JAMES B. SALES
State Bar President, 1988-1989
James B. Sales of Houston is of counsel to the Houston office of
Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. A native of Weimar, Sales earned a B.S.
from the University of Texas in 1952 and a LL.B. (with honors) from the
University of Texas School of Law in 1960. Sales served on the board of
directors of the State Bar of Texas in 1983-87. He served as chairman of
the board of directors in 1985-86 and as a member of the executive
committee from 1983 to 1987. While serving on the board of directors,
Sales served as chair of the Goals and Implementation Committee and as a
member of the Budget Committee, the Audit and Finance Committee, and the
Professional Development Committee.
As president of the State Bar, Sales worked to improve the grievance
complaint process, support the delivery of legal services to the poor,
and expand the concept of alternative dispute resolution, among other
Sales served as president of the Houston Bar Association in 1980-81
and as chair of the board of trustees of the Houston Bar Foundation in
1983-84. In addition, he served as a member of the House of Delegates of
the American Bar Association. Sales is a member of the International
Association of Defense Counsel, the Defense Research Institute, and the
Texas Association of Defense Counsel. He served as chair of the Texas
Access to Justice Commission and is now chair emeritus.
As chair of the commission, Sales developed the Texas Trial Academy,
the first trial law clinic for Texas legal aid lawyers, and a special
two-day family law institute that was presented in conjunction with the
annual Poverty Law Conference.
In 2011, Houston Mayor Annise Parker proclaimed May 3 as James B.
Sales Day in his honor. Then-State Bar President Terry Tottenham praised
Sales for his accomplishments, including his efforts to promote
professionalism among lawyers, implement Texas’s IOLTA program,
and bolster services to lawyers suffering from substance abuse and
mental health issues. As chair of the Texas Access to Justice
Commission, Sales helped secure $20 million to help fund legal services
to the poor.
Sales is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the
International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and an advocate of the American
Board of Trial Advocates. He authored the treatise “Product
Liability Law in Texas” (1st ed. 1985) and co-authored the
treatise “The Law of Strict Tort Liability in Texas” (1st
ed. 1977). Sales has written numerous other law review articles and has
spoken at many institutes and seminars sponsored by the State Bar of
Texas and the various law schools in the state.
Sales served as a trustee of South Texas School of Law and as a
director of the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation and of the Inns of Court. He
served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas College of Trial
Advocacy. Sales received the Texas Bar Foundation award for outstanding
legal writing in 1977, 1978, and 1985.