People / Karen Precella
Precella Karen

Karen S. Precella

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, a co-chair of Haynes 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 was board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1996, after five years of practice. She is recognized in Texas appellate litigation by Chambers USA (Chambers and Partners) (in a Chambers USA recognized Texas appellate litigation practice group), listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and a member of the American Law Institute.

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 currently serves on the Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee and has served a three-year term as Chair of the State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the Business Volume (and as a member for five years), and nine years 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., 2011), and The Class Action Fairness Act: Law and Strategy (2022, 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 is currently the AJEI Summit Chair for the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers of the Judicial Division for the AJEI 2023 Summit. She also 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. Karen is also a past administrative partner of the Fort Worth office of Haynes Boone.

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  • Secretary, Council of Appellate Lawyers, Judicial Division, American Bar Association (2023-2024), CAL Summit Chair, Appellate Judges Education Institute (2022-2023), Programming Chair (2020-2022), AJEI Education Committee, Member (2017-2021)
  • Co-Chair, Appellate Practice Committee, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, (2009-2012); Co-Chair, Appellate Rules and Statutes Subcommittee (2005-2009)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Council Member, Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas (2019-2025)
  • Editorial Board, Texas Bar Journal (2009-2015)
  • Member, State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee (2003-2005), (2022-2025)
  • Member, State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee, Oil and Gas Volume (2013-2022)
  • Chair, State Bar Pattern Jury Charge Committee, Business, Consumer and Employment Volume (2006-2009) (Vice Chair, 2003-2006; Member, 2001-2009)
  • Council Member, Appellate Section, State Bar of Texas (2008-2011) and chair of various committees (2012-2021)
  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Sustaining Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • 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)
  • Board Member, Tarrant County Bar Foundation (2020-2022)
  • National Delegate/Membership Chair, Fort Worth Chapter, Federal Bar Association (2013-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)
  • Sustaining Life Fellow, Tarrant County Bar Foundation
  • Barrister(2003-2006), Associate (1994-1996), Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court
  • Adjunct Legal Writing Professor, Texas Wesleyan School of Law (1998-2001)
  • Board of Directors, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (2011-2014); Member, Governmental Affairs Committee and Central Area Council (2011-2020)
  • Board, Fort Worth Public Library Foundation (2010-2024)
  • Board, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of North Texas, Western Region (2010-2012)
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Women's Edition, Thomson Reuters, 2023
  • Ranked in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, Litigation: Appellate, Texas, 2012-2024
  • Recognized as a Top Attorney in Tarrant County by 360 West Magazine, Scott Publications, 2018-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., Appellate Law, 2006-2024, Commercial Litigation, 2023-2024
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent 
  • American Law Institute, 2007-Present
  • Recognized in 2018 for having been included in Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, top-attorney lists for 10 years or more
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2023; Top 50 Texas Female Lawyers, 2004, 2005, 2008-2015, 2019 and Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Region Super Lawyers, 2010, 2012, 2014
  • Top Appellate Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine, Panther City Media Group, LP, 2002-2023
  • 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
  • “Historical Facts: Past and Present,” Moderator, Appellate Judges Education Institute, November 2023.
  • “Jury Charges,” author and speaker, Civil Appellate Practice 101, State Bar of Texas, September 2023.
  • "Evidentiary Error Preservation 101," author, Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas, News for the Bar, June 2023.
  • “Will Your New Trial Order Withstand Appellate Scrutiny?,” author, Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas, News for the Bar, January 2021.
  • “How to Preserve Evidentiary Error for Appellate Review,” author and speaker, Advanced Evidence and Discovery, State Bar of Texas, April 2021, May 2021.
  • “Error Preservation: Making a Record Without an Express Written Ruling,” author, Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, News for the Bar, October 2020.
  • “Minefields on Appeal,” speaker, 36th Annual Course Advanced Personal Injury Law, State Bar of Texas, July, August and September 2020.
  • “Mandamus Update,” speaker, Litigation Update Institute 2020, State Bar of Texas, January 2020.
  • “Jury Charge Update,” speaker, Advanced Civil Trial Course, State Bar of Texas, July 2019; August 2019; October 2019.


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 Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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

Press Release
Haynes Boone Earns Most Rankings for Lawyers and Practices in Firm History in Chambers USA 2024
June 06, 2024

Haynes and Boone, LLP achieved its most robust rankings ever in Chambers USA 2024 (Chambers and Partners), with 89 lawyers and 35 practices ranked from its 16 U.S. offices. Chambers ranks lawyers and practices based on thousands of interviews with leading practitioners and clients. Ranking criteria include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, dilige [...]