June 7, 2019 — Kenneth “Tommy” Fibich was recently named as the recipient of the 2019 Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award.
Fibich, a 1974 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, will be honored at the Texas Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on June 14 in Austin.
"This award is very special because it is my peers that selected me," he said. "The Texas Bar Foundation is a great organization that does a lot for our profession. I think everybody appreciates awards, and given that this comes from the Texas Bar Foundation makes it particularly meaningful.
“I attribute my success as a trial lawyer to the Law Center. The people that were my professors were not just great teachers of the law, but they were great people. What was instilled in me and many of my classmates was that the law was truly an honorable profession. They provided us the ethical background to practice law the right way.”
Fibich mentioned former Deans and Professors A.A. White and John Neibel and Professors Newell Blakely, Sidney Buchanan and Tom Newhouse among the faculty who have served as inspiration throughout his career. He said he still has his notes from Blakely’s Evidence class.
“I have always respected the law and have tried to present myself to judges and opposing counsel in a professional manner,” Fibich said. “I respect the law and respect the outcome of the cases that I've been involved in. The way I practice law now is a tribute to my beginnings in law school.”
Fibich said what he enjoys most about being a trial attorney is the interchange with other people that make up the system and the adversarial nature of practicing law in a courtroom.
“In order to be a good trial lawyer, you have to be creative in how you address the problems you face,” Fibich said. “Cross examination is obviously a challenge when you take someone on in front of a jury. At the end of the day, in addition to helping people in disputes, it's a very competitive process.
“There's always a winner and there's always a loser. So you get your paper graded really quickly. However, success in the courtroom is a real high that I cannot imagine being equaled by other professions.”
He is the founding partner of the Fibich, Leebron, Copeland, Briggs law firm based in Houston, which specializes in a wide variety of personal injury law and cases involving business disputes, trucking accidents, product liability and national pharmaceutical litigation. Currently Fibich is representing Harris County in ongoing opioid litigation.
He said lawyers looking to start their own business need to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
“Anyone starting their own firm has to create a niche or the ability to go out and obtain fee-paying clients or good cases,” Fibich said. “That is not something I think you learn in law school.
“When you come out of law school, if you're going to work and start your own firm then you need to have the ability to get the kind of business that will allow you to become the lawyer the Law Center prepared you to be.”