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 43 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 the predecessor firm of Ware, Jackson, Lee, O’Neill Smith & Barrow, L.L.P 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.

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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