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 14 ABOTA chapters in Texas. It’s a way to keep the over 1,300 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.  


  • 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.

Committee Details

  • Access To Justice –
    ABOTA opposes legislation which seeks to limit the right of access to the courts. The Access to Justice Committee is responsible for monitoring and considering programs to enhance accessibility to court for those who are unable to afford the civil jury system. Monitor and report on actions that bar access to Civil Jury Trials (i.e. enforced arbitration, limitations to court jurisdiction or other tort- reform)
  • Amicus Curiae –
    Amicus Curiae Committee, coordinates and provides amicus curiae briefs and responses for matters selected by the board for consideration, consistent with the mission and principals of TEX-ABOTA and ABOTA.
  • ABOTA Foundation –
    The ABOTA Foundation Committee, advises and reports to the Board on National ABOTA Foundation activities and the objectives, activities, and funding of the National ABOTA Foundation.
  • Annual Meeting –
    Annual Meeting Committee, organizes the speakers for the CLE program.
  • Annual Meeting Sponsorships –
    The Annual Meeting Sponsorships committee is responsible for identifying and coordinating sponsors for the Annual Meeting.
  • Champion of Civil Justice –
    The Champion of Civil Justice Committee gathers nominations, determines the appropriate documentation of the nominations and presents the nominations of Champion of Civil Justice to the Board for voting. The criteria for Champion of Civil Justice is generally a non-lawyer who has promoted better understanding of, and encouraged greater appreciation and respect for the civil just system and who has shown courage and perseverance pursing improvements in the civil justice system beyond the person’s own interests.
  • Civility Matters –
    The Civility Matters committee assists local chapters in developing programs for presentation of the ABOTA Civility Matters. Civility Matters is utilized to promote one of the specific purposes of ABOTA’s constitution – “to elevate the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession.” The Committee coordinates with the ABOTA office and with the individual chapters in developing opportunities and in presentation of the program to local bar events, CLE and law schools.
  • Defense of the Judiciary –
    The Defense of the Judiciary informs the Board when issues, legislation or cultural/political attacks challenge the independence of a fair and impartial judiciary. Where applicable, the committee will coordinate with the TEX-ABOTA and ABOTA boards to determine the appropriate response when necessary.
  • Diversity/Inclusion –
    Diversity/Inclusion Committee encourages a diverse membership. The purpose and role of the Diversity/Inclusion committee is to evaluate and recommend to the Board and TEX-ABOTA proposals to increase the diversity of the membership of TEX-ABOTA, to promote inclusion in membership, appointments and in supporting diversity in other programs when TEX-ABOTA is a participant.
  • Jurist of the Year-
    The Jurist of the Year Committee gathers nominations, determines the appropriate documentation of the nominations and presents the nominations for Jurist of the Year to the Board for voting. The criteria for Jurist of the Year shall include commitment to preserving and improving the jury trial system, knowledge of the law, judicial preparation, timely rulings, adherence to evenhanded administration of the rule of law, requiring professionalism from all lawyers, and maintenance of an open and/or accessible working relationship with the trial bar.
  • Law Rules –
    The Law Rules Committee supports and coordinates the grassroots presentation of Law Rules regarding the right of trial by jury. The committee assist in developing resources for local chapters and members desiring to present Law Rules programs, encourages and educates members on presentation of Law Rules programs, and assist in the promotion of the programs to the membership.
  • LEF Fund (Legislative & Education) –
    Legislative & Education Fund (LEF) Committee, coordinates with the LEF to assist in support for the fund.
  • Legislative Reception/Day at Capital/Supreme Court Reception/The Texas Civil Trial Roundtable Committee –
    The Legislative Event Committee coordinates and schedules the TEX-ABOTA Legislative Reception when the legislature is in session. The Committee coordinates, schedules and promotes the TEX-ABOTA Day at the Capital when the Legislature is in session. In the off year (Even Numbered Year) the Committee coordinates, organizes and scheduled a TEX-ABOTA dinner reception with the Texas Supreme Court. The Texas Civil Trial Roundtable Committee which shall be responsible for facilitating TEX-ABOTA’s relationship with other bar associations and organizations, and monitoring their activities, in an effort to identify issues and projects in which this organization might consider participating.
  • Legislative –
    Legislative Committee, monitors, reports and assists in coordinating testimony and presentation of TEX-ABOTA position on proposed and existing legislation that impacts the mission of TEX-ABOTA and ABOTA. The committee also serves as a liaison between TEX-ABOTA and the Legislative and Educational Fund (LEF), or its successors, and other organizations concerned with issues important to TEX-ABOTA. The committee may from time to time advise the Executive Committee or Board of matters or developments affecting the judiciary that may merit TEX-ABOTA’s attention.
  • MIT at State Bar Conference
    MIT at State Bar Convention Committee, coordinates and prepares the presentation of Masters in Trial at specified events.
  • National Board Liaison –
    The National Board Liaison is responsible for keeping the Board and membership apprised of developments, news and action by National ABOTA Board of Directors.
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year –
    The Trial Lawyer of the Year Committee gathers nominations, determines the appropriate documentation of the nominations and presents the nominations for Trial Lawyer of the Year to the Board for voting. The criteria for Trial Lawyer of the Year shall include excellence in advocacy, a distinguished career, a superb reputation of high ethics and fair play, recent outstanding results, service to ABOTA, and/or exemplification of its ideals.
  • Civics Education Committee –
    The Youth Education Committee, organizes and develops the James Otis Lecture Series, Teachers’ Law School and other youth education programs adopted or established by TEX-ABOTA.
  1. James Otis Lecture Series – (Sept. 19, Austin)
    The James Otis Lecture Series Committee coordinates and presents the annual James Otis Lecture program. Usually held on Constitution Day, the program invites students across Texas to a personal tour of the Capitol and for a presentation of a civics program related to the U.S. Constitution.
  1. Teachers’ Law Schools –
    The Teacher’s Law School committee serves as the liaison between local chapters and National ABOTA in presenting the Teachers’ Law School. Teachers, principally those that teach social studies, government and history are invited by the local chapters for a presentation and exposure to legal topics and the civil justice system to provide them with a greater understanding to relate the civil justice system to the subjects taught to their students. The committee assist the local chapters in developing programming, accessing the Foundation support and managing the program.
  1. 7th Amendment Symposium –
    The 7th Amendment Symposium Committee serves as a liaison for local chapters in presenting a 7th Amendment Symposium. The committee develops literature and resources for local chapters, assist with planning ideas and helps in establishing procedures for the programs.
  • Webpage & History Committee –
    The Webpage & History Committee, has the responsibility of archiving the history of TEX-ABOTA through any and all materials, correspondence, minutes, videos and photographs available to guide and inspire. The committee works to create and update a videotaped interview of all surviving founders and early leaders, and to develop a pictorial archive. The committee will assist the executive director to update, improve and develop the Chapter webpage.
  • Nat’I Initiative for Chapter Exec. Dirs. –
    The National Initiative for Chapter Executive Directors Committee is charged with assessing the viability of, and potential of establishing local chapter access to a local executive director to assist in the efficiency and consistency of the local chapter. The Committee is to explore the conceptualization and potential of a program for consideration and presentation to the local chapters.
  • Young Lawyer Dockets–
    The Young Lawyer Dockets Committee is charged with evaluating and determining the viability of a court docket designed for young lawyers to have the opportunity of jury trials. In particular, the Committee is to consider the role of TEX-ABOTA is assisting the development of a Young Lawyer Docket.
  • The Long Range Planning Committee
    The Budget/Long Range Planning Committee, looks at the future goals and projects for TEX-ABOTA.
  • Nominating Committee  – The primary purpose and responsibility is to recruit nominees for TEX-ABOTA leadership.