Our Lawyers

Our team offers not only a remarkable breadth and depth of trial experience, but experience in arbitration and appellate matters as well. In addition, many of our partners are board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in one or more areas of litigation:

  • Don Jackson – Civil Trial, Personal Injury Trial
  • Eileen O’Neill – Civil Appellate, Civil Trial
  • Paul Smith – Personal Injury Trial
  • Tim Lee – Civil Appellate

Board certification requires that an attorney practice in their area of specialization for at least three years, as well as take part in rigorous continuing education courses. It’s an achievement that few attorneys reach.

There’s something else that’s distinct about us and our attorneys: we listen. Clients appreciate that our attorneys take the time to understand their priorities and then develop a plan and strategy reflecting their input.

John E. Nelson III

After a varied career that has included a Fifth Circuit clerkship, practices in New York, Washington and Houston, and advocacy teaching at the University of Texas, Jay Nelson supports the firm’s leading trial and appellate lawyers with insightful research and incisive writing. To paraphrase a familiar advertising campaign, Jay’s role is not to produce results for the firm’s clients, but to make those results better.

Reflecting changes in the law over 35 years, Jay worked on antitrust, securities and corporate control cases in the 1970s, product liability and toxic tort cases in the ‘80s, ERISA and energy contract cases in the ‘90s and construction, insurance, partnership and tax cases since affiliating with Ware, Jackson, Lee, O’Neill, Smith & Barrow, LLP in 2002. His favorite cases are not chosen by subject matter, but are those in which he has helped obtain a victory or a favorable settlement for the client and, through research and analysis, influenced or clarified the law along the way.

He reads and writes fiction, philosophy and history, enjoys the theater and old songs, and occasionally gets skunked at tennis by his stepson, whom he taught to play.

Click here to download or print Jay’s profile.

Contact Info

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Admitted To Bar



J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1975
M.A., University of Kentucky, 1995
B.A. cum laude, Williams College, 1970


State Bar of Texas, Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Appellate and Motion Practice