Judge Ward earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Texas Tech in 1964, the same year he was named “Mr. Texas Tech.” He will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award during a March 28 reception and dinner ceremony at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center on the Texas Tech campus. Also being honored are fellow Texas Tech graduates Dr. Steven G. Gamble, president of Eastern New Mexico University, and Jim Angle, chief national correspondent for Fox News Channel.
“I am honored to be recognized by my friends and colleagues at Texas Tech,” says Judge Ward. “The knowledge and work ethic I gained during my time in Lubbock has been invaluable throughout my career, and I’m sure the same can be said by my fellow Red Raiders Dr. Gamble and Mr. Angle.”
After graduating from Texas Tech, Judge Ward earned his law degree at Baylor Law School in 1967. He was appointed to the federal bench by then-President Bill Clinton in 1991 after trying more than 250 cases to verdict in 31 years of private practice.
Two years after joining the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Judge Ward implemented new rules in his court designed to expedite patent-infringement cases, which typically can take years to adjudicate. When those rules were adopted by all Eastern District judges, the district became the most popular venue in the United States for patent cases.
In 2011, Judge Ward resigned from the federal bench to work with his son T. John “Johnny” Ward Jr. at Ward & Smith.
Having presided over more than 150 federal jury trials and 3,000 total cases, Judge Ward provides vast experience in a variety of legal cases, including intellectual property and oil and gas disputes.
Longview, Texas-based Ward & Smith has tried more than 350 cases to verdict, earning a national reputation in high-stakes claims involving complex commercial litigation, intellectual property law, oil and gas matters, and serious personal injury claims. Ward & Smith frequently assists lawyers nationwide in complex cases before Texas juries.