Buck Files is a shareholder and founding member of the firm.
Buck is a criminal defense lawyer who - together with Brett Harrison - represents individuals and corporations accused in the Texas and Federal courts of criminal conduct.
Buck began his legal career prosecuting or defending individuals before general and special courts-martial of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy in Hawaii, Okinawa, and the Republic of Vietnam. After completing his military service, Buck spent over three years as an assistant (and then First Assistant) criminal district attorney in Smith County. Buck then entered the private practice of law as a defense attorney.
Buck has represented clients in the Texas courts charged with everything from the possession of small quantities of marijuana and driving while intoxicated cases to capital murder cases. In the Federal courts, Buck has represented clients charged with everything from white-collar fraud and drug conspiracies to the possession of child pornography. Buck has also been retained by corporate counsel to represent their clients in OSHA, EPA, USDA and immigration cases.
Buck has represented many clients in high profile cases. CourtTV has covered more than 70 days of his trials. Perhaps Buck’s most challenging and emotionally draining case was his representation of a mother who was charged with the murder of two of her children and a serious injury of a third. Buck raised an insanity defense. The jury agreed with him and returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity - the first such verdict in Smith County for at least the past 60 years.
Buck is a charter member and former director of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is also a long time member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Over the Years, Buck Has Been Honored by His Peers
In 2011, Buck was inducted into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Hall of Fame.
In 2004, Buck was named the Defense Lawyer of the year by the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas.
In 2012, Buck received The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas. The inscription read, “For your endless devotion to the improvement of the criminal justice system.”
In 2007, Buck received a Presidential Citation from President Martha Dickie. The inscription read, “For your belief in our criminal justice system and your faith and confidence that Texas can and must get it right every time.”
In 2007, Buck received the Outstanding Third Year Director Award from the Chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.
In 2012, Buck received the Tom Garner Award from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The inscription read, “In recognition of distinguished service to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.”
In 2008, Buck received the Justinian Award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism and the Smith County Bar Association.
In 2007, Buck was honored by a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. The resolution read,
"Whereas F. R. “Buck” Files, Jr. is a Charter Member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association;
Whereas Mr. Files, an outstanding scholar and prolific author, has written in excess of 100 articles since 1978, including his “Federal Corner” column, which have all been published in VOICE for the Defense magazine;
Whereas Mr. Files is a talented attorney and champion of justice, serving his clients with understanding and compassion;
Whereas Mr. Files exemplifies the qualities inherent in a true criminal defense lawyer, always striving to fulfill the ultimate purpose of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association: to promote justice and the common good;
Therefore be it resolved that the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association pay tribute to the accomplishments of the Honorable F.R. “Buck” Files, Jr."
Buck Has Been Committed to Legal Specialization in Texas
The concept of legal specialization began to be discussed by Texas lawyers and judges in the early 1970’s. In 1975, the first specialization examinations were offered in criminal law, labor law, and family law. Buck was a member of the charter class to be certified as a specialist in criminal law. Buck served for six years as a member of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization’s Criminal Law Advisory Commission [Chair, 2001- 2005]. In 2007, Buck was appointed to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and served as a member of the Board until 2011. Buck has been Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy since 1997 by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Buck Has Been Dedicated to Continuing Legal Education
Buck has now written more than 150 columns - “The Federal Corner” - for the VOICE for the Defense, the official publication of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has also been an author/ speaker on many occasions for CLE programs sponsored by TCDLA and by the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project.
Buck has also been active in the CLE programs of the State Bar of Texas. He served as Course Director for the 1997 Advanced Criminal Law Course and has been an author/ speaker at 23 of these annual courses including:
- "Confessions,” 1983
- “Privileges,” 1985- 1988
- “Fifth Circuit Opinions,” 1990- 2004; 2006-2008
Buck served for four years on the State Bar’s CLE committee [Vice Chair - 2007; Chair 2008-2011].
Buck is a Fellow of the College of the State Bar.
Buck received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College in 1960. [In 2003, Buck was elected to the Board of Trustees and is in his tenth year of service as a member of the Board. Each year, he returns to the college and reviews hazing issues with the fraternity and sorority officers and those students who wish to pledge a fraternity or sorority.]
Buck received his Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University’s School of Law in 1963. Buck received his Master of Liberal Arts degree from SMU in 1974.
Buck is a Marine. He earned his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on September 1, 1962. He served with a reserve unit during his third year in law school. He began active duty on December 28, 1963, and served at duty stations in Virginia, Hawaii, Okinawa and the Republic of Vietnam until August 14, 1967. He attained the rank of Captain.
Buck served as a member of the District 2A Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas from 1992-1996. In 2004, Buck was elected to the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and served a three year term. In 2011, Buck was elected to the office of President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas. On June 15, 2012 Buck was sworn in by Judge Cathy Cochran of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as President of the State Bar of Texas.
Life Outside the Practice of Law
Buck and his wife, Robyn are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church in Tyler. They have two children: Jennifer Files Beerline, a lawyer specializing in estate planning in San Francisco; and, Trey Files, a percussionist who performs on Broadway, teaches and tours with ETHOS Percussion Group. They have two grandchildren, Lucy Beerline and Romy Files.
For seven years, Buck was a director or officer of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association and served as President of the Association in 2006.
Buck’s hobbies are traveling and photography.