Paul Watler Presents James Madison Awards to Senator Ellis and Rep. Hunter

August 28, 2009 | Attorney News

Jackson Walker partner Paul Watler recently presented the James Madison Award to Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston and Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi. The awards from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT) were made in recognition of the singular roles played by the two Texas legislators in passing a journalists’ shield law – the Free Flow of Information Act – in the last legislative session.

Senator Ellis was an early supporter and longtime Senate sponsor of the shield law. As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Hunter forged compromises on critical points between news media representatives and Texas prosecutors.

Mr. Watler worked closely during the past three legislative sessions with the media coalition supporting the Free Flow of Information Act. He served as president of FOIFT in 1996-99 and is currently a member of the Foundation’s board.

Also presented during the FOIFT annual state conference in Austin on August 21 were the Gavel Awards sponsored by the State Bar of Texas. The Texas Gavel Awards were given to nine Texas journalists to applaud their efforts in helping to further the public’s understanding of the legal system. For more information on the Texas Gavel Awards, CLICK HERE. The Gavel Awards journalism contest is conducted annually by the Public Affairs Committee of the State Bar. Mr. Watler is vice chairman of the committee.

Mr. 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 in 2007 as the “Go To” lawyer for media litigation in the state of Texas. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995, where he currently appears in the categories of commercial litigation and First Amendment law. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and his law degree from the University of Texas, where he was a member of Texas Law Review.