Donato D. Ramos

Donato D. Ramos was born in Laredo, Texas on July 2, 1947. He attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where in 1968 he earned his B.B.A. in accounting. He then attended St. Mary’s University School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the St. Mary's Law Journal, and earned his J.D. in 1971. He is admitted to practice in Texas, the United States District Courts of the Southern District of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Ramos is a former Vice-Chairman of the Texas Board of Law Examiners, a former Vice-Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, a current member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's University, and was recently inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers whose membership is by invitation-only and limited to one percent of the total lawyers of any state. 

Practice Areas:
After more than 50 years of legal practice in the South Texas brush country, this Martindale Hubble AV rated attorney heads our law office with his no-nonsense and straightforward style. His experience and reputation bring large and complex cases to our firm and allow him to always focus his attention on the needs of his clients and the people of South Texas. 

  • Oil & Gas
  • Property
  • Products Liability
  • Probate
  • Commercial
  • Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Guardianship

  • Business Entities
  • Real Property Transactions
  • Pipeline Easements
  • Wills & Estates
  • Oil & Gas Leases
  • Leases: Commercial, Hunting & Grazing

Professional Activities:
  • Practicing law in the firm he founded, Law Offices of Donato D. Ramos, P.L.L.C.
  • Founding Partner of the former law firm of Person, Whitworth, Ramos, Borchers & Morales, L.L.P.
  • Former Vice-Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission appointed by the Honorable Governor Rick Perry on August 10, 2001 for a term expiring February 1, 2007.
  • Former Board Member and Vice-Chairman of the Texas Board of Law Examiners appointed by the Texas Supreme Court in 1994 and served as Vice-Chairman through August 15, 2001.
  • Former Board Member of St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees.
  • Managing Editor of the St. Mary’s Law Journal (1971).
  • First Assistant District Attorney, Webb County, Texas, (1975-1977).
  • Instructor in Legal Research and Writing at St. Mary’s Law School in 1971.
  • Admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Texas, Fifth Circuit, and United States Supreme Court.
  • Chairman of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee for Webb and Zapata Counties (1987-1993).
  • Member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and American Bar Association.
  • Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Webb County Bar Association.
  • Member of Federal Judicial Selection Committee for the Fifth Circuit, Southern District of Texas (1993).
  • Member of the Fifth Circuit, Southern District Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group (1995-1996).
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Oil, Gas and Mineral Section of the State Bar of Texas (1995 - 1996).

Law Related Publications, Academic Appointments and Honors:
  • Guest Speaker on “Jury Demonstration,” April, 1991 for State Bar of Texas in Laredo, Texas.
  • Guest Speaker on “Current Cases in Oil and Gas Litigation,” April, 1991 for the Corpus Christi Bar Association, Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • Guest Speaker in 1991 at the National Royalty Owners Convention in Fort Worth, Texas on royalty owners’ rights in take-or-pay litigation.
  • Guest Speaker at 1991 Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas on take-or-pay litigation from the royalty owners’ perspective.
  • Guest Speaker in 1991 at San Antonio Bar Association Oil and Gas Division meeting on take-or-pay litigation and the duty of good faith and fair dealing in the oil and gas context;
  • Guest Speaker at 1992 South Texas Royalty Owners seminar regarding Landowners’ Liability.
  • Guest Speaker at 1992 Webb County Bar Association meeting regarding Liability of Landowners to Third Parties.
  • Panel member at 1994 Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Guest Speaker at 1994 Advanced Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Course in Houston, Texas, regarding “Survival Kit for a Plaintiff’s Lawyer in an Oil and Gas Case.”
  • Guest Speaker at 1997 Webb County Bar Association Seminar regarding Attorney Ad Litems.
  • Guest Speaker at the March, 2000, "Litigating Oil and Gas Issues" Seminar in Midland, Texas regarding “A Fair Approach to the Implied Duty to Properly Manage and Administer an Oil and Gas Lease.”
  • Guest Speaker at the May 2006, State Bar Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course in Dallas, Texas, regarding "Thirty Days Out."
  • Guest Speaker at the October 2006, Fifth Annual Energy Litigation Conference in Houston, Texas, regarding "Seeking and Defending Against Punitive Damage Claims."
  • Guest Speaker at the March 2007, Webb County Bar Association "Laredo Litigation 2007 CLE" in Laredo, Texas, regarding "Preparation for and Advocacy in Trial."

Significant Cases:
  • Van Winkle vs. Jackson-easement case appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
  • McBee vs. County of Jim Hogg-First Amendment political patronage case appealed to Fifth Judicial District.
  • Maldonado vs. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company-A railroad safety appliance case appealed to the Fifth Circuit and United States Supreme Court.
  • Mayers vs. Sanchez O’Brien Petroleum Corporation-Oil and gas case appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Bruni Mineral Trust vs. Killam Oil Company-Oil and gas case appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Bruni Mineral Trust vs. Hurd Enterprises, Ltd.-Oil and gas case appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.
  • Frank Armstrong, et al vs. ARCO-Oil and gas case settled in Jim Hogg County, Texas.
  • Winn Exploration Company vs. Petty-Easement and oil and gas case appealed to Texas Supreme Court.
  • Pan Tex Corporation and Pannell Kerr Forster vs. The Chubb Insurance Company, et al-Bad faith insurance case settled in Webb County, Texas.
  • Rosales vs. Honda Motor Company-Case tried in Federal Court in Laredo, Texas, and appealed to the Fifth Circuit.
  • Gary Hale vs. Holly Farms-Wrongful death case settled in Laredo, Texas.
  • Lara vs. Texas Education Agency-TECAT suit involving life licensed teachers.
  • Clara Shovlin, et al vs. Shell Oil Company-suit involving royalty underpayment and wrongful pooling.
  • Jose De Los Santos vs. Coastal Corporation, et al-suit involving royalty underpayment and fraud issues.
  • Iracheta vs. General Motors Corporation-suit involving alleged defect in the fuel system of a 1988 Toronado vehicle.
  • Yzaguirre vs. KCS Resources, et al case involving royalty underpayment issues.
  • In Re: Estate of Juan Roberto Brittingham, deceased v. Maria Cristina Brittingham de Ayala, et al. – suit to recover monies wrongfully taken from Mr. Brittingham’s Estate.
  • 3C-C4 Family LLC v. Carrizo Oil and Gas, Inc. – oil and gas case brought by landowner royalty owners for the release of leasehold acreage.
  • South Tilden II, LLC v. Petrohawk Properties, LP and BHP Billiton Petroleum Properties (N.A.) L.P. – oil and gas case brought to establish interest in leasehold properties and payment of damages.
  • Finley v. Finley – suit to recover interest in certain partnerships and terminate trust.
  • Alicia Gutierrez v. XTO Energy, Inc. – suit by landowner to recover monies for saltwater disposal in landowner’s disposal well.
  • Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P Onshore, L.L.C. – oil and gas suit defending Anadarko in suit brought by Plaintiff claiming wrongful drilling and trespass on permitted property.

Civic Affairs:
  • President of School Board at St. Augustine High School, Laredo, Texas (1995 - 1999).
  • President of American Senepol Cattle Breeders Association (1995 - 1996).
  • Member of Advisory Council of Laredo International Fair and Exposition (1987 to present).
  • Former Chairman of Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of State Bar of Texas for South Texas Region (1987 - 1994).
  • President of Texas Polled Hereford Association (1983 - 1985).
  • Current Board Member and Immediate Vice-Chairman of American Hereford Association (1993 to October 31, 2001).
  • Member of Beef Education and Research Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Association (1993 - 1995).
  • Member of Knights of Columbus.
  • Volunteer basketball coach at St. Augustine Junior High School (1988 - 1993).
  • Former volunteer football coach at St. Augustine Elementary School (1985 - 1989).
  • Member of St. Mary’s Law School Alumni Board of Directors (2000 to present).
  • Current Member of Texas Wildlife Association.
  • Outstanding Conservation Rancher in Webb County and South Texas District for the year 1998.
  • 2002 recipient of Tejano Achiever Award presented by League of United Latin American Citizens, Lulac Council No. 12, Laredo, Texas.
  • 2002 recipient of Rancher of the Year Award presented by the Laredo International Fair & Exposition.

  • Born in Laredo, Texas, on July 2, 1947. Attended local schools in Laredo and graduated from high school in May, 1964, from St. Anthony Seminary in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration with major in Accounting from St. Mary's University in 1968.
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from St. Mary's Law School in 1971.
  • Discharged as First Lieutenant, United States Army, 1972.