WILLIAM O. “BILL” WHITEHURST
State Bar President, 1986-1987
Bill Whitehurst is a partner in the Austin law firm of
Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees & Cheng, P.C. After
receiving a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma in 1968,
he attended the University of Texas School of Law where he received a
J.D. in 1970. While in law school he was a member of the Order of
Barristers, Phi Delta Theta legal fraternity, the Friar Society and was
on both the 1969 and 1970 national moot court teams.
Whitehurst was an associate attorney with Fulbright & Jaworski
in Houston in 1971 before fulfilling an ROTC requirement and becoming
assistant staff judge advocate with the United States Air Force
stationed at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts. From 1972 to 1975 he
was a circuit defense counsel in the USAF where he defended all USAF
felony cases in Okinawa, Japan, Guam and Korea and additional felony
cases in Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.
In 1975 he was staff director and counsel for the Texas House of
Representatives Committee on Judicial Affairs. He joined his present
law firm in 1975.
Whitehurst was very active in State Bar and Texas Young Lawyers
Association activities. He served on the State Bar executive committee
from 1982 to 1984 and the State Bar Board of Directors from 1981 to
1984. In addition, he served as president of TYLA from 1982 to 1983 and
on the board of directors from 1979 to 1984. During his term as
president, TYLA was recognized as the outstanding young lawyers
organization in the nation by the American Bar Association Young Lawyer
He has been a member of numerous State Bar committees including the
Federal Laws and Regulations Affecting the Bar Committee, Code of
Professional Responsibility Committee, the Policy Manual Committee, the
1983-84 Fact Finding Committee, the General Counsel Advisory Committee,
the Administration of Justice Committee, the Senate-House Select
Committee on the Judiciary, the Citizens and Law Focused Education and
Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committees.. In 1982 he chaired the
State Bar Centennial Convention Committee.
He is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He holds memberships in
the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers
of America, the American Bar Association, the American Society of
Pharmacy Law and the American Society of Law and Medicine.
Additionally, Whitehurst served the Travis County Bar Association as
secretary in 1980-81 and as a board member in 1979-81. In 1978-79 he was
president of the Austin Young Lawyers Association.
Being both an attorney and a pharmacist, he has lectured at the
University of Texas College of Pharmacy on pharmacy jurisprudence and
has served on the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law as
an instructor of trial advocacy. He has judged and coached University
of Texas interscholastic mock trial and moot court teams.
Active in community affairs, Whitehurst is an elder of the First
Presbyterian Church of Austin and has served as vice president for the
Friends of Live Oak Productions for the theatrical arts. He has spoken
at numerous schools in the Austin Independent School District and has
appeared on local radio and television programs discussing the legal