Web-Bill_Boyce-6659-Edit

EDUCATION

  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, J.D. 1988
    cum laude
    Order of the Coif
    Coordinating Note and Comment Editor, Northwestern University Law Review
    Lowden-Wigmore Prize
    Arlyn Miner Moot Court Competition Prize

  • Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, B.S. in Journalism with Highest Distinction, 1985
    Kappa Tau Alpha honor society

Bill Boyce

713.589.3573 – phone

713.522.4553 – fax


After practicing law for 18 years, Bill Boyce served as a justice on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston for 11 years. His experience from his time on the bench provides valuable perspective when dealing with the court, informing effective arguments in his appellate practice. Often, that insight makes all the difference in important cases. 

Bill has argued more than 60 cases in appellate courts throughout Texas and across the country, including the United States Supreme Court. Today, his extensive appellate experience combines with his bench experience to provide clients at Alexander Dubose and Jefferson the best of both worlds when it comes to knowledgeable and effective representation.

Bill is a member of the Texas Judicial Council; vice-chair of the Judicial Commission on Mental Health; a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee; an elected member of the American Law Institute; an executive committee member of the Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court; a past adjunct faculty member at the University of Houston Law Center; a longtime member of the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association appellate practice sections; and a frequent CLE speaker.

+Court Admissions

State Bar of Texas

+Honors and Distinctions

Certified in Civil Appellate Law (1994), Texas Board of Legal Specialization 

Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award (2019), National Alliance on Mental Illness 

Judge Bob Jones Memorial Award for contributions to 

judicial education (2015), American Judges Association

Appellate Judge of the Year (2013 – 14), Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists 

Texas Super Lawyers (2003 – 2017), Thomson Reuters

Best Lawyers in America (2005 – 2006), Best Lawyers 

America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005 – 2007), Commercial Litigation,  Chambers USA 

40 Under 40 (2001), Texas Lawyer

+Published Works and Presentations

Co-author with John Torrison and John DeMers of Miss Fortune’s Last Mission (Bright Sky Press 2015), which chronicles the crew of a B-24 Liberator bomber shot down during World War II 

+Speeches and Presentations

“Recent Texas Supreme Court Decisions That Matter for Business Disputes,” State Bar of Texas 11th Annual Business Disputes Course, September 2019 

“Standards of Review,” State Bar of Texas Civil Appellate Practice 101, September 2019 

“Texas Supreme Court Update,” State Bar of Texas Continuing Legal Education webcast, August 2019 

“Texas Supreme Court Update,” State Bar of Texas Continuing Legal Education webcast, May 2019 

“Update on Legislation and the Judicial Commission on Mental Health,” Texas Center for the Judiciary Mental Health Conference, February 2019 

“Competency Restoration Alternatives, Local Implementation, and a Look Ahead,” 2018 Texas Tech Mental Health Law Symposium, November 2018 

“Concurrent Causation Demystified,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Course, June 2018 

“Oral Argument from Both Sides,” University of Texas 28th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2018 

“Addressing Mental Health Issues in Texas,” 2018 Probate Academy sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties, May 2018 

“New Landscape in Mental Health Legislation,” Texas Center for the Judiciary Criminal Justice Conference, February 2018 

“Implementing Changes in Mental Health Procedures,” Texas Center for the Judiciary Criminal Justice Conference, February 2018 

“Case Law Update,” Harris County Justices of the Peace Annual Judicial Conference, November 2017

“Pre-Trial Screenings, Bond and Competency Restoration for Mentally Ill Defendants,” Fall Judicial Education Session sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties, November 2017 

“Sanctions in Federal and State Court,” State Bar of Texas webcast, October 2017 

“Mental Health and Jail Screening,” County Judges and Commissioners Conferences sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties in April, May, and June 2017 

“Fifth Circuit Panel,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2016 

“Hot Topics and Trends from the Bench,” State Bar of Texas 8th Annual Damages in Civil Litigation Course, January 2016 

Course Director, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2015 

Anti-SLAPP: The Emerging Contours of a New Dismissal Mechanism, 72 THE ADVOCATE 22 (Fall 2015) 

“Don’t Skip the Criminal Opinions,” University of Texas 25th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2015 

“Post-Trial Motions,” Houston Bar Association Civil Appellate Bench Bar Conference, May 2015 

“Top Ten Civil Cases,” Texas Center for the Judiciary Regional Conferences, April and May 2015 

“Tales from the Law Clerks,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, March 2015 

“Preserving Error: What One Judge Looks for on Appeal,” State Bar of Texas Oil and Gas Disputes Course, January 2015 

“TCPA: Slapping Around Anti-SLAPP,” University of Texas 24th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2014 

“Raiders of the Lost Brief: What Legal Writers Can Learn From the Adventures of Hiram Bingham,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, January 2014 

“Texas Supreme Court Update,” Texas Center for the Judiciary Civil Justice Conference, October 2013 

“What’s So Appealing About the New Dismissal and Expedited Trial Rules,” University of Texas 23rd Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2013 

“Hot Topics in the Law,” State Bar of Texas Office of Minority Affairs, 20th Annual Texas Minority Counsel Program, October 2012 

“Brief Writing,” State Bar of Texas Civil Appellate 101 Practice Course, September 2012 

“Ten Things the Texas Courts of Appeals Could Do Better (According to the Appellate Bar),” University of Texas 22nd Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, May 2012 

“A View From the Appellate Bench,” Houston Bar Association Criminal Appellate Bench Bar Conference, April 2012 

“Models of Statutory Interpretation,” Texas College for Judicial Studies, April 2012 

“The Ethics of Getting Hired and Getting Paid,” Houston Bar Association Professionalism Lecture, March 2012 

“Picking Judges: Appointments vs. Elections,” Federalist Society St. Mary’s University School of Law Student Chapter, February 2012 

“Judicial Panel,” South Texas College of Law 16th Annual Texas Insurance Law Symposium, January 2012 

“The Appeal Process and Case Law,” Texas Justice Court Judges Association, October 2011 

“Judicial Selection Panel,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, July, August, September, November 2011 

“United States Supreme Court Term in Review,” Federalist Society Houston Chapter, July 2011 

“The United States Supreme Court Writes (Some) Really Excellent Opinions,” University of Texas 21st Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2011 

Judicial Selection in Texas, 53 THE ADVOCATE 12 (Winter 2010) 

“Judges Panel: Appellate Decision Making,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2010 

“The Short Game: Effective Use of Post-Submission Briefs,” University of Texas 20th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2010 

“Thinking Out Loud: Why We Orally Argue Appellate Cases and How Best to Prepare for the Joust,” University of Texas 20th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2010 

“Appealing to the Courts: Appeals in Insurance Cases,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Course, April 2010 

“The 20 Years’ Mandamus War,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2009 

“Iron Chef Appellate Edition,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, August 2009 

“Recent Rule and Legislative Changes,” Harris County Civil Court Coordinator Conference, August 2009 

“Iron Chef Appellate Edition,” University of Texas 19th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2009 

“Judicial Panel on Commercial Litigation,” Texas Association of Defense Counsel Commercial Litigation Seminar, April 2009 

“Court of Appeals Panel,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2008 

“Effective Use of Appellate Counsel in Federal District Court,” University of Texas 18th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, May 2008 

“Models of Statutory Interpretation,” Texas College for Judicial Studies, April 2008 

“Effective Advocacy in Civil District Courts,” 16th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law 

Conference, South Texas College of Law, February 2008 

“What We Say . . . What We Mean,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, March 2007 

“Preparing for the Civil Appellate Specialization Exam,” State Bar of Texas Appellate Boot Camp, September 2006 

“U.S. Supreme Court Update,” University of Texas 16th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2006 

“Evolving Summary Judgment Practice in Texas,” State Bar of Texas Appellate Boot Camp, September 2005 

“Going to the Show,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, August 2005 

Moderator, “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” University of Texas 15th Annual 

Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2005 

Contributing author of chapter on Disposition and the Prayer for Relief in STATE BAR OF TEXAS MANUAL ON PRACTICE BEFORE THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT (2005) 

Reflections on Going to the Show, XVII THE APPELLATE ADVOCATE 1 (Summer 2004) (quoted in Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner, Making Your Case The Art of Persuading Judges (Thomson/West 2008)) 

Course Director, University of Texas 14th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2004 

Moderator, “Court of Appeals Panel,” University of Texas 14th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2004 

Moderator, “Court of Appeals Panel,” Houston Bar Association Seminar on Practicing Before the 1st & 14th Courts of Appeals, May 2004 

“Appearing Before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Federal Bar Association, April 2004 

“Handling Complex Appeals,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2003 

“The Worst Supreme Court Argument in History,” University of Texas 13th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2003 

“Proposed Amendments to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, November 2002 

“Finality of Judgments,” Civil Appellate Practice for Trial and Appellate Lawyers, Corpus Christi Bar Association, October 2002 

“Lawlympics,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2002 

“Finality Plus,” University of Texas 12th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2002 (cited in W. Wendell Hall, Standards of Review in Texas, 34 ST. MARY’S L.J. 1, 84 n.465 (2002)) 

“Fun With Finality – Judgment Drafting,” Texas Association of Defense Counsel Spring Meeting, April 2002 

“Federal Appellate Practice: An Overview,” The Civil Appellate Law Course for Trial Practitioners, South Texas College of Law, December 2001 

“Fun With Finality,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2001 

“The Cleavers Go To Austin–A Dramatization of Real-World Advocacy Issues in the Texas Supreme Court,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2001 

Is Lehmann the Final Word on Summary Judgment Finality? XIV THE APPELLATE ADVOCATE 4 (Summer 2001) (cited in W. Wendell Hall, Standards of Review in Texas, 34 ST. MARY’S L.J. 1, 84 n.465 (2002)) 

“Practice Before the 14th Court of Appeals,” Seminar on Practicing Before the 1st & 14th Courts of Appeals, April 2001 

“Preservation of Error During Trial and the Charge Conference,” The Civil Appellate Law Course for Trial Lawyers, South Texas College of Law, December 2000 

“Working Together to Make Life Easier,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2000 

“Appellate Squares,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 2000 

“Recent Developments Under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure,” University of Texas 10th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2000 

“Appellate Ethics,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, May 2000 

“Effective Advocacy: Practitioner’s Perspective,” Houston Bar Association Appellate Bench Bar Conference, April 2000 

“How to Prepare and Argue the Jury Charge,” The Civil Appellate Law Course for Trial Lawyers, South Texas College of Law, December 1999 

“Fifth Circuit Update and New Trends,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, October 1999 

“Mandamuses for Ignoramuses,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, October 1999 

“Pre-Verdict Preservation of Error and the Jury Charge,” The Civil Appellate Law Course for Trial Lawyers, South Texas College of Law, December 1998 

“Attacking and Defending Summary Judgments on Appeal,” State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, September 1998 (cited in David F. Johnson, The No- Evidence Motion for Summary Judgment in Texas, 52 BAYLOR L. REV. 929, 941 n. 68 (2000)) 

Mafrige v. Ross and the Pitfalls of Presumptions, XI THE APPELLATE ADVOCATE 7 (November 1997) (cited in Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d 191, 214 (Tex. 2001) (Baker, J., concurring); see also Elaine A. Carlson and Karlene S. Dunn, Navigating Procedural Minefields: Nuances in Determining Finality of Judgments, Plenary Power, and Appealability, 41 S. TEX. L. REV. 953, 970 n.78 (2000)) 

“Summary Judgment Update,” University of Texas 7th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 1997 

“Standards of Review for Civil Appeals,” Practice Before the Fourth and Thirteenth Courts of Appeals Seminar, May 1997 

“Libel Law Update,” Houston Bar Association Law and the Media Seminar, April 1997 

Indemnity Agreements, Releases and Additional Insurance Provisions, 33 HOUSTON LAWYER 34 (March/April 1996) 

“Perfecting The Appeal in Federal Court,” State Bar of Texas Appellate Practice Institute, February 1994 

Board of Editors, TEXAS APPELLATE PRACTICE MANUAL (2d ed. 1993) 

William J. Boyce, Restraining Prior Restraint, or a Call for Balancing in Evaluating Obscenity Abatement Statutes: City of Paducah v. Investment Entertainment, Inc., 82 NW. U.L. REV. 181 (1987) (cited in People v. Sequoia Books, Inc., 127 Ill. 2d 271, 537 N.E.2d 302, 130 Ill. Dec. 235 (1989); see also Shelley Ross Saxer, Zoning Away First Amendment Rights, 53 WASH. U. J. URB. & CONTEMP. L. 1, 95 n.640 (1998); William Banks Wilhelm, Jr., In the Interest of Children: Action for Children’s Television v. FCC Improperly Delineating the Constitutional Limits of Broadcast Indecency Regulation, 42 CATH. U. L. REV. 215, 238 n.188 (1992); Carol Lynne Stanton, First Amendment Recent Development, Procedural Safeguards Against Censorship: The Law After FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 69 WASH. U. L. Q. 999, 999 n.4 (1991)) 

+Professional Memberships

Elected member, American Law Institute 

Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee 

Vice Chair, Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health 

Member, Texas Judicial Council 

Supervising Judge for S.A.F.E. Court (Survivors Acquiring Freedom and Empowerment), a pretrial intervention program involving intensive supervision for defendants between 17 and 25 charged with prostitution in Harris County, Texas; program in existence from 2015 until 2018 

Board of Directors, Texas Center for the Judiciary 2013-16; member of Curriculum Committee 2017-18 

Executive Committee member, Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court 

Former adjunct faculty member at University of Houston Law Center; guest lecturer at The University of Texas School of Law and South Texas College of Law Houston 

Member, Civil Appellate Law Examination Committee of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization 1999-2005, Committee chair 2003-05 — Responsible for drafting and grading exams used by State Bar of Texas to determine board certification for civil appellate practice 

State Bar of Texas Appellate Practice Section:

Bench-Bar Liaison Committee 2009-14 

Chair of 2006 Motions and Appellate Advocacy Academy for legal aid lawyers sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission 

Chair of Appellate Roadshow committee 2003-06 

Publications committee 2001-02 

Member, governing council 1999-2002 

Member, planning committee for Appellate Practice Section annual meeting presentations 1998-2000 

Chair of governing council (2005 – 2006), Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section 

Columnist (2010 – 2016), Houston Bar Association Appellate Practice Section newsletter

Member, American Bar Association 

Editorial Committee member (2012 – 2014), American Judicature Society

Member (1999 – 2002), Lawyers Advisory Committee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit 

Member (1997 – 1998, 2002), State Bar College 

Member (1992), State Bar Pro Bono College

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

+Community Involvement

Board member and former board chair, Healthcare for the Homeless–Houston 

Board member, Breakthrough Houston