Latosha Lewis Payne has been a civil trial lawyer for almost 18 years. She brings to the judicial bench her experience from trying cases as the first chair lawyer to verdict before juries and to final judgment before judges in both state and federal courts.
After spending 15 years as a lawyer in large law firms, Latosha co-founded the women-owned law firm of Trahan Kornegay Payne LLP. In just a few short years, the firm has become known as one of the Best Law Firms in Texas and received the 2017 Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Award for Small Firm for its pro bono work.
Latosha married her college sweetheart, a combat Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient. Together, they are parents to three lively children aged 10, 7, 5 and a new puppy named Apollo. Latosha is also a former college conference champion in the 400-meter hurdles and currently volunteers her time as a girls and boys hurdles coach and mentor.
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2000
Board of Advocates; ABA Semifinalist Moot Court Team; Women’s Roundtable
University College of London, Fall 1999
Thomas J. Watson Fellow, 1996-1997
Post-graduate study of the “Cultural Constraints on the Development of Women’s Sports” in Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, and Jamaica
Tulane University, H. Sophie Newcomb Women’s College, B.A. 1996
Double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science, minor in Philosophy; Tulane Scholar; President of Newcomb Honor Board; 1995 Metro Conference 400 M Hurdles Champion and Tulane Record Holder for 5 years; Tulane Board of Administrators Undergraduate Representative
Latosha is a co-founding partner of the women-owned litigation and insurance coverage law firm of Trahan Kornegay Payne, LLP. Latosha has a diverse civil trial practice involving personal injury, wrongful death, food liability, products liability, premise liability, complex mass torts, insurance coverage and commercial contract disputes.
Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, 2000 – 2009
Of Counsel, Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease LLP, 2009 – 2014
Law Clerk and College Intern, Duncan & Courington LLC
Latosha has tried personal injury and commercial civil cases to verdict before juries and final judgment before judges in both state and federal courts. She has also served as counsel in state appellate courts and the United States Appellate Court for the Fifth Circuit.
Honors, Awards and Recognition
2017, U.S. News & World Reports, Best Law Firms in Texas
2017, Mentor of the Year Award, Lifted Lifestyle
2016, U.S. News & World Reports, Best Law Firms in Texas
2016, Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Award – Small Firm
2016, Outstanding Small Firm Contribution, Houston Bar Foundation
2015, The National Black Lawyers Top 100
2014 – 2008, Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Texas Monthly
2014, Robert L. Hainsworth Outstanding Service Award, Houston Lawyers Association
2013, Momentum Award, Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation
2009, Houston Top Lawyer for the People, H Texas Magazine
2008, Outstanding Service Award as Vice Chairperson, 83rd Annual National Bar Assoc. Convention
2007, Woodrow B. Seals Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year, Houston Young Lawyers Association
2007, Nominee, American Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyers of the Year
2007 Nominee, Texas Young Lawyers Association Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year
2007 and 2006, Top Professional on the Fast Track, H Texas Magazine
Fellow, American Bar Foundation, Texas Bar Foundation, and Houston Bar Foundation
Life Fellow, Houston Young Lawyers Foundation
Service to the Community
Texas Executive Women, President 2018, President Elect 2017, and Vice President of Membership 2016, Board of Directors, 2016 – present
Houston Lawyers Foundation, Chairperson 2008 – 2014; Board Member 2006-present.
State Bar of Texas, Legal Services for the Poor in Civ. Matters (Past); Environ. and Lit. Sections
National Bar Association, Judicial Selection Cmte. & Civil Rights Section Vice Chair, Treasurer (past)
Houston Bar Association, 2014 Fun Run Cmte; Past Co-Chair, Lawyers Against Waste Cmte; Environmental Section, Inaugural Mentor; Juvenile Partnership; Past Member Communities in School and Special Olympics Cmte.
Houston Young Lawyers Association, Board of Directors & Chair, Crossing the Line Juvenile Law (past)
Houston Lawyers Association, President 2006 – 2007 and Board of Directors 2003-2008
Association of Women Attorneys, 2013 – present
Harris County Democratic Lawyers Association, 2013 to present
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston, Board of Directors 2004 – 2010; Chair, Governance
Volunteer Attorney – Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Legal Lines, Justice for Children