Paul C. Watler
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Paul Watler is widely recognized for his work on First Amendment, media law, commercial litigation and “Bet-the-Company” cases. Paul’s victories in court range from opening up Love Field in Dallas for long-haul airline service to winning two of the most frequently cited Texas Supreme Court opinions on media libel law.
Paul’s long-standing success representing media outlets earned him ranking by Chambers USA for First Amendment Litigation (Nationwide) and as the “Go-To Lawyer” for media litigation in the Lone Star State by Texas Lawyer.
Paul has successfully represented numerous newspapers, television stations, media companies, websites, and journalists in libel, anti-SLAPP (Texas Citizens Participation Act), public information, invasion of privacy, copyright, news gathering, and commercial lawsuits. He argued for a national news media consortium to unseal court records in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
Paul’s trial experience covers a wide range of complex cases including libel, employment, aviation, healthcare, securities, banking, media, intellectual property, antitrust, oil and gas, and real estate.
Well-known for business litigation, Paul was recognized by Lawdragon in 2022 and 2023 as one of the 500 Leading Litigators in America. Paul has won million dollar-plus jury verdicts at trial of plaintiffs and defendants in commercial cases. He has successfully defended business clients against an assortment of claims such as aiding securities violations, knowing participation in fiduciary breach, 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.
Libel Victory in Texas Supreme Court – The Dallas Morning News was vindicated in the Texas Supreme Court on First Amendment principles against defamation claims arising from a controversial column, “Shrouding suicide leaves its danger unaddressed.” The column disclosed that a paid obituary regarding a popular local high school student omitted that the death was a suicide, not the result of injuries sustained in a car accident.
In the court’s 41-page opinion, Justice Jeff Brown wrote that the column was not actionable because “it is an opinion piece through and through” and was true.
Paul led a Jackson Walker LLP team including Shannon Zmud Teicher that defended the case in the trial court and on appeal. Co-counsel for The News in the Supreme Court were Wallace Jefferson and Rachel Ekery of Alexander, Dubose, Jefferson & Townshend.
B.J., University of Texas at Austin
J.D., University of Texas School of Law
- Texas Law Review, Member
- United States Supreme Court
- Supreme Court of Texas
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits
- United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
Civil Trial Law
Paul has represented a cross-section of leading Texas corporations in a variety of complex matters, including:
- Defending a Texas bank against multibillion-dollar claims arising from the Allen Stanford Ponzi-scheme case.
- Securing the right of a start-up airline to offer long-haul service from Love Field in Dallas in a highly publicized “David v. Goliath” fight over the Wright Amendment.
- Obtaining a defense verdict at jury trial to vindicate a Dallas-based media corporation in a dispute over a $160 million television station acquisition.
- Obtaining a verdict at jury trial to preserve the historical right to draw water from the Edwards Aquifer by one of the largest employers in New Braunfels, Texas. The judgment included an award of more than $500,000 in attorney fees to Paul’s client.
- Defending national television group in NDTX, Dallas, against multi-million dollar claims for breach of contract and tortious interference brought by outside provider of creative services.
A newspaper reporter before attending law school, Paul has represented newspapers, television stations, and journalists throughout his legal career. Some of his notable cases include:
- Many of the first Texas cases utilizing the state’s anti-SLAPP statute enacted in 2011 to defend cases against news media outlets.
- The leading decision by the Texas Supreme Court defining a public figure in a libel suit, a case that arose from news reporting on the Branch Davidian shoot-out with the ATF in Waco.
- The first Texas case recognizing the privilege of a news reporter as a defendant in a libel suit to not disclose the identity of confidential news sources.
- The leading Fifth Circuit and Texas appellate opinions applying the “single publication rule” to internet publishers in libel cases.
- The leading Fifth Circuit and Texas Supreme Court opinions on personal jurisdiction over out-of-state media defendants in cross-border defamation cases.
- Winning a Texas Supreme Court decision establishing the right of journalists under the state freedom of information law to obtain governmental records.
- Representing DFW daily newspapers in unsealing court records in a widely-reported priest sex abuse case.
- Defending a Texas newspaper in a libel suit over an article criticizing a conspiracy theory proffered by a physician who treated President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
- Defending a Texas newspaper against allegations of computer hacking in connection with the high-profile news report of the “confession” of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
In addition to success in the courtroom, Paul frequently counsels news media clients on prevention of libel and privacy suits. His clients have received the highest awards in journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, the Columbia/DuPont Gold and Silver Batons and the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, for projects in which Paul provided First Amendment legal counsel.
- Obtained summary judgment in Southern District of Texas Houston Division for national broadcast group in age discrimination suit by former local chief weather anchor.
- Defending a San Antonio network-affiliated television station at jury trial against breach of contract claims by a former news anchor.
- Defending network-affiliate televisions stations in Dallas and Odessa in employment lawsuits by on-air and sales employees.
Paul has handled a number of copyright, trademark, and unfair competition cases throughout his years of practice. He has routinely provided counsel to news media clients regarding fair use of copyrighted material. In the courthouse, Paul has:
- Defended a national magazine publisher against trademark/trade name infringement claims.
- Pursued trademark/trade name infringement claims on behalf of a regional cable news network.
- Defended a Texas cable news network and network affiliate broadcaster against claims of copyright infringement for use of a studio portrait in news reporting on the high-profile “cadet murder case” in Fort Worth.
- Represented a major Texas hospital system in the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall against claims of unfair competition and false advertising.
- Defended a major Dallas/Fort Worth advertising agency at trial in a dispute over creation of a trade name.
Paul frequently appears as an advocate on First Amendment, media law, business law and other issues in the Texas Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit, and other appellate courts. He has handled appeals in libel, privacy, public information, anti-SLAPP, media, aviation, oil and gas, banking, securities, commercial law, and criminal defense. He has argued winning cases in the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and intermediate state appellate courts across Texas. In addition to the Texas Supreme Court, Paul is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Opinions in trial and appellate cases handled by Paul as first-chair counsel include the following:
- Rotstain v. Mendez, 986 F.3d 931 (5th Cir. 2021). Bank defendants’ opposition to intervention by group of securities investors affirmed on appeal in action arising from multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Allen Stanford. Banks, which provided services to Stanford Financial Group, successfully contended intervention was untimely.
- Azteca Int’l Corp. v. Ruiz, No. 13-21-00241-CV, 2022 WL 17983161 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2022). Dismissing on limitations grounds defamation claims by pop star against Mexican national television network.
- Pennie v. Georgi, 841 F. App’x 655, 656 (5th Cir. 2021). Affirming dismissal of libel suit against The Dallas Morning News brought by police sergeant complaining of news coverage of handling charitable funds raised to benefit the survivors of five officers gunned down in downtown Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest.
- Biederman v. Brown, 563 S.W.3d 291, 294 (Tex. App. – Hou. [1st Dist.] 2018) – Intervention action by journalist/documentary film producer seeking unsealing of controversial deposition of counsel under Texas Rule of Procedure 76a.
- Dallas Morning News, Inc. v. Tatum, 554 S.W.3d 614 (Tex. 2018). The Dallas Morning News was vindicated in the Texas Supreme Court on First Amendment principles against defamation claims arising from a controversial column, “Shrouding suicide leaves its danger unaddressed.” The column disclosed that a paid obituary regarding a popular local high school student omitted that the death was a suicide, not the result of injuries sustained in a car accident. One of the most frequently cited Texas Supreme Court cases on libel law.
- Vodicka v. A.H. Belo Corp., No. 05-17-00729-CV, 2018 WL 3301592 (Tex. App.–Dallas, July 5, 2018, pet. filed). In an opinion affirming dismissal of a defamation suit against the parent company of the Dallas Morning News, the Fifth Court of Appeals wrote that the plaintiff had failed to prove his argument that the defendant’s stories regarding the suspicious death of a Dallas attorney would have given a reasonable person the impression that he the plaintiff was connected to the death.
- Diamond Consortium v. Manoonkian, Case 4:17-mc-00013, Dkt. 21 (E.D. Tex.) Denying motion to compel non-party The Dallas Morning News to produce documents to identify anonymous online user who commented on news accounts of allegedly unethical practices by consumer class-action counsel. “Only when the information sought is directly and materially relevant to a core claim or defense can the need for the information outweigh the First Amendment right to speak anonymously.”
- TV Azteca v. Ruiz, 490 S.W.3d 29 (Tex. 2016). Specific personal jurisdiction against foreign media defendants in cross-border libel case.
- Salomon v. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC, 2015 WL 5737935 (N.D. Tex. 2015). Granting motion to dismiss breach of contract action arising out of failed transaction for purchase of large-scale aerial camera business.
- Dallas Morning News, Inc. v. Mapp, S.W.3d 2015 WL 3932868 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2015). Reversing denial of newspaper’s Citizens Participation Act (anti-SLAPP) motion to dismiss libel case. Plaintiff was unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate who complained of editorial regarding his controversial immigration platform.
- Cruz v. Van Sickle, 452 S.W.3d 503 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2014). Affirming dismissal under anti-SLAPP statute in favor of on-line news website arising from report on controversial judicial candidate.
- Mayfield v. Fullhart, 444 S.W.3d (Tex. App.–Hou. 2014). Affirming summary judgment for television station defendant in media libel case. First application of “single-publication rule” to internet defamation by Texas appellate court.
- In re Fort Worth Star Telegram, 441 S.W.3d 847 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth, 2014). News reporters erroneously excluded from juvenile court in “affluenza”-related case.
- Shipp v. Malouf, 439 S.W.3d 432 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2014). Reversing denial of anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss by television reporter in libel case arising from reporting on alleged massive Medicaid fraud scheme.
- Paselk v. State, 2013 WL 4791417 (E.D. Tex. 2013). Granting television station defendants’ motion to dismiss media libel case.
- Scripps Texas Newspaper, LP v. Carter, 2012 WL 5948955 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi, pet. denied). Appeal of denial of summary judgment in newspaper libel case involving plaintiff’s status as limited purpose public figure.
- In re Dallas Morning News, Inc., 2012 WL 611374 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2012). Denying mandamus in motion to quash subpoena of news reporter.
- Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts v. Attorney General of Texas, 354 S.W.3d (Tex. 2010). State employees’ dates of birth were not subject to disclosure under Texas Public Information Act.
- In re Rabb, 293 S.W.3d 865 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009, original proceeding). First reported decision under Texas Free Flow of Information Act (reporter shield law).
- City of Dallas v. Dallas Morning News, LP, 281 S.W.3d 708 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009). Appeal of summary judgment in favor of newspaper in public information act suit over access to mayor’s blackberry email.
- Nguyen v. Dallas Morning News, LP, 2008 WL 2511183 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2008). Trial court should have granted motion by newspaper intervenors to unseal court records in priest sex abuse case.
- Booker v. Blow, 2008 WL 152226 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2008). Affirming dismissal of suit complaining of newspaper’s failure to publish article exposing alleged conspiracy against inmate.
- Nationwide Bi-Weekly Administration, Inc. v. Belo Corp., et al., 512 F.3d 137, 36 Media L. Rep. 1065 (5th Cir., 2007). Single publication rule bars libel claims against Internet publishers on limitations grounds.
- Belo Corp. v. Publicaciones Paso Del Norte, S.A. De C.V., 243 S.W.3d 152 (Tex. App.–El Paso 2007). Interlocutory appeal of denial of defendants’ motion for summary judgment in media libel case. Reversed and summary judgment granted to defendants.
- KENS-TV, Inc. v. Farias, 2007 WL 2253502 (Tex. App.–San Antonio, August 8, 2007). Libel suit by Democratic candidate for state representative against Republican opponent and broadcasters. Interlocutory appeal of denial of defendants’ motion for summary judgment; reversed and summary judgment granted to defendants.
- Epstein v. Gray Television, Inc., 474 F.Supp. 835 (S.D. Tex. 2007); companion opinion, 2007 WL 295632. Opinions on personal jurisdiction and venue in media libel case over “bad medicine” news reports. Case non-suited by plaintiff-physician after district court granted motion to transfer venue to South Carolina.
- Humane Soc. of Dallas v. Dallas Morning News, L.P., 180 S.W.3d 921, (Tex. App.–Dallas 2005). Summary judgment affirmed for medial libel defendants in suit over reporting involving a family’s attempt to retrieve a lost dog named “Sunshine.”
- Revell v. Lidov, 317 F.3d 467, (5th Cir. 2002). Dismissal affirmed of Internet libel case for lack of personal jurisdiction over defendants.
- Crumrine v. Harte-Hanks Television, Inc., 37 S.W.3d 124 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2001). Police officer plaintiff contended privacy was invaded by news report that revealed his HIV-positive status. Summary judgment affirmed for defendants.
- Ford v. City of Huntsville, 242 F.3d 235 (5th Cir. 2001). Federal district must consider state open records law before sealing workplace discrimination case by female police officer.
- Legend Airlines, Inc. v. City of Fort Worth, 23 S.W.3d 83 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth, 2000). Federal Airline Deregulation Act preempted local municipal bond ordinance restricting interstate airline service at Dallas Love Field.
- City of Garland v. Dallas Morning News, 22 S.W.3d 351 (Tex. 2000). Establishing the right of journalists under the state freedom of information law to obtain governmental records.
- Brown v. Wilson County, 1999 WL 33290666 (W.D.Tex.). Defendants’ motions to dismiss granted following plaintiffs’ dismissal of client.
- In re Continental Airlines, Inc., 988 S.W.2d 733 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth, 1998). Venue in declaratory judgment/injunction case.
- WFAA-TV, Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W.2d 568 (Tex. 1998). First Texas Supreme Court opinion establishing definition of “public figure” in a libel case. One of the most frequently cited defamation decisions in Texas law. Arose out of breaking news coverage of “Branch Davidian” shoot-out in Waco.
- Orozco v. Dallas Morning News, Inc., 975 S.W.2d 392, 393 (Tex. App. – Dallas 1998). newspaper had no duty to refrain from publishing information on gang murder suspect and could not be held liable for retaliatory shooting of suspect’s family member.
- United States v. McVeigh, 119 F.3d 806 (10th Cir. 1997). Oklahoma City bombing case involving efforts by national news media consortium to unseal court records in the federal death penalty trial of the bombers.
- US v. Robinson, 119 F.3d 1205 (5th Cir. 1997). Reversing sentence of criminal defendant in Hobbs Act robbery case.
- Abbott v. Harris Publications, 4:97-CV-00109 (E.D. Tex, 1997). Motion to transfer venue by libel defendant Dog News.
- Morris v. Dallas Morning News, Inc., 934 S.W.2d 410 (Tex. App.–Waco 1996). Summary judgment affirmed for newspaper libel defendants in suit by police officers.
- Brown v. Hearst Corp., 54 F.3d. 21 (1st Cir. 1995). Summary judgment affirmed for defendants in media libel case following venue transfer from N.D. Tex. (Watler counsel in Texas).
- Houston Chronicle Pub. Co. v. Crapitto, 907 S.W.2d 99 (Tex. App.–Hou. [14th Dist.], 1995). First Amendment right of news media to open court in high-profile criminal trial.
- Upjohn Co. v. Freeman, 906 S.W.2d 92 (Tex. App.–Dallas 1995). Rule 76a sealing of court records.
- Rogers v. Dallas Morning News, Inc., 889 S.W.2d 467 (Tex. App.–Dallas 1994). Summary judgment affirmed for media libel defendants.
- Thigpen v. Sparks, 983 F.2d 644 (5th 1993). D’Oench Duhme doctrine did not apply to breach of warranty claim arising from bank’s sale of assets in nonbanking transaction.
- Dallas Morning News Co. v. Board of Trustees of Dallas Independent School Dist., 861 S.W.2d 532 (Tex. App.–Dallas 1993). Texas Open Meetings Act suit.
- Dallas Morning News v. Fifth Court of Appeals, 842 S.W.2d 655 (Tex. 1992). Rule 76a sealing of court records.
- Lewis v. A.H. Belo Corp., 818 S.W.2d 856 (Tex. App.–Fort Worth 1991). Affirming summary judgment for newspaper libel defendants.
- Matter of Dallas Morning News Co., 916 F.2d 205 (5th Cir. 1990). First Amendment right of news media to open court in high-profile criminal trial.
- Buffalo Ranch Co., Ltd. v. Thomason, 727 S.W.2d 331 (Tex. App.–Hou. [1st Dist.], 1987). Dispute over oil and gas royalties.
- Kneeland v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 806 F.2d 1285 (5th Cir. 1987). Texas Open Records Act case.
- A. H. Belo Corp. v. Southern Methodist University, 734 S.W.2d 720 (Tex. App.–Dallas 1987). Texas Open Records Act case.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Ranked for First Amendment Litigation (USA – Nationwide), 2023
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 1995-2024
- Advertising Law, 2024
- Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2010-2021, 2023-2024
- Commercial Litigation, 2006-2024
- First Amendment Law, 1995-2024
- Litigation – First Amendment, 2011-2024
- Litigation – Patent, 2024
- Media Law, 2017-2024
- Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2003-2023
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, 2022-2023
- Go-To Lawyer – Media Litigation in Texas, Texas Lawyer, 2007
- James Madison Award, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas
- Associate of the Year, Texas Association of Broadcasters
- News writing awards, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Texas Press Association
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- Author, “With Police Actions Recently Targeting Journalists, Will Courts Protect the Rights of the Free Press?” The Texas Lawbook (August 2023)
- Guest, “Election Ads 101: Five Facts About the First Amendment and Political Advertising,” Jackson Walker Fast Takes Podcast (Oct. 18, 2022)
- Author, “Candidate’s Guide to Election Free Speech, Campaign Ads, and Social Media,” Jackson Walker Insights (Oct. 4, 2022)
- Co-Author, Texas Association of Broadcasters Newsroom Legal Guide (2012; Updated 2022)
- Co-Author, “Texas Federal District Judge: Use of Drones for Newsgathering Protected by First Amendment,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 1, 2022)
- Author, “Student Podcast Captivates While Rehashing Aftermath of Austin Serial Bombings,” Jackson Walker Insights (Feb. 7, 2022)
- Guest, “Texas Supreme Court Sets Parameters on Attorney Immunity Privilege,” Jackson Walker Fast Takes Podcast (Aug. 6, 2021)
- Moderator, “Guyger Trial: Told by Journalists Who Reported It,” Dallas Bar Association CLE panel (Nov. 20, 2019)
- Author, “Dallas Media Shines in Coverage of Amber Guyger Murder Trial,” Jackson Walker Insights (Oct. 16, 2019)
- Author, “Aligning Open Government Ideals With Law Enforcement Provisions,” Jackson Walker Insights (Oct. 30, 2018)
- Author, “Keep the public informed by releasing the video in Austin bombing case,” Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Blog (April 3, 2018)
- Author, “Texas Journalists Provide Early Warning, Dramatic Reports of Heroic Rescues During Hurricane Harvey,” Jackson Walker Insights (Sept. 28, 2017)
- Co-Author, “U.S. Attorney General Announces Plans to Pursue Leak Investigations,” Jackson Walker Insights (Aug. 31, 2017)
- Co-Author, “Supreme Court Ruling Curtails Forum-Shopping,” Jackson Walker Insights (June 22, 2017)
- Panelist, “First Amendment: Under Siege?” University of North Texas (Feb. 16, 2017)
In the News
- “The Defame Game: Libel cases are on the rise and increasingly politicized,” ABA Journal (October 2023)
- “What are parents’ rights to school video of an incident with their child?” CBS Texas (April 2023)
- “Contempt of Court Hearing Scheduled for Fort Worth Mayor, Councilman Tied to Dean Trial,” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth (January 2023)
- “How We Fight Back When Officials Resist Releasing Information You Have a Right to Know,” ProPublica (June 2022)
- “Bonus: The bomber’s confession tape | Austin Bomber by Darkness,” The Drag Audio Production House by The University of Texas Moody College of Communication (December 2021)
- “North Texas Patients Not Immune To Theft But Private Hospital Police Can Keep Cases Secret,” CBS Dallas/Fort Worth (March 2019)
- “Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Strikes Down Key Texas Open Meetings Act Provision,” Texas Association of Broadcasters (March 2019)
- “Lone Star Politics December 23, 2018,” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth (December 2018) – Featured in an interview with State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione on Texas Public Information Act
- “Texas Justices Say ‘Defamatory’ Column Was Opinion,” Law360 (May 2018)
- “SCOTX: Dallas Morning News Column maybe ‘Callous’ but not ‘Defamatory’,” The Texas Lawbook (May 2018)
- “Texas Supreme Court dismisses defamation lawsuit against The Dallas Morning News,” The Dallas Morning News (May 2018)
- “Bexar County clerks deeply opposed to proposed online records database,” San Antonio Express-News (February 2017)
Paul C. and Julia A. Watler Endowed Scholarship for Investigative Journalism
A highlight for Paul for more than two decades has been providing First Amendment counsel to news media clients producing outstanding public service journalism. Paul’s clients have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Columbia Du Pont Gold and Silver Baton Awards, the Peabody Award and many other national, state and local honors for news reporting for which Paul provided First Amendment counsel. In appreciation of that career opportunity, Mr. Watler and his wife in 2015 established and funded the Paul C. and Julia A. Watler Endowed Scholarship for Investigative Journalism in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. The scholarship is annually awarded to an outstanding journalism student at the University where Paul earned his Bachelor of Journalism and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.
Paul has been involved both personally and professionally with the following organizations:
- Special Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Public Affairs Committee, Former Chair
- Advertising Review Committee, Inaugural Member
- Dallas Bar Association
- Media Relations Committee, Former Chair
- The University of Texas at Austin – Moody College of Communication, Advisory Council
- Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas
- Former President
- Twin Bridge and Oak Highlands Homeowner’s Associations, Past President
- North Texas Public Broadcasting (KERA), Former Board Member
October 13, 2023Mentions
As Gannett Co., the parent company of leading national newspaper USA Today, faces off against tax services provider Ryan LLC in a defamation and fraud lawsuit, Paul Watler shared insight with the ABA Journal on the increase of libel cases and the changing legal landscape.
September 19, 2023Attorney News
Each year, less than 5% of attorneys in Texas are named to the list. Selection is based off of peer nominations that are then reviewed by a research team. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement.
September 14, 2023Attorney News
Jackson Walker Congratulates 35 Attorneys Named Among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America
Jackson Walker announces the selection of 35 attorneys to Lawdragon’s 2024 list of the 500 leading litigators in America.
August 17, 2023Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 287 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2024 Edition, Including 12 “Lawyers of the Year” and 80 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 287 Jackson Walker attorneys across 5 offices and 82 specialty practice areas in its 2024 edition, including 12 Lawyers of the Year and 80 Ones to Watch. In this year’s guide, Jackson Walker saw the largest number of attorneys in the areas of Commercial Litigation (66 attorneys) and Real Estate Law (60 attorneys) and the addition of 35 attorneys as Best Lawyers.
August 16, 2023Insights
With Police Actions Recently Targeting Journalists, Will Courts Protect the Rights of the Free Press? | The Texas Lawbook
“In an era when common understandings of the U.S. Constitution are questioned more than ever, the Marion and Laredo cases show — as never before — the vital importance of federal courts in protecting fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Paul Watler wrote in this article contributed to The Texas Lawbook.
June 1, 2023Spotlight
Chambers and Partners Recognizes Jackson Walker Attorneys and Practices in 2023 USA and Global Guides
Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has selected 51 attorneys and 17 departments for inclusion in the 2023 edition of the Global and USA guides. Attorneys recognized in the guides were ranked in 19 practice areas, with 4 attorneys listed among multiple areas and 6 named among the top attorneys nationwide in their respective areas.
May 3, 2023Newsletters
View the May 2023 edition of the JW Media | VIA ePostcard.
April 6, 2023Mentions
In an investigative report regarding one Dallas parent’s quest to obtain access to a video showing her 8-year-old son being assaulted by a school aide, CBS Texas featured an interview with Paul Watler as he discussed open records laws.
January 5, 2023Mentions
Contempt of Court Hearing Scheduled for Fort Worth Mayor, Councilman Tied to Dean Trial | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
With Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and City Councilman Chris Nettles scheduled for a Contempt of Court hearing for possible violations of a gag order in the trial of former police officer Aaron Dean, Paul Watler, as the former president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, spoke with NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth about the First Amendment rights of public officials.
October 18, 2022Podcasts
JW Fast Takes Podcast | ~9 minutes
With the 2022 midterm elections around the corner and the 2024 presidential election less than two years away, candidates from all parties are intensifying efforts to reach voters through the media and, in more recent cycles, social networks. In this episode, Paul Watler walks through five facts candidates should know when publishing or broadcasting political ads this election cycle.
Paul’s practice as a media lawyer and defender of the First Amendment has been portrayed in works of non-fiction and as the basis of characters in two novels.
Fresh Ink by David Gelsanliter:
The story of the rise of a Dallas newspaper to national journalistic prominence includes a behind-the-scenes look at a critical court battle. Paul fights to protect confidential sources from a South Texas sheriff who claimed he was defamed by articles on his indictment for murder in Mexico.
Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy by Stephen Jones:
Defense counsel for the Oklahoma City bomber provides his inside account of a legal showdown with Paul. In dueling press conferences broadcast nationally, Paul defends the Dallas newspaper against Jones’ allegations arising from the on-line publication of the leaked “confession” of Timothy McVeigh.
Doin’ Dirty by Howard Swindle:
Dallas lawyer “Paul Watling” faces down a threatened libel suit by a Texas rancher turned drug smuggler in a work of fiction from a former Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative editor.
Not Guilty: A Jack Crocker & Jimmy McGuire Mystery by Ralph Langer:
A Dallas private investigator gets dragged to court in a mystery novel written by a former newspaper executive editor whose tenure earned nine Pulitzer Prizes. “I know who we need. Paul Wilson is the paper’s First Amendment attorney. He’s as good as it gets on these issues.”