Sept. 22, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706


League City lawyer hired as State Bar of Texas executive director

AUSTIN — The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted on Friday to hire E.A. “Trey” Apffel III of League City as the next State Bar executive director. Apffel was elected with 42 votes. Another applicant received one vote. One voting member abstained.

“Our search committee overwhelmingly believed Trey was the right choice for the position at the right time, and our board overwhelmingly agreed,” State Bar President Tom Vick said. “He has extensive knowledge
of the workings of the bar and will work productively with our members and staff to advance our mission of serving Texas attorneys and the people of our state.”

A former State Bar of Texas president, Apffel is the owner and principal of the Apffel Law Firm, where he focuses on personal injury litigation, toxic torts, and medical malpractice. His practice also includes family law and divorce. He has practiced in Galveston County for more than 30 years. Apffel will begin his new position on December 1.

The State Bar’s Executive Director Search Committee nominated Apffel this month after an extensive search that included more than 140 expressions of interest from individuals across the country. The committee nominated Apffel after in-person interviews with seven finalists. The Board of Directors affirmed the committee’s nomination Friday during a meeting in Lubbock.

The Board of Directors in April appointed the search committee, a diverse group of private citizens, people with significant experience in hiring executive leadership, members of the State Bar board, and other members of the bar. A committee roster is available at

Apffel will succeed Michelle Hunter, who retired August 31 after nearly nine years as executive director and two decades on the State Bar staff. State Bar legal counsel John Sirman will continue to serve as interim executive director until Apffel begins work.

The State Bar executive director is elected by a majority vote of the board and is the bar’s chief executive officer. The executive director manages the day-to-day operations of the more than 100,000-member organization, leads a staff of 261 employees, and executes the affairs of the State Bar in accordance with the State Bar Act, the State Bar Rules, and the directives of the board.

Apffel has served as State Bar of Texas president (2014-2015), on the State Bar Board of Directors, as a member of the board’s Executive Committee, and as chair of the Legislative Policy Committee. He is a former member of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He is a member of the Texas Bar College, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, and served on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.

Apffel is a member of the Galveston County Bar Association and served as the organization’s president in 1996-1997. He is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Media note: A high-resolution photo of Apffel is available upon request.

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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

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