Beaumont attorney named university regent

Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 26, 2007, 6:38am

Michael Truncale

Beaumont attorney Michael Truncale has been named to the board of regents of his alma mater.

Truncale was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to become a regent for the Texas State University System, the governing body that oversees Lamar University, where Truncale received a bachelor's degree in economics.

TSUS also governs the Lamar State Colleges in Orange and Port Arthur, the Lamar Institute of Technology, Texas State University, Sam Houston State University and Sul Ross State University.

At Lamar University, Truncale graduated in 1978 with high honors and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi. After receiving his undergraduate degree in economics, he went on to earn a master of business administration from the University of North Texas in Denton and a law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

A senior partner at Orgain Bell & Tucker LLP since 1990, Truncale is a past president of the Jefferson County Bar Association and a fellow at the Texas Bar Foundation. He also serves on the State Republican Executive Committee.

His biography on the OB&T Web site says that Truncale has defended numerous clients in state courts throughout Texas and in the federal courts in the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas. He handles cases involving products liability, premises liability, toxic tort, health care liability, governmental liability, transportation, mass tort, insurance coverage, environmental litigation, as well as commercial litigation.

Truncale is also a certified mediator in the Eastern District of Texas and in all state courts, and he is an arbitrator. He serves on the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee for negligence, products liability, and medical malpractice cases.

He successfully defended Texaco Pipeline Company in litigation relating to the 1994 fires and floods on the San Jacinto River that created the largest inland petroleum spill in United States history. The National Law Journal recognized this case as one of the top ten defense verdicts of 1997.

Truncale is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, is A/V rated in Martindale-Hubbell, and he is a member of the College of the State Bar, the Michelle F. Mehaffy American Inn of Court, and the Texas Bar Foundation. He also maintains memberships in the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, the Defense Research Institute and the American Bar Association.

He was the president of the Jefferson County Bar Association for 2005-2006, served as the president of the Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association and was a member of the Alumni Advisory Council to the Southern Methodist University School of Law. He also served on the Law Focused Education Committee of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

Music is important to Truncale, as both of his parents were music teachers on the faculty at Lamar. He is a strong supporter of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and the Beaumont Heritage Society. He is a lay Eucharist minister at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Truncale replaces another Beaumont attorney on the board of regents, Kent Adams, who was serving as chairman until his term expired. Truncale's term expires Feb. 1, 2013.

Other new Perry appointees to the Texas State University System board of regents were Charlie Amato of San Antonio, co-owner of Southwest Business Corp.; and Ron Blatchley of Bryan, co-owner of BMB Homes.

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