Civil Trial Law

Since 1925, our firm has focused on civil trial law in Waco. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants, which helps our attorneys anticipate the other side’s next move. This is a unique perspective that keeps us sharp. Our lawyers are compassionate, adaptable, and creative. We prepare cases not to settle but to trial. Because we are laser-focused on trying cases, we know to pursue what is essential and not waste resources on unproductive discovery.

What are Your Civil Trial Law Results?

If you hire Dunnam & Dunnam, you will get attorneys who strive to get outstanding results. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants. And although we have obtained dismissals, summary judgments, and take-nothing verdicts in high-stakes cases as defense lawyers, some of our biggest wins for the plaintiff include the following.

  • $27 million settlement in matter involving the close head injury of a two-week-old child. Read about this case as reported by the Waco Tribune Herald, KCEN-TV, Meat & Poultry Magazine and
  • $15 million settlement reported in matter involving the injuries and death of ATF agents in the Branch Davidian raid. Read about this case on
  • $3.6 million verdict for intellectual property and breach of contract matter. Read about this case as reported by the Waco Tribune Herald.
  • $1.6 million verdict in malicious prosecution case. Read about this case on
  • $1.5 million verdict in wrongful termination case.
  • $1.5 million settlement reported for the injuries caused by a straw purchase of a gun at a pawn shop. Read about this case as reported by the Waco Tribune Herald, and
  • $800 thousand verdict for motorcycle driver with broken femur involved in collision with a car.

We are proud of our results reported above, but please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Each matter depends on the facts of the case.

What types of civil cases do you handle?

Civil cases are court matters that involve conflicts between two people, that usually involves money. The person who complains about being hurt files a petition in Texas state court, or a complaint in federal court. That plaintiff usually asks for money or an injunction. An injunction seeks a court order to prevent someone from performing something that money wouldn’t solve. Civil trial law is our bread and butter. The cases that we handle usually involve one of the following.

Stages of civil litigation

Pre-filing. During this stage, a dispute arises, and the parties usually try to negotiate a resolution.
Initial pleadings. This is when a plaintiff files its petition or complaint to start the court matter, and the defendant files a response, which is usually called an answer or a motion.
Discovery. During the discovery stage, both sides exchange documents, witnesses, and other information. This is where we learn about the strengths and weaknesses of our positions.
Post discovery/pre-trial. Here, the lawyers get their evidence and witnesses together, and they often file motions with the court to resolve the case or limit the issues for trial.
Trial. During this stage, the case is heard by the judge or a jury; witnesses are examined, the evidence is presented, and the case is eventually decided, and a judgment entered.
Post-trial. Parties might appeal the trial judgment, or the winning party might try to collect the judgment that was entered.

What clients say about our civil trial work 

“We do business all over the world and in all 50 states and the need to hire litigation counsel that can win and is well-connected with the local bench and bar is paramount.  Over my career, I have hired hundreds of lawyers across the globe and still do to this day.  Jim Dunnam is one of the very finest trial lawyers I have ever hired.  Jim is world-class in every sense and has handled our litigation counsel needs for everything from complex intellectual property cases, breach of contract claims, employment matters, and beyond.  His ability to advocate for his client in the complex world of Waco federal court to the everyday battle in the McLennan County state courts is second to none.  If you are looking for a litigation counsel here in the Western District of Texas, search no further, Jim is your man!”


Grayson Brown, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Neighborly (the world’s largest home services franchisor with over 3,700 franchisees and $2B+ in system sales).


Jim Dunnam is certified as a specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the practice of Civil Trial Law (certified since 1994):

Jim Dunnam Waco Attorney at Dunnam & Dunnam

Jim Dunnam

Jim Dunnam is a Board Certified Specialist in both Civil Trial Law and Family Law.

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The following attorneys at Dunnam and Dunnam, also, engage in the practice of Civil Trial Law:

Vance Dunnam Waco Attorney at Dunnam & Dunnam

Vance Dunnam

Vance has 60 years of experience as a lawyer in Waco, Texas handling all types of cases in both the office and the courtroom.

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Vance Dunnam Waco Attorney at Dunnam & Dunnam

Vance Dunnam, Jr.

Vance has been licensed by the State Bar of Texas since 1977 and has practiced law in Waco, Texas since 1978.

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Andrea Mehta Waco Lawyer at Dunnam & Dunnam

Andrea Michelle Mehta

Andrea's practice focuses primarily in Appellate Law, Civil Trial Law, Family Law, and General Law.

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Eleeza Johnson Attorney at Law Dunnam & Dunam

Eleeza Johnson

Eleeza's practice areas include: Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Commercial Law, Family Law and Pharmaceutical Law.

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Gerald R. Villarrial

Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.

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Mason Dunnam

Mason Dunnam is the fourth generation of Dunnam attorneys at the firm since 1925

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Central Texans have chosen Dunnam & Dunnam since 1925 to serve as their counsel when it matters most. Contact a top civil lawyer in Waco by calling us at 254-753-6437.