E.A. “Trey” Apffel III, who practiced law for 35 years in Galveston County and surrounding areas, began work as State Bar of Texas executive director on Dec. 1.

A former State Bar of Texas president, Apffel was the owner and principal of the Apffel Law Firm in League City, where he focused on personal injury litigation, toxic torts and medical malpractice. His practice also included family law and divorce.

The State Bar’s Executive Director Search Committee nominated Apffel for the position after an extensive search that included more than 140 expressions of interest from people across the country.

“Our search committee overwhelmingly believed Trey was the right choice for the position at the right time, and our board overwhelmingly agreed,” State Bar President Tom Vick said. “He has extensive knowledge of the workings of the bar and will work productively with our members and staff to advance our mission of serving Texas attorneys and the people of our state.”

The State Bar executive director is elected by a majority vote of the board and is the bar’s chief executive officer. The executive director manages the day-to-day operations of the more than 100,000-member organization, leads a staff of 261 employees, and executes the affairs of the State Bar in accordance with the State Bar Act, the State Bar Rules and the directives of the board.

Apffel succeeds Michelle Hunter, who retired Aug. 31 after nearly nine years as executive director and two decades on the State Bar staff.

Apffel has served as State Bar of Texas president (2014-15), on the State Bar board of directors, as a member of the board’s executive committee, and as chair of the Legislative Policy Committee. He is a former member of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He is a member of the Texas Bar College, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow and served on the Texas Bar Foundation board of trustees.

Apffel served as the Galveston County Bar Association’s president in 1996-97. He is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a former director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

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