Tom Williams

Practices

Industries

Special Focuses

Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1975, with honors

B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1973

Bar Admissions

Texas

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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

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

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

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

Profile

Tom Williams has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for more than two decades and has served as a trusted counselor to companies, individuals, lawyers and his community for more than 30 years.

An experienced litigator and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates -- currently lauded in The Best Lawyers in America for First Amendment Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation and Commercial Litigation -- Tom has handled cases across a broad spectrum of practice areas, including those involving claims of libel; invasion of privacy and other First Amendment issues; copyright and trademark infringement; professional responsibility and professional liability claims; oil and gas disputes; employment disputes; and a wide variety of commercial, corporate and business issues.

Throughout Tom’s career, leaders in his community and profession have turned to him for advice, counsel, and service.  Before the age of 30, Tom served as Vice-Chair of The City of Fort Worth Charter Review and Revision Commission.  In 2007 and again in 2010 the Supreme Court of Texas appointed Tom to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, a statewide judicial body of twelve attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court to hear certain attorney discipline cases, and Tom served two terms as Chair of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation.  

In 2006, the Tarrant County Bar Association honored Tom with its Professionalism Award, given each year to a Tarrant County lawyer who best “exemplifies, by conduct and character, professional traits that others in the bar should try to emulate.”

Newsletter

Media and Entertainment Law Newsletter

In 2011, Texas joined the growing list of states to pass an anti-SLAPP statute, the Texas Citizens' Participation Act ("TCPA"). On April 24, 2015, in its first two rulings interpreting the statute, the Texas Supreme Court held that the statute broadly applies to all communications about matters of public concern, even those made outside of a public forum, and also interpreted the evidentiary standard required for a plaintiff to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss.

Selected Client Representations

  • Representation of numerous publishing and broadcasting companies in a variety of matters including defense of libel and invasion of privacy claims, access to public information matters, and free press/fair trial issues.
  • Representation of numerous commercial clients in copyright and trademark litigation and a wide range of general commercial litigation, including employment, securities, and real estate litigation matters.
  • Representation of a major market Texas television station in the successful defense of a libel suit in a five week jury trial.
  • Representation of an international entertainment company in a two-week jury trial in federal court in a breach of contract action arising out of a video distribution agreement.
  • Representation of one of the first defendants to obtain attorney’s fees in a motion to dismiss under the Texas anti-SLAPP statute.
  • Representation of a national financial services company in opposing in both the trial court and the Court of Appeals a motion for class certification by a statewide group of borrowers.
  • Representation of a national accounting firm in litigation concerning accountants' liability issues in both audit and tax services.
  • Representation of a national retailer in litigation concerning enforcement of product exclusivity clauses in shopping center leases.
  • Representation of a major Texas newspaper in two appeals to the Texas Supreme Court in a significant invasion of privacy case.
  • Representation of a Texas daily newspaper in an interlocutory appeal from a trial court's denial of summary judgment in a libel action brought by a former state court judge.
  • Representation of a national book publishing company in successful defense of libel and privacy claims.
  • Representation of a national direct response marketing company in trademark and copyright infringement litigation.
  • Successful defense of a multi-national chemicals manufacturing corporation in a federal court case where plaintiff was seeking more than $15 million in damages for fraud in the sale of an alleged defective product.

Recognition

Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers in America 2015

Best Lawyers® in America, an annual referral guide listing outstanding attorneys throughout the U.S, has once again recognized Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers. This year the firm increased its honored practices to 56.

News and Publications

Honors

Super Lawyers

Repeat Recognition as 2014 Texas Super Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers has once again recognized Haynes and Boone in its annual award listing, with seven firm attorneys featured in the Tops of Texas honors, Thomson Reuters.

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals, Member appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas (2007-2013)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Litigation Section; Forum Committee on Communications Law)
  • Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Tarrant County Bar Foundation (Chair, Board of Directors, 2009, 2010)
  • Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow
  • Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section
  • Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Board of Directors and Secretary
  • Society of Professional Journalists Fort Worth Chapter, Board of Directors
  • American Bar Association Litigation Section, First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee
  • American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Media Privacy and Defamation Law Committee

Professional Recognition

  • Included in 2013-2015 editions of Best Lawyers in America in three categories: Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation; listed in "The Best Lawyers in America" in every edition of the publication since 1991
  • Chosen by his peers as one of Fort Worth's Top Attorneys in Civil Litigation, Fort Worth, Texas, The City's Magazine, 2011-2013
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2014
  • Received Tarrant County Bar Association Professionalism Award, 2006
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™

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