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Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP

Hard-Working Lawyers for Hard-Working People

Provost Umphrey Law Firm Celebrates 45 Years

Contact: Allison Marble 409-838-8830
Provost Umphrey Law Firm

Beaumont, TX, August 1, 2014 – 2014 is a special year for Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas as it marks its 45th year of business. Founded in 1969 by Walter Umphrey and David Provost, both Southeast Texas natives, the firm has written its name in history with landmark verdicts, an unwavering commitment to the civil justice system and benevolent contributions throughout Texas.

Walter Umphrey's first federal jury trial resulted in a $4 million verdict in 1972. On behalf of 3,600 Texas asbestos victims, Umphrey led a team of lawyers in the Cimino and Jenkins trials and won the nation's first class-action/consolidation trial involving asbestos exposure - a $1 billion verdict. During the 1990's, Walter Umphrey was the lead attorney for the State of Texas against the tobacco industry, which won a historic civil litigation settlement $17.6 billion. Provost Umphrey has achieved hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts for victims injured by accidents, exposures or negligence.

Continuing this tradition of excellence, Provost Umphrey attorneys have had a verdict named to the Top 100 Verdicts of the Year by The National Law Journal every year since 2011. In 2013, a $32 million verdict against Dominos Pizza was named the #1 Motor Vehicle Verdict in Texas and the #60 Verdict in the country. In 2012, Darren Brown obtained the largest single plaintiff benzene verdict in history - $17 million.  As the legal landscape changes, the firm has continued to expand its knowledge and expertise into other chemical exposures, commercial litigation, consumer rights law, employment disputes, maritime law, 18-wheeler accidents and automotive defect cases, pharmaceutical litigation, products liability claims and medical prompt pay litigation.

Provost Umphrey and its lawyers are recognized by the legal community as leaders in the practice of law. Over half of the lawyers at the firm, and each of the equity partners – Walter Umphrey, Bryan Blevins, Jr. Edward Fisher, Joe Fisher II, D'Juana Parks, James Payne and David Wilson – are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Board certification is an achievement earned by less than 10% of the lawyers in the State of Texas. Nine lawyers were named to the 2013 Texas Super Lawyers list by Thomson Reuters. Equity partners Bryan Blevins, Jr. and James Payne have been named to the Texas Super Lawyers List every year since its inception in 2003. The firm has been consistently named one of the Best Law Firms in America by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers. Eligibility for "Best Law Firms" is based on the firm's lawyers who have received high peer reviews and are rated among the "Best Lawyers in America." In June 2010, Texas Lawyer named Walter Umphrey one of 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century, while ten years earlier he was recognized as a Top Texas Lawyer of the 20th Century in the Texas Lawyer publication "Legal Legends: A Century of Texas Law and Lawyering."

A guiding principle of the firm is its dedication to hard-working men and women, including union members. In 1995, the Emergency Response Program was created to support the efforts of the United Steelworkers Union Emergency Response Team. Through the Emergency Response Program and other initiatives, Provost Umphrey has had the privilege of serving more than 340,000 union workers in the U.S. and Canada. Most recently, a Provost Umphrey attorney achieved a remarkable settlement on behalf of a union client in regards to an industrial boiler explosion that occurred at a Georgia-Pacific plant in Cedar Springs, Georgia. Equity partner Ed Fisher continues to represent the families of seven deceased union members against 3rd party defendants from the Tesoro refinery in Washington state, following settlements with Shell and Tesoro.

Outside the court room, Provost Umphrey lawyers serve their community and profession in a number of capacities, including: volunteer mediators, coaches to high school mock-trial teams, members of church boards and committees, CASA representatives, pro bono attorneys with the local bar, local and state bar association positions, and President of both Statewide and National organizations. In 2009, Walter Umphrey and his wife Sheila provided the financial resources necessary for the construction of the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center (the "Sheila") for the use and benefit of Lamar University students. The firm and its equity partners contributed $4 million to Lamar University for the construction of Provost Umphrey Stadium and to facilitate the return of NCAA football to the university and community after an eleven-year hiatus. Mr. Umphrey's gifts to education reach beyond the immediate community and across Texas. Over the last twenty-five years, Umphrey has established endowed scholarships, been recognized as a distinguished Baylor University alumnus and was named Baylor Lawyer of the Year in 1999. In 2000, Walter and his family donated $10 million to help build the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center on the banks of the Brazos River at Baylor University.

The future is bright for Provost Umphrey Law Firm, as the lawyers carry on the 45-year legacy of excellence. The hard-working attitude that made Provost Umphrey successful in 1969 will be the guiding principle for the future of the firm. As famously quoted by Walter Umphrey, "We balance justice for the working man. Someone has to do it, and that's my business." Provost Umphrey continues to be one of the most successful trial law firms in the nation by remaining Hard-Working Lawyers for Hard-Working People.

Allison Marble