Photo of Phylis J. Speedlin

Phylis J. Speedlin Senior Counsel

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1983

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States, 1988
  • United States District Court Western District of Texas, 1983
  • United States District Court Southern District of Texas, 1985


  • St. Mary's University School of Law, J.D., with distinction, 1983
  • Trinity University, M.S., Health Care Administration, with honors, 1977
  • Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, Texas, B.S. Nursing, 1975


Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Phylis J. Speedlin arbitrates and mediates hundreds of complex, multi-party commercial, business, employment, oil and gas, appellate, and healthcare cases.  She delivers exceptional value by virtue of her experience as an appellate justice, district court judge, and trial lawyer.  A distinguished lawyer for 38 years, Justice Speedlin served as a jurist for 13 years, 10 years as a Justice on the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals and three years as a Bexar County District Court trial judge. During her tenure on the Fourth Court, Justice Speedlin authored more than 1,300 opinions, covering a myriad of legal issues, including personal injury, breach of contract, medical negligence, oil and gas, property rights, employment law, construction law, family law, and criminal law.

Since leaving the bench, Justice Speedlin has served as a mediator and an arbitrator in complex cases nationwide. Justice Speedlin arbitrates for the American Arbitration Association and serves on the roster for neutrals in Healthcare, Commercial, Consumer, Employment, Appellate, and Construction cases. Since 2013, she has arbitrated, as a single arbitrator and as a member of a panel, over two hundred and fifty cases.  She has a unique background. She was originally trained as a registered nurse.  She then obtained her  Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration and worked as a hospital administrator for four years before becoming an attorney.  Justice Speedlin was a litigator for seventeen years trying dozens of health care cases to jury verdict before serving thirteen years as both a District Court and as an Appellate Justice. 

She is a frequent mediator of commercial, medical, contract, employment, appellate, oil and gas, products, and construction cases. A winner of the San Antonio Bar Journal’s Outstanding Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award, Justice Speedlin was also the recipient of the St. Thomas More Award from St. Mary’s University School of Law. She has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. 

Phylis served as President of the San Antonio Bar Association, Chair of the San Antonio Bar Foundation Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Community Justice Pro Bono Committee, among dozens of other service and board positions in bar and civic endeavors.  Along with Judge Karen Pozza, Justice Speedlin was the co-founder and chair of the Community Justice Program, for which she was honored with the American Bar Association’s Harrison Tweed Outstanding Pro Bono Award and the State Bar of Texas Judge Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award. 


To view Justice Speedlin's interactive scheduling calendar, click here.


Originally raised in Ohio, Justice Speedlin moved to San Antonio in 1970 during her service with the United States Army Nurse Corps. She completed her undergraduate education in nursing at Incarnate Word College and obtained a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. She received her law degree, with distinction, from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Before becoming a jurist, Justice Speedlin practiced trial and appellate law for 17 years with the San Antonio law firm of Clemens & Spencer. As an attorney in San Antonio, she represented clients in numerous industries, with a significant focus on the healthcare industry, including doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators in medical malpractice and medical product litigation. She is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury law.

Today, Justice Speedlin counsels Dykema clients in two primary areas: alternative dispute resolution—including arbitration, mediation and private judging—and appellate strategy.

To read Justice Speedlin's complete curriculum vitae, click here.

Memberships & Involvement

  • Texas Bar Association, Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee, 2005-present; Vice-Chair, 2015-2017; Volume 3, 1993-1995; Member, ADR Section, 2012-present
  • Association of Attorney-Mediators, 2012-present
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, 2016-present
  • Community Justice Pro Bono Committee, Chair, 2009-2013
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, San Antonio Chapter, 1997-present
  • Diplomate National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, Texas Chapter, 2015-present
  • William S. Sessions American Inn of Court, Master, 2012-2016; Member, 1987-2001
  • Course Director, State Bar of Texas Advanced Evidence and Discovery, 2015
  • Texas Bar Foundation–Life Fellow
  • ADR Section Council, Member
  • Advisory Committee San Antonio Bar Foundation, Chair, 2011-2012
  • San Antonio Bar Foundation, Chair Advisory Committee, 2011-2012
  • Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, Member 2003-present
  • San Antonio Women's Bar Association, Member, 2000-present
  • San Antonio Bar Association, Member; President 2010-2011; Officer or Director, 2004-2009
  • San Antonio Community Justice Program, Founder and Co-Chair, 2002-2008; Program Committee, Vice-Chair, 2000-2006
  • San Antonio District Courts Committee, Vice-Chair, 1997-1999; Member 2002
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee, Member, 2000-2001
  • San Antonio Medical-Legal Liaison Committee, Member, 1988-1990

Community/Civic Activities

  • St. Mary’s Law Alumni, Board Member, 2014-2018
  • Assistance League of San Antonio, Member, 2016-2018
  • Catholic Charities, Legal Advisory Committee, 2014-2016
  • Central Catholic High School, Board Member, 2005-2011, 2012-2014
  • Rotary Club of San Antonio, 2000-2002; 2007-2013
  • Assistance League of San Antonio Advisory Council, Member, 2007-2010
  • Bexar County Republican Women's Club, Member, 2000-2013
  • Alamo City Republican Women's Club, Member, 2000-2013
  • Bexar County Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, Board Member, 2001-2005
  • Bexar County Juvenile Board of Directors, 2000-2003
  • Business and Professional Women's Club Inc. of San Antonio, Member, 2000-2006
  • Altrusa International Inc. of San Antonio, Member, 2000-2001
  • San Antonio Young Life, Board Member, 1992-1995, 2000-2001
  • San Antonio Adoption Awareness Center, Founder and Director, 1979-1980
  • University United Methodist Church, Member
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Arbitration, Mediation, and Appellate Law, 2017-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers® for Arbitration and Mediation, 2016-Present
  • Recognized by S.A. Scene in “San Antonio’s Outstanding Women in Law” 2021
  • Named as "Lawyer of the Year" in Mediation by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2020 and 2022. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
  • Named as "Lawyer of the Year" in Arbitration by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2019. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
  • Recognized by San Antonio Magazine in "San Antonio's Top Attorneys" for Arbitration Mediation, 2019 and 2020
  • Recognized by S.A. Scene in "San Antonio’s Best Lawyers" for Arbitration & Mediation
  • Recipient of the San Antonio Business Journal Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Named a San Antonio Business Journal "Outstanding Lawyer" 2017
  • Inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame in the category of Innovation, 2016
  • Inducted to the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2015
  • San Antonio Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013
  • American Bar Association Harrison Tweed Outstanding Pro Bono Award, 2012
  • State Bar of Texas Judge Merrill Hartman Pro Bono Judge Award, 2012
  • President’s Award San Antonio Bar Association in recognition of a decade of dedication and innovation in support of a strong pro bono culture within Bexar County, 2011
  • State Bar of Texas Resolution for Achievement, 2008
  • San Antonio Bar Foundation Pioneer Peacemaker Award, 2007
  • Community Leadership Award San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 2005
  • Partners in Justice Award Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc., 2004
  • Star of Achievement Award State Bar of Texas, 2004
  • Pro Bono Award State Bar of Texas, 2004
  • Scales of Justice Award from the NALS Foundation, 2004