The State Bar of Texas Presidents’ Award honors exceptional service to the public and the legal profession. It is given each year by the State Bar President to the Texas lawyer he considers to have brought the highest honor to the legal profession in the State of Texas.
State Bar President, Tom Vick, presented the 2018 State Bar Presidents’ Award to Dale Felton.
In making the presentation, Mr. Vick stated:
“Dale Felton is a Navasota trial lawyer and insurance law expert with a long history of giving back to the legal profession. A past president of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Dale helped hundreds of homeowners recover damages caused by Hurricane Ike. When Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Southeast Texas in 2017, Dale selflessly shared his knowledge of flood insurance claims and relevant case law with other attorneys over the phone, online, and at over a dozen insurance law seminars, becoming a go-to source for his colleagues. Dale appeared twice on Houston television in hour-long programs advising viewers whose homes were inundated with floodwaters how to make a claim.
The ABA Journal called Dale the breakout star of the Texas Lawyers Facebook Group, a page for lawyers to seek answers on legal matters from their peers. Page creator Andrew Tolchin said many of Dale’s posts are so instructional as to resemble Continuing Legal Education courses. Another attorney, Andrew Weisblatt, spoke for Dale’s peers when he called Dale’s posts “authoritative” and “so full of what people desperately needed.” Another lawyer, Erin Eckert, said Dale has become a Texas legend; the expert who lawyers from all over the state turn to for help with complex legal problems.
The State Bar of Texas past presidents commend Dale Felton for his dedicated service to his colleagues and to the people of our great state.”
Mr. Felton was also the subject of a rather nice article in the February 2018 issue of the American Bar Association Journal. The article entitled, Dale Felton: Texas Lawyers’ Facebook Friend, reported:
Dale Felton is a semi-retired Texas trial lawyer of some distinction, particularly as an insurance law expert and an expert in car and truck crashes. In one case, Arnold v. National County Mutual Fire Insurance Co., he prompted the state supreme court to create the law of bad-faith, which requires insurance companies to deal fairly with their insureds. If they don’t they can be found liable for extra damages over and above the amount owed under the policy.
Mr. Fellton has spent his entire career standing up for injured individuals against big corporations. He says, “I always liked fighting for the little guy.”
In one case a couple went to Jamaica on vacation and rented a car while there. They were involved in a minor fender-bender, but it caused the car’s nonlaminated windshield to implode into their faces, blinding them. Laminated windshields have been required in the U.S. since the 1920’s, but outside the U.S. and Canada the car companies used tempered, nonlaminated glass so they could save $6.00 per car. Felton took on the challenge and hauled the foreign car manufacturer into a Texas courtroom. The case resulted in all car manufacturers in the entire world changing to laminated windshields as standard equipment.
In 2008, a friend urged him to take on flood claims resulting from Hurricane Ike. As is his custom in taking on any legal matter, Felton spent 21 straight days and nights in a Houston law library to learn about flood insurance law to the point where he became an expert. Then he helped hundreds get the benefits they were owed under their flood insurance policies.
When Hurricane Harvey hit, he knew that lawyers were going to need help with so many millions of people affected by the horrible storm. He spent hours on the phone and at seminars sharing tips, insights, and advice about how to handle the claims of so many whose homes had been devastated. As more and more lawyers took advantage of Felton’s help in how to handle their clients’ claims, Felton’s reputation grew tremendously among lawyers all over the state. Lisa Mathews, an attorney from Conroe, remarked, “No other lawyer gives so much of himself to help other members of the legal profession. He is truly one of a kind.”