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Dale Wainwright, Former Texas Supreme Court Justice, Joins Greenberg Traurig to Chair the Texas Appellate Practice Group

AUSTIN, TX — Feb. 21, 2017 — Former Texas State Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright has joined global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP as chair of its Texas Appellate Practice Group. He joins as a shareholder, moving from the Bracewell LLP Austin office where he was the managing partner.

“We are honored that Dale Wainwright has chosen Greenberg Traurig as the next step in his long and successful career. It is extremely telling when someone of his caliber makes a decision to join a firm,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig. “This means that our strategic development of key practices, with a focus on quality and the needs of clients in an innovative but disruptive marketplace, is achieving what we have set out to achieve on a number of levels and is attracting top-tier practitioners.”

At Greenberg Traurig, Wainwright will represent clients in complex disputes in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He will handle briefing and oral arguments, structure appeals and mandamus proceedings for success, and counsel clients on litigation strategy, error preservation at trial, jury charge preparation, post-verdict proceedings, and analysis of the trial record for appellate potential.

“Texas is and always will be an important market for Greenberg Traurig and having Dale Wainwright join the firm strongly demonstrates this important fact,” said Demetrius G. McDaniel, who is based in the firm’s Austin office, is Chair of the Texas Government Law & Policy Practice, and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Dale is an outstanding lawyer and a phenomenal legal strategist. His understanding of business, law, and the judiciary will well serve clients of the firm.”

Wainwright made history when he was elected to the Supreme Court of Texas in 2002, and was the first African American in Texas history to reach the Texas Supreme Court by election, winning contested primary, primary runoff, and general elections. He was on the statewide ballot four more times and was successful each time. Upon his return to private practice in 2012, he was, at that time, the third-longest-serving member of the Court. During his 10 years of service on the Texas Supreme Court, he authored more than 125 opinions. He began his judicial career in 1999 when he was appointed by Governor George W. Bush to preside over the 334th Civil Judicial District Court in Houston, Texas. As judge of the 334th District Court, he resolved over 3,000 cases and presided over more than 100 trials.

“As someone who had the privilege of appearing before Justice Wainwright several times over a period of 20-plus years, I am delighted for us and for our clients that he has chosen Greenberg Traurig,” said Mary-Olga Lovett, Co-Regional Operating Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Texas offices, Co-Managing Shareholder of the Houston Office, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Texas is a unique place and Dale was not only a tremendous jurist, he warrants the highest compliment one can give an appellate specialist:  he is a true ‘lawyer’s lawyer.’ We are excited to help him build what we know will be Texas’s premier appellate practice.” Approximately 40 attorneys have joined Greenberg Traurig’s Texas offices since June 2015.

“Joining Greenberg Traurig is a great fit for me, my experience, and my clients,” Wainwright said. “The firm’s global platform and its commitment to Texas are critical factors in meeting the needs of my clients.”

Regarding his Texas practice, in the last eight months, Wainwright has had three published opinions noting successful outcomes in appellate courts. A small sampling of his work on behalf of clients includes the representation of: an investor-owned hospital at the Texas Supreme Court; a municipality in obtaining dissolution of a trial court injunction; a large, private utility company to recover costs of relocation of equipment necessitated by public works projects; a large energy corporation in dispute over an executive compensation agreement on appeal; and an insurance entity against thousands of plaintiffs in which the trial court disqualified the client's managing trial counsel. 

Recognizing his expertise and experience, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States invited Wainwright to join the board of directors of its legal arm, the Litigation Center. Wainwright now serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, which directs the litigation and amicus involvement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in cases across the country on behalf of its 300,000 members. In the community, Wainwright has also been a dynamic leader with important accomplishments. By appointment of Governor Greg Abbott in 2015, Wainwright is Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. Wainwright and his board oversee the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and manage an annual budget of $3.4 billion and the Department’s 38,000 employees and the 147,000 offenders in 108 state prison units. Reaching out to help the next generation, Wainwright was a founder of the Aspiring Youth Program, a non-profit foundation that helps at-risk kids to improve their educational achievement, stay in school and make good decisions. In addition, Wainwright was the recipient of the National Black Prosecutors Association’s Trail Blazer Award in 2006, and the Legal Excellence Award from the NAACP in 2000. He was recognized in Legal 500 with clients noting that he “does outstanding work”, and is among the top 1% of Texas attorneys selected by his peers to be a Texas Super Lawyer.  

Wainwright was valedictorian of his high school class, and was the first African American to achieve that honor. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1988 and his bachelor’s degree in economics (summa cum laude) from Howard University in 1983. He also studied economics as the Lucy Dalbiac Luard Scholar at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. 

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the second largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2016, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: Twitter: @GT_Law.