Baylor Professors Honored for Practice Court Work

News Photo 4050
Baylor Law Professor Jim Wren; Alice Oliver-Parrott, president of the Texas chapter and a Baylor Law alumna; Baylor Law Professor Gerald Powell; and Tom Harkness, an Austin lawyer and member of the ABOTA National Board of Directors.
April 23, 2007

Baylor University law professors Gerald Powell and Jim Wren were presented with awards of appreciation by the Texas chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) at a ceremony Friday, April 20, at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

"We want to say a special thank you to Professor Gerald Powell and Professor Jim Wren," said Alice Oliver-Parrott, president of the Texas chapter and a Baylor Law alumna. "They are such magnificent advocates that I know Practice Court will survive at Baylor. They know what it means to be a trial advocate. These guys are real lawyers."

Powell and Wren were selected to receive the recognition because of their stewardship of the Seventh Amendment, the right to trial by jury in civil cases.

"With dedication and excellence, Professors Powell and Wren have helped preserve the jury system, and through the Practice Court program at Baylor Law School, they educate young lawyers on the jury system and its importance to our system of justice," said Cay Dickson, executive director of the Texas chapter.

"Jerry and Jim are both tested and proven trial lawyers," said Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben. "Our students are so fortunate to have the benefit of their experience and intellects in our Practice Court program. They are ardent advocates of the sacred Seventh Amendment rights we enjoy. ABOTA, a prestigious defender of those rights, has acted aptly in honoring Jerry and Jim for their very effective teaching regarding the responsibilities of advocates to defend the sanctity of our constitutional freedoms."

Powell, a Waco native and Baylor law alumnus, directs Baylor Law School's highly acclaimed Practice Court Program. He serves as The Abner V. McCall Professor of Evidence Law and also holds Baylor's coveted Master Teacher designation, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members.

Also a Baylor law alumnus, Wren joined the Baylor law faculty in 2006 after nine years as a partner in the law firm of Williams Squires Wren Brown & Gilliland, L.L.P. He was named by Texas Monthly as a Texas Super Lawyer in Business Litigation each year since the designation originated in 2002. Wren also served as coach for the Baylor mock trial team that recently won the American Association for Justice national championship.

ABOTA was formed in 1957 and currently boasts 6,000 members, 900 of who reside in Texas. Membership is divided evenly between plaintiff and defense attorneys. Attorneys can become members of ABOTA after working as a practicing trial lawyer for five years and having tried 20 civil trials to verdict or 10 civil trials and 20 felony criminal trials to verdict.

Also participating in the award ceremony were attorneys Rod Squires, president of the Waco chapter, and Rob Swanton, vice president of the Waco chapter.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?