Thomas Williams has served as a trusted counselor to companies, individuals, lawyers, and his community for more than 30 years. An experienced litigator and one of only a handful of members of the firm invited to join of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Tom has handled cases across a 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 variety of commercial, corporate, and business issues.
Tom is well established in the local legal community, and judges and opponents alike respect his subject-matter knowledge and litigation skill. 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. He was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to serve the maximum two terms on the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, a statewide judicial body of 12 attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court to hear certain lawyer discipline cases.
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.” Tom also served two terms as chair of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation.
Selected Publications and Speeches
- “Ethics: Hot Issues in Ethics for Media Lawyers,” facilitator, MLRC Media Law Conference, Leesburg, VA, September 30, 2021.
- “Can They Really Say That About Me?” speaker, UT Law 35th Annual School Law Conference, Austin, TX, February 20-21, 2020.
- “Hot Issues in Ethics,” facilitator, ABA 25th Annual Forum on Communications Law Conference, Austin, TX, February 7-8, 2020.
- 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.
- 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
- Recognized as a Top Attorney in Tarrant County by 360 West Magazine, Scott Publications, 2018
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., 1991-2022; Recognized in Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation, 2013-2022
- Chosen by his peers as one of Fort Worth's Top Attorneys in Civil Litigation, Fort Worth Magazine, Panther City Media Group, 2011-2013 and 2017-2019, 2021
- Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Business Litigation, 2003-2021
- Received Tarrant County Bar Association Professionalism Award, 2006
- Martindale Hubbell Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent
J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1975, with honors
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1973
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
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 Western District of Texas
Haynes and Boone, LLP had another impressive showing in The Best Lawyers in America directory published by Woodward/White, Inc., with a cross section of lawyers from offices across the country recognized in the 2022 edition. The guide includes more than 100 firm lawyers from the Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Dallas-North, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, New York, Palo Alto, San Anto [...]