DALLAS, TX¯The Dallas Bar Association is proud to announce Cheryl Wattley as the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year award, to be presented on November 4. This prestigious award is given annually to a Dallas Bar Association member who best exemplifies the noble principles of the legal profession.
Professor Wattley graduated from Boston University College of Law and began her legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Connecticut representing the United States in civil litigation. During this time, she confidently wrote a justification memorandum successfully urging the United States’ entry as litigating amicus curiae in Connecticut ARC v. Thorne. This case dismantled the large state institution and established decentralized residential placement of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the State of Connecticut.
She later transferred to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, where she focused on the prosecution of white-collar crime, serving as Chief of the Economic Crime Unit. During her time in this office, she secured a number of jury verdicts in publicized fraud cases. After many years of service, she then went into private litigation practice, where her work and trial experience spanned civil rights, federal and state criminal defense, and post-conviction proceedings. In 1995, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton for a federal judgeship.