The State Bar of Texas Executive Director Search Committee on Monday nominated E.A. “Trey” Apffel III as its recommendation for executive director out of seven finalists. The Board of Directors will consider the recommendation at an open meeting on September 22 in Lubbock.

“All seven finalists were impressive and highly qualified,” said Bob Black, a Beaumont lawyer who serves as chair of the search committee. “Everyone brought wonderful gifts to the table, but ultimately the overwhelming consensus choice was Trey Apffel.”

Apffel is the owner and principal of the Apffel Law Firm in League City, where he focuses on personal injury litigation, toxic torts, and medical malpractice. His practice also includes family law and divorce. He has practiced in Galveston County for more than 30 years.

The State Bar Board of Directors in April appointed the search committee, a diverse group of private citizens, people with significant experience in hiring executive leadership, members of the State Bar board, and other members of the bar. A committee roster is available at

To ensure a comprehensive search, the committee hired the national firm Young Mayden LLC to conduct the search and recruit potential candidates. Young Mayden has wide-ranging experience conducting executive director searches for bar associations throughout the country, including the Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York State, Wisconsin, and American bar associations.

More than 140 people from across the country submitted expressions of interest in the State Bar of Texas executive director position. After careful review, the search committee selected seven candidates to interview Monday in Austin.

The new executive director will succeed Michelle Hunter, who retired August 31 after nearly nine years as executive director and two decades on the State Bar staff. State Bar legal counsel John Sirman has been named interim executive director until the new executive director begins work.

Apffel has served as State Bar of Texas president (2014-2015), on the State Bar Board of Directors, as a member of the board’s Executive Committee, and as chair of the Legislative Policy Committee. He is a former member of the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He is a member of the Texas Bar College, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, and served on the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.

Apffel is a member of the Galveston County Bar Association and served as the organization’s president in 1996-1997. He is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.