It is with a heavy heart that McLeod, Alexander, Powel, & Apffel, P.C. announces that its founder, Ervin August Apffel, Jr. passed into eternal life on the 11th of November 2015.
Erv was born in Galveston, Texas on the 9th of August 1929 to Ervin A. “Dutch” Apffel, Sr. and Angelina Coselli Apffel. Erv was a scholar-athlete at Kirwin High School in Galveston and graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a B.S. degree in 1951. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 with the 187th Field Artillery Observation Battalion and was stationed at Ft. Sill and Ft. Sam Houston.
After his honorable discharge from the service Erv returned home where he met and married the love of his life, Christine Matthews. Chris was a beautiful young nursing student at UTMB. Erv affectionately referred to her as “Chicken.” They embarked upon a 60 year love affair and were blessed with 6 loving children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. “Dad” changed to “Paw Paw” when the grandchildren arrived. They always looked forward to spending time with Paw Paw and loved him with their whole heart and soul. He adored them as well.
After their marriage, Erv and Chris made their new home in San Antonio where Erv attended St. Mary’s Law School under the G.I. Bill. While in law school, Erv was a part-time football coach at Texas Military Institute. He completed law school in just 27 months, graduating and passing the State Bar Exam in 1957. He and Chris returned to Galveston where Erv began his career as an assistant district attorney under the late Jules Damiani. After 4 years he left the DA’s Office and became an Assistant City Attorney, City Attorney and Acting City Manager for Galveston.
Erv next joined the law firm of McLeod, Mills, Shirley & Alexander. In 1964 he became a founding partner in the firm of McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel (MAPA) from which he retired in 2009 at the age of 80. Throughout his long and distinguished legal career he was universally regarded as an outstanding trial lawyer in both State and Federal Court. He was referred to by many members of the Bar as a “legendary trial lawyer” with few equals among his peers. In trial Erv enjoyed the reputation of always being well prepared and fearless in the pursuit of justice for his client. His discipline, iron will, intelligence, organizational skills and ability to quickly absorb great amounts of information allowed him to successfully handle hundreds of cases at the same time. Erv was singled out by In Between Magazine as one of the 10 most powerful people in Galveston and the top trial attorney in Galveston County.
Erv was a devout Roman Catholic and a life-long member of St. Patrick Church. His passions in life were fishing and hunting and he was proud of the game management plan he put in place for the last 30 years at his ranch in South Texas. His “EA Ranch” was known to produce some of the finest white-tailed bucks in all of South Texas. He was an avid duck hunter as well and a former member of Port Bay Hunting Club in Rockport. He spent many happy hours with family and friends fishing on Galveston Bay and hunting deer, dove, quail and turkey in South Texas and ducks in Rockport. Erv also loved to entertain those he loved at his home on Crash Boat Basin in Galveston.
Erv was a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Texas Bar Foundation, American Board of Trial Advocates, Charter Fellow of the Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Erv served as president of the Galveston County Bar Association and was very proud when, years later, his sons Trey and Darrell served as presidents of that Association as well. He was licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, all Texas Courts, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel, P.C. is grateful for the mentorship, hard work, and integrity that Erv instilled in the Firm and the attorneys that had the pleasure of working with him throughout his career.