Joseph Nixon

Houston, TX
Partner

Joseph Nixon's legal practice covers a broad range of civil litigation issues. The subject matter of his more than 1000 cases has varied from the highly complex, such as class actions involving securities fraud, large contract disputes for public oil and gas companies, and large multi-party product cases, to election law, employment law, construction, professional negligence (engineers, architects), business torts, and administrative disputes. Mr. Nixon has also defended insurance companies in matters regarding bad faith, deceptive trade practices, and insurance code violations.

Mr. Nixon has first-chaired numerous jury trials to verdict; and he has written and argued over 15 appeals, including appeals to the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th and 5th Circuit. He has been Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Certification for more than 20 years.

Mr. Nixon was a member of the Texas House of Representatives (District 133) for 12 years, where he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Civil Practices.
During the 77th Legislative Session, he was appointed by his Republican peers to serve as Republican Whip. The Speaker appointed him to co-chair a special interim committee on workers' compensation. During the 78th Legislative Session, Mr. Nixon authored and passed a comprehensive tort reform bill and the companion Constitutional Amendment, known as Proposition 12. The comprehensive tort reform bill addressed many long-ignored issues affecting the civil court system. It focused on bringing a balance to the civil justice system, reducing litigation costs, and addressing the role of litigation in society. The bill modified rules and procedures, class action lawsuits, offers of settlement, proportionate responsibility, products liability, medical malpractice, charitable volunteer immunity and liability, and liability relating to asbestos claims. Public school teachers were also protected from frivolous claims. Texas voters approved this constitutional amendment in September 2003. Mr. Nixon has been a featured speaker for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on tort reform and has been designated as a "Legal Reform Champion" by the American Tort Reform Association. He speaks and writes nationally on this subject.

In the 79th Legislative session, Mr. Nixon authored the legislation which ended the abuses in the asbestos and silica claims docket, creating a direct pathway to recovery for those with objectively diagnosed illness.

Mr. Nixon has also authored and passed other important legislation dealing with barratry, identity theft, and child abduction. 

Education
  • St. Mary's University School of Law, San Antonio, Texas (1982)
    Honors:  
    • Order of the Barristers, Phi Delta Phi
    • American Jurisprudence Award, Property
    Law Journal: St. Mary's Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1981 - 1982
  • Texas A&M University (B.S. in Economics, 1978)
Admissions to Practice
  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
  • Supreme Court of Texas, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2011
Certification & Ratings
  • Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • AV Preeminent Rated, Martindale Hubbell
Representative Publications
  • “Thanks for the Doctors”, New York Post, August 17, 2011
  • "Why Doctors are Heading for Texas," Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2008
  • “Negligent Consumer Advocacy” TPPF, April 27, 2012
  • “Texas Has Discovered the Formula for Economic Growth” TPPF, August 8, 2011
  • “Lawsuit Storm Forcast” TPPF, May 19, 2011
  • “Loser Pays” TPPF, April 28, 2011
  • “Class Action Bears Gifts for Attorney, Jump of Coal for Public,” TTPF, January 5, 2011
  • “Asbestos Lawsuit Reforms Have Helped Victims, Protect the Innocent,” TTPF, October 7, 2010
  • “A Case Study on Tort Reform” TTPF, June 22, 2010
  • “Obama’s Tort Reform Office is Chump Change,” TTPF, March 10, 2010
  • “Plaintiffs’ Bar Funding its Own Demise,” TPPF, August 6, 2009
  • “The Purpose, History and Effect of Recent Lawsuit Reform in Texas”, The State Bar of Texas Advocate, November, 2009
  • “Please Don’t Tread on Us”, Odessa American, September 15, 2009
  • Plaintiff’s Bar Following Wrong Path”, Houston Chronicle, August 9, 2009
  • “Proposition 12, A Winner 5 Years Late”, Fort Worth Star Telegram, October 1, 2008
  • "The History of Lawsuit Reform in Texas," October 2007
  • Op Ed: "Tort Reform Brings Doctors Back to Lone Star State," Amarillo Globe News, August 3, 2007
  • "Commentary - Joe Nixon: Tennessee-to-Texas medical migration holds many lessons for lawsuit-happy states," Washington Examiner, June 14, 2007
  • "Texas House has passed fair school finance reform" (an editorial), Houston Chronicle, April 28, 2006
  • "Texas asbestos / silica litigation gets dose of legislative medicine,"  Houston Business Journal, September 16 - 22, 2005
  • "Prop. 12 Having Healing Effect on Healthcare,"  Houston Chronicle, May 7, 2004
  • "Breaking the Quorum: New Rules and Consequences for Runaway Legislators,"  Texas Lawyer, November 17, 2003
  • "No Wall Between the Legislature and Common Law,"  Texas Lawyer, September 8, 2003
  • "To Cap or Not to Cap,"  Houston Chronicle, August 17, 2003
Honors and Awards
  • Helen Farabee Community Leadership Award, Mental Health Association of Greater Houston, 2006
  • President's Award, Texas Building Branch - Associated General Contractors, 2005
  • Champion of Free Enterprise, Texas Association of Builders & Contractors, 2004
  • Patient Protectorae Award, Texas Medical Association, 2004
  • Fighter for Free Enterprise Award, Texas Association of Business, 2004
  • Legislative Award, Galleria Area Chamber of Commerce, 2004
  • Legislator of the Year Award, West Houston Chamber of Commerce, 2004
  • Ten Gallon Tort Reform Award, Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce, 2004
  • Legislator of the Year Award, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, 2003
  • Legislator of the Year Award, Harris County Medical Society, 2003
  • True Texan Award, Texans for Texas, 2003
  • Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute Award, 2003
  • Crime Fighter of the Year, Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, 1995
Memberships & Affiliations
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Senior Fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Foundation, 2007
  • Board of Directors, Houston Holocaust Museum
  • Board of Directors, Houston Mental Health Association
  • Board of Directors, Arbor Products Foundation (helps mentally handicapped adults)
  • Life Fellow, Texas and Houston Bar Foundations
Presentations and Seminars
  • Medical Liability Reform  Georgia Medical Association and House Republican Caucus, Atlanta, Georgia, January 25, 2005
  • Texas Association of Business Workers' Compensation, Forum, Dallas, Texas, September 23, 2004
  • Texas Association of General Contractors, Port Isabel, Texas, August 12, 2004
  • Civil Justice Reform Group, Chicago, Illinois, June 10, 2004
  • Flathead Business and Industry Association, Kalispell, Montana, June 1, 2004
  • Aggie Bar Association, College Station, Texas, April 3, 2004
  • Oklahoma Builder's Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January 26, 2004
  • American Tort Reform Association Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 17, 2003
  • State Bar and Texas Hospital Association Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, October 21, 2003
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Legal Reform Summit, Washington, D.C., September 22, 2003
  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, August 20, 2003
  • Association of General Contractors Conference, New York City, New York, July 21, 2003
  • Business and Insurance Law Seminar, Austin, Texas, June 27, 2003
  • Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, Austin, Texas, February 11, 2003
  • Moderator, Tort Reform Panel  Texas Public Policy Forum, Austin, Texas, January 30, 2003