John Robert Howie, our friend and mentor, was born in Paris, Texas, on June 29, 1946, and died of cancer on December 31, 2002.
John graduated from the University of North Texas in 1968 with a business degree. He then served a tour of active duty as a United States Navy pilot. Following the Navy, he attended Southern Methodist University School of Law where he graduated with honors in 1976.
John limited his law practice to personal injury and wrongful death litigation involving aviation, products liability and negligence cases. He founded the law firm of Howie & Sweeney, L.L.P., in 1995 with long-time law partner, Paula Sweeney. John was a passionate advocate for his clients, a mentor to many young lawyers and a distinguished trial lawyer. He was a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the International Society of Barristers. He served as president of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association and the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and as Aviation Section Chair of both the American Trial Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association.
John was also a very skilled lawyer. He was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Bar Association (2002) and received the Atticus Finch Award from the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association (2002). He was listed in the Best Lawyers of America, and D Magazine named him as one of the “Best Trial Lawyers in Dallas” in 2001. John was also recognized as a distinguished alumnus by both the University of North Texas (2002) and Southern Methodist University School of Law (2001).
John was known for his generosity and service to the community. He served on the Advisory Board for the Southwest Transplant Alliance, Leadership Council of the Dallas Bar Association Campaign for Equal Access, Board of Directors of the Chemical Awareness Council, Inc. and the Dallas Summer Musicals Board of Directors. He was also on the President’s Council for the University of North Texas, the Board of Advisors for the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce and the SMU School of Law Executive Board. John worked tirelessly for Habitat for Humanity, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, Camp John Marc and many other charities.