Joseph Marrs


Joe Marrs civil litigation attorney

Joe Marrs represents clients at trial and arbitration of fiduciary, trust, and will contests, as well as other complex disputes in the courts.

Mr. Marrs is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas. He is a member of the Probate Section of the Houston Bar Association and is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He served on the board of directors for the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Austin Bar Association from 2011-2012.

From 2016 to 2020, Mr. Marrs has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” in Texas Monthly magazine in the area of trust and estate litigation. In 2019 he was included in The Best Lawyers In America by BL Rankings. In 2016 he was named as one of Houston’s top lawyers in commercial litigation by H-Magazine. Mr. Marrs was rated “AV-Preeminent” in 2012 by Martindale-Hubbell, a peer-review system.

Mr. Marrs graduated with high honors from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Latin. He returned to the University of Texas for law school, where he served as a member of the Texas Law Review’s editorial board. After earning his J.D., Mr. Marrs served as law clerk to the Honorable Guy Herman in the Travis County Probate Court Number One.

Joseph Marrs

Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • B.A., Plan II and Latin, with high honors, University of Texas at Austin, 1998.
  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 2002.


Representative Matters & Publications and Presentations

  • “What the New ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Means for Trustees and Investment Advisors,” Fiduciary Litigation, Texas Bar CLENov. 30-Dec. 1, San Antonio Texas
  • “Remedies for Mismanagement of Trust Assets,” 9th Annual Damages in Civil Litigation, Feb. 16-17, 2017, Houston, Texas
  • “How Not to Invest in a Trust: Pitfalls for Trustees and Brokers,” Bank of Texas and BOK, lunch series for CFP credit, Financial, Jan. 28, 2016
  • “Avoiding Liability for Investing Trust Accounts: Trustees, FINRA, and Broker Liability,” Attorneys in Tax and Probate, Sept. 1, 2015
  • “Playing the Probate Card: A Plaintiff’s Guide to Transfer to Statutory Probate Court,” 36 St. Mary’s L.J. 99 (2004)
  • “Wills: What Will You Do?,” Austin Chronicle, Apr. 7, 2004
  • “Intestacy: No Will, Several Ways,” Austin Chronicle, May 30, 2004
  • “Temporary Guardianships: When Are They Appropriate?” (coauthor), Guardianship Course 2003, Mar. 13, 2003, Dallas, Texas

In Re Estate of J.B. Wells, Jr., County Court of Gonzales, Texas
A non-profit client’s claim to a charitable gift in 1961 will was upheld. The client seeks to vindicate the testator’s intent to preserve the historic Santa Anna Mound area in Gonzales, Texas as a park.

13-18-00161-CV Court of Appeals Thirteenth District of Texas In Re Estate of JB Wells Jr., Deceased

Wellness Wireless, Inc. v. Infopia America, LLC
No. 4:12-CV-02856, In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas:
A healthcare technology firm defended a breach of contract. After an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and remand to a jury trial, the court found the plaintiff’s claim to be baseless and granted a take-nothing judgment in favor of the firm’s client.

Burks v. XL Specialty Ins.
No. 14-14-00740, 2015 WL 5436884 (Tex. App. Houston [14th Dist] Sept. 15, 2015, no pet. h.):

Chris Johns, Joe Marrs, and Zev Kusin co-authored the winning brief in an appeal in which the Fourteenth Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of an insurance company that refused to indemnify a CFO’s defense costs.

News coverage here.

J.P.V., et al. v. R.W.D.,
No. C-1-PB-13-001133; in the Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas (2015):
The firm, with Joe Marrs as lead counsel, represented trust beneficiaries against their former trustee for breach of fiduciary duty.

D.L.B., et al. v. T. Corp., et al.,
Case No. 30-2012-00578962-CU-NP-CJC, in the Superior Court of Orange County, California (2014):

The firm, with Joe Marrs as lead counsel, represented minority shareholders in claims against the president and majority shareholder of a closely held corporation. After two years’ of litigation in California and Colorado state courts, JMEH’s clients recovered $414,895 after all fees and expenses.

__________ v. __________ [details confidential by agreement] (2012):
Represented a business owner making DTPA and Insurance Code claims against an agency and an insurance carrier for misrepresenting property coverage. All claims were resolved shortly before trial, netting the client $300,000 after all fees and expenses.

In re G.A.L. Living Trust,
No.D-1-GN-001084, In the 98th District Court, Travis County, Texas; No. C-1-PB-10-001106, In Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas; AAA Case No. 70 101 Y 00553 10 (2012):

Successfully tried a trust dispute concerning the management of an inter vivos revocable trust, with the three-member arbitration panel finding that the trustee had breached the trust and her fiduciary duty to Mr. Marrs’s client, ordering disgorgement and damages to the trust and Mr. Marrs’s client and attorneys’ fees to his client. The arbitrators denied any relief to the opposing-party trustee.

Estate of F.E.M.,
No. C-1-PB-10-000626, In Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas (2011):
Obtained summary judgment for children defending their father’s will and real estate in a will contest and partnership dispute.

Estate of M.A.R.,
In Probate Court No. 2 of Harris County, Texas (2010):
Represented the decedent’s children, who brought claims for breach of contract and tortious interference for the wrongful transfer of real and personal property from the decedent’s estate, obtaining a settlement shortly after suit was filed.

C.J.K. and Four Minor Plaintiffs v. R.F. and C.N.,
No. D-1-GN-10-002656, In the 201st District Court, Travis County, Texas (2010):
Obtained a policy-limits settlement in a wrongful-death action for the children of an accident victim.

State Farm Life Insurance Co. v. M.D.,
No. 09-CA-224 LY, In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas; Estate of C.K., No. C-1-PB-09-089882, In Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas (2009):
Represented a surviving wife, who was not a named beneficiary of her deceased husband’s will, obtaining a share of a life insurance policy, spousal allowance, and estate assets in kind, with the client’s total net recovery totaling $125,000 cash plus the value of the estate assets in kind.

Manor v. Grady,
No. C-1-PB-07-016035, In Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas (2008):
Obtained summary judgment setting aside a $70,000 wrongful lien for the heirs of a deceased victim of a reverse-mortgage scam.

First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Galveston v. C.M.,
No. 84,892-A, In Probate Court No. 1 of Travis County, Texas (2007):
Represented defendant caretaker in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duty and seeking over $1.4 million in damages arising from inter vivos transfers. The case resolved pretrial on terms favorable to the client.

Academy Ltd. v. McKeand,
In the 234th District Court, Harris County, Texas (2006):
Represented a major sporting-goods retailer in a product liability lawsuit, which alleged injury to a child but was dismissed without consideration before trial.

Binkley v. Binkley II,
No. 360,899, In Probate Court No. 1 of Harris County, Texas (2006):
As lead counsel in a bench trial, won a judgment for his executor client.

Binkley v. Binkley I,
No. 360,899, In Probate Court No. 1 of Harris County, Texas (2006):
Tried a $2-million estate contest to a jury as lead counsel, obtaining a verdict upholding the will and awarding $80,000 in attorney’s fees for his client.

Republic Waste Services v. Pyle,
In Harris County Court at Law No. 1 (2005):
Tried a commercial breach-of-contract case to a jury, which awarded a take-nothing verdict in favor of his client and found in his client’s favor on its DTPA counterclaims.

Tejas Yellow Rose v. 2nd Baptist,
In Harris County Court at Law No. 1 (2005):
Served as lead counsel for a corporate defendant in a breach-of-contract claim by a plaintiff attempting to collect on fraudulent accounts receivable, obtaining summary judgment for the client.

Estate of W. H. Bruyere,
In Probate Court No. 2 of Harris County, Texas (2005):
Represented children of a testator in prosecuting a will contest and breach-of-fiduciary claims involving $1.5 million in assets.

Mr. Marrs frequently represents plaintiffs and defendants in temporary injunction proceedings in district courts and temporary-administration proceedings in probate courts.

Joe Marrs civil litigation attorney


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