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About me

Dianne Lawter grew up in Houston. Dianne attended
Texas A&M on a four year academic scholarship and received a BBA in
accounting, with honors. She attended law school at the University of Texas
where she graduated Order of the Coif .

Dianne began her legal career in the Trusts &
Estate section of Fulbright & Jaworski. In 1994, Dianne left Fulbright
& Jaworski to form Lawter & Lawter with her husband, Jack Lawter.
Dianne is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust
Law section and the Litigation section. She is a fellow of the Houston Bar
Foundation and a past chair of the Houston Bar Association, Trust and Estates
Law section.

Her practice for nearly 20 years has been focused
entirely on trusts and estate litigation. Dianne was voted a “Super-Lawyer” in
Texas Monthly in 2009 (by Thomson Reuters) and was named one of Houston’s top
lawyers by H-Texas (2005, 2010). She is Board Certified in Estate Planning and
Probate Law.

Dianne Lawter is a recognized author and frequent
speaker on trust and estate litigation matters. She is experienced in
litigating complex and hotly-contested matters, often with millions of dollars
at stake. Dianne is well-versed at the demanding nature of trust, estate, and
probate litigation, and has tried cases both to juries and to judges. Dianne
has also represented clients before numerous Texas Courts of Appeal and the
Texas Supreme Court. In addition to being an experienced litigator, Dianne is
also known for her experience in being able to craft successful settlements on
terms favorable to her clients, often in situations given little chance for
settlement. Through the complex and often protracted and acrimonious litigation
process, Dianne takes the burden off of clients and helps position them to be
in the best position possible for favorable settlement or, if such a settlement
cannot be reached, for litigation.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 25%
  2. Trusts: 25%
  3. Guardianship: 25%
  4. Probate: 25%

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • James J. Hartnett Jr.

    Dianne Lawter is the most tenacious trial lawyer I know in estate, trust, and fiduciary litigation.


    James Hartnett Trusts Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Will Ford Hartnett

    Dianne is a superb estate and trust litigator with experience throughout Texas.


    Will Hartnett Probate Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Lawter & Lawter

5615 Kirby
Suite 930
Houston, TX, 77005


TXEligible To Practice In Texas 199107/16/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Houston's Top Lawyers AwardH Texas Magazine2010
Texas Monthly Super Lawyer AwardThompson Reuters2009
Houston's Top Lawyer AwardH Texas Magazine2005
Rising Stars Super Lawyers AwardTexas Monthly Magazine2005
Highest Rating for Ethical Standards & Legal AbilityMartindale-HubbellN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerLawter & Lawter1994 - 2012
AssociateFulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P.1991 - 1994
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar of TexasN/AN/A
Houston Bar AssociationN/AN/A
Houston Bar Association, Probate, Trusts and Estate SectionFormer ChairN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
2011 Wills & Probate Instutute - Advanced CourseTrying a Will Contest2011
The San Antonio Estate Planners Council's Docket Call in Probate Court Estate Planning, Probate and Guardianship SeminarMalpractice and Litigation Involving Trusts and Estates2011
HBA Wills & Probate InstitutePractical Advice to Estate Concerning Fiduciary Liability and Litigation2007
Wills & Probate InstituteThe Dysfunctional Family Limited Partnership: Litigation Issues Relating to Family Limited Partnerships2000
San Antonio Young Lawyers Association's Docket Call In Probate CourtWhat an Estate Planner Needs to Know About Litigation2000
Houston ChronicleRequirements for a Valid Will2000
Disability and Elder Law Attorneys AssociationWhat an Estate Planner Needs to Know About Litigation1999
9th Annual Advanced Drafting: Estate Planning and ProbateWhat an Estate Planner Needs to Know About Litigation1998
Legal Assistants DivisionWhat an Estate Planner Needs to Know About Fiduciary Litigation1997
Wills & Probate InstituteTortious Interference with Inheritance Rights1994
Advanced Estate Planning & Probate CourseFiduciary Liability - A Case Study1993
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Texas A&M UniversityN/AB.B.AN/A
University of Texas School of LawLawJD - Juris DoctorN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate SpecialistsHow to Pick a Jury and Try a Will Contest and How a AWill Contest Differs From Other Litigation2010
State Bar Annual MeetingPractical Advice Concerning Will Contests and Other Probate Litigation2003
2002 Wills & Probate InstitutePractical Advice to Estate Planning Attorneys Concerning Fiduciary Liabiity and Litigation2002
Wills & Probate Institute: Focus on the FundamentalsLitigation Concerns for Estate Planners2000
Houston Bar Association Seminar: Guardianship and Elder Law Issues for the Practioner adn Ad Litem SeminarRole of the Guardian2000
Advanced Estate PlanningThe Dysfunctional Family Limited Partnership: Litigation Issues Relating to Famiy Limited Partnerships2000