Judge W. Royal Furgeson, Jr. (Retired)
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
Arbitrator, Mediator, Mock Trials, Special Discovery Master
The Honorable W. Royal Furgeson, Jr., United States District Judge, Northern District of Texas, was named as the founding Dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law in January 2012. He assumed his position as Dean in mid-year 2013, after retiring from the federal district bench. Judge Furgeson retired from the law school in 2018.
From 1994 to 2013, Judge W. Royal Furgeson served as a U.S. District Judge both in the Western District and Northern District of Texas. Prior to taking Senior Status, he served in the El Paso, Midland, and San Antonio Divisions of the Western District of Texas. He served as a federal judge for over eighteen years.
A native of Lubbock, Judge W. Royal Furgeson graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and earned his law degree at the University Of Texas School Of Law, where he was an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. After law school, he served the U.S. Army for two years, attaining the rank of Captain. Following a tour in Vietnam, he returned to Lubbock as law clerk to the Honorable Halbert O. Woodward.
Before taking the bench, he was a practicing lawyer for twenty-four years with the Kemp Smith firm in El Paso, Texas. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute, and Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Trial Law. While in private practice, he was general campaign chair and president of the El Paso United Way, president of the El Paso chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and president of the El Paso Bar Association.
During his time on the bench, in addition to his ongoing district court obligations, he was a panel judge on the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, President of the Federal Judges Association, and a member of the Judicial Branch Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He has also served as chair of the Judicial Resources Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
He has been honored on numerous occasions, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Texas Tech Alumni Association, the West Texas Legal Legend Award by the Texas Tech University School of Law, the 2010 Distinguished Counselor Award by the State Bar of Texas Antitrust and Business Litigation Section, the Luke Soules Award by the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section, the Leon Green Award by the Texas Law Review, and the Faculty Award by the University of Texas School of Law.
Judge Furgeson conducts mediations and arbitrations across many substantive legal areas, including oil and gas law, trademark and copyright law, commercial law, patent law, health law, insurance law, mass tort law and employment law. He has had particular success in resolving class action litigation involving legal disputes covering a variety of substantive claims.
His expertise involves mediating and arbitrating contract disputes between royalty interest owners and energy companies, contract disputes between oil and gas pipelines and energy companies, contract disputes between energy companies, environmental disputes between landowners and energy companies, and class action disputes in the energy context.
- University of Texas School of Law – JD with honors (1967)
- Texas Tech University – BA in English (1964)