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Mikal C. Watts

Mikal  Watts is a San Antonio based personal injury trial lawyer who contributed $338,236 to Democratic campaigns in 2010 including financing Democratic “Get Out the Vote” efforts in Bexar County.  Watts contributed 1,035,142 to the Texas Democratic Party and trial lawyer groups in 2008.  Watts has created two deceptively named groups, the Good Government PAC and Vote Texas, which he uses to camouflage the source and size of many of his campaign contributions.

“The Chief Justice…was recently elected with our firm’s heavy support.”

Watts once tried to use his large political contributions to pressure a legal opponent into a $60 million personal injury lawsuit settlement. In a nine-page letter sent to the defense lawyer, Watts claimed that he would win an appeal in the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi, because “this court is comprised of six justices, all of whom are good Democrats. The Chief Justice, Hon. Rogelio Valdez, was recently elected with our firm’s heavy support,” wrote Watts.

Watts also boasted of donations to the other justices on the bench saying, “Politely put, South Texas venue by itself makes this a very dangerous.” Read full letter.

When questioned about the letter by the Houston Chronicle, Watts said, “It was in response to the garbage we hear from defense lawyers every day.”

In 2005, a federal judge censured Watts for failing to tell Ford Motor Co. that his client died during settlement discussions. Ford told the court that Watts did not disclose the client’s death because injury would fetch a higher settlement.

Texas lawyer David Prichard, who has argued against Watts in court, told the Corpus Christi Caller Times that Watts uses questionable methods. “I have seen some tactics that, let’s just say, I would not employ,” Prichard said. “But I’m not a plaintiff’s lawyer. They sort of raised my eyebrows, but maybe that’s just par for the course on the other side of the docket.”

In 2008, Watts challenged U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, pledging $10 million of his own money to win the Senate seat, but Watts quickly aborted his Senate run, claiming family reasons.

Texas newspapers questioned Watt’s explanation for leaving the race (3), suggesting his ties to Mauricio Celis, who was later convicted of impersonating a lawyer (4), would doom his campaign. Watts links to Celis were exposed during the trial(5), including evidence that $400,000 in checks passed from Watts’s law firm to Celis, but Watts was not charged.

Mikal C. Watts: 2010 Total Contributions: $338,236

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/5108206.html
  2. http://www.caller.com/news/2008/sep/21/referrals-netted-celis-firm-millions/
  3. Watts_pulls_out_of_contest_for_Senate_San_An[1]
  4. http://www.triallawyerwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/S.A._lawyer_was_wrong_candidate_in_wrong_pla1.rtf
  5. Watts,_Celis_and_the_nude_fleeing_lady_The_H[1]