Paul C. Watler
BiographyPaul C. Watler has been a trial lawyer for more than 25 years helping clients fight for their rights at the courthouse. He focuses his practice on complex commercial and media litigation. He is a board-certified civil trial lawyer and has won million dollar verdicts at jury trial in federal and state courts for plaintiffs and defendants.
Mr. Watler was named by Texas Lawyer magazine as the "Go To" lawyer for media litigation in the state of Texas, placing him among an elite group of the state's top 29 lawyers across all practice areas.
Mr. Watler has been a leader in shaping Internet law applied to content providers. In a case of first impression under Texas law in the Fifth Circuit, the federal appeals court held that the single publication rule can be used to bar libel claims against Internet publishers on limitations grounds. In another leading case for Internet publishers, Mr. Watler successfully argued that Web bloggers should be protected against being hauled into distant courts with which they lacked minimum contacts.
Mr. Watler's litigation victories include the first Texas Supreme Court opinion defining a public figure in a libel case, a suit which arose out of the Branch Davidian incident in Waco, Texas. He has successfully defended Texas newspapers and broadcasters in numerous libel and privacy cases for more than 20 years, many of which have been high-profile. Mr. Watler's media clients have included major metropolitan and national newspapers, magazines, and wire services, as well as television stations in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont, Waco, New Orleans, Boston and Aiken, S.C.
Mr. Watler also has notable experience in health care and antitrust law. He has served as lead counsel for a major Texas hospital system in a case involving an antitrust counterclaim for an attempt to monopolize the market for managed care health services. He represented a hospital system's officer/directors in a medical malpractice action. He was also a member of trial team that successfully defended a major Texas newspaper publisher in a jury trial against antitrust claims by a chief competitor.
Mr. Watler has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, where he is currently recognized in three categories, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and First Amendment Law. Mr. Watler has been named one of the 250 Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine and has been annually named a "Super Lawyer" in business litigation by Texas Monthly since 2003.
Mr. Watler's trial experience covers a wide range of complex cases including libel, employment, securities, banking, media, intellectual property, antitrust, oil and gas, and real estate. He has successfully defended business clients against an assortment of claims such as tortious interference, intentional infliction of emotional distress, Lanham Act claims, unfair competition, false advertising, copyright and trademark infringement, securities fraud, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination He has maintained certification as a specialist in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1990.
Attorney Profile: Paul Watler — Protecting what matters
Mr. Watler is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the College of the State Bar of Texas, and the Media Law Resource Center. He is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Dallas Bar Foundation.
Mr. Watler served as president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas in 1996-99 and currently serves on the board of directors of North Texas Public Broadcasting (KERA). He formerly served on the board of directors of the Lake Highlands Family YMCA and as president of the Oakhurst and Twin Bridge homeowner associations. He was a youth soccer coach for 10 years and an adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 890.
Mr. Watler was announced in Texas Lawyer's October 2007 "Go-To Guide" as the "Go-To-Lawyer" for Media Law. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, where he is currently recognized in four categories: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Law, and First Amendment Litigation. He was named a "Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters (2003-2012). He was awarded the James Madison Award by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and was twice named Associate of the Year by the Texas Association of Broadcasters. As a newspaper reporter before attending law school, Mr. Watler received news writing awards from Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Texas Press Association.
Speeches / Publications
Mr. Watler authored "Perimeter Rules, Proprietary Powers and the Airline Deregulation Act: A Tale of Two Cities and Two Airports," 66 J. of Air Law & Commerce 1 (2000).
Links to Publications
B.J., The University of Texas at Austin
J.D., The University of Texas School of Law