About

About 2017-10-11T11:12:48+00:00

The personal injury attorneys at Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, comprise one of the oldest, and most well-established plaintiffs’ law firms in Austin, Texas. Since our firm was established in 1974, we have a history of achieving record verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to maximize our clients’ success.

Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, also possesses the financial ability to fund complex litigation. Our opponents often have access to many more resources than our clients, and we help level the playing field by financing case expenses up front on behalf of our clients and being paid on a contingency-fee basis. Our lawyers are experienced at every stage of the case. We represent clients from pre-suit negotiations, administrative claims, through jury and bench trials in state and federal court, to appeals in the Texas Supreme Court,  the 4th 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th Circuits, and appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States.  At trial, we use the latest technology combined with the experience of our trial lawyers to present a case effectively.

These advantages have allowed us to obtain two of the largest verdicts in history under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In one medical malpractice birth injury case, we obtained a trial judgment of $44,717,681* on behalf of an Air Force family, ensuring our client lifetime benefits and medical coverage after attorneys’ fees and expenses following an appeal. In another medical malpractice birth injury case, our firm obtained a trial judgment of $32,676,410** for an Army family, also ensuring our client lifetime benefits and medical coverage after attorneys’ fees and expenses following an appeal.

We have obtained trial judgments and settlements across the country. In Tennessee, our lawyers obtained a trial judgment of $13,690,648 for a Navy family in a medical malpractice birth injury case, with the family recovering $9,183,752 and lifetime benefits after attorneys’ fees and expenses following an appeal. In Washington state, our lawyers obtained a settlement of $10,000,000 for an Army family in another medical malpractice birth injury case with the family recovering $7,384,854 after attorneys’ fees and expenses. From California to Florida, Texas to Minnesota, Oregon to Maine, our results span the United States.

Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, has twice obtained seven-figure trial verdicts against Ford Motor Company, for $8,700,000 in Texas and $4,600,000 in Colorado. Both cases were settled for a confidential amount following an appeal affirming the verdicts. Our firm also obtained one of the largest civil rights violation settlements ever under Section 1983, with our clients receiving $6.8 million after attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Our firm has a rich history of public service. Lawyers at the firm have gone on to become a Texas Supreme Court Justice, a Texas Court of Appeals Justice, a U.S. Congressman, a State Senator, and a Mayor of Austin. Our attorneys have served as President of the State Bar of Texas, President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, President of the National American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Foundation, President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA), President of the Austin Young Lawyers Association (AYLA), President of the Travis County Women Lawyers Association (TCWLA), and Chair of the Federal Tort Liability and Military Advocacy Section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

We are deeply committed to our families and to community service. Our lawyers have long been active with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, Texas Rural Legal Aid, the Texas Bar Foundation, the Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation, and other organizations devoted to legal services for the poor. Our community service extends far beyond the legal field and includes the Austin Children’s Museum, Meals on Wheels, YouthLaunch, Communities in Schools, Leadership Austin, El Buen Samaritano, the Austin Children’s Shelter, local churches, and numerous youth soccer, baseball and basketball teams.

Three of our attorneys, William O. Whitehurst, Thomas R. Harkness and Eugene W. Brees II, are board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and are members of the American Board of Trial Advocates, among other prestigious organizations. Our attorneys include a registered pharmacist, an engineer, two instrument-rated pilots, and several former adjunct professors of Trial Advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law. Two of our attorneys are former Air Force JAG attorneys. Our staff includes a registered nurse and multiple Spanish speakers to better serve our clients.

For over four decades, we have cultivated a team of seasoned professionals for one purpose: to be a powerful voice for the injured.

* The judgment after appeal totaled $20,000,000, with our clients receiving $15,752,732 and lifetime benefits after attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.
** The judgment after appeal totaled $23,250,000, with our clients receiving $18,967,710 and lifetime benefits after attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.