Fred Riley Jones

—Shareholder and Director

 (210) 733-6030

Fred Jones is a founding shareholder in the firm, and has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America by Woodward/White, Inc., universally regarded by both the profession and the public as the most credible guide to legal excellence.

Council House Fight Article

San Antonio Prisoners True Story from 1842 Article

Practice Areas: Real Estate Litigation and Land Use Appeals Business and Commercial Litigation Insurance Law and Defense Creditor Representation

Certification in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Law

Board Certified in Residential Real Estate Law and Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Fred Jones, a founding shareholder in the firm, has been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by the prestigious Woodward/White publication of that name, which bases its ratings exclusively on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected list of attorneys in practice.”  The list is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey, and lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.

A graduate of Texas A&M and St. Mary’s University School of Law, Jones was licensed by the State Bar of Texas in 1979 and has been certified since 1985 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law. He is rated AV®-Preeminent™ (the highest possible rating) by Martindale-Hubbell®, based upon reviews by judges and his fellow lawyers.

Jones has been selected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation, an honor signifying outstanding professional achievement and demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system in the State of Texas. Only one-third of one percent of Texas State Bar members are invited each year to become Fellows.

As a courtroom lawyer, Jones has represented other lawyers, property owners, title insurers, product manufacturers and suppliers, business owners, municipalities and counties in resolving a variety of disputes. He has handled lawsuits involving mortgages and lien priorities, ownership of surface and mineral interests, and ownership of the banks and beds of rivers. In all, he has more than three decades of experience in the trial and appellate courts. He has prosecuted and defended claims by and against lawyers and other clients in professional liability and other estate and fiduciary litigation.

Jones began his legal career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Adrian A. Spears, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.  He then entered private practice and later served as the Chief of the Litigation Section of the Civil Section of the office of the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney.  Jones returned to private practice, joining the firm of Sawtelle Goode, with offices in San Antonio, and later, Dallas and Austin.  While at Sawtelle Goode, Jones handled a variety of trial and appellate work. In 1991, Jones, along with his current partners, former partners Sandee Bryan Marion, John Goode, and Of Counsel John Clark, formed the firm of Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson.

Jones currently represents several major national title insurance underwriters, their subsidiary closing agents, and their policyholders throughout South and Central Texas.   Jones was tapped as the Attorney in Charge for the City of San Antonio in litigation over ownership of the San Antonio River and River Walk, as well as litigation over the validity of the City of San Antonio’s sign ordinances along McAllister Freeway (the “ugly signs” case).  Later, he was one of the lead attorneys hired by the City of San Antonio to defend a multitude of “vested rights” and alleged Water Code violation claims in 14 lawsuits by a major developer in the area, and other high-profile lawsuits involving zoning and historic preservation.  He was asked by the City to be the Attorney in Charge of a high-profile zoning dispute in federal court over a question of transitional housing in residential neighborhoods.  He continues to represent the City of San Antonio in complex land use cases.

Jones has also represented the City of Alamo Heights, the City of Castle Hills, the City of Alice and the City of Live Oak in land use, zoning and election litigation matters.  He has represented Bexar and Kendall County in civil rights, election contests, and regulatory and land use disputes.   In the mid-1980’s through the early 1990’s, Jones was frequently called upon to represent financial institutions and regulatory agencies, including banks, thrifts, and conservators and receivers appointed by the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation (“FSLIC”), Resolution Trust Corporation (“RTC”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”).

  • 1976 – Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University.
  • 1979 – Juris Doctor, St. Mary’s University School of Law (Chairman 1979 Board of Advocates); Order of Barristers

281-300 Joint Venture v. Onion, 938 F.2d 35 (5th Cir. 1991); In Re Alamo Heights Neighborhood Association, 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 8300 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2009, no pet.); Alamo Title Insurance of Texas v. First Valley Bank, 1998 Tex. App. LEXIS 7540 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi 1998, no pet.); Borden Park, L.P. v. City of San Antonio, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62729 (U.S. Dist. Court, Western District of Texas, 2006); Cadle Company v. Whataburger of Alice, Inc., 174 F. 3d 599 (5th Cir. 1998); City of San Antonio v. Reed S. Lehman Grain Co., Ltd., 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 7515 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2007, pet. denied); City of San Antonio v. En Seguido, Ltd., 227 S.W.3d 237 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2007, no pet.); City of San Antonio v. TPLP Office Park Properties, Ltd. 155 S.W. 3d 365 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2004, reversed, 218 S.W. 3d 60 (Tex. 2007); Davis v. Bexar County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission, 775 S.W.2d 807 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1989, reversed, Bexar County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission v. Davis, 802 S.W.2d 659 (Tex. 1990), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 811 (1991); Fox v. San Antonio Savings Association, 751 S.W.2d 257 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1988, no writ); Hardee v. City of San Antonio, 2008 Tex. App. LEXIS 3649 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1998, no pet.); Hopkins v. State of Texas, 2009 Tex App. LEXIS 8780 (Tex. App.–Austin 2009, no pet.); Lakecroft, Inc. v. Adams, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 13601 (Tex. App.—Austin 2014, pet. denied); Miller v. Miller, 715 S.W.2d 786 (Tex. App.–Austin 1986, writ ref’d n.r.e.); Morrow v. Rockwald Joint Venture No. 1, 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 2821 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2004, no pet.); O’Conor v. Frost National Bank, 562 U.S. 836  (2010); Strain Brothers, Inc. v. Perrin, 611 S.W.2d 146 (Tex. App.–El Paso 1980, no writ); San Antonio Savings Association v. United States Internal Revenue Service, 1986 WESTLAW 11571 (W.D. Tex. 1986); Vamarie, Inc. v. Ball, 793 S.W.2d 749 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1990, rev’d sub nom., City of San Antonio v. Fourth Court of Appeals, 820 S.W.2d 762 (Tex. 1991); White v. Resolution Trust Corp., Receiver for San Antonio Savings Association, 979 F.2d 209 (5th Cir. 1992); Wilson v. Dvorak, 228 S.W.3d 228 (Tex. App–San Antonio 2007, pet. denied).

  • 1979, State Bar of Texas
  • 1979, San Antonio Bar Association (Director 1990-1993, Treasurer 1993-1994, Secretary 1994 1995; Chairman, Fee Dispute Arbitration Committee, 1988-1990).
  • 1980, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • 1981, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • 1983, United States Supreme Court
  • 1999, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • 2016, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • 1985-present, Board Certified, Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
  • Re-certified and approved after review by peers in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005,2010 and 2015.
Jones recently concluded a term as President of the San Antonio Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a National organization of invitation-only, peer-reviewed trial lawyers, equally split between plaintiff and defense.

Other:

  • Founding Director, Boerne Education Foundation
  • Fair Oaks Ranch Homeowners Association, Director 1997-1999
  • Director, Kendall Appraisal District, 1998-1999
  • Boerne Independent School District: Served for 9 years as trustee, including two terms as President (1999-2008)
  • City of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas:  Alderman and Mayor Pro-Tem, 2009-2013
  • President, St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, 1994-1995
  • Trustee, St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, 1995-1996
  • 2013 – Present to various groups on “Civility in the Practice of Law.”
  • Organized and presided over First Law Day Celebration in Kendall County
  • 1977-1987 Author/speaker on real estate subjects at the American College of Real Estate, San Antonio and throughout South and Central Texas.
  • 1983 Adjunct Professor, Real Estate Law, St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1988 Author/speaker on Texas Homestead Law at Agents’ Seminar sponsored by Title USA Insurance Corporation.
  • 1989 Author/speaker on Holders in Due Course Under the Federal Common Law, Real Estate Law Section of the San Antonio Bar Association.
  • 1990 Author/speaker on Effective Use of Stays in Litigation, 1990 Attorney’s Conference of the Texas Savings & Loan League.
  • 1990 Author/Speaker on Special Defenses in Negotiating and Litigating with the Resolution Trust Corporation, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Committee of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section at the 1990 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Chicago.
  • 1995 Speaker on Title Insurance Claims and Litigation, National Business Institute’s course on Mastering Real Estate Titles and Title Insurance in Texas, February, 1995.
  • 1995 Speaker on Ethics and Guidelines for Business Practices,  Joint Meeting of the San Antonio Chapters of Chartered Life Underwriters, Chartered Financial Consultants and Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, March 28, 1995.
  • 1997 Author/Speaker on Resisting Arbitration, Anatomy of a Civil Trial, San Antonio Bar Association
  • 1999 Author/Speaker on Transferring Title to Real Estate, Texas Real Estate Titles and Title Insurance, Half Moon, LLC.
  • 1999 Author/Speaker on Acknowledgments and Authority to Act in Real Estate Transactions, 9th Annual Texas Land Title Association Institute
  • 2005 Author/Speaker on Beds and Banks.  Enforcing Public and Private Ownership: Who Owns What?, at the Texas Water Law Conference, sponsored by CLE International.
  • 2006 Author/Speaker on “Don’t Fence Me In”, Part Two: Rivers & Streams, at the Texas Water Law Conference, sponsored by CLE International.
  • 2008 Author:  San Antonio Prisoners: The True Story of the 1842 Invasion of San Antonio and the Imprisonment of Its Citizens, (San Antonio Lawyer, March-April 2008).  Recognized by the Texas Bar of Journal as “Best Feature Article of the Year-2008”).
  • 2014 Author:  The Council House Fight: “A Day of Horrors – Fruitful of Blood” (San Antonio Lawyer, March-April 2014).  Recognized by the Texas Bar Journal as “Best Feature Article of the Year-2014″)
  • 2014 – Present Speaker of Role of Lawyers in The History of Texas.
Jones has tried cases to juries in Aransas, Atascosa, Bexar, Collin, Frio, Kerr, Nueces, Travis, Wilson, and Webb counties, and has handled other non-jury cases and disputes in those counties as well as Bandera, Cameron, Comal, Dallas, Denton, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Kendall, Kimble, Fort Bend, Hays, LaSalle, Live Oak, Limestone, Karnes, Medina, Starr, Gonzales, Harris, Galveston, Dallas, Real, and other counties. Appearing by special permission of the U.S. District Court in Montana, Jones handled litigation and the eventual sale of a 6,000+ acre ranch in Montana.  He has also been allowed to appear by special permission in the Minnesota courts.  He has personally argued cases before the Corpus Christi, El Paso, Austin and San Antonio Courts of Appeals, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court.  He has directly participated in other appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

In City of San Antonio v. Walsh, and others, Jones was the lead trial attorney for the San Antonio City Water Board in the condemnation of thousands of acres of land to be used as part of the $180 million Applewhite Lake Reservoir, which would have been San Antonio’s first surface water supply project.  He successfully handled commissioners’ hearings and appeals in many of the condemnation cases.  Jones also directly participated in satellite litigation related to the project. Later, by a narrow margin, the citizens of San Antonio voted to discontinue the project.

In Martin Marietta Materials v. Worth, et al, Jones represented a former San Antonio City Councilman in a complex civil rights case.  After extensive investigation research and pre-trial practice, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its claims against the Councilman.

In City of San Antonio v. University of Incarnate Word, Jones represented the City of San Antonio in a boundary dispute along the San Antonio River, with historical facts dating back to 1852.  The case was settled on terms favorable to the City of San Antonio, with the City receiving deeds to property that was formerly an island in the San Antonio River.

In City of San Antonio v. TPLP, Jones represented the City of San Antonio in a lawsuit involving closure of a point of access to a major office park.  The City finally prevailed 8-0 in the Texas Supreme Court after the trial court and court of appeals had ruled against the City.  The Supreme Court agreed to the City’s request for enforcement of municipal ordinances, and remanded the case to determine the amount of attorney’s fees to be recovered by the City from the adverse parties.

In Borden Park, L.P. v. City of San Antonio, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62729 (U.S. Dist. Court, Western District of Texas, 2006), Jones represented the City of San Antonio in a dispute over application of the City’s sign ordinance to signage along McAllister Freeway. This was commonly called the “Star Storage” or “Ugly Signs” case.  After a three week jury trial, the jury unanimously denied all of the plaintiff’s claims for monetary relief.

In Thompson vs. University of Virginia, Jones represented the University of Virginia Alumni Association in a wrongful death case resulting from a motorcycle/truck collision in Alabama.  Our special appearance to contest jurisdiction was granted, and the case was dismissed as to our client.

In Doe v. Doe Law Firm, Jones obtained a summary judgment for a major San Antonio law firm in a complex legal malpractice lawsuit.

In Reed S. Lehman Grain, Ltd., et al. v. City of San Antonio, Jones represented the City of San Antonio in a lawsuit claiming violations of the Texas Water Code and alleged damages of $38 million. After extensive discovery and investigation, the Plaintiff non-suited the claims against the City.  The City insisted on a trial on a counterclaim for attorney’s fees under the Declaratory Judgments Act.  Immediately before a scheduled jury trial, the Plaintiffs paid attorney’s fees to the City of San Antonio.

In Jourdanton State Bank v. Harwood, et al, Jones represented the Bank in a lawsuit against an attorney who had taken a lien on his client’s farm.  After the lawyer threatened foreclosure, the Bank sued the lawyer and the borrower. After a two week jury trial in Frio County, the Bank prevailed against both the lawyer and the borrower.  The Bank recovered a jury verdict of $164,000 in attorney’s fees against the lawyer, which was later settled for a higher amount on appeal.

In Resolution Trust Corporation, Receiver for San Antonio Savings Association v. White, Jones represented the RTC through two jury trials in federal court.  On appeal to the Fifth Circuit, the trial court’s decision was affirmed; the RTC was awarded almost $3 million and allowed to foreclose against the bulk of the land.  All claims for affirmative relief against the RTC and the insolvent institution were denied.

In Youngblood v. Youngblood, Jones was appointed by the Hon. Karen Pozza, Judge of the 407th Judicial District of Bexar County to serve the Court as Receiver to wind up two entities owned by a former husband and wife, after a complex divorce proceeding.  The entities owned an active 1,342 acre game ranch and hunting operation in Medina County, and a highly-improved 412 acre ranch in Real County.  As receiver under court supervision, Jones actively managed both ranches, oversaw the hunting operations and negotiated sales of both ranches.  Jones also resolved a complex, multi-party lawsuit and other claims related to the ranches.  The ranches were sold for a total of $7.6 million, and debt in the amount of $4.9 million was paid.

In Unincorporated Non-Profit Association of Concerned Eastside Citizens and Property Owners vs. The City of San Antonio; pending in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, Jones was the Attorney-in-Charge for the City of San Antonio in the successful defense of a complex, multi-party lawsuit over zoning decisions made by the San Antonio City Council for a multi-million dollar Transitional Housing facility for on-site supervision of individual residents as a term of parole or mandatory supervision under contract with the U. S. Bureau of Prisons.

In San Antonio Conservation Society and Westside Alliance v. City of San Antonio, Jones represented the City in resisting efforts to stop the demolition of the original Univision Studios, an alleged historic landmark.  The court allowed the demolition to proceed, as approved by the City’s Historic Design & Review Commission.

In Alamo Heights Neighborhood Association v. City of Alamo Heights, Jones represented the City in successful efforts to defeat election-related contests over a bond issue to construct new City facilities.

In Huddleston v. City of Alamo Heights, Jones successfully represented the City in a challenge to issuance of a building permit to Chase Bank in a highly-traveled section of Broadway in Alamo Heights.

Jones was born in San Antonio in 1955. He is a 6th generation resident of South Texas, and is an avid photographer and amateur Texas historian. He has published two highly acclaimed articles on events and conflicts involving the practice of law during the early days of the Republic of Texas. He has been married to Connie Webb Jones since 1974, and they are the parents of two sons and one daughter, and the grandparents of three grandsons and one granddaughter.