Ray is a civil trial lawyer representing clients in high-profile cases all over the United States. Practicing in both state and federal courts, he has successfully tried more than 35 jury trials to verdict and has first-chaired a similar number of bench trials, arbitrations and temporary injunction hearings. Ray is double board certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been recognized as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” (2012-present) by the National Trial Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell as an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, he has been selected to be listed in the Texas Super Lawyers list, a Thomson Reuters service, (2003-Present) and selected to be listed in The Best Lawyers in America©(2016-present). In 2018, Ray was honored to be named a Fellow of the American Academy of Trial Lawyers. Ray is also the leader of the McGinnis Lochridge Products Liability Group which was named the 2015 Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year by Texas Lawyer.
Complex Business Litigation
In recent years, Ray has enjoyed significant success in commercial litigation and arbitration. This includes:
- Winning an arbitration for a charitable organization. The charity’s counterclaim award was worth in excess of $20 million and the opponent took nothing on their claims.
Negotiating a favorable recovery through settlement for South Texas landowners in an arbitration where the opponents were seeking in excess of $15 million from Ray’s clients.
Successfully obtaining several contested temporary restraining orders and injunctions for clients in commercial cases.
Personal Injury, Products Liability & Wrongful Death
Ray has enjoyed substantial success for both plaintiffs and defendants in products liability and personal injury cases. Some of his notable cases include:
- Receiving the highest single-plaintiff verdict at that time (2014) in the State of Virginia for a Viet Nam veteran who suffered an injury from the medical use of Botox. The case was later settled on appeal.
- Receiving a verdict of $6.2 million including punitive damages for a child injured by Botox injections in Burlington, Vermont.
- Obtaining a verdict of $15 million for a physician in Oklahoma City and then successfully handling the appeal which concluded with an affirmance by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
- Being the first attorney in the United States to file and successfully prosecute failure-to-warn claims on behalf of dozens of victims against the manufacturer of the ORTHO EVRA® birth control He personally developed the liability case for what later became one of the largest pharmaceutical mass torts in the country.
- Trying the first jury trial in the Joseph D. Jamail Pavillion courtroom at the University of Texas Law School and obtaining an $ 8 million verdict for the victim of nursing home abuse. The case was later settled on appeal.
- Helping several clients achieve favorable settlements against major car manufacturers in design defect cases including a $3.5 million settlement in a case of first impression against Chrysler involving a defective seatbelt latchplate which caused a fatality.
- Winning numerous other jury verdicts and settlements for victims of automobile crashes, sexual abuse, and defective products.
- Defending a chemical company against claims by a quadriplegic in Brownsville, Texas in a case that settled within insurance coverage.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
This includes first party cases, but more frequently he acts as personal counsel for defendants in high stakes insured litigation where there is a coverage dispute and/or the potential for an excess verdict.
Ray and his team also handle their own appeals and have been successful in numerous published appellate opinions affirming their trial court successes, defending against mandamus actions, and handling other appellate proceedings. Ray has argued before the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit, and numerous other courts of appeals.
News & Publications
- 16 McGinnis Lochridge Attorneys Named 2023 Best Lawyers in America & 3 Named 2023 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch08.18.2022
- Ray Chester Representing the Mitte Foundation in Potentially the Most Expensive Land Sale in Austin History12.30.2021
- August 19, 2021
- McGinnis Lochridge Attorneys Secure Client a Favorable Award, Expected to Net in Excess of $15 MillionFebruary 10, 2021
- The Best Lawyers in America 2021 Names William H. Daniel as ‘Lawyer of the Year,’ Recognizes 18 McGinnis Lochridge AttorneysAugust 20, 2020
- September 3, 2019
- The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Names Edward McHorse, Robert R. Reetz, Jr. and Tim George ‘Lawyers of the Year’August 15, 2019
- October 2, 2018
- September 10, 2018
- January 6, 2017
- August 17, 2016
- September 9, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- June 9, 2015
- September 5, 2014
- September 9, 2013
- September 10, 2012
- October 3, 2011
- September 20, 2010
- September 18, 2009
- September 9, 2008
- September 17, 2007
Honors & Recognition
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Texas Super Lawyers list, a Thomson Reuters service, General Litigation (2003 - present)
- Listed in Best Lawyers©, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation (2016 - 2022)
- Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2012-present), The National Trial Lawyers
The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1984 (with high honors, Chancellors, Order of the Coif, Texas Law Review)
The University of Texas, B.A., 1981 (with highest honors)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Western and Southern Districts of Texas