Umphrey, Thomas Walter
Walter Umphrey began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County after graduating from Baylor Law School. Umphrey ultimately became the Chief Felony Prosecutor for the Jefferson County District Attorney's office. In 1969, Umphrey and David Provost joined forces and opened Provost Umphrey Law Firm.
Throughout his storied career, Walter has obtained many significant verdicts. Shortly after creating the Provost Umphrey Law Firm, Umphrey became involved in his first trial in federal court, where he won a $4 million verdict. A few years later, Walter took on asbestos cases. The Cimino case verdict brought $1 billion for 2,000 plaintiffs. In the 1990’s, Umphrey was chosen to lead the group of lawyers selected to represent the State of Texas against tobacco companies. The five trial lawyers won a $17.3 billion verdict in the case.
Walter is Board Certified in the areas of Personal Injury Trial Law and Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Walter Umphrey is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a member of American Board of Trial Advocates and a long-time member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
He was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Business, 2003-2008, an honor only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected for annually. In June 2000, Umphrey was recognized as one of the Top Texas Lawyers of the 20th century in the Texas Lawyer publication "Legal Legends: A Century of Texas Law and Lawyering." For its special anniversary issue, June 28, 2010, Texas Lawyer also named Mr. Umphrey as one of the twenty-five greatest Texas lawyers of the past quarter-century. Texas Lawyer names lawyers that have made outstanding contributions within the twenty-five years the newspaper has been published.
Beyond the practice of law, Walter has provided unwavering support to important civic and community causes. He serves as Director of the National Wildlife Association, Director of the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center, Director of both Texas Regional Bancshares, Inc., and Texas State Bank. Just recently, the newest cancer institute in Southeast Texas was named the Walter Umphrey Cancer Center. Umphrey helped build the new Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center on the banks of the Brazos River at Baylor University, which is hailed as a state-of-the-art educational facility.
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Board of Trial Advocates (Member)
- Port Arthur Bar Association
- Jefferson County Bar Association
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association
- American Association for Justice
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- National Wildlife Association (Director)
- LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center (Director)
- CBFH, Inc. (Chairman of the Board and Director)
- Community Bank of Texas (Senior Chairman of the Board and Director)
- Texas State Parks and Wildlife Commission, 1991 - 1997 (Former Vice Chairman)
Honors and Awards
- Texas Lawyer, One of the Twenty-Five Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century., June 28, 2010
- The Blackstone Award, Jefferson County Bar Association
- Fellow, International Society of Barristers
- Texas Super Lawyers, a Thompson Reuters business, 2003 - 2011
- One of the Top Texas Lawyers of the 20th Century, Texas Lawyer publication "Legal Legends: A Century of Texas Law and Lawyering", 2000
- The Best Lawyers in America® , 2003 - 2012
- 2014 Local Litigation Star for Insurance and Personal Injury, Benchmark Litigation
- 2013 Local Litigation Star for Insurance and Personal Injury, Benchmark Litigation
- Martindale-Hubbell: "AV" Rated
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
Past Employment Positions
- Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, Prosecuting Attorney (Ultimately Chief Felony Prosecutor)
- Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas,
- Baylor University
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