Mikal C. Watts

Trial Lawyer

Watts Law Firm, LLP (Licensed in TX)

Biography

Founder and Mass Tort Lawyer Powering Change, Empowering Voices
Mikal C. Watts is more than just an attorney – he’s a driver of change and a powerful force in the battle for justice. His commitment is about more than just winning cases, it’s about empowering people who have been harmed in their struggles against large corporations after their lives have been upended by catastrophe.

As an advocate, Mikal strives to make the legal world less intimidating, more accessible, and ultimately, a platform where anyone can stand up and voice their grievances, no matter how powerful the opponent.

As a founder of Watts Law Firm LLP, Mikal has powered change, enabling over 200,000 clients to realize their right to have their voices heard against the largest corporations worldwide. This determination has led to the recovery of billions of dollars for clients who have fallen victim to catastrophic personal injury, toxic torts, product liability, and other unfortunate circumstances caused by corporate negligence and greed.

His goals have always been clear: to secure the maximum compensation for his individual clients, to hold the mighty accountable, to establish precedents that inspire societal change for the greater good, and to empower the voiceless.

Mass Tort Attorney Committed to Personal Communication with Clients
Mikal C. Watts deeply understands that the key to a successful client-lawyer relationship lies in personalized, regular communication. Despite the inherently complex and large-scale nature of mass tort litigation, Mikal is dedicated to ensuring that every client feels individually acknowledged and truly understood. In an industry where clients can often feel lost in the crowd, Mikal has developed a thoughtful and effective strategy to guarantee each person feels genuinely recognized and represented.

The first facet of this strategy involves a significant investment in resources and staffing at Watts Law Firm LLP. Mikal has meticulously assembled a robust team of skilled attorneys, paralegals, and legal professionals who embody his commitment to client-focused service. This team is charged with the task of responding promptly to all client inquiries, and they are steadfast in their mission to make each client feel valued and heard. A vital part of this mission includes providing regular updates on case statuses, ensuring clients are never left in the dark about their legal journey.

Moreover, Mikal’s dedication to personalized communication extends well beyond the boundaries of conventional legal practices. Recognizing the importance of face-to-face interactions in fostering trust and mutual understanding, Mikal makes it a point to personally meet with his clients. Despite the challenging logistics of representing thousands of clients spread across the country, Mikal has prioritized maintaining a direct, physical presence in his clients’ lives.

To realize this ambitious approach, Mikal travels to each city affected by catastrophe at least once every 90 days. These visits aren’t just formal courtesy calls; they involve Mikal hosting town-hall meetings, where he personally answers questions, addresses concerns, and discusses the ongoing litigations. These in-person sessions underscore his commitment to individualized service and serve as a testament to his dedication to empowering his clients.

This two-pronged approach reflects Mikal C. Watts’ unwavering commitment to not just represent his clients legally, but to ensure they feel heard, valued, and empowered throughout their legal journey. It underscores his philosophy that in mass tort litigation, the power lies in each individual’s story and each client’s voice.

“One of the most effective plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.”

Harnessing the Power of Law for Systemic Change
Mikal C. Watts understands the real power of the law lies in its commitment to systemic change. Every case taken on is seen not just as a battle to be won, but as an opportunity to shift paradigms, to raise standards, to effect lasting change. Mikal’s relentless pursuit of justice in the face of powerful adversaries has resulted in unprecedented settlements in product liability cases, environmental mass torts and more.

Corporations frequently prioritize profit over safety, sometimes resorting to reducing safety standards and cutting corners to protect their bottom line. Mass tort law firms play a pivotal role in interrupting this cycle of corporate negligence. By compelling corporations to pay damages to all affected parties, these firms hit corporations where it hurts the most – their finances.

This financial impact is twofold; not only does it provide much-needed compensation to the victims of negligence, but it also serves as a powerful deterrent to corporations. Faced with hefty financial penalties, corporations are often compelled to reassess and revamp their safety standards and policies. After experiencing such a substantial financial blow, the threat of another such penalty can act as a potent motivator for corporations to prioritize safety over profit in the future.

One example of this type of corporate change can be demonstrated by Mikal’s litigation against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company, which resulted in resolving the most significant product liability case in the country. Watts Law Firm LLP was nationally recognized as one of two firms leading in the pursuit of hundreds of claims brought nationwide against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company. Mikal was instrumental in bringing to light Ford’s quiet efforts to recall these defective tires in foreign countries while consumers in the United States continued to be injured or killed riding on the same tires. The terms of the settlement were unprecedented in American history for a case of this type; not only monetarily, but by virtue of what the companies agreed to do with respect to the disclosure of information relating to their own investigations into the alleged defects with their products and their corporate safety policies. As a result, these automotive giants changed their practices to produce better and safer products.

In this way, mass tort law firms aren’t just advocates for victims; they are instrumental in driving systemic change. By forcing corporations to face the financial consequences of their negligence, Mikal fosters an environment where safety takes precedence over profit, making industries safer for everyone.

Tireless Champion for the Everyman
In a society often dominated by corporate interests, Mikal stands out as a tireless champion for the everyman. The Texas Lawyer aptly noted, “In the driver’s seat, trial lawyer Mikal Watts doesn’t even know where the brake pedal is.” He consistently pushes the boundaries of what is possible in a courtroom, wielding the power of the law to drive change and empower his clients.

Mikal’s reputation as a powerful advocate for his clients is echoed by the San Antonio Express News, which describes him as a “hardworking, smart and formidable courtroom adversary who also drives a hard bargain in settlement talks.” The National Law Journal affirms that “Watts has established a record as one of the most effective plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.”

Mikal’s unyielding dedication to his clients and the pursuit of justice resonates in every case he handles. His work has garnered national attention, with major news outlets including ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and The Wall Street Journal featuring his victories. Yet, for Mikal, his true success lies not in recognition, but in the knowledge that his work has empowered individuals and communities, altering lives and society for the better.

Join Our Mission to Empower the Voiceless and Power Change
Mikal is proud of his background and his journey from the University of Texas, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with high honors and then earned his law degree, to his position today as the leader of a law firm dedicated to systemic change for the greater good. As a Board-Certified Attorney in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated Lawyer, Mikal embodies the power of the law. His commitment to clients not only assists them as individuals, but forces necessary changes that make our collective society a better and safer place to live.

With Mikal C. Watts, you are not just a client; you are part of a powerful mission. You are part of a change, a movement that holds corporations accountable and empowers individuals. Mikal C. Watts doesn’t just practice law; he empowers voices, powers change, and exemplifies the true potential of the legal system.

Leadership Positions Held in Mass Tort Litigation

  • Appointment as Co-Lead Counsel in the Acetaminophen-ASD/ADHD Products Liability Litigation (MDL 3043), In re: Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2385) and In Re: Stand ‘N Seal (MDL 1804).
  • Represented over 16,000 victims of the 2017-18 northern California wildfires started by utility equipment of Pacific Gas; Electric; negotiated a global settlement via its bankruptcy plan of reorganization resulting in $13.5 billion paid to fires survivors via the Fire Victims Trust.
  • Lead settlement counsel for Texas’ political subdivisions, working with the federal MDL In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (S.D. N.Y.), which resulted in billions of dollars in settlements to help communities abate the opioid crisis
  • Lead trial counsel in the first Plaintiff bellwether verdicts in first Ford/Firestone tire lawsuit (MDL 1373); the first Rezulin plaintiffs’ verdict (MDL 1348); the only plaintiffs’ verdict in Sulzer hip implants (MDL 1401); trial of first Baycol case (MDL 1431); trial of first welding rods case during MDL 1525; trial of two bellwether cases during In re Vioxx (MDL 1657); and the only Plaintiffs’ verdict during In Re: Levaquin (MDL 1943).
  • In re: Norfolk Southern Train Derailment in East Palestine, Ohio (Case No. 423CV0604) (court-appointed member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee)
  • In re: Hair Relaxer Marketing Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (MDL 3060) (court- appointed member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee)
  • In re: Acetaminophen – ASD/ADHD Products Liability Litigation (MDL 3043) (court-appointed co-lead counsel)
  • In re: Texas Opioid Litigation (Texas MDL No. 18-0358) (head of Plaintiffs’ Settlement Committee; court-appointed member of the PSC)
  • In re: Zantac Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2924) (court-appointed member of the PSC; court-appointed head of trial team)
  • In re: Juul Labs, Inc. (MDL 2913) (court-appointed member of the PSC)
  • In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2885) (court-appointed member of the PSC; Plaintiffs’ Settlement Committee)
  • In re: Paraquat Cases (JCCP 5031) (court-appointed PSC)
  • In re: Kincaid Fire (JCCP 5157) (court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel)
  • In re: Zogg Fire (JCCP 5165) (court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel)
  • In re: Dixie Fire (JCCP 5208) (court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel)
  • In re: Bobcat Fire (20STCV42356- court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel)
  • In re: Valsartan N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) Contamination Products
  • Liability Litigation (MDL 2875) (court-appointed member of the PSC)
  • In re: California North Bay Fires Cases (JCCP 4955) (appointed member of the Plaintiffs’ Settlement Committee)
  • In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, MDL 2591 (D. Kan.) (court-appointed member of Plaintiffs’ Settlement Committee)
  • In re: Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2385) (court-appointed co-lead counsel)
  • In Re: Stand ‘N Seal (MDL 1804) (court-appointed co-lead counsel)
  • In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico (MDL 2179) (court – appointed member of the PSC)
  • In Re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation, (MDL 1873) (court-appointed member of the PSC)
  • In Re: Silica (MDL 1553) (court-appointed co-liaison counsel)

Court & Bar Admissions

  • Texas, Arkansas, Oregon
  • U.S. District Courts, Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Pro Hac Vice Admissions in numerous state and federal courts, including New York, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, and California

Awards & Recognitions

  • Elected as a Member of the Inner Circle of Advocates.
  • Board Certified, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Personal Injury.
  • Inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”)
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Executive Committee; Board of Directors
  • Attorneys Information Exchange Group, Executive Committee; Board of Directors
    AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Publications

  • TRIAL: A GUIDE FROM START TO FINISH – PERSPECTIVES FROM OPPOSING COUNSEL (Book Published by the American Bar Association in 2020)
  • Over 250 articles and Power Points presented at various Continuing Legal Education Seminars
  • Watts, M. & Rockwell B., The Original Intention of the Education Article of the Texas
  • Constitution, St. Mary’s Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, Art. 9 (January, 1990)

Verdicts & Settlements

  • Lead Trial Counsel in trial court verdicts and arbitration awards exceeding $1.6 Billion
  • Settlement Recoveries for Clients exceeding $7.0 Billion