2019 Annual Award Winners

TEX-ABOTA selected the recipients of the prestigious Annual Awards for 2019 at their April 28th board meeting in Austin Texas. There was some serious competition for the honors, and we are proud to announce the recipients for this year.

The recipients are:
Jurist of the Year – Hon. Nelva Gonzales Ramos, nominated by Corpus Christi chapter

At a time when both of the judges in the Corpus Christi Division, Southern District of Texas had taken senior status, Judge Ramos was appointed in August, 2011. This was after serving more than ten years as a trial judge on the 347th District Court in Nueces County, Texas presiding over civil and criminal trials. Since shortly after her appointment to the federal bench, and under an order from the Chief Judge of the Southern District, Judge Ramos has received all the new civil cases filed in the Corpus Christi Division and approximately 58% of the new criminal cases. In addition to that, several of the pending cases were transferred to her. In spite of the workload of a docket normally handled by two United States District Judges, Judge Ramos has displayed amazing patience and temperament in dealing with all parties. In addition to that, she has graciously assisted with the presentation of a program on civility at the Corpus Christi Bar Association’s Advanced Personal Injury Trial Seminar. Her hard work and the example she has set of civility in the courtroom continued from her service as a state district court judge. She has definitely made jury trials a pleasant experience and has fairly and impartially conducted her court in a manner deserving of consideration for this honor.

Trial Lawyer of the Year – Steve McConnico, nominated by the Austin chapter

In addition to his stellar legal career, Steve has been an active and ardent supporter of ABOTA and TEX-ABOTA for more than 30 years, which makes him especially deserving of this award. Steve served as the president of TEX-ABOTA in 1997, and president of the Austin chapter from 1993-95.

Perhaps Steve’s greatest contribution to TEX-ABOTA was getting the organization involved at the Texas Legislature. During his term as president Steve spent some time testifying on ABOTA issues, but he helped lead TEX-ABOTA to a higher level in fighting HB 4 in 2003. In the face of objections from some of Scott Douglass’s biggest clients, Steve spent months at the legislature testifying against HB 4, and once it passed, he went around the state working with other ABOTA lawyers trying to educate the public about the true nature of the proposed constitutional amendment.

Each of the recipients is invited to come to Santa Fe to accept their awards at the Annual Dinner on Saturday, June 29th, at the Inn & Spa at Loretto.

Congratulations to the winners of our 2019 Annual Awards and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Santa Fe!