Benny Agosto Jr.

Benny Agosto Jr.

Location:
Houston, Texas
Phone:
713-587-9668
800-580-9121
Fax:
713-225-0827
E-mail:

What do a former international soccer player, a former teacher, and a current legal advocate all have in common? Simple. They are all the same man.

Benny Agosto Jr., a partner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend of Houston, Texas was born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico. From a young age, Mr. Agosto was taught by his parents that through hard work and determination, anything was possible - a principle he has applied throughout his life, in school, on the soccer field, and in the courtroom. "Both of my parents have a sixth-grade education," Agosto shares, "and every day they would tell my siblings and me to be sure to get an education. I remember my father telling me that no one can ever take that away from you. My parents knew the struggles of being a migrant family without a formal education." Hard work on the soccer field and in school paid off for Agosto. An avid soccer player in San Juan, Agosto was recruited by Houston Baptist University to attend and play NCAA Division I soccer. He went on to the University of Houston to work on his graduate degree in microbiology and taught high school and college students for six years. Agosto realized that although he loved teaching and coaching soccer, he needed more. He was accepted to South Texas College of Law, where he excelled in mock trial and academics and is now a board certified trial lawyer.

As the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) 2011-2012 national president, Agosto brings many important issues to the forefront of the national debate. Although those issues are voiced throughout the duration of the year, there is also a specific day that HNBA members travel to Washington, DC, and speak to legislators about issues pertinent to all Hispanics. "The HNBA Legislative Day is paramount for us," Agosto says. "It is an important day to advocate for Hispanics in regards to the fair and equitable administration of justice." Another important HNBA event is the Mid-Year Corporate Counsel Conference. "It brings together general counsels and is an excellent opportunity for young Hispanic lawyers to participate in the job fair, attend seminars on promoting favorable minority hiring practices, and, most importantly, to make connections between members to continue the advancement of all Hispanics in the national legal community."

Deeply committed to community, scholarship, and making a difference, Agosto is a member of many bar associations throughout Texas and sits on the board of directors for a handful as well. Mr. Agosto is the founder of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas (MABATx) Foundation. With the support and help of his family and his staff, Agosto built the MABATx Foundation to benefit young, Hispanic, Houston-area law students through scholarships. To date, the MABATx Foundation has raised over $100,000. The Foundation also sponsors a Law Student Conference and corresponding reception, where scholarships are awarded to young, aspiring attorneys to help handle the foundation," Agosto acknowledges. "It was a personal endeavor, and I am committed to the students who benefit from these scholarships."

Agosto is also a cofounder of the HNBA's Legal Education Fund along with his peers Roman Hernandez and Omar Vargas. The Legal Education Fund is the HNBA's only 501(c)3 charitable group that raises money to give 100 percent of its contributions toward minority scholarships. As an advocate for gender fairness, Agosto works with programs to promote flexible and sustaining practices that help women attorneys balance a family and a demanding career. "Females account for 50% of law-school enrollment," Agosto shares, "which is good and long overdue. But the fact remains that the percentage of women in corporate law remains relatively low and the percentage of Hispanic women in corporate law even lower."

Continuing on the trend of community outreach, Mr. Agosto has been credited for rewriting a Texas law concerning police officers assisting one another regardless of on-duty/off-duty status. In his landmark case (Hinajosa v. Harris County), Agosto's client had previously been denied workman's compensation benefits after being injured because he was deemed off duty when he had responded to an officer's call for assistance. Notable, the case, which resulted in a million-dollar award in benefits in favor of the client, was taken by Mr. Agosto on a pro bono basis.

Although a named partner in Houston's oldest plaintiffs' law firm, Mr. Agosto continues his outreach to help and mentor young people in the community through his guest lecturing and speaking appearances. Mr. Agosto frequently speaks to students attending Houston-area schools, colleges, and universities on the importance of jury service and the Constitution of the United States. He also delivers his inspirational advocacy message to Spanish-speaking communities as well as other attorneys, businessmen, and law professors, and is a frequent speaker on issues relating to civil litigation across the country.

"I'm blessed to be able to make a difference in today's world," Agosto says. "I put everything I have into learning and challenging myself, to love and support my family, and to help better my community. Change can begin in your own community, but when you reach out to other communities, you can change the world, one act of kindness at a time."

Areas of Practice

  • Workplace Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • Product Defects
  • Business Litigation
  • 18 Wheeler & Commercial Truck Accidents
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Admiralty & Maritime Accidents
  • Birth Injuries
  • Brain Damage
  • Burns
  • Construction Accidents
  • DWI Accidents
  • Electrocutions
  • Environmental Law
  • Explosions
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Nursing Home Negligence
  • Offshore Injuries
  • Paraplegia
  • Patent Infringement
  • Petrochemical Accidents
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation
  • Quadriplegia
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Swimming Pool Accidents
  • Vehicular Accidents

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court District of Puerto Rico

Education

  • South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas
    • J.D. - 1995
    • Honors: Board of Advocates
    • Law Review: South Texas College Law Review (T.M.S.L.), Member
  • University of Houston
    • Graduate Studies - 1987
    • Major: Microbiology
  • Houston Baptist University
    • B.S. - 1986
  • Wesleyan Academy, Puerto Rico

Published Works

  • "Can Friends Still Let Friends Drive Drunk?", Texas Bar Journal, May, 2013
  • "Appeal by Ambush: Is the Texas Supreme Court Setting the Stage for a New Trial Tactic?", Thurgood Marshall Law Review, a Publication of Texas Southern University, 2012
  • "Expanding the Coming and Going Rule?One Officer's Struggle", The Houston Lawyer, vol. 49, January/February, 2012
  • "The Scarlet I", Trial, April, 2011
  • "But Your Honor, He's an Illegal! Can Undocumented Worker's Alien Status be Introduced at Trial?", Texas Bar Journal, April, 2011
  • "Can Undocumented Worker's Alien Status Be Introduced at Trial?", Litigation Commentary & Review 43, March/April, 2011
  • "Lessons to be Learned from In re Weekley Homes, L.P.", The Houston Lawyer (Online Edition), September/October, 2010
  • "Hard Works Pays Off", Hispanic National Bar Association Journal of Law and Policy, Summer, 2010
  • "Another Look at Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 95", Texas Bar Journal, 2010
  • "Can Undocumented Worker's Alien Status Be Introduced at Trial?", 48 Hours. Lawyer 28, 2010
  • "Dreams do Come True.", Editor's Note, Hispanic National Bar Association Journal of Law and Policy", Summer, 2008
  • "Can the Injured Migrant Worker's Alien Status Be Introduced at Trial?", Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 2005
  • "Supreme Court Set To Implement New Rules Regarding Referral Fees", Texas Bar Journal, 2005
  • "Texas Rising Star", Texas Monthly and Law & Politics, 2004
  • "Texas Supreme Court Update", Houston Trial Lawyers Newsletter, August, 2003
  • "Experts: How to Pick Them, Protect Them, and Pick Them Apart", Houston Bar Association On-Line CLE Course, August, 2003
  • "Changing Faces of the HBA", The Houston Lawyer, May/June, 2003
  • "What About the Parents?", Texas Bar Journal, May, 2003
  • "Ethics in Personal Injury", Houston Bar Association On-Line CLE Course, January, 2003
  • "Construction Law/Contractor Liability: Control is Key", Texas Bar Journal, January, 2003
  • "Crunching the Numbers: The Economics of Handling an Automobile Injury Case", South Texas College of Law On-Line CLE Course, January, 2000
  • "Should Clinical Medical Testimony be Subject to Daubert Analysis?", Texas Bar Journal, January, 1999
  • "Social Host Liability: Friends Can Let Friends Drive Drunk!", Texas Bar Journal, July, 1995
  • "Social Host Liability: Friends Can Let Friends Drive Drunk!", The Houston Lawyer, August, 1994
  • "Crunching the Numbers: The Economics of Handling an Automobile Injury Case", South Texas College of Law

Classes/Seminars

  • "Expedited Trials Plus the New Rule to Dismiss", Texas Minority Counsel Program, 2013
  • "Damages for Undocumented Workers", 5th Annual Damages in Civil Litigation Course, TexasBarCLE
  • "Can the Undocumented Worker's Alien Status be Introduced at Trial?", Houston Metropolitan Paralegal Association, 2012
  • "Admissibility of Alien Status at Trial", Texas Trial Lawyers Association Seminar in Las Vegas, NV
  • Guest Speaker on the topic of Criminal Justice, Klein High School
  • Speaker, Swearing In Ceremony at the Harris County Courthouse, Hispanic Bar of Houston
  • Speaker, LULAC Veterans Legal Clinics/Initiative, Legal Services for Veterans
  • Speaker, Regarding the Admissibility of the Alien Status at Trial, Texas Trial Lawyers Luncheon, El Paso, Texas
  • Speaker, Gender Fairness Committee Networking Luncheon, Houston Bar Association
  • Speaker at the Judicial Mixer, Houston Hispanic Bar Association
  • "State Bar College Spring Training"
  • "Your Case and The Mexico Connection"
  • "Lawyer Advertising, Contingent Fee Referrals, and Other Topics", Automobile Injury Conference
  • "Real Evidence for the Trial Practitioner in Texas", Lorman Educational Services Seminar
  • "Common Law Marriage in Mexico Ain't So Common", Navigating Cross Border Issues
  • "Rule 8a-The New Referral Rules", Houston Bar Association's All Day Ethics Program
  • Guest speaker to Houston area law students, "Professionalism Day"
  • "Construction Law Update", Mexican American Bar Association Texas
  • "Brown v. Board of Education", Houston Bar Association CLE, 2004
  • "Power to Persuade", University of Houston Comm. Dept., 2004
  • "Tort Reform Update: One Year Later", Mexican American Bar Association Houston
  • "Using Your Bar Association Membership to Help Advance Your Career", ABA Minority Bar Summit, 2004
  • "Experts: How to Pick Them, Protect Them, and Pick Them Apart", Houston Bar Association CLE, 2003
  • "Ethics in Picking Your Client", Houston Bar Association CLE, 2003
  • Guest Speaker, Burton Elementary 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 2003
  • Chairman & Moderator, "Construction Law/Contractor Liability", South Texas College of Law: Personal Injury Law Conference, 2003
  • "Tort Reform", MABAT Annual Meeting CLE Program, 2003
  • "Experts: How to Pick Them, and Pick Them Apart", Houston Bar Association CLE, 2003
  • "The Homestretch: Preparing PI Cases from 60 Days Out", Houston Bar Association Bench Bar Conference CLE, 2003
  • "Practical Tips for Lawyers in The Post-Tort Reform Era", Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Matthews & Friend In-House CLE, 2003
  • Speaker, "Wrongful Death Cases in Texas-Experts", Lorman Educational Services Seminar, 2002
  • "Mediation of an Automobile Accident Case", South Texas College of Law: Mediation for Litigators, 2002
  • "Experts: How to Pick Them, Protect Them, and Pick Them Apart", Legal Assistants Division, State Bar of Texas: Legal Assistants U-A Three Day Seminar with a Collegiate Theme, 2002
  • Chairman and Moderator, "Experts: How to Pick Them, Present Them, Protect Them and Pick Them Apart", South Texas College of Law, Personal Injury Law Conference, 2002
  • Houston Bar Association CLE, "Ethics in Personal Injury", 2002
  • Speaker, University of Houston Law Center, 2002
  • "Wrongful Death Cases in Texas-Experts", Lorman Educational Services Seminar, 2002
  • "A Road Map For Sports & Recreational Injury Lawsuits", Sports & Entertainment Law in the Year 2001 Seminar, 2001
  • Chairman and Moderator, "Discovery About Experts", Advanced Civil Discovery Seminar, University of Houston Law Center CLE Program, 2001
  • Chairman and Moderator, "Document Production and Organization", Lorman Educational Services Seminar, Houston, 2001
  • Chairman and Moderator, "Practice Pointers from the Bench", Automobile Injury Conference, South Texas College of Law CLE Program, 2001
  • Speaker, "Litigation Updates: New Discovery Rules/New Evidence Rules", Houston Association of Legal Secretaries, 2001
  • Chairman and Moderator, "Self-Insurers and Non-Subscribers: Special Considerations in Suing and Defending", Insurance Law Seminar, University of Houston Law Center CLE Program, 2001
  • Moderator and Seminar Chairman, Houston Trial Lawyers Association Masters of Trial 2000 Seminar, 2000
  • Speaker, "Life of a Trial Lawyer", University of Houston Law Center, 2000
  • Chairman and Moderator, "The Economics of Handling Car Wreck Cases With Forms", South Texas College of Law, CLE Program, Automobile Injury Conference, 2000
  • Panelist Speaker, "Preparing the Total Package", South Texas College of Law, 2000
  • Speaker, "Accident Reconstruction", Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Daubert/Robinson Challenge Seminar, 2000
  • Panelist Speaker, "Gearing Up to Get Hired", South Texas College of Law, 1999
  • New Discovery Rules, Houston Association of Legal Secretaries, CLE Seminar, 1999
  • "Crunching the Numbers: The Economics of Handling an Automobile Injury Case", Automobile Injury Conference-Planning Committee, 1999
  • Discovery/Discovery Analysis and Document Control, Houston Association of Legal Secretaries, Litigation Paralegal Course, 1999
  • "Recent Developments in Construction Law", MABAH CLE Program
  • South Texas College of Law CLE Program
  • "Preparing Your Case: From Discovery to Trial"

Honors and Awards

  • ADL Civil Rights Hero, Anti-Defamation League, Houston in Concert Against Hate, November 13, 2014
  • Texas' Top Rated Lawyers of 2014, Leagal Leaders and Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings, 2014
  • Peter Perlman Service Award, Litigation Counsel of America, 2013
  • Peter Torres, Jr. Community Service Award, Hispanic Issues Section, State Bar of Texas, 2013
  • "Houston's Top Lawyers 2013" list, Personal Injury, H Texas Magazine, 2013
  • Top Lawyers 2013 list - Personal Injury, Oil/Gas/Energy, Medical Malpractice, Houstonia Magazine, 2013
  • Texas Top Rated Lawyer, 2013
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, 2012 - 2015
  • Distinguished Service Award, Klein High School Debate, 2012 - 2013
  • Named one of the 101 Most Influential Leaders, Latino Leaders Magazine, 2012
  • AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer, AV Peer Review Ratings
  • Lawdragon - Leading Plaintiff Lawyers In America Finalist, 2009
  • *Texas Top Lawyers for the People honor as presented by "Texas Magazine", 2008
  • State Bar of Texas - 2006 Certificate of Merit
  • *Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Business, 2004 - 2013
  • Texas Rising Star, 2003
  • Fellow, Houston Bar Foundation
  • *Texas' Best Lawyers honor as presented by The Houston Chronicle Best Lawyers - The World's Premier Guide, an Incisive Media publication
  • Houston Bar Association Presidential Award - Two Time Recipient
  • Featured in Texas Trial Lawyers Spotlight First Edition Newsletter

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Houston Bar Association, First Vice-President, 2012 - 2013, 2014 - 2015
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Chairman, Task Force on Unaccompanied Minors Humanitarian Crisis, 2014 - 2015
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents, Member, Program Committee, 2014 - 2015
  • State Bar of Texas, Chair, Hispanic Issues Section, 2014 - 2015
  • Houston Bar Association, Co-Chair, Law and the Media Committee, 2014 - 2015
  • Houston Bar Association, Second Vice-President, 2013 - 2014
  • American Bar Association, Member, Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, 2013 - 2014
  • Houston Bar Association, President of the Dispute Resolution Center, 2012 - 2013
  • National Hispanic Bar Association, President, 2011 - 2012
  • Houston Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2008 - 2011
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors
  • Mexican American Bar Association, Houston, Member, Board of Directors
  • Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation, Founder and President
  • Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), President-Elect, 2010
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Candidate for President-Elect, 2009
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Region XII, Regional President, 2006 - 2008
  • Houston Bar Association, Member, Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Commission, 2003 - 2004
  • Mexican American Bar Association, Texas, Vice President, 2003 - 2004
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Co-Chairman, CLE Committee, 2002 - 2003
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Fundraising Committees, 2000 - 2001
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Chairman, HTLA Masters of Trial Seminar, 2000
  • State Bar of Texas, Litigation Section, Chairman, Grievance Committee, 4G19, 1997 - 2000
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Chairman, Grievance Committee, 1997 - 2000
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association Advocates, Co-Chairman, 1998 - 1999
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association Advocates, Member, Board of Directors, 1997 - 1999
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • American Bar Association, Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities Hearing in Texas
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Board of Directors
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Co-Editor In-Chief, Journal of Law and Policy
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Legal Education Fund, Co-Founder and Board Member
  • Houston Bar Association, Co-Chair, CLE Commission
  • Houston Bar Association, Committee on Administration of Justice, Chair
  • Houston Bar Association, Committee on Gender Fairness, Chair
  • Houston Bar Association, Committee on Judicial Polls, Chair
  • Houston Bar Association, Committee on Speakers Bureau, Chair
  • Houston Bar Association, Institute and Seminars, Chair
  • Houston Bar Association Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Houston Bar Association, Judicial Endorsement Committee
  • Houston Hispanic Bar Association, Member
  • Houston Lawyer Referral Service, Board of Directors
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Directors
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association Newsletter, Editor
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Foundation, Member
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association, Member
  • Mexican American Bar Association, Houston, Judiciary Screening Committee
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • South Texas College of Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors
  • State Bar of Texas, Chair, Texas Bar Journal Editorial Board
  • State Bar of Texas, Hispanic Section, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Hispanic Issues Section, Board of Directors
  • State Bar of Texas, Litigation Section, Member
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, Member
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Wesley Community Center, Board of Directors
  • Supreme Court Historical Society, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Hon. Alice Oliver-Parrott, Chief Justice, Texas Court of Appeals, 1st District, Houston, Texas, Intern, 1994
  • Houston Baptist University, Human Kinetics Department, Faculty, Head Soccer Coach, 1989 - 1991

Languages

  • Spanish

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Alpha Tau Omega