- Dale’s background and education
- Dale’s legal career
- Advice for lawyers and clients
- Outside the courtroom
When a young Dale Williams would watch courtroom dramas on TV or in movies, it was more than entertainment for him… it became a passion and a goal. He couldn’t imagine anything more thrilling than being in a courtroom.
Sure enough, Dale followed his passion all the way through Baylor Law School and into the Texas bar.
Today, you can find him exactly where he always aspired to be—in the courtroom. He’s been practicing personal injury trial law since 1983 and has been a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2003. He says there’s never been a moment when he considered giving up practicing law.
Dale’s background and education
Although Dale was sure about wanting to practice law long before he went to law school, there was one person he met during law school who gave him clarity and purpose as he moved through his career.
As student body president at Baylor Law School, Dale was asked to give a speech at an annual breakfast during the state bar convention. He was seated next to Leon Jaworski, one of the prosecutors from the historic Watergate case and Baylor’s most famous graduate.
In addition to being a special prosecutor in the case against President Richard Nixon, Jaworski was a war crimes prosecutor in Germany. Speaking with Jaworski gave Dale a unique insight into the legal profession. Dale says that single moment in law school made him realize that there’s no limit to what he can accomplish.
Dale’s legal career
Every attorney has certain experiences that they credit with being transformative for their career.
Dale says that when he began teaching injury trial law 40 years ago, it helped him to build a substantial practice and handle major cases even though he doesn’t live in a large city. He still teaches, 40 years later.
Dale says the most famous trial he’s litigated represented a young girl who was repeatedly sexually abused by her stepfather. It was groundbreaking because it was the first case in the U.S. to establish that a child could sue a parent for this type of abuse.
The young woman, Shelley Sessions, went on to write a book about the trial, titled Dark Obsession. Shelley and Dale appeared on Larry King Live to talk about the book and trial. Following the Sessions case, states began to extend statutes of limitations for abused children.
Today, Dale spends most of his office time trying to help families through the justice system. At the law firm of Williams & Brown in Waco, Texas, he and Laura Brown advocate for families who’ve been left behind by laws that seem stacked against them.
Advice for lawyers and clients
As a seasoned attorney, Dale provided a few words of guidance to attorneys entering the profession. He’d tell a new lawyer to work hard and be honest and trustworthy with everyone.
In Dale’s own words:
“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but that reputation can be lost in an instant with sharp or dishonest dealing. Lawyers and judges do not forget.”
Dale tells the non-lawyers among us that if you’re looking for legal help, it’s important to ask if your attorney is board-certified. This designation indicates that the attorney has the necessary knowledge and experience in that particular area of law to be effective for your case. In addition, someone looking for a lawyer should look for one who’s compassionate and cares about clients’ needs.
While Dale’s job can be challenging — he says the hours are brutal while preparing for trial in a major case — he leaves no stone unturned and will do whatever it takes to provide the client with the best possible outcome.
So why does he do it?
Seeing the looks on his clients’ faces when they realize the difference he’s made in their lives or their children’s lives.
Some of his proudest accomplishments include:
- $10 million jury verdict in McLennan County for a young girl’s injuries
- $5.6 million jury verdict for the wrongful death of a 74-year-old McLennan County farmer
- $3.1 million jury verdict for a workplace injury to a 42-year-old McLennan County printing company employee
- $3 million jury verdict in Waco federal court for a North Texas cowboy injured by a pharmaceutical product
- $5.8 million judgment in Dallas federal court for a Central Texas veteran
Outside the courtroom
When he’s not working, Dale loves to be near the mountains fly-fishing for trout in a clear, ice-cold stream. He says he’d like to write novels if he weren’t practicing law, but he’s not sure he has that talent.
Dale says his favorite fictional lawyers include Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird and Robert Duvall’s representation of Jerry Facher in the movie A Civil Action, based on the book by the same title.
Visit Dale’s Enjuris profile to learn more about his qualifications and to connect with him about your case.