HOUSTON, TX 77015-3766

Terrell William "Terry" Proctor, J.D. licensed: Supreme Court of Texas; and in the
Attorney/Mediator So.Dist. Texas-Federal; U.S. 5th Circuit
Phones: (713) 453-8338 FAX (713) 453-3232
or 1-800-472-5721 eMail: auraman@swbell.net





HOUSTON TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION has existed in the Houston Area for over 40 years. This page is under construction at the moment to prepare correct facts and information on both the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association.

What does the Houston Trial Lawyers Association (HTLA), the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA)and the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) do that benefits the public?

All of these bar groups catch a lot of flak. They make enormous political targets for folks who have their own political agendas and attacking the trial bar is one way they seek to do so. Insurance companies, large corporations and others with their own agendas pick out a few cases which may appear to be outrageous or have what appears to be an outrageous result and spend what it takes to bring these examples to the public as being the "norm" of what trial attorneys are doing.

If one knows the true facts of what your life is today, i.e. safer, better products; better government; better benefits; and yes more prosperous corporations and legitimate government operation, you can thank the trial lawyers whom you may not even know a name or group.

Well Terry, that sounds good, but give us one for instance!!!

I'll do better than that. I'll give you a number of for-instances, where legal action, by one or more trial lawyers resulted in benefits for millions of Americans and other people, worldwide.

It may be surprising to learn that the TRIAL ATTORNEYS initiated legislation to change "Barratry" (the illegal solicitation of cases) from a Class C Misdemeanor with about a $200 fine, to become a felony, carrying prison time and fines of thousands of dollars. It also subjected wrecker drivers, physicians, police officers, and everyone else who participated in any scheme to send legal business to certain attorneys who would pay them for the referrals. That's right, ethical TRIAL ATTORNEYS don't like ambulance-chasing any more than anyone else. The difference is that the TRIAL ATTORNEYS did something about it.

Attorney-Mediator and former Judge, Terrell William "Terry" Proctor, J.D. ran originally as a Conservative Democrat. In 1982 Terry switched to the Republican Party. Terry considers himself to be very politically conservative on many issues, liberal on a few and reasonable and progressive on almost everything.

Terry acknowledges that many trial attorneys have adopted the Democratic Party as furthering their goals; AND the Democratic Party has adopted the trial lawyers for the most part, as a constituent support area.

Terry does not concede that trial lawyers, their motives, goals, services to the public and often to the needy (probably with more "pro bono" FREE services to clients unable to pay attorney fees, than any other segment of the Bar, in the United States) belong to the Democratic Party or to any political party. There are a number of good trial lawyers in both the Republican and Democrat Parties and probably in a few lesser known parties.

Terry believes that being "conservative" means conserving the best. To Terry, the Republican Party should appreciate and support the measures which trial attorneys have made in the United States, for the reduction of cost of government and the benefit to the lives of all Americans as well as people world-wide.

There is an old saying, that's its amazing what can be done, when the person doing a job doesn't care who gets credit for it. Many trial attorneys are interested in doing good things for the public, not in which political party, group or agenda gets credit for it.

There have certainly been times, at Board Meetings of the HTLA, when I felt I was at a sub-committee meeting of the Democratic Party.

However, I have seen trial attorneys, including many in the HTLA, do very conservative things for society, so I have learned to not continue to harp about some attorneys in the group constantly promoting Democratic candidates at Board Meetings of the HTLA. I recognize that the Democratic Party is more friendly toward some things which some trial attorneys want than my own Republican Party. I recognize that my own Republican Party fails to understand on occasions that the things being promoted in the name of the Republican Party, conservative values, and other such masks, are often nothing more than the personal agendas of some greedy people and business entities.

One of my pet peeves is in the area of regulation of tobacco (not just cigarettes, but also cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and others, they all have the same deadly elements--they just kill you in different ways). I think the Republican Party should be in the forefront to stop use of tobacco, not have some purportedly "outstanding conservative leaders" trying to make light of the deadly effects of the use of tobacco. These same people would certainly not condone the use of other "illegal" drugs, yet they champion the use of tobacco as if it didn't kill more people in the U.S. than probably all other illegal drugs put together--probably many times over.

However, I would be the first to admit that there are some trial attorneys whose own greed is simply incomprehensible, as to the damage which they do to the legal profession; to the image of attorneys in general; and to the justice system in this country.

I worked hard twice on State Bar of Texas Committee to limit attorney advertising to prevent or limit: self-laudation; use of actors to tout an attorney; horrendous scenes; claims of recovery; and on and on. These things in advertising give the false image that attorneys are simply interested in making money, The truth is, that there are few of these greedy kind of attorneys. Most of the average self-employed trial attorney work very long hours; with no retirement benefits; often with no health insurance coverage on themselves; paying the cost of running an office when client fees often do not cover such cost during much of the year; and being constantly being bombarded with demands, day and night; and daily giving out free advice on the phone, to folks who call in to discuss their case (but often really just want to get advice without having to pay for it); and on and on. These are the TRUE TRIAL attorneys who serve the people of Texas and the United States.

OFTEN these are the TRIAL ATTORNEYS who are representing you and others, to make American products and services the best in the World at the least cost. One attorney on one web site cannot offset the billions of dollars spent to make ALL attorneys appear to be just greedy drags on society.

Here is a poem which I wrote many years ago, but is still true today.

To American Trial Attorneys everywhere

I'm an American Trial Attorney,
A trust I hold with pride;
For the rights I daily protect,
Lots of good Americans have died.
Tyrants and the greedy forever,
Seek to erode those rights;
Without our trial bar to protect us,
America's freedoms would dim into night.

Today I challenge a rich corporation,
With no concern for mankind;
Tomorrow I'll take to Court a powerful union,
The pockets of whose officers were lined.

I'll fight to remove from office,
A corrupt mayor or senile judge;
Any wrong in our country can be righted,
By one of us who in this path trudge.

In this suit I attack; in the next I defend,
But always by the rule of law;
The balance of power, in the search for truth,
Cannot but leave one in awe.

Do not criticize those of my brethren,
Who defend unpopular villains;
By doing so, your rights are secured,
Yours, and America's other millions.

Do not blame us for higher costs,
As our detractors would have you believe;
Remember the safety your family enjoys,
Because we've challenged the right to deceive.

Your home is secure from unlawful search,
Because we fight that battle ever anew;
Our system stays strong and healthy,
Because Trial Attorneys protect it for you.

I'm proud to be an American Trial Attorney,
Our Constitution we will defend;
With knowledge, dedication, and God's help,
America--On Trial Attorneys, you can depend!!!

ori--19 December 1978
revised 9 June 1993 12:30 A. M.
Houston, Texas

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