Premises Liability/Retail Litigation
Construction Liability and Defects
Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1995
Washington and Lee University, B.A., 1992
Secretary, Executive Committee of the Washington and Lee Student Body, 1994-1995
State Bar of Texas
Dallas Bar Association
Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
J.L. Turner Legal Association
National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
National Bar Association
Texas Minority Counsel Program (Steering Committee Member – 2013-Present)
Texas Association of Defense Counsel
American Board of Trial Advocates; Executive Committee (Dallas Chapter); Membership Chair – 2019
American Board of Trial Advocates; National Board Member, 2015-Present
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
College of The State Bar of Texas
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Dallas Bar
Association (Director) (Treasurer – 2016)
(Vice Chair – 2017)
(Chair Elect – 2018)
(Chair – 2019)
Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC);
Chair – 2019
International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA)
USLAW Network (USLAW)
TIDA – Trucking Industry Defense Association
TLA – Transportation Lawyers Association
The Supreme Court Historical Society
Board of Trustees, Washington and Lee University (May 2016 – Present)
Cotton Bowl Athletic Association
(Board of Directors, Present)
The National Black Lawyers Top 100
Selected to Texas "Rising Stars" 2008-11
Selected to Texas
Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2014)
The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
American Board of Trial Advocates, Inducted 2007
Texas Bar Foundation – Fellow
Dallas Bar Foundation – Fellow
D Magazine – 2016-2019
Best Lawyers in Dallas
(Tort, Product and Medical Liability Litigation)
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court
William Toles is recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent-rated attorney.
William is a trial lawyer with extensive experience handling high exposure litigation. After trying more than 75 jury trials as an Assistant Dallas City Attorney, Mr. Toles joined another Dallas-area law firm in 1998 as a senior litigator and was later named partner prior to coming to FSSV in 2012. He has handled more than 45 civil trials to a successful conclusion and jury verdict. Mr. Toles has trial experience throughout the state of Texas in tort litigation ranging from simple negligence cases to more complex premises liability, DTPA, commercial and contractual dispute matters.
Mr. Toles is active in his church and community. He is a member of the Steward Board of Christian Chapel CME Church. Mr. Toles has previously served as a United Way Grant Panel Member and Chairman, and he was a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2012 and a Class Advisor for the Leadership Dallas Class of 2013. William is actively involved with Leadershape. He previously served as a cluster facilitator at a national session, and a co-lead facilitator at the University of Texas (Austin) and The Ohio State University. Additionally, he has served as a Big Brother through the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District.
Mr. Toles is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars. He is currently a member of the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees and a class agent for his law school class. He is also a former member of the Washington and Lee Alumni Board, former President of the Law Council at the Washington and Lee School of Law and former Chair of the Washington and Lee Law Annual Fund.
On February 19, 2019, the Court of Appeals Fifth District at Dallas denied a motion for hearing en banc in a four-week trial in which FSSV senior partners Thomas W. Fee and William M. Toles obtained a unanimous defense verdict on June 8, 2018. Following the unanimous defense verdict, the trial court granted a motion for mistrial filed by plaintiff counsel. FSSV filed a petition for writ of mandamus, and the Court of Appeals ordered the court to vacate its mistrial order and sign a judgment on the defense verdict. Plaintiff then sought a rehearing en banc in the court of appeals, which the court denied. The case arose out of an accident that occurred on November 18, 2014 in Freestone County, Texas. FSSV’s client hired a trucking company to deliver product to Katy, Texas. While in route to Katy, Texas the motor carrier hired by FSSV’s client struck a truck on the shoulder of Interstate 45, killing the driver of the truck and injuring the passenger in the truck. The passenger of the truck alleged that he suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. Plaintiff demanded $7 million prior to trial and asked the jury to award $15 million in closing argument.
Fee Smith Senior Partners William Toles and Jennifer Lee Achieved a Unanimous Verdict in a Teacher Student Sexual Relationship Case in Dallas County (Texas). The two-week trial involved four (4) Plaintiffs who alleged claims including negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and gross negligence against Dallas Lutheran stemming from an inappropriate relationship between a Dallas Lutheran teacher and a student. Plaintiffs made multi-million dollar demand and refused to negotiate in response to Defendant’s last pre-trial offer of $500,000. The jury only awarded two (2) of the Plaintiffs damages which included $25,000 to one and $60,000 to another. Dallas Lutheran was only held to be 20% and 10% responsible to these Plaintiffs, respectively. Thus, the total award against Dallas Lutheran was $11,000, in a case which was highly publicized in the media by the Plaintiffs.
Elizabeth Crump, et al v MCMC Auto Ltd. d/b/a Mike Carlson Motor Co. FSSV senior partners William M. Toles and Scott W. Self obtained a defense verdict for FSSV's client in a one-week trial in state court in Tarrant County, Texas, in a case involving allegations of car dealer negligence. The plaintiff, a pedestrian who was filling her SUV with gas, was struck by a car that FSSV’s client had sold approximately 3½ months before the accident. The car’s owner and her boyfriend, who was driving the vehicle when it struck the plaintiff, alleged that the car’s brakes failed. The plaintiff suffered a number of severe injuries and had medical bills of $491,000 as a result of the accident. The plaintiff alleged that FSSV’s client failed to inspect and service the car properly before selling it and therefore asked the jury to award damages in excess of $6 million. Plaintiff counsel previously demanded $5.75 million prior to trial.
Pedwano, et al v Triple T Amusements (Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas) Obtained a unanimous (12-0) defense verdict in favor of Defendant in an accident involving two passengers on an amusement ride. The passengers were 14 and 18 years of age at the time of the accident. Both plaintiffs argued that they were injured in the accident and continued to have medical problems related to the accident.
Kinsley v. Cartwright’s Ranch House. (Denton, Denton County, Texas) Plaintiffs claimed Defendant violated the Texas Human Resources Code and Texas Accessibility Standards Act causing one Plaintiff to fall and break his neck resulting in his death after being on life support for 4 days. The Plaintiffs demanded $1 million at mediation and $900,000 prior to trial. The jury deliberated 41 minutes and found that the Defendants were not negligent.
Whitaker, Individually and as the Administrator of the Estate of Luke Frederick, Jr., et al. v. Hilda Sena. (Dallas, Dallas County, Texas) Motor vehicle collision in which defendant hit a pedestrian, who died as a result of the accident. Plaintiff counsel asked for in excess of $1 million dollars in closing argument. Jury awarded $44,497.32 in damages.
Represented a defendant in state and federal wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits filed as a result of the Texas A&M University 1999 bonfire collapse.
Valdez v. Dolgencorp of Texas, Inc. d/b/a Dollar General. (Pampa, Gray County, Texas) Defense verdict in which Plaintiff (and later, her heirs) claimed serious injuries and death in a premises liability lawsuit.
Williams v. Riverhill Partners, LLC. (Dallas, Dallas County, Texas) Obtained directed verdict on behalf of apartment complex in premises liability action on the grounds the Defendant had no notice of the allegedly dangerous condition.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a performing arts organization in a defamation/slander lawsuit in which Plaintiff was seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
“Opening and Closing Statements,” Co-Authored with Frank Guerra, IV
- Prosecuting or Defending a Trucking or Auto Accident Case (State Bar of Texas)
“Escabedo Decision: How To Navigate The Issue of Medical Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit,”
Co-Authored with Peter Kelly
- Damages in Civil Litigation (State Bar of Texas)
“Guide to Premises Liability in Texas”
- Advanced Personal Injury Law Course (State Bar of Texas)
Strategies for Transportation Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Aspatore Press, 2013). Co-authored with Rebecca E. Bell-Stanton on chapter entitled Litigation Strategies in Highway Sector/Motor Carrier Cases.
2019 FDCC Winter Meeting
Topic – In The Weeds with Marijuana Law
[Panel included Jeff Kelsey (Fed Ex Express), Shea Oliver (Fed Ex Express)
L. Johnson Sarber III (Carr Allison)]
2019 State Bar of Texas African American Lawyers Summit
Topic – “Pre-Trial Discovery: WHAT, HOW & WHY?”
[Panel included Hon. Eric Moye, Hon. Monica Purdy, A. Shonn Brown (Kimberly Clark Corp)]
2019 Transportation Lawyers Association Chicago Regional Conference
Topic – How to Account for Hindsight Bias in Defending Your Claims
[Panel included Michael Judy (Dysart Taylor) Erik Ekvall (Ekvall Byrne)]
2018 USLAW Fall Conference
Topic – Preparing for and Defending the 30(b)(6) Corporate Deposition
[Panel included Thomas Mazziotti (Hall Booth), Skip Lockard (Siemens)]
2018 UT Law CLE – The Car Crash Seminar
Topic – The Anatomy of a Car Crash Case
[Panel included Don Kidd (Perdue & Kidd), Stephanie Baenisch (Loncar & Associates)]
FDCC/IADC ~ Joint Law Firm Management Conference
Topic – The 22nd Century Law Firm – Closer Than We Think
[Panel included Bruno Para (Liberty Mutual), Joseph Hanna (Goldberg Segalla),
Elizabeth Ryan (Coats Rose), James Harvey (Margolis Edelstein)]
2017 Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference
Topic – Litigating Against the Latest Efforts by the Plaintiffs’ Bar to Misconstrue the FMCSR
[Panel included Chris Cotter (Roetzel & Andress), Tamara Goorevitz (Franklin & Prokopik),
Allen Motter (Arc Best)]
2015 Texas Minority Counsel Program
Topic – Voir Dire & Jury Selection; joint presentation with Jason Bloom (Bloom Strategic Consulting)
2015 Advanced Personal Injury Law Course (State Bar of Texas)
Topic – Premises Liability
2015 National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association
Topic – Voir Dire – The Art of Reading Body Language; What They Don’t Say Will Hurt You
[Panel included Daniel Young (Ward & Greenberg), Dave Zehner (Clarity Partners) and Ross Suter
(Magna Legal Services)]
2014 San Antonio Claims Association
Topic: A Guide to Premises Liability in Texas
2014 Association of Corporate Counsel DFW Annual In-House Symposium.
Topic: Negotiating the Enforceable Indemnity and Additional Insured Language Into Your Contract or Lease.
2013 Claims and Litigation Management Annual Conference.
Topic: Non-Subscription in Texas: Can Opting Out of Workers Comp Be a Windfall or Liability?
(Paper written by Clint V. Cox, IV.)
2012 – Advanced Personal Injury Law Course (State Bar of Texas)
Topic – Premises Liability
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