Karen Precella


Education and Clerkships

J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1991, cum laude; Order of the Coif; Leading Articles Editor, Journal of Air Law and Commerce

M.B.A., University of Texas at Arlington, 1983

B.S., University of Texas at Arlington, 1979, highest honors



Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas


As an experienced and dedicated appellate lawyer, Karen Precella has secured favorable rulings in all phases of trial and appellate proceedings—from pre-trial summary judgment to post-verdict motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict to appeals at the intermediate and supreme court levels. Karen, co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s Appellate Practice Group, has briefed and argued numerous cases in the Fifth Circuit and Texas appellate courts. She understands that an appellate practice involves not only an in-depth knowledge and respect of the law but also working together with the trial team to get the best results for the client.

Karen speaks and writes frequently on appellate issues and has earned a state-wide reputation on jury charge and mandamus procedures through her legal writing and bar service. She served a three-year term as Chair of the State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the Business Volume, served on the Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee, and now serves on the Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the Oil and Gas Volume. Karen has taught jury charge procedures at the Texas College of Judicial Studies and Annual Judicial Conference on numerous occasions. She is a contributing author for two American Bar Association books—A Practitioner's Guide to Appellate Advocacy (Anne Marie Lofaso ed., 2010), and The Class Action Fairness Act: Law and Strategy (2013), and taught legal writing for several years at the Texas A&M School of Law.

Karen is also committed to bar and community service work in a wide variety of organizations. She has served on the board of editors for the Texas Bar Journal, co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, council member of the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section, and chair of the Tarrant County Appellate and Business Litigation Sections. She is active in the Federal Bar Association as well. Karen currently serves on the Board of the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation and continues to be active with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee and Central Area Council after the end of her Board term. Karen is also the administrative partner of the Fort Worth office of Haynes and Boone.


Chambers USA

Haynes and Boone Shines in 2018 Chambers USA Rankings

More than 50 Haynes and Boone lawyers and 18 practice areas have been recognized in the 2018 Chambers USA legal directory published by Chambers & Partners.


Best Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Featured in Best Lawyers in America 2018

Best Lawyers in America, an annual referral guide listing outstanding lawyers throughout the U.S., has recognized 107 Haynes and Boone lawyers across 56 practice areas in its 2018 edition.

Published by Woodward/White, Inc. in August 2017

Professional and Community Activities

  • Planning Committee, Appellate Judges Education Institute, Council of Appellate Lawyers, Judicial Division, American Bar Association (2017-2018)
  • Board of Directors, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (2011-2014); Member, Governmental Affairs Committee and Central Area Council (2011-Present)
  • Board, Fort Worth Public Library Foundation (2010-2018)
  • Board, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of North Texas, Western Region (2010-2012)
  • Editorial Board, Texas Bar Journal (2009-2015)
  • Faculty, Texas College of Judicial Studies and Annual Judicial Conference (April 2013, April 2012, April 2009, April 2008, September 2007, September 2006, May 2005, August 2002, May 2002)
  • Member, State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee, Oil and Gas Volume (2013-2019)
  • Chair, State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee, Business, Consumer and Employment Volume (2006-2009) (Vice Chair, 2003-2006; Member, 2001-2009)
  • Member, State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee (2003-2005)
  • Council Member, Appellate Section, State Bar of Texas (2008-2011) and chair of various committees
  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Co-Chair, Appellate Practice Committee, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, (2009-2012); Co-Chair, Appellate Rules and Statutes Subcommittee (2005-2009)
  • Member, Council of Appellate Lawyers, American Bar Association
  • National Delegate/Membership Chair, Fort Worth Chapter, Federal Bar Association (2013-Present)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2012-Present)
  • Director, Tarrant County Bar Association (2007-2008)
  • Chair, Tarrant County Bar Association's Business Litigation Section (2012-2013)
  • Chair, Tarrant County Bar Association's Appellate Section (2006-2007) (Vice Chair, 2005-2006; Secretary, 2004-2005)
  • Chair, Tarrant County Bar Association, Bylaws Committee (2009), All-Star CLE Committee (2008), CLE Committee (2004-2007)
  • Adjunct Legal Writing Professor, Texas Wesleyan School of Law (1998-2001)
  • Member, local legal mentoring and service organizations, including Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court (2003-2006, 1994-1996), Texas Bar Foundation, and Tarrant County Bar Foundation


Super Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Makes Strong Showing in 2017 Texas Super Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers recognized 57 Haynes and Boone lawyers in the 2017 edition of its annual award listing. The awards are based on peer recognition and professional achievements. Of those nominated, only five percent of the total lawyers in the state are selected for inclusion.

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as a Top Attorney in Tarrant County by 360 West Magazine, Scott Publications, 2018
  • Ranked in Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners, Litigation: Appellate, Texas, 2012-2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Appellate Law, 2005-2019
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent 
  • American Law Institute, 2007-Present
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2017; Top 50 Texas Female Lawyers, 2004, 2005, 2008-2015, and Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Region Super Lawyers, 2010, 2012, 2014
  • Top Appellate Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine, Panther City Media Group, LP, 2002-2017
  • Fort Worth Business Press Power Attorney List, 2013
  • Outstanding Subcommittee Chair, 2009, Rules and Statutes Subcommittee, Appellate Practice Committee, ABA Section of Litigation
  • Best Series of Articles in Local Bar Publication Award, State Bar of Texas, 2007
  • Recognized for Contributions to CLE, Tarrant County Bar Association, 2006
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, 1999-Present

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