Chris Wilmoth

Chris WIlmoth | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Probate Litigation
Guardianship Litigation
Probate Proceedings
Special Judge

Partner
Former Statutory Probate Judge

Contact

Partner Chris Wilmoth focuses on probate, guardianship and trust litigation. He also conducts mediations and accepts appointments as a special judge, trustee, administrator, and guardian of the
estate. In recent years, Mr. Wilmoth has acted as lead counsel in will contests, trust modifications, contested guardianships, breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits, and numerous uncontested probate and guardianship proceedings.

Mr. Wilmoth served as Judge of Dallas County Probate Court 2 from 2011 through 2014. As presiding judge, he conducted over 6000 hearings and held numerous bench and jury trials. He earned a reputation as a fair, compassionate, and pragmatic judge. From 2013 through 2016, he made
presentations to judges through the Texas College of Probate Judges and the Texas Judicial Academy. Mr. Wilmoth is a member of the Texas Judicial Branch Certification Commission’s Guardianship Certification Board and the State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee (Family and Probate).

Before being elected to the bench, Chris Wilmoth practiced litigation at Baker Botts, L.L.P., including substantial work in the areas of probate, corporate bankruptcy, and employment law.  He previously served as law clerk to Hon. Jorge A. Solis, United States District court, Northern District of Texas; as extern at the Securities and Trade Commission; and as law clerk at the Federal Trade Commission.

Mr. Wilmoth is a lifetime member of the National College of Probate Judges. He is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, the Dallas Bar Foundation and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation, and is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. He served on the board of trustees of DAYL Foundation and the board of directors of Wesley‐Rankin Community Center through 2015. He also speaks to the bar and community organizations about probate and guardianship issues.

  Farrow-Gillespie Heath Witter LLP | Dallas, TX

Practice Areas

  • Probate Litigation
  • Trust Litigation
  • Guardianship Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Administrations, Guardianships, and Receiverships
  • Special Judge under chapter 151 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code

Former Experience

  • Judge, Probate Court No. 2, Dallas County, 2011-2014
  • Litigation Associate, Baker Botts, L.L.P., 2003-2010
  • Law Clerk, Chambers of the Honorable Jorge A. Solis, United States District Judge, 2002-03

Education

  • J.D., SMU Dedman School of Law, 2002
    • Associate Editor, SMU Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
  • M.A. (English), Southern Methodist University, 1993
  • B.A. (English, Economics), Southern Methodist University, 1991

Organizations

  • State Bar of Texas (2002 – present)
  • Dallas Bar Association (2003 – present)
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association (2008–10, 2013–14)
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers  (2003–07)
  • DAYL Foundation, Sustaining Lifetime Fellow (2005 – present)
  • College of the State Bar of Texas (2005 – present)
  • National College of Probate Judges (2011 – present)
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Faculty (2013–15)
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow (2013 – present)
  • Dallas Bar Foundation, Fellow (2016 – present)
  • Texas Judicial Branch Certification Commission’s Guardianship Certification Board (2015 – present)
  • State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee (Family and Probate) (2017 – present)

Community Activities

  • Wesley-Rankin Community Center
    • Member of Board of Directors (2010–15)
    • WRCC Trust Fund Board (2016 – present)
  • DAYL Foundation – Board of Trustees (2012–15)
  • Exchange Club of Lake Highlands – member since 2010
  • Good Legal Clinics – volunteer (2009–15)
  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program – volunteer attorney (2003–10)
  • Northaven United Methodist Church – member since 2001
  • Highland Park United Methodist Church – former member (1994–2001)
  • Legacy Founders Cottage – volunteer (1996–98)

Presentations and Publications

  • 2019 North Texas Probate Bench Bar Conference, Probate Court Guidelines & Checklist Panel, March 8, 2019
  • Texas Bar CLE, 2016 Estate Planning & Probate Drafting Course, Drafting Druthers Panel, October 7, 2016
  • Texas Association of Counties, 2016 Spring Judicial Education Session, Monitoring Guardianships, March 30, 2016
  • Kaufman County Bar Association, Guardianship Law, March 16, 2016
  • Texas Association of Counties, 2015 Fall Judicial Education Session, Guardianship Update, November 19, 2015
  • Texas Association of Counties, 2015 Spring Judicial Education Session, Monitoring Guardianships, March 25, 2015
  • Texas Association of Counties, Judicial Orientation for New County Judges, Guardianship, February 5, 2015
  • Dallas Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, Ad Litems: A Necessity or a Curse? Panel, October 23, 2014
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Elder Law Committee Heirship Prove-Up Workshop, September 18, 2014
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Practical Aspects of Guardianship Law, September 4, 2014
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Practical Aspects of Guardianship Law, June 5, 2014
  • Irving Sunrise Rotary Club, What Happens in Probate Court, May 29, 2014
  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program Guardian Ad Litem Course, Judges Panel, May 27, 2014
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Practical Aspects of Guardianship Law, March 13, 2014
  • Garland Bar Association, Introduction to the New Texas Estates Code, February 13, 2014
  • Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, What You Should Know About Probate & Guardianship, December 10, 2013
  • Dallas Bar Association, Transition to Law Program, What to Expect in Probate Court, December 2, 2013
  • “An Overview of the New Texas Estates Code,” TYLA eNews, November 2013
  • 2013 DVAP/DAYL Probate Symposium, Judges’ Panel, October 2, 2013
  • Dallas Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, Come On In, The Water’s Fine–Young Lawyer Q&A with the Judges, Panelist, September 26, 2013
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Practical Aspects of Guardianship Law, September 6, 2013
  • DAYL Coffee with the Courts, What Every Young Lawyer Should Know About Probate, August 15, 2013
  • Texas College of Probate Judges, Practical Aspects of Guardianship Law, June 6, 2013
  • 2013 DVAP Guardian Ad Litem Course, Judges Panel, May 28, 2013
  • Dallas Bar Association, Mock Voir Dire, Volunteer Judge, April 12, 2013
  • Dallas Minority Attorney Program, Civil Judges Panel April 12, 2013
  • Dallas Bar Association Probate Trust & Estate Section Meeting, Probate Judges Panel, October 23, 2012
  • Dallas Bar Association Judiciary Committee Meeting, Litigating Your Fiduciary Case, Panelist, August 2, 2012
  • “Probating a Will – Tips for the Nonspecialist,” Headnotes, vol. 37, no. 6 at 12 (June 2012)
  • 2012 DVAP Guardian Ad Litem Course, Judges Panel, May 22, 2012
  • Dallas Bar Association, Mock Voir Dire, Volunteer Judge, April 2012
  • Mesquite Bar Association, New Policies in Probate Court No. 2, March 21, 2012
  • Garland Bar Association, New Policies in Probate Court No. 2, March 1, 2012
  • Dallas Bar Association 2011 Ethics Fest, Judges Panel, May 12, 2011
  • Dallas Bar Association ADR Section, Role & Policies for ADR in the Courtroom, Panelist, May 9, 2011
  • Dallas Bar Association Probate Trust & Estate Section, Probate Judges Panel, May 5, 2011
  • Baker Botts Trial Section, “Federal Pleading Practice After Twombly,” December 2007
  • “Casenote – Southwestern Bell Tel. L.P. v. Accutel of Tex., L.P., No. 05-0292 (July 11, 2005 – Kaplan, Mag. J.),” Dallas Federal Casenotes, vol. 10, no. 6 at 59-60 (July 11-Aug. 5, 2005)
  • “Casenote – Lentz v. Citadel Sec. Software, Inc., No. 05-0100 (May 25, 2005 – Fitzwater, J.),” Dallas Federal Casenotes, vol. 10, no. 4 at 46 (May 9 – June 3, 2005)
  • “Casenote – Miller v. Am. Int’l Group, Inc., No. 04-1417 (May 9, 2005 – Solis, J.),” Dallas Federal Casenotes, vol. 10, no. 4 at 43-44 (May 9 – June 3, 2005)
  • “Casenote – Wightman-Cervantes v. Texas, No. 03-3025 (Apr. 6, 2005 – Fitzwater, J.),” Dallas Federal Casenotes, vol. 10, no. 2 at 24-25 (March 14-April 8, 2005)
  • “Casenote – Kessell v. Mega Life & Health Ins. Co., No. 03-2788 (Feb. 15, 2005 – Godbey, J.),” Dallas Federal Casenotes, vol. 10, no. 1 at 12 (April 2005)
  • “Toward a Congruent and Proportional Patent Law: Redressing State Patent Infringement After Florida Prepaid v. College Savings Bank,” SMU Law Review, 2002