibit integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession;

(4) Advance the skill of Texas members of ABOTA;

(5) Provide a forum for the expression of interests common to trial lawyers and act as an agency through which trial lawyers in general, and Texas members of ABOTA in particular, shall have a voice with which to speak concerning matters of common and general interest;

(6) Establish relations and cooperate with other legal organizations and associations for the purposes of promoting the efficient administration of justice and constant improvement of the law;

(7) Cultivate a spirit of loyalty, fellowship, and professionalism among Texas members of ABOTA;

(8) Advance the interest of the Texas members of ABOTA professionally and enable

trial lawyers as a group to have an active association of standing in the community and nation through which they may learn and be heard;

(9) Form and be a member of TEX-ABOTA Legislative and Education Fund, Inc., the purpose of which shall be to educate members of the general public, public officials and the judiciary about the resolutions adopted by the National Board of Directors of ABOTA, and to lobby for positions consistent with those resolutions.