This week's member spotlight shines on Austin, TX, attorney Jack B. Zimmermann. Jack is a former prosecutor and criminal trial judge in the United States Marine Corps. He served 14 years on active duty in the Marine Corps, including duty as the commanding officer of two artillery batteries in combat, where he earned two Bronze Star medals for heroism and the Purple Heart for wounds in action. Jack is NBTA certified in Criminal Trial Law.

Where did you go to law school?
University of Texas School of Law

How long have you been in practice?
Forty-one years

Where are you licensed to practice?
I am licensed to practice in Texas, but I practice nationwide and some internationally for courts-martial.

Why is NBTA membership important to you?
NBTA membership requires knowledge in my specialty and 
indicates a rigorous screening process has been completed.

What areas of law do you have experience in beyond your areas of certification?
Military justice and representation of professionals before licensing boards.

Were you a member of your law school's trial advocacy or moot court team?
I was on the 1975 U of Texas mock trial championship team.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer? 
To help people who can't help themselves.

What made you choose the area of law in which you practice?
It makes a real difference in the lives of our clients. We defend liberty, and seek more important results than money judgments.

In your opinion, what makes a successful lawyer?
Intelligence, willingness to work long hours and hard, dedication to the client. Dedication to the constitution, empathy with people. Highest standards of integrity and ethics.

What's been most rewarding about your career?
Saving the life of an innocent man sentenced to death, obtaining acquittals for people who were innocent, earning the respect of lawyers on the other side and of trial and appellate judges, teaching young lawyers by example.  

Share an example of a case or cases that made a difference.
Representing a leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect at Waco under siege by the FBI. The FBI changed its operating procedure after that tragic event. Many lives were saved in subsequent law enforcement actions after that disaster as a result of the exposure of the mistakes made at Waco. 

What is your mission as a lawyer?
To represent my clients in a zealous, individualized, ethical manner.  

Do you have any published works?
Yes. Criminal Procedure in Practice, Fourth Edition, published by ABA Criminal Justice Section, 2014.

What causes are important to you and why?
Defense of our country - retired as a colonel after 30 years in Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve.

Defense of the Constitution - this is the basis of our American way of life.

Being a good husband, father, grandfather and brother - family is paramount to me.