Rusty Beard


During the past 39 years, Rusty has enjoyed a general civil trial practice, including both jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, as well as appearances before state and federal administrative agencies. His experience encompasses a wide variety of litigation, including cases involving personal injury and wrongful death, business and consumer law, insurance law, employment law, trust and estate litigation, and anti-trust law.


Rusty’s expertise has been recognized by his membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel, which is comprised of the world’s leading corporate and insurance attorneys. The IADC is a multinational organization whose members specialize in representing many of the largest corporations in the world. Membership is by invitation only, following a stringent peer-review process.


Further, Rusty has been honored by inclusion in the membership of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, which is composed of trial attorneys in North America. Membership is selective and by invitation. In fact, the ADTA limits its membership to one trial attorney per one million in population for each city across the United States and Canada.


In addition, Rusty is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, another international organization of defense attorneys. Membership is limited, selective, and by nomination only, following a careful investigation into the qualifications of each nominee to insure that those selected have distinguished themselves professionally. Composed of leaders in the legal community, FDCC attorneys are experienced lawyers who are actively engaged in the administration and defense of civil litigation from throughout the world.


As a result, Rusty holds the distinction of being the only attorney in West Texas, and one of a handful of attorneys in the State of Texas, to hold membership in all three of the foregoing organizations.


Furthermore, Rusty is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, which is the organization of choice for over 1800 motor carriers, trucking insurers, defense attorneys and claims servicing companies. Members work to develop strategies and share knowledge to defend the trucking industry.


Also, Rusty’s a member of the Transportation Lawyers Association, which is an international association whose members assist providers and users of logistics and transportation services, regardless of mode.


Rusty has lived in Abilene for more than half a century. However, he was born in Great Falls, Montana while his father, a West Texas native, was serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command. Rusty ultimately caught the flying bug himself, and earned his pilot’s license at age 17.

In the years following his Air Force career, Rusty’s father became an insurance agent and the family moved to Abilene, Texas. After graduation from Abilene Cooper High School, he attended Baylor University, graduating in 1978 with B.B.A. degree in finance. He acquired his law degree from Baylor Law School in 1981.


While an undergraduate, Rusty was active in numerous campus organizations and received a J.S. Kemper Foundation Scholarship. In law school, Rusty’s advocacy skills became apparent at the outset when he earned the unusual honor of being named a Barrister early in his first year.

Rusty began his law practice in Abilene in 1981 with the Abilene firm of Wagstaff, Harrell, Alvis, Stubbeman, and Seamster, holding the position of partner from 1984 until 1996. In 1996 he began his own firm to focus specifically on litigation.


Throughout his career, Rusty’s peers have selected him for leadership in local and State Bar activities. He was elected President of the Abilene Bar Association, having previously served as Secretary-Treasurer. Rusty was also elected by the young lawyers of his 21-county West Texas district to represent them as a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.


On two separate occasions, the State Bar of Texas appointed Rusty as a member of the District 14D Grievance Committee, to adjudicate ethical complaints filed by clients against their lawyers. During the three years of his second term, Rusty served as Chairman of the committee. Early in his career, the Texas Bar Foundation selected Rusty as a Fellow, a distinction awarded to only 10 percent of the attorneys in Texas. He now enjoys membership as a Life Fellow of the Foundation.


In addition to service to the State Bar of Texas, Rusty has been involved in the leadership of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, which serves the interests of Texans and his clients. He has served two terms on the Board of Directors and is currently serving a third term.


Rusty is married to Jane, a former practicing attorney, and they have two sons. The family enjoys snow skiing and traveling together.