Annual Awards

TEX-ABOTA has, over the years, recognized exceptional trial lawyers, jurists, journalists, teachers and citizens who promoted the Seventh Amendment and Civil Justice. To see the criteria for these awards,
click here: Criteria for Annual Awards for 2017


  • Lawyer of the Year: John Kim, Houston
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Rodney Gilstrap, East Texas
  • Champion of Civil Justice:  Dr. Joyce Johnston, East Texas; Deborah Keen, Dallas
  • Lawyer of the Year: Kenneth Tekell, Houston
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Ken Molberg, Dallas
  • Champion of Civil Justice:  Robert L. Duncan, Lubbock
  • Lawyer of the Year: Terry Tottenham, Austin
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Mary Lou Robinson, Amarillo
  • Champion of Civil Justice: Mark Cuban, Dallas
  • Lawyer of the Year: David Beck
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. George P. Kazen
  • Champion of Civil Justice: Justin Strelsky, Texas (award changed from 7th Amendment Champion)
  • Lawyer of the Year: Tom Melsheimer
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. John K. Dietz
  • 7th  Amendment Champion: Joe Wicker, Dallas
  • Lawyer of the Year: Lewin Plunkett
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Leonard Davis
  • 7th Amendment Champion: Maricela Ayala – Laredo
  • Lawyer of the Year: Robin Gibbs
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Fred Biery, Justice Sue Walker
  • 7th Amendment Champion: Dr. Jerry Polinard
  • Lawyer of the Year: Winford Dunn
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Micaela Alvarez
  • 7th Amendment Champion: Dr. Jerry Perry
  • Lawyer of the Year: Dick Sayles
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. Ed Kinkeade
  • 7th Amendment Champion: Jan Miller, Austin Texas (with the State Bar of Texas)
  • Lawyer of the Year: Wayne Windle
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. T. John Ward
  • No Journalist; the award became Champion of the 7th Amendment Award
  • Lawyer of the Year: Charla Aldous
  • Jurist of the Year: Hon. W. Jeanne Meurer
  • No Journalist
  • Lawyer of the Year: Dicky Grigg
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable Hon. Ralph K. Burgess of the 5th District Court in Texarkana
  • No Journalist
  • Lawyer of the Year: Franklin Jones, Jr.
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable Patrick Higginbotham
  • Journalist of the Year: Mimi Swartz, Texas Monthly
  • Lawyer of the Year: Pat Simek, Lubbock and B. Lee Ware, Houston (Mr. Ware passed away 2 weeks before the event and his widow, Kim accepted the award)
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable Sam Sparks, Austin; Justice Anne Gardner, Ft. Worth
  • Journalist of the Year: Mark Curriden, Vinson Elkins
  • Lawyer of the Year: Blackie Holmes, Dallas
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable Royal Ferguson
  • Journalist of the Year: Keven Ann Willey  (Dallas Morning News)
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable Phil Hardberger
  • Lawyer of the Year: Broadus Spivey
  • Journalist of the Year: Clay Robinson, Houston Chronicle
  • Lawyer of the Year: Mark Werbner, Dallas
  • Jurist of the Year: Honorable James Nowlin
  • Journalist of the Year: None Selected
  • Lawyer of the Year: Alice Oliver-Parrott
  • Jurist of the Year: Associate Justice James A. Baker
  • Journalist of the Year: Mary Flood, Houston Chronicle
  • Lawyer of the Year: Lewis Sifford
  • Journalist of the Year: Mark Curriden of The Dallas Morning News
  • Journalist of the Year: None selected per Lewis Sifford
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year: Lisa A. Blue
  • Judge of the Year: Justice Deborah G. Hankinson
  • Judge of the Year: Justice Greg Abbott
  • Print Media Journalist of the Year: Walt Borges
  • Trial Lawyers of the Year: Tommy Jacks of Austin and Robert G. Vial of Dallas
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year: Fred Baron
  • Print Media Journalist Award: Tom Barry of The Austin American Statesman
  • Judge of the Year: Merrill L. Hartman
  • Journalist of the Year Award: none selected
  • Lawyer of the Year: Tracy Crawford
  • Print Media Journalist of: Molly Ivins
  • Lawyer of the Year: William L. Hughes, Jr.
  • Print Media Journalist Zack Z. Smith of The Fort Worth Star Telegram


 TEX-ABOTA will hold our 2019 Legislative Cocktail Reception on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, in Austin at 5:00pm at the Headliners Club. It is important for TEX-ABOTA to have a presence in our state legislature, and we would like for all TEX-ABOTA members to make a...

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TEX-ABOTA & State Bar of Texas 2019 Advanced Trial Strategies

We hope you plan to attend the State Bar of Texas Advanced Trial Strategies Course in New Orleans, February 14-15, 2019. (TEX-ABOTA Board Meeting on Saturday, February 16th, 9:00-11:00am.) TEX-ABOTA is once again a proud co-sponsor of this event, and we invite Texas...

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TEX-ABOTA Hosts Texas Supreme Court Reception

TEX-ABOTA held its first reception for the Texas Supreme Court Justices and their staffs on Monday, September 17, 2018. All but two of the Justices were in attendance at the event, held at the beautiful Headliners Club. Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said a few words to...

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2018 James Otis Lecture – A great program!

The annual TEX-ABOTA James Otis Lecture Series was held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018. We were honored to have Prof. H.W. "Bill" Brands, as our speaker again this year.  He gave a brilliant, impassioned talk on  the Constitution, and many students lined...

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