The rich history of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association is documented in the Association’s meeting records, listing of leaders, and other TTLA records. What we are in danger of losing are the personal recollections about the founders and pioneers who are no longer with us by trial lawyers who knew them well – the traits and characteristics that made them the trial lawyers on whose shoulders the TTLA members of today stand.  The TTLA Pioneer Series will help fill that void. 

See profiles of Warren BurnettR. Guy CarterMaury Maverick, Sr., Shirley Maxwell Helm & Albert Pearson JonesBob Huff, an addendum to the Shirley Maxwell Helm &
Albert Pearson Jones
 installment and W. James Kronzer, Jr.

 
   
   
W. James Kronzer, Jr. by  Nick Nichols
Editor’s Note by Willie Chapman: Thanks to Nick Nichols, a TTLA Pioneer in his own right, for preparing this profile of his mentor, law partner and dear friend TTLA Founding Member W. James Kronzer, Jr.  Nick Nichols joined the firm Hill, Brown, Kronzer and Abraham as a young associate over fifty years ago. The firm continues today as Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz. Learn more here.
   
 

Shirley Maxwell Helm &
Albert Pearson Jones
 
by David H. Burrow
Editor's Note by Willie Chapman: Many thanks to TTLA Past President David Burrow for this addendum to his earlier work profiling TTLA Founders Shirley Helm and Albert Jones.  Starting with a 2008 article on the first woman juror in Texas, David took on the task of tracking down the case file, getting additional insights from Judge Mark Davidson, and providing his perspectives on the thinking of the plaintiff’s lawyer in the case – David’s mentor and law partner, TTLA Founder Shirley Helm.  This addendum is a valuable addition to both the TTLA Pioneer series and Texas legal history.  Learn more here.


Shirley Maxwell Helm 1961


Albert Pearson Jones  est. c. 1950

 
   
   
   
 

Bob Huff  by Broadus Spivey
Editor’s Note by Willie Chapman:
Thanks to TTLA Past President Broadus Spivey for submitting a profile of TTLA Founding Member Bob Huff. After spending two years in the Lubbock County Attorney’s office and another year as a solo practitioner Broadus joined the law firm of Bob Huff and Forrest Bowers in 1965. The firm consisted of Huff, Bowers, Spivey and Bob Gauss, whose brother Phil became the Executive Director of TTLA from 1967 until his passing in 1987. Broadus spent five years with the firm and many years of friendship with Bob Huff.  

In Bob Huff, Broadus found a mentor who was a world class courtroom lawyer and a man whose work ethic and negotiating skills set a high standard for those who worked with and for him. As Broadus told me, “I knew when I got to the office on Monday morning that Bob would have picked up the mail Saturday and read every case, both civil and criminal, in the Southwest reporter looking for anything relative to the plaintiffs’ practice.” Click here to access. 

   
   
   
 

Shirley Maxwell Helm &
Albert Pearson Jones
 by David H. Burrow
Editor's Note:  David Burrow served as TTLA President in the 1985-1986 term.  In addition to his long service as a TTLA leader, David was also the first Texan to serve as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates when he was elected to that position for the 1989-1990 term.  His recollections of working for and with TTLA Founding Members Shirley Helm and Albert P. Jones are a wonderful addition to the TTLA Pioneer Series. Thank you, David.



Shirley Maxwell Helm 1961      


Albert Pearson Jones  est. c. 1950

   
   
   
  Maury Maverick, Sr., A TTLA Founder 
By Willie Chapman


 

 
    Maury Maverick, Sr. makes a point to his friend President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
   
   
  R. Guy Carter:  TTLA member Ralph Red Dog Jones'
recollections of Dallas attorney R. Guy Carter,
TTLA’s first President and, later, Red Dog’s law partner.
 
Editor’s note:  Red Dog’s recounting of a discussion that took place on a train after an argument before the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans was new found history to this editor.  

The conversation between Guy Carter and others centered on the need for a plaintiffs’ lawyers association which led to a meeting at the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth on July 1, 1949.

This meeting, with San Antonio lawyer Maury Maverick, Sr. presiding, elected Guy Carter as the first President of the Plaintiffs Attorneys Association of Texas.

Included in Red Dog's recollection is a 1935 memo Guy Carter received when he was a young associate at a Dallas defense firm.  Click here to access.


R. Guy Carter 
TTLA President 1949

   
     
     
 

Warren Burnett:  Past President Guy Choate’s recollection of his encounter with one of the true giants of the Texas trial bar.  

Editor’s note:  Warren Burnett cut a wide swath in the Texas legal world. And he did it from a practice started in Odessa after serving two terms as District Attorney, to which he was elected at the age of 25.

Among the TTLA members who practiced with Burnett in their early careers and have gone on to make their own mark in the profession are Frank Herrera, Jr., Phil Hardberger and Richard Mithoff.  Warren Burnett’s passing in 2002 was noted in the New York Times, the LA Times and newspapers and magazines across Texas. Click here to access.

(Pictured from right to left: Texas Senator Don Kennard, Warren Burnett and John Henry Faulk. Sitting in the background Malcom McGregor.)