Charlene R. Echols


Partner, April 1999-May 2012

  • Defense of corporate clients against multi-million dollar product liability claims involving injuries and death allegedly caused by defects in the design, manufacture and marketing of products such as pharmaceuticals, recreational motor vehicles and propane tanks as well as asbestos and other toxic tort claims
  • Continued defense of trucking and transportation companies, construction companies, medical facilities and premises owners
  • Lead trial counsel in more than 40 trials throughout Texas and California
  • Managed teams of up to 15 attorneys and paralegals in all pretrial and trial
  • responsibilities for state wide dockets in high risk mass tort litigation
  • Developed and executed litigation strategy based on case value and potential resolution by negotiation
  • Managed mass tort joint defense strategy among multiple defendants including the coordination, preparation and development of expert witnesses
  • Advanced or defended more than 20 expert witness challenges in toxic tort and consumer litigation
  • Defended cases in pretrial and at trial in which the suit was proceeding under the laws of a state other than Texas such as Florida, California or North Carolina
  • Prepared and presented national corporate representative and other persons with knowledge for depositions in suits throughout the nation
  • Deposed more than 500 expert witnesses in fields including cardiology, Internal medicine, pathology, pulmonology, radiology, life care planning, vocational rehabilitation, economics, state of the art and industrial hygiene
  • Planned and presented deposition and litigation strategies to a nationwide meeting of a product manufacturer’s local counsel
  • Assisted corporations in advancing litigation goals while working within the budgetary and billing guidelines of their insurance carrier

HUFF & ASSOCIATES, (Merged with DeHay & Elliston in April 1999)
Partner, March 1993—April, 1999

  • Represented insured and self—insured drivers, trucking and transportation companies in catastrophic commercial truck accidents in which violations of state and federal motor carrier safety regulations were alleged
  • Defended property owners and tenants who had been sued by those claiming to have been injured in slip, trip and fall accidents, physical and sexual assaults, wrongful detention and dram shop
  • Deposed expert witnesses in fields of accident reconstruction, economics, vocational rehabilitation and medical fields including orthopedics, neurology, obstetrics and psychology

Associate, May 1990-March 1993

  • Responsible for all discovery in various types of personal injury litigation, including drafting written discovery and deposing plaintiffs and witnesses
  • Prepared and argued appellate briefs, summary judgment motions, trial briefs and all pretrial motions including successfully arguing before the Texarkana Court of Appeals the case of American Fire and Indemnity Company v. Don Jones, 828 S.W.2d 767 (writ denied) in which the court reversed the judgment of the trial court and rendered judgment in favor of the insurer because it held that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to consider legally valid evidence introduced by the carrier at trial.
  • Transitioned practice to Huff & Associates as part of a lateral group hire

Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas, J.D., 1990
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, B.A., 1987

Bar Admissions:

Court Admissions:
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Practice Areas:
Insurance Defense Litigation
Commercial Transportation Liability
Automobile Liability
Premises Liability
Products Liability
Toxic Tort Litigation
Consumer Litigation

Professional Affiliations and Memberships:
AV® Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell
State Bar of Texas
State Bar of California
Defense Research Institute
Dallas Bar Association

Representative Matters:

  • Obtained a defense verdict in a multi-million dollar claim involving breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act
  • Successfully defended roofing contractor in a Deceptive Trade Practices Act case with claimed damages of over one million dollars
  • Obtained an award of $105,000 in attorney’s fees in defense of a Deceptive Trade Practices Act case upon establishing that the plaintiffs suit was frivolous
  • Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a Dallas Police officer in a high profile suit involving claims of negligence, defamation, libel and slander related to police press conferences concerning the arrest of and charges against the plaintiff
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a bar owner whose establishment served alcohol to an individual who was later involved in a motor vehicle accident causing catastrophic injuries to a third party in one of the first cases litigated after the passage of the Texas Dram Shop Act
  • Successfully defended a trucking company and its driver in a wrongful death suit in which the mother of four minor children was killed after allegedly making a protected tum in front of an 18 wheeler
  • Obtained a defense verdict for a plasma donation center and it’s physician from claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligence and gross negligence resulting from an allegedly inappropriate physical examination of a client prior to donation
  • Successfully argued to strike the testimony of a plaintiff who later died, which resulted in the dismissal of the wrongful death claim against the client
  • Successfully defended a plasma donation center, its physician and staff in a negligence action brought by an individual who suffered a seizure and traumatic head injury shortly after donation
  • Successfully defended a propane tank manufacturer in a case in which the plaintiff suffered third degree burns to over 80% of his body upon the explosion of a gas grill. Other defendants in the case included the manufacturer and seller of the grill, the manufacturers of the pressure valve and the hose and the retailer who filled the tank
  • Obtained a dismissal in a suit brought against a propane tank manufacturer after establishing through expert testimony that the explosion was the result of over-filling and improper maintenance of the tank by the injured plaintiff s employer
  • Successfully argued for inclusion of the tobacco manufacturer on the verdict form in a wrongful death/lung cancer case in the first asbestos case to be tried in Texas after the enactment of the Responsible Third Party statute
  • Successfully defended and obtained indemnification for the owner/franchisee of a gas station in a case in which the 82 year old plaintiff sustained serious back and knee injuries after tripping over an extension cord used to power an inflatable product display ordered by the franchisor and installed on the premises by a third party
  • Successfully defended an asbestos-containing product manufacturer in a two day motion to compel hearing in which plaintiffs’ counsel was seeking the production of corporate documents which could allegedly defeat the manufacturer’s claim that its products did not reach certain geographic regions of the state

Community Involvement:

  • Judge, Southern Methodist University Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions
  • Judge, State Mock Trial competition
  • Board of Directors, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas
  • Developmental Day School
  • Board of Directors, Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet PTA