Harold W. Nix is the founder of Nix, Patterson & Roach, L.L.P., an experienced trial attorney, and generous philanthropist.
Mr. Nix was born in Daingerfield, Texas in 1939. He attended East Texas State College and earned his law degree in 1965 from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas. At Baylor Law School, Mr. Nix served as Notes and Comments editor of the Baylor Law Review from 1963-64. He is a member of Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity.
Even as a young lawyer, Mr. Nix was more than willing to take on the largest companies in the United States on behalf of his clients. This fearlessness became engrained in the culture of the firm he founded, and it continues to this day. Throughout his five decades of practice, Mr. Nix has secured countless significant, and even historic, recoveries on behalf of injured parties in Texas and throughout the country. Most notably, Mr. Nix was one of five attorneys chosen by the State of Texas to represent it in securing what became a landmark $17.6 billion settlement from the tobacco industry. His success initiated NPR’s long history of representing governmental entities in significant and critical litigation.
In addition to his practice, Mr. Nix has been a dedicated servant of the legal profession and its betterment. He served on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure from 1982 to 1988. He served with distinction on the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s Special Committee on the aggregation of mass torts from 1992 to 1993. He is a member of the East Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Believing that access to justice for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, is essential to our civil justice system, Mr. Nix dedicated a significant amount his time to pro bono legal services throughout his career. Under his leadership, NPR received the W. Frank Newton Award from the Texas State Bar Association, one of the highest pro bono awards given by the Texas bar, based on the firm’s outstanding contribution in the provision of legal services to the poor.
Mr. Nix’s generous contributions to the Baylor Law School supported the construction of the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, the school’s impressive 125,000-square-foot facility on the banks of the Brazos River. Through the years, Mr. Nix has been deeply committed, through the contribution of time and significant resources, to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Women’s Center of East Texas, and many others.
In 2001, Baylor Law School recognized Mr. Nix as Baylor Lawyer of the Year, which is awarded annually to an outstanding alumnus who brings honor and distinction to both Baylor Law School and the legal profession. Mr. Nix “exemplifies the criteria” for the Award, said law school Dean Brad Toben, who described Mr. Nix’s record of service to Texas and its people as “absolutely exceptional.” “We are extremely proud of Harold’s leadership and accomplishments as a Baylor lawyer,” said Toben.
Mr. Nix still resides in Daingerfield, Texas, where the firm was founded.