Balloting in the runoff election for President of the State Bar of Texas opened May 9 and runs through May 23. Texas lawyers must choose between Trey Apffel of League City and Steve Fischer of Rockport. This election has garnered considerable interest both within and outside the bar and could significantly affect the next sunset review cycle for the Bar, which commences in 2015. Fischer received about 45% of the votes cast in the election to Apffel’s 34%. A third candidate, Larry Hicks of El Paso, received 20%.
The official bios of the two candidates are as follows:
Trey Apffel is the owner and principal of the Apffel Law Firm in League City, where he focuses on personal injury litigation, toxic torts and medical malpractice. His practice also includes family law and divorce. He has practiced in Galveston County for more than 30 years.
Apffel has served on the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, as a member of the Executive Committee, and chaired the Legislative Policy Committee. He is a former member of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, and served on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. Apffel is a member of the Galveston County Bar Association and served as the organization’s president in 1996-97. He is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
Apffel received a B.B.A. from Baylor University and a J.D. from Baylor Law School. He is certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Steve Fischer is a sole practitioner in Rockport. His practice focuses on criminal and family law but also includes litigation and real estate.
Fischer serves on the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors, and as vice chair of the Insurance and Member Benefits Subcommittee in which he also chairs a subcommittee. Fischer has served as Willacy County District Attorney, president of the Aransas County Bar Association, and on the Aransas County ISD School Board. He has been or currently serves as a member of the Texas Indigent Defense Committee, Texas Crime Victims Committee, Technology Oversight Committee, Texas Penal Code Committee, as a board advisor to the Court Rules Committee and the Family Law and Criminal Justice sections, and as the alternate board advisor to the Disability Issues Committee. He has been a professor at the University of Texas – Permian Basin and has authored numerous articles. He has practiced law in Midland-Odessa, El Paso, Denton, Huntsville, and the Rio Grande Valley.
Fischer received a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley; an M.A. in criminology from Sam Houston State University; an M.P.A. from the University of North Texas; and a J.D. from Indiana University.
TCJL urges its members to encourage their in-house and outside counsel to vote in this critically important election.