Benny Agosto, Jr., a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz, is the new president of the Houston Bar Association (HBA), succeeding Warren W. Harris, a partner at Bracewell LLP. With 11,000 members, the HBA is the one of the largest metropolitan bar associations in the nation.
Other new officers are Bill Kroger of Baker Botts L.L.P., president-elect; Chris Popov of Vinson & Elkins LLP, first vice president; David Harrell of Locke Lord LLP, second vice president; Diana Gomez of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, secretary; and Jennifer A. Hasley of Hasley Scarano, L.L.P, treasurer. Harris will serve on the board as immediate past president.
New directors for 2019-2021 are Collin Cox of Yetter Coleman LLP; Daniella Landers of Reed Smith LLP; Hon. Erin Lunceford of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; and Pamela A. Medina of Cadence Bank N.A.
Completing terms as directors for 2018-2020 are Greg Moore of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Robert Painter of Painter Law Firm PLLC; Greg Ulmer of Baker Hostetler; and Mitch Reid of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.
Agosto is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law. His practice focuses on catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, product defects, workplace accidents and other personal injury issues. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1986 at Houston Baptist University, where he played Division I soccer. He attended the University of Houston for graduate studies in microbiology while he taught high school and college for six years, including serving as head coach for HBU’s soccer team from 1989-1991. While he loved teaching, Agosto realized he want to continue his education and was accepted at South Texas College of Law Houston, where he excelled at academics and was a member of the Board of Advocates.
He served an intern for the Hon. Alice Oliver-Parrott who was then Chief Justice of the First Court of Appeals. He joined Abraham Watkins in 1998.
Agosto was born in New York City, but grew up in Puerto Rico. He is the first Spanish-speaking president of the Houston Bar Association and the second Hispanic to lead the association. His many honors and awards include the Top Latino Lawyers Award from the National Diversity Council, the Legacy Builder Award from the New York University School of Law, the Humanitarian Award from the Latino Learning Center, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from HBU, the Outstanding Public Service Award from South Texas College of Law Houston, the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award from Thurgood Marshall School of Law Student Bar Association, and the ADL Civil Rights Medal from the Anti-Defamation League. He is consistently listed among the top personal injury lawyers in Texas and the U.S.
During his year as HBA president, Agosto will focus on celebrating the diversity of the Houston bar. He has planned a summer conference to educate the legal community and the community at large on diversity and inclusion issues. He also will emphasize the importance of literacy with a new library project to benefit local schools.
Agosto and his wife, Nikki Agosto, are both involved in a number of community service projects and philanthropic efforts. Together, they have four children: sons Ben, Jon and Matthew, and daughter Victoria.