Tribpedia: Texas Trial Lawyers Association

The Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) is an organization made up of plaintiff's attorneys. The group was founded in 1949.

The TTLA is a powerful force in Texas politics. Trial lawyers, both individually and through their political action committee, have contributed millions to Texas candidates for public office. They largely, though not exclusively, support Democratic candidates and political action ...

Businesses line up against Dan Patrick's high-priority insurance bill

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in Austin on Jan 9, 2017.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in Austin on Jan 9, 2017.

Legislation that would make it harder for people to recover damages after an insurance claim has hit a wall of opposition from business interests. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says the bill is aimed at greedy trial lawyers. Business groups say it would give too much power to insurance companies when they have legitimate claims.

Trial Lawyers Make Big Play In GOP Races

Trial lawyers, the most reliable and generous source of cash for Texas Democrats, generally sit out Republican primaries. But this year the are pouring huge sums into key Senate races, hoping to elect Republicans who are more friendly to their agenda than the establishment-preferred GOP candidates.

Interactive: The Cost of Three Texas Hurricanes

An interactive map comparing how much TWIA paid claimants for three major hurricanes that hit the Texas coast and the number of lawsuits claimants filed in return. Also find the ten law firms with the biggest settlements from TWIA and compare the number of lawsuits and legal defense spending for each storm.

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.
State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.

Windstorm Insurance Deal Ready for Final Vote

State legislators say they've reached a compromise on reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, potentially averting a second special session this summer.

The Senate Business and Commerce Committee with Sen. John Carona (c), R-Dallas, votes to pass out the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) bill to the full Senate on June 22, 2011.
The Senate Business and Commerce Committee with Sen. John Carona (c), R-Dallas, votes to pass out the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) bill to the full Senate on June 22, 2011.

Lawmakers: Get Lobbyists Out of Windstorm Fight

Lawmakers and consumer groups say special interests need to butt out of the battle over the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. 

State Rep. John Smithee (c), R-Amarillo, listens to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (r) on the House floor on May 28, 2011.
State Rep. John Smithee (c), R-Amarillo, listens to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (r) on the House floor on May 28, 2011.

House Tentatively Passes Windstorm Insurance Bill

The bill has pitted Republican Gov. Rick Perry and trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, the largest Democratic donor in Texas, against one another, and it is a key reason that lawmakers are in a special legislative session.

State Rep. Craig Eiland (r), D-Galveston, speaks against HB274 the lawsuit reform bill as Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, listens on May 9, 2011.
State Rep. Craig Eiland (r), D-Galveston, speaks against HB274 the lawsuit reform bill as Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, listens on May 9, 2011.

Loser-Pays Bill Clears Texas House

Texas got one step closer today to becoming one of the few states with a rule that awards legal fees to prevailing parties in lawsuits. 

Texas State Representative Brandon Creighton, who chairs the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty, during a press conference on the Tenth Amendment.
Texas State Representative Brandon Creighton, who chairs the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty, during a press conference on the Tenth Amendment.

Texas' Next Tort Reform Battle: "Loser Pays"

Advocates say requiring the losing parties in litigation to pay their opponents’ legal fees is the cure for courts choked with the costs of “junk” lawsuits.

Connie Spears had to have both legs amputated above the knee, and blames an emergency room doctor for missing a critical diagnosis. The San Antonio woman's search for an attorney to take her case has been futile.
Connie Spears had to have both legs amputated above the knee, and blames an emergency room doctor for missing a critical diagnosis. The San Antonio woman's search for an attorney to take her case has been futile.

Struggling to Sue

The tort reform state lawmakers passed in 2003 made it more difficult for patients to win damages in any health care setting, but none more so than emergency rooms, where plaintiffs must prove doctors acted with "willful and wanton" negligence. Tort reform advocates say the law is needed to protect ER doctors operating in volatile environments. But medical malpractice attorneys argue the threshold is nearly impossible to cross. “You’d have to be a Nazi death camp guard to meet this standard,” says one.

State Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, at a press conference in 2009.
State Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, at a press conference in 2009.

Dunnam on Trial

The trial-lawyer-as-epithet strategy, a perennial favorite of Texans Republicans, is playing big in the effort to oust longtime Democratic House member Jim Dunnam, D-Waco.

Mostyn and Nixon: No Love Lost

Decorum broke down on Monday before a hearing began in Galveston County Court concerning a case involving plaintiffs' attorney Steve Mostyn, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), and state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood. Mostyn — one of the state's leading trial lawyers and Democratic donors — confronts Taylor's attorney, Joe Nixon, who in his former life as a legislator authored a 2003 tort reform bill limiting lawsuit damages. Mostyn berates Nixon about how he offered his services unsolicited to Taylor, who has sought to make public the fees earned by Mostyn and other lawyers who sued TWIA. Mostyn compares it to oft-criticized client recruitment by plaintiffs' lawyers (ambulance chasing, in other words).

Bed-Mal

Is a hospital bed an integral part of medical care? As a federal judge considers the constitutionality of Texas’ 2003 medical malpractice reform — and Gov. Rick Perry campaigns for more lawsuit restrictions — the state Supreme Court has ruled that hospital injuries seemingly unrelated to doctor error can fall under Texas’ stringent medical malpractice caps. Some legal observers say the decision is a perversion of legislative intent, but tort reform advocates contend the high court simply closed a huge loophole in liability reforms.

Steve Mostyn: The TT Interview

Already the state's single largest Democratic donor this campaign cycle, the Houston attorney has pledged to contribute at least $3 million to the party and its causes this year and has no intention of turning off the faucet. The man behind the Back to Basics PAC's "coward" ad sat down with the Tribune last week to talk about why he feels the need to give, the influence of money in Texas politics, how "trial lawyer" became a perjorative and what he really thinks of the Democrats' chances this fall.
Nelson Roach, past president of the TTLA.
Nelson Roach, past president of the TTLA.

Nelson Roach: The TT Interview

The past president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, who testifies before two House committees today, tells the Tribune that Texas liability law shortchanges workers caught in industrial accidents — an issue of renewed interest since the Deepwater Horizon disaster.