Chelsie King Garza
Chelsie Garza is an experienced litigator who has tried cases extensively in state and federal court. Outside of the office, Chelsie Garza's life is dedicated to her two children. In order to balance a busy litigation docket and a family life, she hones her skill of multi-tasking and exploits her inability to accept down time. Chelsie grew up sharing time between the small California Death Valley town Trona and New York/New Jersey metroplex. This dichotomy between small town and big city illustrates her ability to fit in anywhere. She was educated on the East Coast, completing her undergraduate degree in New Jersey and law school in Washington, D.C., yet she has put down roots in Texas.
Just as she dedicates herself to her children, she pours herself into each and every case. Chelsie recently tried a medical malpractice case for a client who will forever have a colostomy as a result of a botched hysterectomy. Chelsie was able to obtain a verdict which was intended to compensate her client for past and future damages. Prior to that, Chelsie successfully settled a claim with a major medical provider after her client was tragically rendered a quadriplegic following a routine exam. She was able to obtain lifetime support for the client and his family.
Not only does Chelsie work to help those who have suffered horrible injuries; she has also worked on many pro bono cases. She recently handled a case that positively changed the coming and going rule for the entire State of Texas in regards to workers' compensation. Her work on a case for former Houston Police Officer, Eluid Hinojosa, helped get him workers' compensation benefits after he was injured during the call of duty. Chelsie worked as a zealous advocate and was able to obtain a ruling that set precedent.
Chelsie is also actively working to improve the community and has worked on behalf of the Tahirih Justice Center. This organization was founded in 1997 to provide immigrant women and girls legal assistance to help them gain legal protection and immigration status under U.S. Law. While managing an extensive case load and donating her time to worthy causes, she still makes time for fun. Last spring, she placed third in the First Annual Abraham Watkins Skeet Shoot.
Appellate Experience - Prepared successful appellate and mandamus briefing on the following cases:
- No. 14-10-00241-CV; Trial Court Cause No. 2009-28026; Kingwood Specialty Hospital, Ltd., and Kingwood Specialty Hospital v. Ramona Barley - successfully defended medical malpractice expert reports and the 120 day service of reports deadline with respect to later added defendants.
- No. 01-08-00439-CV; Harris County vs. Eluid Hinojosa; First Court of Appeals, Houston, TX - expanded the coming and going rule with respect to course and scope of employment.
- No. 14-10-721-CV; In re Richard J. Plezia; Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District of Texas, Houston - successfully defended trial court order regarding disqualification of counsel.
- No. 01-12-00571-CV; In re Ronald Castillo; Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas, Houston – successfully defended trial court order prohibiting disclosure of a minor’s mental health records.
- No. 01-11-0097-CV; Alliantgroup, L.P. v. Solanji, et al; Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas, Houston – successfully defended trial court granting of dispositive summary judgment in favor of commercial litigation defendant.
Chelsie King Garza: An Attorney Committed to Professionalism, Integrity and Dedication to Her Client and The Law
"The integrity of Mrs. Garza becomes apparent in many ways but most of all in her honesty, her trustworthiness and her attention to details no matter how great or small. She does not allow anything to fall between the cracks.Her dedication to her client becomes evident as she personally monitors every phase of your lawsuit. Along with her dedication to her client she possesses the unique ability to think outside the box maximizing all situations."
- Jo Ann, a personal injury client, 2012 (posted on Avvo)
"I am writing to express my appreciation for Ms. Chelsie King Garza, and her handling of my family's lawsuit concerning the murder of my beloved mother. Throughout an extremely painful process that stretched over 18 months, Ms. Garza was extremely empathetic and understanding of our collective emotional state. A consummate professional, she treated us with dignity and respect. She took the necessary time to listen and learn from all of us, and shared our pain in a heart-wrenching situation. Ms. Garza is an asset to her firm, and we were blessed to have had her represent us."
- A client who hired Abraham Watkins in 2008. (posted on FindLaw.com)
Know Your Medical Rights
"I truly enjoyed working with Mrs. Garza and her team on my malpractice case. Mrs. Garza was not only concerned about winning the case, but she and her firm were genuinely concerned about me as a person and all the medical struggles I had to endure and will continue to endure for the rest of my life."
- Lauren, a Medical Malpractice client, 2012 (posted on Avvo)
Chelsie King Garza helps a client overcome a motorcycle accident injury.
"Best lawyer I have ever had. Her preparation and interaction with the insurance company was perfect. She said what she thought she could do and did it. The outcome was definitely in my favor. She is confident and direct. No sugar coating and I appreciated that. She is also very kind and understanding. Bottom-line if you want to know if you can win and how, she is the perfect lawyer. No surprises!"
- A client who hired Abraham Watkins in 2013. (posted on FindLaw.com)
Compliment for Chelsie
"She checked in periodically to see if we needed anything, had questions, and to let us know she was working on the case. I cannot say how pleased and lucky we have been to have Chelsie handle this case, and how nice it has been to work with her. I highly recommend Chelsie to anyone who needs an excellent attorney and person."
- Laura, a medical malpractice client, 2012 (posted on Avvo)
"Chelsie Garza represented me with commitment and doggedness, ethic and grace. Ms. Garza's impressive knowledge of the law, coupled with her natural intuitiveness, proved her an accomplished attorney difficult to out-pace. She not only embraced challenge from well-resourced counsel known nationally and accustomed to high-stakes, but she was energized by it. She drove my case from the high road for 12 months to extraordinary results fair to all. Ms. Garza offers a rare combination of talent and heart — a specimen of what an attorney should be. When emotions ran high, Ms. Garza responded with genuine care. She is deserving of trust and confidence. I can honestly say that if I could change anything about the way she handled my case, I wouldn't change a thing."
- A libel client, 2011 (posted on Avvo)
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
- Construction Accidents
- DWI Accidents
- Environmental Law
- Medical Malpractice
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Negligence
- Offshore Injuries
- Patent Infringement
- Petrochemical Accidents
- Pharmaceutical Litigation
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Vehicular Accidents
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
- Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. (Cum Laude) - May, 1999
- Honors: Moot Court Associate: Soap Box Competition
- Honors: Moot Court Associate: St. Ives Competition
- Honors: Moot Court Associate: Siegel Cup Competition
- Honors: National Moot Court Teams: Siegel Cup Competition
- Honors: National Moot Court Teams: William Daniel Competition
- Honors: National Moot Court Teams: The Gourley Cup
- Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey
- B.A. (Cum Laude) - May, 1996
- Honors: National Honors Society
- Major: Political Science
- Wadham College, Oxford University, Oxford, England
- "Mental Anguish: The Overlooked Element of Damages", The Houston Lawyer, Vol. 51, September/October, 2013
- "Four Considerations in Medical Malpractice Case", Women Trial Lawyers Caucus, American Association for Justice, Spring, 2013
- "Expanding the Coming and Going Rule?One Officer's Struggle", The Houston Lawyer, Vol. 49, January/February, 2012
- "It Could be You", National Hazing Prevention Week & Resource Guide, September, 2010
- "The Life Altering Effects of Hazing", National Hazing Prevention Week & Resource Guide, September, 2009
- Speaker, Ethics and Social Networking, Houston Bar Association CLE, April 22, 2014
- Panelist, Building and Enhancing Your Law Practice, Asian-American Bar Association (AABA) - Solo and Small Firm Committee?s CLE Program , August 8, 2013
- Lessons from Our Past? History of Women and the Law, Texas Women Lawyers Annual CLE, Rising Together, Women Promoting Each Other in the Practice of Law, March 1, 2013
- Speaker, How to Succeed in a Plaintiff's Practice, Association of Women Attorneys, January 23, 2013
- Speaker, From Phone Call to Contract: How to Sign Up a New Client, Houston Bar Association Law Practice Management Section Lunch/CLE Meeting, April 12, 2012
- Faculty, Leadership Boot Camp, Association of Women Attorneys and The Center for Women in the Law, February 11, 2012
- Host, Speed Networking- A Ladies Only Event, Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend Women's Networking Event, September 22, 2011
- Speaker, Annual Law Student Reception, Association of Women Attorneys, March 23, 2011
- Speaker, "Dealing with Foreclosure Proceedings and Title Issues", South Texas College of Law, A Practitioner's Guide to Protecting the Clients' Homestead: The Intersection of Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure Law, Eviction Law, Family Law, and Mortgage Law, March 3, 2011 - March 4, 2011
- Host, Women: The New Glass Ceiling, Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend Women's Networking Event, February 10, 2011
Honors and Awards
- Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Business, 2014
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Association, 2013 - 2014
- *Texas Rising Star honors as presented by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Business, in Texas Monthly, 2013 - 2014
- Top Lawyers 2013 list - Real Estate, Personal Injury, Admiralty and Maritime, Houstonia Magazine, 2013
- Houston's Top Lawyers list, Personal Injury, H Texas Magazine, 2012, 2014
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Tahirih Justice Center, Pro Bono Legal Committee, Member, 2014 - 2015
- State Bar of Texas, Women and the Law Section, Chair-Elect, 2014 - 2015
- Houston Bar Association, Gender Fairness Committee, Member, 2014 - 2015
- State Bar of Texas, Women and the Law Section, Vice-Chair of Membership , 2013 - 2014
- State Bar of Texas, Women and the Law, Council Member, 2012 - 2013
- Executive Mom's Society, Director of Sponsorship, 2013 - 2014
- Houston Bar Association, Gender Fairness Committee, Co-Chair, 2013 - 2014
- Tahirih Justice Center, Bighearted Attorneys Campaign, Campaign Co-Chair, 2014
- Tahirih Justice Center, Bighearted Attorneys Campaign, Campaign Coordinator, 2013
- Texas State Bar Association, Member
- New York State Bar Association, Member
- New Jersey State Bar Association, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- The United States District Courts for the District of New Jersey, Member
- Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, Member
- Hispanic National Bar Association, Affiliate Member
- Houston Bar Association, Communities in Schools Committee, Member
- Houston Bar Association, Gender Fairness Committee, Member
- Houston Young Lawyers' Association, Past Chair of Family Fun Committee
- Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past Big League Bash Committee, Member
- Tahirih Justice Center, Legal Advisory Committee, Past Member
- Association of Women Attorneys
- Million Dollar Advocates & Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Invited three times to join
Past Employment Positions
- Porter & Hedges, L.L.P. - Houston, Texas, Litigation Associate, 2001 - 2006
- Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, L.L.P. - Morristown, New Jersey, Litigation Associate, 2000 - 2001
- Hon. Kenneth C. MacKenzie, Presiding Judge Chancery, Superior Court of New Jersey, Morristown, New Jersey, Law Clerk, 1999 - 2000