Champion of Justice: Mikal C. Watts’ Inspiring Journey

In the realm of legal advocacy and the relentless pursuit of justice, Mikal C. Watts stands as a guiding force. As a founding attorney of Watts Law Firm LLP, his career has been dedicated to empowering individuals who have faced adversity, providing them with a strong and unwavering voice in their struggles against powerful corporations. Recently, Mikal C. Watts received the esteemed “Champion of Justice” award from Texas Watch, an organization committed to holding insurance companies and corporations accountable to their customers.

Mikal’s passion for justice extends beyond the courtroom; it’s about empowering those whose lives have been disrupted by catastrophe. His mission is not solely about winning cases but creating a legal landscape where everyone, regardless of their opponent’s might, can stand up and assert their rights.

As one of the founders of Watts Law Firm LLP, Mikal has enabled over 200,000 clients to have their voices heard in battles against some of the world’s largest corporations. Through his dedication, billions of dollars have been recovered for individuals who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries, been exposed to toxic substances, faced product defects, and other consequences of corporate negligence and greed.

Mikal’s vision has always been clear: to secure maximum compensation for each individual client, to hold powerful entities accountable, to establish precedents that drive societal change for the greater good, and, above all, to empower those who may have felt voiceless.

Texas Watch: Advocating for Accountability and Justice

Texas Watch, since its inception in 1998, has been a steadfast advocate for Texas families and consumers. The organization champions laws that uphold accountability through the courts, protect the constitutional right to Trial by Jury enshrined in the Seventh Amendment, enhance safety standards for workers, patients, and communities, and reform the insurance marketplace to ensure fair coverage at a reasonable cost. Through community engagement and advocacy, Texas Watch empowers Texans to safeguard and strengthen their constitutional rights and protections.

Supporting the cause is the Texas Watch Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, committed to educating the public about the vital role of our civil justice system in fostering a safe and responsible society. Through research and public education initiatives, the Texas Watch Foundation addresses a wide range of civil justice concerns, including consumer protection, patient safety, workplace safety, and more.

Being named a Champion of Justice by Texas Watch is a testament to Mikal C. Watts’ unwavering dedication to justice and his ongoing efforts to advocate for those in need. In his speech, Mikal C. Watts shared anecdotes about his family, his law partners, and his colleagues over the years. 

Lesson 1: The Essence of Justice

Mikal C. Watts’ first lesson on the pursuit of justice revolves around the fundamental understanding of what justice truly means. He emphasized the importance of delving into the concept of justice, asking questions like “What is justice?” and “Why are we here?” Mikal highlighted the origin of the word “justice,” tracing it back to the Old French word “giustis” and its Latin root, “iustitia.”

He posed the essential questions: “What does justice mean to you?” and “What does it mean to me?” Mikal explained that justice encompasses notions of uprightness, equity, vindication of rights, and the administration of the law. He underscored that justice embodies what is right, what is fair, and what is true. In essence, this lesson emphasizes the importance of lawyers comprehending the essence of justice and their role in delivering it.

Lesson 2: Learning from the Masters

Lesson number two in Mikal C. Watts’ pursuit of justice wisdom revolves around learning how to deliver justice from those who have already achieved it. He emphasized the importance of seeking guidance and knowledge from experienced lawyers who have a proven track record in delivering justice.

Mikal cautioned against the arrogance of assuming that one is the first generation of lawyers to possess the knowledge of delivering justice. He shared his personal journey, recounting how he learned from a great lawyer, his first Boston mentor, David Perry. Perry’s monumental achievement, a $106.2 million verdict against the Ford Motor Company, inspired Mikal’s passion for law and justice.

Mikal stressed the significance of observing and learning from accomplished lawyers in action. He encouraged young lawyers to actively seek opportunities to watch and learn from the best in the field. He shared his own experiences of traveling to watch renowned lawyers during trials, even sneaking out of the house to do so.

Ultimately, the lesson underscores the importance of humility and a willingness to learn from those who have mastered the art of delivering justice. Mikal’s own success in the field, he suggested, was greatly influenced by his dedication to learning from the best.

Lesson 3: The Joy of the Pursuit

Mikal C. Watts’ lessons on the pursuit of justice highlight the importance of learning from, watching, and partnering with accomplished lawyers known for delivering justice. He emphasizes that this journey can be both rewarding and enjoyable when undertaken with the right people.

Mikal encourages young lawyers to seek out those with a passion for justice, whether they have established reputations or display exceptional skills and determination. The key is to find individuals with a fire in their belly, a thirst for justice, and an unwavering commitment to fighting for it until they achieve it.

Mikal underscores the value of loyalty in the legal profession. He shares the story of his past and how his law firm partners, associates and colleagues persevered through challenging times. This loyalty and dedication to one another, he suggests, can be a cornerstone of success in the pursuit of justice.

In essence, Mikal’s lessons serve as a roadmap for aspiring lawyers, reminding them to surround themselves with the right mentors, colleagues, and allies who share their passion for justice and are willing to stand by their side through thick and thin.

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Harnessing the Power of Law for Systemic Change

Mikal C. Watts understands that the true power of the law lies in its capacity to drive systemic change. Every case he takes on isn’t just a legal battle; it’s an opportunity to reshape norms, elevate standards, and effect lasting transformation.

Mikal’s tenacious pursuit of justice in the face of formidable adversaries has led to unprecedented settlements in product liability cases, environmental mass torts, and more. Corporations that prioritize profit over safety often resort to cutting corners and reducing safety standards. Mikal uses litigation to disrupt this cycle of corporate negligence.

By compelling corporations to pay damages to all affected parties, these firms hit corporations where it hurts the most – their finances. This financial impact serves a dual purpose: it provides much-needed compensation to victims of negligence and acts as a potent deterrent to corporations.

One such example is Mikal’s litigation against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company, which resulted in resolving one of the most significant product liability cases in the country. This landmark case exposed Ford’s efforts to recall defective tires in foreign countries while continuing to endanger American consumers. The terms of the settlement were unprecedented, not only in monetary value but also in requiring companies to disclose information related to their product defects and safety policies. As a result, these automotive giants changed their practices, producing safer products.

An example of Mikal’s work in the pharmaceutical industry is the Vioxx litigation, where Mikal represented thousands of Vioxx patients and their families. His expertise in MDLs combined with the formidable resources of his law firm positioned him as a central figure when all the Vioxx cases across the country were consolidated. Mikal was a selected attorney serving on the Vioxx Litigation Consortium (VLC), a critical group responsible for leading the charge in court and during negotiations for the MDL. The VLC was able to settle the case with defendant Merck for an astounding $4.85 billion, believed to be the largest drug settlement in history.

Mikal has also achieved historic settlements for victims in the areas of utility company negligence causing devastating wildfires. In the 2017 Camp Fire in California, Mikal played an instrumental role in securing a monumental $13.5 billion settlement against negligent utility corporation Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). In addition to financial compensation, the settlement encompassed a significant transformation of PG&E’s board, with a strategic shift towards prioritizing safety over profit. This comprehensive overhaul includes the implementation of stringent standards, policies, and practices aimed at preventing future catastrophic wildfires.

Watts Law Firm LLP: Harnessing the Power of Law for a Safer Society

Mikal C. Watts’ unwavering commitment to justice, as evidenced by being named “Champion of Justice” by Texas Watch, is a testament to his dedication to empowering individuals and advocating for those in need. However, it’s essential to recognize that Mikal never stands alone in his pursuit of justice. At Watts Law Firm LLP, our team shares his passion and dedication to making a difference. 

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Mikal Watts

Written on behalf of Mikal Watts, and reviewed by Watts Law Firm LLP

Mikal C. Watts is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Martindale-Hubbel AV Rated Lawyer.