Charles L. "Chip" Babcock is a trial and appellate attorney who has handled some of the most high-profile litigation matters in recent memory. In 2010, Mr. Babcock was selected as one of Texas Lawyer's "25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century." He is ranked as a top First Amendment and commercial litigation attorney and a top trial lawyer in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. Over the course of his career, he has represented a myriad of Fortune 500 clients, both as plaintiffs and defendants, and has tried more than 100 jury cases.
Among Mr. Babcock's many successes is his representation of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions Inc. in numerous litigation matters across the United States. He successfully defended The Chicago Tribune in the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois. He serves as lead counsel for Dr. Phil in his game-changing case for the broadcast industry against the Kalpoe brothers – onetime suspects in the murder of Natalee Holloway. He defeated an effort to remove the presiding judge from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. The trial judge ruled in favor of Mr. Babcock's client and a Special [Appellate] Court of Review dismissed all charges. In 2012, he successfully defended Celanese Ltd. in a multi-billion dollar fraud and breach of contract case involving a methanol supply agreement.
Mr. Babcock's practice focuses on civil trials, arbitration, commercial litigation, catastrophic litigation, intellectual property matters, and First Amendment issues. He began his legal career serving as a clerk under Judge Robert Porter in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Shortly thereafter Mr. Babcock joined Jackson Walker, where he has defended clients in a diverse array of matters including an ERISA case in Rhode Island, a shareholder derivative action in Fort Worth, a patent case in Chicago, and arbitration in Houston involving the sale of oil and gas properties.
Mr. Babcock has argued before the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the Texas, California, and Illinois Intermediate Appellate and Supreme Courts. He has appeared for oral argument in more than 50 cases including the Dallas Court of Appeals, where the Court heard the first case on the merits of a dismissal under the new Texas Citizens Participation Act—anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statutes. His cases include an important matter concerning the speech and debate clause of the federal constitution in the Ninth Circuit. He established the First Amendment right of journalists to protect confidential sources in a Fifth Circuit case involving the TransAmerican Press and a reporter employed by its publication Overdrive. In the First Circuit, he successfully defended Harpo in a copyright/misappropriation appeal. In January 2013, the California Court of Appeal found that the state's retraction statute applied to all television broadcasts and not just breaking news, thus vindicating Mr. Babcock's clients. Mr. Babcock has argued and won several significant defamation cases on behalf of major media defendants, including Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, ABC, Inc. and FOX Entertainment Group.
Mr. Babcock was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated from Brown University, where he was a four-year member of the crew team and the sports director for the university radio station. For a time after college, Mr. Babcock remained in the sports business as a writer and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, but left journalism to attend the Boston University School of Law, where he was a member of the law review and served as its Executive Editor.
Attorney Profile: Chip Babcock — Committed to clients
More about Charles L. Babcock: Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News
- Bufkin v. Arena Resources 2012
This Houston arbitration involved the sale of oil and gas properties and the claimants' contention that Mr. Babcock's client was an agent who owed and breached a fiduciary duty and committed fraud.
- Southern Chemical Corporation v. Celanese Ltd. 2012
This five-week jury trial concerned a 10-year methanol supply contract. The plaintiff claimed in excess of $1 billion for fraud and a lesser amount for breach. The jury found for Mr. Babcock's client, the defendant, and awarded Celanese nearly $600,000 for SCC's bad faith.
- IF Management v. Vince Cotroneo 2010
In this New York arbitration proceeding a sports management company sued Vince Cotroneo, the radio broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics, claiming that the management company was entitled to an income stream even after its contract with Cotroneo was terminated. The claim was denied by the arbitrator after a trial.
- Albritton v. Cisco Systems, Inc. 2009 (U.S. District Court — E.D. Tex. at Tyler)
Defamation action brought by attorney regarding statements made in a blog. The case was settled prior to closing argument.
- In Re Keller 2009 (District Court for Bexar County)
The case involved the effort of the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission to remove the presiding judge of the Texas County Criminal Appeals from office. The trial judge ruled that the judge should not be sanctioned in any way and a special appeals court ordered that the conduct commission should dismiss all charges.
- 54 Broadcasting v. LIN Television of Texas 2009 (U.S. District Court — W.D. Tex. at Austin)
This case involved the assignment of an option to purchase stock in a company which owns the FCC broadcast license for Austin TV station KNVA. The jury found that the assignment by Mr. Babcock's client, LIN, was proper.
- Clara Harris v. George Parnham 2008 (Texas State Court Harris County)
Mr. Babcock represented the defendant regarding Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices Act claims brought by former client and presented a counterclaim for suit on a promissory note, and attorney fees. The case was tried in state court, Harris County, Texas. There was a jury verdict in favor of Parnham, Mr. Babcock's client, unanimously finding (i) that Parnham complied with his fiduciary duty to Ms. Harris; (ii) that Parnham did not engage in any false, misleading, or deceptive act or practice that Ms. Harris relied on to her detriment, and that was a producing cause of damages to Ms. Harris with regard to the Promissory Note and Security Agreement; (iii) that Ms. Harris was not fraudulently induced into executing the Promissory Note and Security Agreement; (iv) that Ms. Harris owes Parnham $70,250.00 on the Promissory Note; and (v) by a vote of 11-1, that Ms. Harris owes $398,443.19 in attorneys' fees incurred by Parnham. The case was resolved after judgment.
- William Stephens, et al. v. Wayne Dolcefino, et al. 2007 (Texas State Court Harris County)
2007 Wiretap Claim against a television station and its reporters in Harris County, Texas. The jury found for Mr. Babcock's clients, the defendants.
- Ericsson Inc. v. Marketshare Telecom L.L.C. 2006 (Texas State Court Collin County)
Breach of Contract Claim and Counterclaim for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty tried in state district court for Collin County, Texas. Mr. Babcock represented Ericsson, which was awarded a $1,600,000 jury verdict (100% of claimed damages) and also prevailed before the jury on a $20,000,000 counterclaim asserted by the Defendant.
- In Re: Honorable Nathan Hecht Justice, Texas Supreme Court 2006 (Texas State Court Tarrant County)
Case tried before a three-judge panel in state court Fort Worth, Texas regarding alleged violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. A unanimous court concurred in the judgment that the sanctions against Mr. Babcock's client should be reversed and vacated. One justice found the canons at issue unconstitutional as applied.
- Thomas Knight v. Chicago Tribune, et al. 2005 (State Court Cook County, Illinois)
Libel case against The Chicago Tribune in Cook County, Illinois. The jury ruled for Mr. Babcock's clients, the defendants, in the first libel trial for The Tribune in over 40 years. The defense verdict was affirmed on appeal and both the Illinois Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court declined review.
- O'Grady v. Twentieth Century Fox 2004 (U.S. District Court — E.D. Tex. at Texarkana)
Misappropriation claim in federal court in Texarkana regarding the movie Behind Enemy Lines. Mr. Babcock represented the defendant, Twentieth Century Fox. The case settled after jury selection.
- Texas Disposal Systems Landfill, Inc. v. Waste Management Holdings, Inc., et al. 2003 (Texas State Court Travis County)
Antitrust, fraud, defamation, and business disparagement claims tried to a jury for four weeks resulting in a defense verdict. Mr. Babcock represented the Defendants. Portions of the jury verdict were reversed on appeal and remanded. On retrial by different defense counsel, the jury awarded a verdict of $25 million, which was affirmed on appeal.
- EDS v. ACS 2003 (Texas State Court Dallas County)
Temporary injunction hearing regarding covenant not to compete. Court denied injunction vindicating Mr. Babcock's client.
- Petris Petroleum v. SAIC 2002 (Texas State Court Harris County)
Breach of fiduciary duty case where Mr. Babcock represented the defendant. The case settled in the second week of trial.
- Paul Natkin et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al. 2000 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Illinois at Chicago)
Defended Oprah in a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court in Chicago. The case settled during a jury trial after the plaintiff admitted on cross examination he had no damages.
- Procter & Gamble v. Amway, et al. 1999 (U.S. District Court — S.D. Tex. at Houston)
Lanham Act and other claims tried to a federal court jury in Houston. Mr. Babcock's client, Amway, was awarded a directed verdict at the close of the evidence. The plaintiff took two appeals to the Fifth Circuit and the claims against Mr. Babcock's client were completely dismissed.
- Texas Beef Group, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al. 1998 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Amarillo)
Product disparagement and defamation case tried to a jury where the jury ruled for Oprah, Mr. Babcock's client. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the jury verdict.
- Sylvester Turner v. KTRK-TV, et al. 1996 (Texas State Court Harris County)
Jury verdict for Plaintiff in libel case. Reversed on appeal and the reversal was affirmed by the Texas Supreme Court.
- Texans Against Censorship v. State Bar of Texas 1995 (U.S. District Court — E.D. Tex. at Tyler)
First Amendment challenge to new regulations on lawyer advertising. The case was tried and some regulations were held unconstitutional while others were upheld. The case was settled on appeal. Mr. Babcock represented some of the Plaintiffs and was awarded attorneys' fees.
- Southwest Manufacturers, Inc. v. Beverage Business Systems 1991 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Fort Worth)
Slander case against speakers bureau and book publisher tried to a jury with a defense verdict in federal court in Fort Worth.
- Summit Healthcare v. Mitchell Moriber 1990 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Lubbock)
This was a service mark infringement case where Mr. Babcock represented the Plaintiff in a trial before a jury. The case settled while the jury was deliberating.
- Hartman Newspapers v. Willis Webb 1990 (Texas State Court For Bend County)
This suit involved the alleged breach of a covenant not to compete. An interlocutory appeal was taken regarding injunctive relief. The case settled following appeal.
- Thaddeus Michael Lockhart v. Lynaugh 1989 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Dallas)
This was a civil rights suit where Mr. Babcock was appointed by Judge Higginbotham to represent the petitioner. The trial court denied relief and the case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed.
- Kneeland v. NCAA et al. 1987 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Austin)
This was a suit under the Texas Open Records Act and the First Amendment tried to the Court. Mr. Babcock represented several of the Plaintiffs.
- Bessent v. Times Herald Printing Co. 1986 (Texas State Court Dallas County)
Mr. Babcock represented the Defendants who obtained a jury verdict after a summary judgment for Defendants was reversed and the case was remanded for trial.
- Hutchins v. Poe 1985 (Texas State Court Dallas County)
Lead counsel representing Plaintiffs in a fraud, Deceptive Trade Practices, and lender liability suit involving a drilling company client. The case was tried to a verdict after four weeks of testimony.
- Stephens v. Dolcefino, Cause No. 1999-43183; 2007 (215th District Court — Harris County, Texas)
Jury verdict for television station on claims under Texas wiretap statute and for alleged invasion of privacy stemming from investigation into city official's work habits.
- Bessent v. Times Herald Printing Co., Cause No. 8469, in the Ninth Court of Civil Appeals of Texas in Beaumont, 601 S.W.2d 487 (Tex. Civ. App.-Beaumont 1980, no writ)
Defendants obtained a jury verdict after a summary judgment in their favor was reversed and the case was remanded for trial.
- Dunbar v. Google, No. 5:10-cv-00194-DF (U.S. District Court — E.D. Texas)
Class action allegations dismissed.
- FPX v. Google, No. 2:09-cv-00142-JRG (U.S. District Court — E.D. Texas)
Class action allegations and individual claim dismissed.
- Flores v. Houston Community College System, Cause No. 2011-49084 (Texas State District Court — Harris County)
Anti-SLAPP motion granted and attorneys' fees awarded to Mr. Babcock's client.
- Larrea v. Univision, No. 11-10828-D (Texas State District Court — Dallas County)
Anti-SLAPP motion denied by operation of law but reversed on appeal.
- Cruz v. Burnt Orange Report (Texas State District Court — Dallas County)
Anti-SLAPP motion granted and attorneys' fees pending.
- In re Harris, 315 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. App. — Houston [1st Dist.] 2010, no pet.)
Reversing order directing a reporter to surrender his computer.
- Nelson v. Cuban, No. 3:09-cv-00682-MEJ(U.S. District Court — N.D. Cal.)
Anti-SLAPP motion granted for owner of Dallas Mavericks.
- Chapman v. LIN TV Corp., NO. 09-518 (S) (U.S. District Court — D.R.I.)
Summary judgment in favor of Mr. Babcock's client, the defendant, in this ERISA case.
- Haddock v. Crescent Realty, 067-218996-06 (Texas State District Court — Dallas County)
Summary judgment granted in favor of defendants on stock dilution and fraud claims.
- Arthur v. CBS (U.S. District Court — S.D. Tex.)
Libel case dismissed.
- Arthur v. CBS (Texas District Court — Harris County)
Summary judgment for defendants in libel case brought by mother of Anna Nicole Smith.
- Waddell v. FOX Entertainment Group, et al., Civil Action No. 3:06-cv-2387-M (N.D. Tex Mar. 12, 2008)
Summary judgment granted in favor of FOX News against chiropractor subject of investigative report into misuse of government loan program designed to benefit businesses affected by 9/11 attacks.
- Riccio v. Phillip McGraw, et al., Cause No. BC400362, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles (2009)
Anti-SLAPP special motion to strike granted in favor of McGraw in defamation suit arising out of Dr. Phil Show television program.
- Randolph Cook v. Oprah Winfrey, Civil Action No. 97C322 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Illinois)
Dismissal of defamation and tortious interference with business relations case.
- Mzamane v. Winfrey, No. 2:08-CV-4884 (BWK) (U.S. District Court — E.D. Pa. at Philadelphia)
This defamation and false light case was resolved shortly before trial after it was found to be a public figure.
- Paul Bradshaw v. MBANK, Emerald Air, et al. (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Dallas)
This was a lender liability case. Mr. Babcock represented the Plaintiff, who settled shortly before trial.
- Dean Lee Elliott v. James Denton, et al. (Texas State Court Dallas County)
This was a medical malpractice case. Mr. Babcock represented the physician and the hospital. The case settled shortly before trial.
- Hilltower Inc., et al. v. United States Department of the Navy 1993 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Fort Worth)
This was a tort claim against the U.S. Navy. A U.S. Navy jet collided with a broadcast tower owned by two of the television network affiliate stations in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Babcock represented the Plaintiff. The case was settled shortly before trial.
- Matthews v. Wozencraft (U.S. District Court — E.D. Tex. at Sherman)
This case involved a claim of libel and invasion of privacy by misappropriation against Mr. Babcock's client, Kim Wozencraft, an author, and her publisher, Random House. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the case was affirmed on appeal in a case of first impression. The appellate decision is reported at 15 F.3d 432.
- United States v. Dianne M. Muhlenkamp (U.S. District Court — S.D. Tex. at Brownsville)
This was a criminal prosecution against a Catholic nun, Catholic lay-worker, and a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald. Mr. Babcock represented the reporter who avoided indictment.
- Maranatha! Music v. Word, Inc. and Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. 1993 (U.S. District Court — W.D. Tex. at Waco)
This was an antitrust suit and breach of distribution agreement case settled shortly before trial.
- Satellite Music Network v. Donrey Media, Inc. (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Dallas)
This case was a jury trial in federal court involving a breach of a network agreement. Mr. Babcock represented the defendant. The case was settled prior to final judgment.
- Miller v. TransAmerican Press (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Fort Worth)
The case involved the speech and debate clause of the federal constitution and the right of journalists to protect their confidential sources. The case was settled after 11 years of litigation. The source was not revealed.
- Carver Dan Peavy v. New Times, Inc. and Peter Elkind 1997 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Dallas)
This was a suit regarding publication of allegedly illegal wiretap. The court found the statute unconstitutional as applied to the defendant. The decision is reported at 976 F.Supp. 532 (N.D. Tex. 1997).
- Annie L. Preston v. Wayne Dolcefino, Capital Cities\ABC, Inc., CC Texas Holding Company, Inc. and KTRK Television, Inc., Cause No. 95-038952, in the 295th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas
Dismissal of libel case.
- Natkin, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al., Civil Action No. 99-C-5367, U.S. District Court — N.D. Ill., Eastern Division
Settlement reached on third day of trial in copyright case against Oprah Winfrey filed by former photographers of the Oprah Winfrey show.
- Satellite Music Network v. Donrey Media, Inc., U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex., Dallas Division
Settlement reached prior to final judgment in jury trial of a breach of a network agreement case.
- Dolcefino v. Harris County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Tommy Thomas, Case No. 2008-03462, in the 281st Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas (2008)
Summary judgment for television station wherein trial court required local sheriff to produce deleted emails to reporter over sheriff's claims that emails were exempt from state law retention and production requirements.
- Wayne Dolcefino v. Honorable Dan Morales, HISD, Dr. Rod Paige, Cause No. 94-47506, in the 215th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas
Access to records under the Open Records Act granted.
- Knight v. Chicago Tribune Co. et al., 895 N.E.2d 1007 (Ill. App. Ct. 2008)
Affirming jury verdict in favor of newspaper on suit for libel arising out of investigative report into role of prosecutorial misconduct in Illinois death sentences.
- Abdel-Hafiz v. ABC, Inc., et al., 240 S.W.3d 492 (Tex. App. — Fort Worth 2007, pet. denied)
Affirming summary judgment entered in favor of ABC News, Brian Ross, and Charles Gibson against defamation suit brought by FBI agent who allegedly refused to secretly record Muslim terrorism suspect during pre-9/11 investigation.
- FOX Entertainment Group, Inc., et al. v. Abdel-Hafiz, 240 S.W.3d 524 (Tex. App. — Fort Worth 2007, pet. denied)
Reversing trial court and rendering summary judgment for FOX News and Bill O'Reilly against defamation suit brought by FBI agent who allegedly refused to secretly record Muslim terrorism suspect during pre-9/11 investigation.
- Dolcefino v. Randolph, Cause No. 14-99-00026-CV, in the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas in Houston, 19 S.W.3d 906 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist] 2000, pet. denied)
Court of Appeals refused to find that there could be libel by implication when the actual statements made in a television broadcast were true, and the court reversed the denial of a motion for summary judgment on behalf of KTRK Television and its employees/reporter; the Texas Supreme Court denied the Petition for Review filed by the plaintiffs.
- Stanley J. Dudrick, M.D. v. Wayne Dolcefino and Capital Cities/ABC National Television Sales, Inc., d/b/a Channel 13 KTRK TV, Cause No. 92-21359, in the 55th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas in Houston, 1998 WL 856236 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1998)
Trial court granted summary judgment for defendants in defamation action based upon investigative report regarding physician; Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on appeal.
- Evans v. Dolcefino, Cause No. 01-97-00545-CV, in the 189th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas and the First Court of Appeals of Texas in Houston, 986 S.W.2d 69 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1999, no pet.)
Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a motion for summary judgment and rendered judgment in favor of a Houston television station and reporter.
- Howell v. Hecht, Cause No. 05-88-01446-CV, in the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas in Dallas, 821 S.W.2d 627 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1991, writ ref'd)
Summary judgment for defendant; affirmed on appeal.
- Matthews v. Wozencraft and Random House, Civil Action No. 4:91-CV-96, in the U.S. District Court — E.D. Tex. and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 115 F.3d 432 (5th Cir. 1994)
Summary judgment for defendants in misappropriation of likeness and invasion of privacy case; affirmed on appeal.
- William Stephens, et al. v. Wayne Dolcefino, et al., Cause No. 1999-43183, in the 215th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas
Summary judgment for defendants in invasion of privacy and alleged wiretap case; partially reversed on appeal.
- Sylvester Turner v. KTRK-TV, et al., Cause No. 92-32914, in the 165th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas in Houston, 987 S.W.2d 100 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1998), and the Texas Supreme Court, 38 S.W.3d 103 (Tex. 2000)
Jury verdict for public official plaintiff in libel case; Court of Appeals reversed and rendered judgment for defendants; Texas Supreme Court affirmed judgment for defendants.
- The Proctor & Gamble Company et al. v. Amway, et al., Civil Action No. 99-20590, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 242 F.3d 539 (5th Cir. 2001)
Representation of defendant in Lanham Act, RICO, common law disparagement and libel claims arising from alleged spread of "Satanism" rumor; motion for judgment granted after two-week jury trial.
- Texas Beef Group, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al., Civil Action No. 2-96-CV-208, in the U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex, Amarillo Division, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 201 F.3d 680 (5th Cir. 2000)
Jury verdict for defendants Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Productions after six-week jury trial in perishable agricultural product disparagement and defamation case; Fifth Circuit affirmed verdict on appeal.
- Darlene Tracy v. Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Productions, Inc. and ABC Television, 2008 WL 2357943 (1st Cir.) (slip op.) 282 Fed.Appx. 846, 2008 WL 2357943 (C.A.1 (Mass.)), 2008 Copr.L.Dec. P 29,576
Affirming Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of copyright infringement, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets claims relating to Oprah's "Big Give" program.
- Miller v. TransAmerican Press, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 709 F.2d 524 (9th Cir. 1983)
Case involving speech and debate clause of the federal Constitution.
- Southmark Corporation v. Life Investors and USLICO Corporation 1988 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Dallas)
Dismissal of claims of breach of contract, tortious interference with contract affirmed on appeal. Mr. Babcock represented the Plaintiff.
- Kneeland v. NCAA et al. 1987 (U.S. District Court — N.D. Tex. at Austin)
This was a suit under the Texas Open Records Act and the First Amendment tried to the Court. Mr. Babcock represented several of the Plaintiffs.
More about Charles L. Babcock: Biography | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News
Mr. Babcock is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the Texas Philosophical Society. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Bar Association Communications Forum as Membership Chair. In 2013, Mr. Babcock was accepted as a Fellow of the Center for American and International Law.
More about Charles L. Babcock: Biography | Experience | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News
In 2010, Mr. Babcock was selected as one of Texas Lawyer's "25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century," an honor given to Texas attorneys who have made outstanding contributions within the 25 years that Texas Lawyer has been published. Mr. Babcock is ranked as a top First Amendment attorney, a top Commercial Litigation attorney and a top Trial Lawyer in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business directory. Sources in Chambers acknowledge that "superstar" Charles Babcock is very highly regarded in First Amendment-related litigation. Interviewees go on to describe him as "very engaging, extremely likable and professional, and easily relatable to a jury so you get the benefit of a good mind with mental sharpness but with an amiable exterior, too."
Mr. Babcock is also recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the Litigation (Bet-the-Company, Commercial, First Amendment and Intellectual Property) and First Amendment Law categories. He has been a "Super Lawyer" every year since Thomson Reuters instituted the award (2003-2013) and has also been listed by D magazine as one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas," by H Texas magazine as one of the "Top Lawyers in Houston," and by Texas Lawyer as one of Texas' "Go To" lawyers. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is included in the Commercial Litigation chapter of Who's Who Legal: Texas. He was named a "Best in Civil Litigation Defense" attorney by Super Lawyers: Corporate Counsel Edition.
PRO BONO AWARDS
In 2013, Mr. Babcock was recognized by the Texas Civil Rights Project for his Outstanding Pro Bono Service. In 1988, Mr. Babcock received the Meritorious Pro Bono Service Award. In 1986, he received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award.
More about Charles L. Babcock: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News
Speeches / Publications
Chip Babcock: Top Litigator Video Series
Chip Babcock discusses mistakes trial attorneys make, litigation technology, and more
Mr. Babcock has frequently been profiled by the press, and in 2007, The New Republic reported that he had attained the status of a "moderately famous First Amendment attorney." (Credit: The New Republic.) In a Texas Monthly article profiling him as a "Super Lawyer," one of his clients commented, "Chip was tremendously effective, not only in court but in helping me prepare for court."
In 2009, Mr. Babcock represented the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in trial after her removal from office was sought by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. The trial judge ruled in favor of the judge and a Special [Appellate] Court of Review dismissed all charges.
In 2008, Mr. Babcock tried a closely watched case where Clara Harris (the woman who ran over her husband with her Mercedes) sued her former criminal defense counsel, George Parnham. After the jury found for Mr. Parnham, a blogger following the case wrote, "I believe [the jury] found Parnham's counsel, the affable Chip Babcock, appealing. Babcock was charming, smiled readily and play(ed) ably — to the jury."
Texas Lawyer published a lengthy article about one of Mr. Babcock's trials (an unusual non-jury trial before a three-judge panel of justices) and wrote about his opening statement, "When Babcock rose to speak, he told the court he would take more time than opposing counsel. His presentation was lengthy but effective, incorporating a PowerPoint presentation replete with timelines, discovery excerpts, and salient video clips. Babcock didn't just tell the justices what he intended to prove, he used his time and PowerPoint presentation to prove his case. At the end of the opening statement, [Justice] Fitzgerald asked Babcock if the court could have a copy of the PowerPoint presentation for its later use."
In 2007, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business noted Mr. Babcock was a "first-rate trial lawyer who can try any commercial case." Of Counsel: The Legal Practice and Management Report wrote in its April 2006 edition that "In case after victorious case, Babcock has served clients with his vast knowledge of the law, soaring courtroom litigation style, keen insight, close attention to detail, and all with guy-next-door-humility."
Mr. Babcock is a frequent speaker and writer on trial tactics and procedure. His column in the Headnotes section of the ABA's Litigation Journal has covered "Of Demons and Other Acronyms," "Confidence," and "Women Lawyers at Trial and on Appeal." He also writes and speaks on issues affecting free speech and freedom of the press. Some of his articles include "The Role of Court and Jury In Libel Cases," 47 S. Tex. L. Rev. 325 (2005); "No-Citation Rules: An Unconstitutional Prior Restraint,," 30 Litigation 33 (Summer 2004); "Getting Your Message Across: Visual Aids and Demonstrative Exhibits in the Courtroom,," 27 Litigation 41 (Spring 2001); "Texas Supreme Court Considers Abolishing Unpublished Opinions,," The Houston Lawyer 22 (Sept./Oct. 2001); "Allegedly Criminal Newsgathering and First Amendment Due Process,," LDRC, (2002); and "Of and Concerning Real People and Writers of Fiction," 7 COMM/ENT L.J. 221 (1985).
Links to Publications
More about Charles L. Babcock: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | News
A.B., Brown University
J.D., Boston University School of Law
- Executive Editor, Boston University Law Review
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
- United States Supreme Court