Georgetown Attorney Makes a First in the County

Williamson County Sun – January 21, 1990

Bob Phillips gains board certification

Georgetown lawyer, Bob Phillips, has been board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, thus becoming the first criminal defense lawyer in Williamson County history to earn the status.

Phillips, a name partner in the Georgetown firm of Morse, Grimes & Phillips, was elated at the news.

“I worked very hard to get board certified,” said Phillips, “and it’s very gratifying to finally reach that career plateau.”

To become board certified, a Texas attorney must be licensed for at least five years, at least three of which must have been devoted to his specialty; he must have handled a wide variety of cases in that specialty; he must withstand a withering peer review by area judges and fellow lawyers concerning his special competence; and finally, he must pass a day-long written examination.

Less than 10% of Texas attorney are board-certified specialists.

Phillips, who began his legal career in Dallas ten years ago as a prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office under the legendry Henry Wade, achieved the rank of Chief Felony Prosecutor under Wade before leaving Dallas in 1985 to come to Georgetown.

From 1985-87, Phillips served as Chief Felony Prosecutor in the Williamson County D.A.’s office before resigning to become a partner in his current firm.

During his seven years as a prosecutor, Phillips handled more than three thousand felony cases and tried more than 175 jury trials, including fifteen murder trials, and lost only one felony case.

In his three years in private practice, Phillips has tried a wide variety of felonies and misdemeanors, but perhaps his most celebrated case to date was his successful defense of ex-Williamson County Commission, Ron Wood.

Phillips secured a no-bill for Wood from a Williamson County Grand Jury in April of 1988, after Wood had been charged with official misconduct for allegedly threatening Round Rock Mayor Mike Robinson with political retaliation for the latter’s failure to support Wood’s re-election bid. (Wood was later convicted in 1989 of an unrelated document-tampering charge. “He had a different lawyer on that case,” smiles Phillips.)

Phillips handled a major federal case in Dallas two years ago, but primarily practices in Williamson County, Travis County and adjoining counties.

Although now certified in criminal law, he does handle other cases as well.

“About 80% of my practice is criminal defense,” said Phillips, “but I do handle some personal injury and civil litigation matters, also. I just enjoy trying lawsuits – it doesn’t matter what kind.”

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