Wanda Fowler was a Justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals for almost 14 years before joining Wright Close & Barger, LLP as a partner. While on the Court she authored approximately 1900 opinions and decided approximately 3,800 more cases.  In 2001, the other members of the Court elected her Acting Chief Justice for five months pending an appointment of a new chief justice and, in 2003, the Houston Chapter of the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists voted her Appellate Judge of the Year.  She is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education Seminars.  Before joining the Court, Ms. Fowler was a commercial litigator in private practice, and was in-house legal counsel for GTE Mobilnet.

Ms. Fowler is an American Arbitration Association (AAA) panelist and presides over arbitrations involving complex commercial disputes, insurance coverage matters, and construction cases. She has been appointed as a neutral or non-neutral arbitrator on a variety of matters. In addition, she has served as a mediator on a variety of litigation cases involving commercial transactions, energy law, insurance coverage, and personal injury claims.

Wanda has been included on BL Rankings, LLC’s list of Best Lawyers in America® (2013-present) in Appellate Law, and its list of Texas Best Lawyers® (2013-present). She was also named a Recognized Practitioner in Litigation: Appellate (2020-present) by Chambers & Partners, as published in Chambers USA.

Practice Areas

  • Contract Disputes
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability


  • Partner, Wright Close & Barger, LLP,  2018 – present
  • Partner, Wright & Close, LLP,  2010 – 2017
  • Partner, Wright Brown & Close, LLP,  2008 – 2010
  • Adjunct Professor in Appellate Advocacy, University of Houston Law Center,  2006 – 2012
  • Justice, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Jan. 1995 – Aug. 2008
  • Fouts & Moore, LLP,  1988 – 1994
  • GTE Mobilnet,  1986 – 1988
  • Staff Attorney of First Court of Appeals,  1985 – 1986
  • Gilpin Maynard Parsons Pohl & Bennett,  1983 – 1985
  • Briefing Attorney, Justice Arthur D. Dyess,  1981 – 1983

Presentations & Publications

  • On Writing, Briefly, Best Lawyers Magazine 2020 Spring Business Edition (Spring 2020)
  • A Fresh Approach to Storytelling in Briefs, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course (September 2017)
  • What do Jalapeno Hal, Chester’s Way and Mike Mulligan Have in Common?: A Fresh Approach to Brief Writing, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course (September 2009)
    • Also presented at the 14th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals (June 2004) and Houston Bar Association Appellate Section (July 2003)
  • Removal of Judges, 26th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Court (2003)
  • Supreme Court Update, Houston Bar Association Litigation Section (April 2003)
  • Supreme Court Update, Texas Center for the Judiciary Annual Conference (2003)
  • An Update on Sanctions in Texas, TADC Conference (September 2000)
  • Summary Judgments and Death Penalty Sanctions: Preserving Objections to Dispositive Motions, Identifying and Preserving Error for Appellate Review in Texas, Lorman Education Services (July 2000)
  • Appealing Default Judgments, 11th Advanced Civil Appellate Law Course, State Bar of Texas (September 1997)


  • Chair, Houston Bar Association (Appellate Section) – 2017
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Fellow, Texas and Houston Bar Associations
  • College of the State Bar
  • St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Choir, Board of Trustees
  • Past member of the Curriculum Committee for the Texas Center for the Judiciary
  • Former Chairwoman of the Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Judges


  • Best Lawyers® (publ. by BL Rankings, LLC) – 2020 – present
  • 2003 Appellate Judge of the Year, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists
  • American Leadership Forum, Class XXVI
  • Certified in Appellate Jurisprudence by the Texas College for Judicial Studies – 2006
  • University of Houston A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center’s Advanced Arbitration Course – 2016