James B. Ewbank II

Principal

Austin

512-476-1080

jewbank@cokinoslaw.com

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Biography

Jim Ewbank is a civil trial lawyer and outside counselor who has tried a wide variety of civil cases, both Plaintiff and Defense, including over 125 jury trials. Jim has been Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for both Civil Trial and Personal Injury Trial Law since 1987.  He was elected as an Advocate by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2000.  In addition to his talents in the courtroom, Jim is a decorated expert in the legal community as a respected author, speaker, and professor.  In 1982, Jim was bestowed the Outstanding Law Review award by the Texas Bar Foundation, having co-authored with Hon. Bob Shannon, and in the years of 2003, 2004, 2009-2019, Jim has been named a Business Litigation Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in Texas Monthly.

Jim is consistently looked to as an expert in the areas of civil trial techniques and substantive areas of civil litigation and employment law and is frequently asked to speak at State and local seminars for a variety of related topics.  In addition to sharing his valued knowledge with the legal community, Jim is a popular speaker and preeminent expert on risk management for fraternities and sororities nationwide.  He has handled most of the major high profile cases involving fraternities since 1990.

Jim places great value on strong legal education as well as using his experience to pay it forward. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, teaching Trial Tactics from 1986 – 1998 as well as coaching their National Mock Trial teams to multiple championships. For the last ten (10) years, Jim has served on the faculty of multiple NITA courses on “Building Trial Skills” and TADC Trial Academies.  He was an original member of the Robert Calvert Inn of Court in 1987.

Jim has served as outside General Counsel for a large number of small to medium size businesses and Public Housing Authorities for the last 25 years, providing advice and guidance on a wide range of legal matters.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Elected Advocate to the American Board of Trial Advocates since 2000
  • Barrister, Robert Calvert Inn of Court
  • Member of the Civil Litigation and Employment Law Sections of the State and Austin Bar Associations; member of Housing Development Law Institute
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

Education

  • J.D., Baylor Law School, 1980
  • B.A., Social Science, Southwestern University, 1977

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas, 1980
  • Western, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Fifth Circuit, 2000
  • 15 States as Pro Hac Vice

Recognitions and Distinctions

  • Named a Super Lawyer from 2006-2020(excluding 2019) by Thomson Reuters

Practice Areas and Casework

Smith v. Delta Tau Delta, 9 N.E.3d 154, (Ind. 2014).  Successful Amicus Brief for North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

STOP/TABCC, et al v. City of New Braunfels, “not reported in S.W.3d, 2013 WL 692446 (Tex.App.-Austin, February 21, 2013) [denial of Plea to Jurisdiction affirmed]

City of New Braunfels v. WWGAF, et al, 2012 WL 423919 (Tex.App.-Eastland 2012, petition denied) [Commercial litigation – MSJ for Plaintiff/Client affirmed]

Towers of Town Lake Condominium Association, Inc. v. Rouhani
296 S.W.3d 290 (Tex.App.- Austin 2009) [Slip & Fall – review denied March 12, 2010 – $1.8 million jury verdict in favor of Plaintiff/Client affirmed]

THPD v. Continental Imports
260 S.W.3d 593 (Tex.App.–Austin 2008) [Commercial fraud case – mixed jury verdict reversed in favor of Defendant/Client]

Murff v. Pass
249 S.W.3d 407 (Tex. 2008) [Medical negligence–brain damaged baby –jury verdict for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Brown v. Wills
2004 WL 3383447 (Tex.App.–Austin, 2004) [Medical negligence – fatal overdose of pain medications – jury verdict for Defendant/Client affirmed]

McIntyre v. Ramirez
109 S.W.3d 741 (Tex. 2003) [Good Samaritan – OB Rescue – Motion for summary judgment for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Moritz v. Preiss
121 S.W.3d 715 (Tex. 2003) [Failure to diagnose kidney disease – Medical Negligence – jury verdict for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Waddill v. Phi Gamma Delta
114 S.W.3d 146 (Tex.App.–Austin 07/24/2003) [Organizational liability for Fraternity – Motion for summary judgment for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Forrest v. Danielson
77 S.W.3d 842 (Tex.App–Tyler, 2002) [Medical negligence – Expert report – Motion for summary judgment for Defendant/Client affirmed]

City of Stephenville v. Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
940 S.W.2d 667 (Tex.App.–Austin, 1996) [Administrative law – Ex parte contact – bench trial decision for Plaintiff affirmed]

Barstow v. Travis County
1998 WL 670225 (Tex.App.–Austin 1998, no writ) [Ingress & egress easement at Lake Travis – jury verdict for Travis County/Client affirmed]

St. John v. Pope
901 S.W.2d 420 (Tex. 1995) [Physician-patient relationship – Motion for summary judgment for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Closs v. Goose Creek ISD
874 S.W.2d 859 (Tex.App.–Texarkana, 1994) [Employment / due process / termination – verdict for Defendant/Client affirmed]

Presentations/ Publications

TRIAL TACTICS
  • University of Texas School of Law Product Liability and Personal Injury Seminar, “Panel Discussion – Hot Tips for Litigators”
  • University of Texas School of Law Product Liability and Personal Injury Seminar, “Limitation of Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases”
  • University of Texas School of Law Product Liability and Personal Injury Seminar, “Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents”
  • University of Texas Law School Trial Tactics Seminar – “Brevity in Presentation of Evidence”
  • Austin Bar Association Bench Bar Conference – “Jury Selection”; “ Spoliation in Texas”; Evidence in Texas”
  • Austin Bar Association Civil Litigation Section – “Ultimate Trial Notebook”
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association/Travis County Bar Association Litigation Seminar, “Effective Use of Experts”
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association/Travis County Bar Association Voir Dire Seminar – “Voir Dire – Defendant’s Perspective”
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association/Travis County Bar Association Litigation Seminar – “Duties and Dilemmas of Insurance Defense Counsel”
  • Housing and Development Law Institute (HDLI) Conference 2008, “Effective Jury Selection in PHA Cases”
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology 26th Annual Conference, 2006 – “The Neuropsych as Expert – Retention Through Deposition”
  • Capitol Area Paralegal Association Litigation Seminar: “The Role of the Advocate in Mediation”
  • County and District Attorneys Seminar on Trial Tactics – “Conduct of a Trial – Voir Dire Through Appeal”
  • Council of School Attorneys Seminar, “Effective Motions for Summary Judgment”
EMPLOYMENT / PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY / CIVIL RIGHTS LAW
  • In-service training to various local employers, 1992-Present, “Prevention of Sexual Harassment/Discrimination in the Workplace”; “Prevention of Age Discrimination in the Workplace”; “Internal Investigations of Employment Disputes”; “Proper Documentation and Termination Procedures”
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Spring Meeting, “Defense of Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Cases”
  • National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) 2008, “Recent Federal & State Cases Which Could Impact Liability of Commissioners, Trustees and Officers”
  • Texas National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (TXNAHRO) 2008, “Ethics of Commissioners”
  • Texas NAHRO 2005, “Do’s and Don’ts of PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes)”
  • Texas NAHRO 2004, “Managing Records, Hiring/Firing, and Legal Liability Issues the Right Way”
  • Texas NAHRO 2000, “Risk Management for Executive Directors”
  • Risk Management Conference, 1997 & 1998 “Immunities for Governmental Employees”
  • Housing Authority of the City of Austin, 2007 Strategic Planning Retreat “Recent Developments in Open Government”
  • Texas Association of School Boards/Texas Association of School Administrators Convention, 1993 – 2008, Presentations on Topics including Preventing and Defending Due Process Lawsuits, Avoiding and Defending Whistleblower Claims, Open Meetings/Open Records, and Investigation of Auto Claims
  • Texas Association of School Boards Council of School Attorneys, Education Law Conference “How to Build a Defense Around Individual Immunity in Civil Rights Litigation”
  • Risk Management Seminar, American Physicians Insurance Exchange – “Discussion of Tort Claims, Statutes and Immunities”
  • Risk Management Seminar, Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange – “Texas Tort Claims Act”
  • Speaker, Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Conference, 1996 – 1999
OTHER
  • TADC Law Office Managing Partners Forum 2005 – “The Joy of Dealing with Management Issues”
  • HDLI General Counsel Forum 2011 – 2016.
LEGAL PUBLICATIONS
  • “The Texas APTRA Since 1976 – Selected Problems”, 33 BAYLOR L. REV. 393 (1981). Co-authored with Honorable Bob E. Shannon, voted Outstanding Law Review Award by Texas Bar Foundation in 1982.

TEACHING POSITIONS

  • Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) 2010 – 2020, “Building Trial Skills”
  • Faculty, University of Texas Law School Trial Advocacy, “Winning at Trial – Nine Day Intensive Trial Advocacy Course, ” 1986-1995
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Texas School of Law
    “Trial Tactics,” 1986 – 1998, four hour intensive trial advocacy course for third year law students
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy Faculty