Larry Tawwater has been a personal injury attorney since 1972. Many of his cases have involved serious injury or death. He has successfully handled cases involving defective products, explosions, nursing home abuse, medical negligence, automobile accidents, truck collisions and wrongful conduct by insurance companies. He has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in these types of cases.
Larry has also successfully handled class action suits, including one in which workers' compensation insurance companies in Oklahoma were forced to pay back over $30 million in premiums to approximately 25,000 Oklahoma employers, and another where a health insurance company was forced to pay back nearly $4 million - every penny it had overcharged its insured's - through a co-pay scam. He has also successfully handled mass tort cases, such as the breast implant litigation, in which he and the firm represented over 800 women.
In recognition of his accomplishments in the courtroom, Larry has been admitted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers and The American Board of Trial Advocates. These organizations invite only the top trial lawyers in the country to become members. Larry is also listed in the book, The Best Lawyers in America. He has an AV rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, reflecting the highest rating for skill and ethics. He is also listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar List of Preeminent Lawyers. Larry is a past president of the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association and currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the nations' largest trial lawyer organization.
In addition to his litigation practice, Larry has been active in efforts to strengthen the civil justice system and help insure individuals' access to the courts. Among these efforts has been his work on the committee that rewrote the Oklahoma Pleading Code, the set of statutes that prescribe the rules for bringing litigation in Oklahoma. Additionally, he was actively involved in drafting and lobbying for numerous Oklahoma statutes dealing with the rules for litigation in Oklahoma. For example, he helped draft the Oklahoma Judgment and Appeals Act (which sets out the rules for filing appeals), helped lobby for the passage of the Oklahoma Discovery Code (which sets out the rules for formal pretrial investigation), and helped draft revisions to the Pleading Code, the Discovery Code and the Evidence Code (which sets out the rules for determining what evidence is admissible in trials). Through the years, he has also helped draft committee commentary to many Oklahoma statutes. The courts and practitioners look to the commentaries to help them better understand and correctly interpret statutes. Larry has also published papers and taught lawyers and judges about these statutes.
For 20 years, Larry has been actively involved in lobbying on behalf of the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association on issues of importance to consumers, working for passage of legislation protecting consumer rights including the HMO Accountability Act giving HMO members the right to sue their HMO. He has also worked successfully against legislative attempts to limit consumers' access to justice, particularly opposing efforts by Big Business to gain an unfair advantage over consumers in the courts.
Larry has been appointed on three different occasions by Governors of Oklahoma to serve on special task forces to study and make recommendations on important legal issues. He has been appointed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to help revise the Court's own rules. He is currently appointed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to serve on the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction Committee which has the responsibility of drafting jury instructions for use in civil trials in Oklahoma.
Larry has lectured extensively, presenting over 30 papers on trial practice to various lawyer groups and speaking frequently at law schools. His efforts have been recognized by the Oklahoma Bar Association, which awarded him the Earl Sneed Continuing Legal Education Award. He has also appeared frequently before civic groups to speak to the public about the importance our system of justice.