F. R. "Buck" Files, Jr.

Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison
109 W Ferguson St
Tyler, TX 75702
(903) 258-9447

Buck Files is a shareholder and founding member of the firm.

Buck is a criminal defense lawyer who - - together with Brett Harrison - - represents individuals and corporations accused in the Texas and Federal courts of criminal conduct.

Buck began his legal career prosecuting or defending individuals before general and special courts-martial of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy in Hawaii, Okinawa, and the Republic of Vietnam. After completing his military service, Buck spent over three years as an assistant (and then First Assistant) criminal district attorney in Smith County. Buck then entered the private practice of law as a defense attorney.

Buck has represented clients in the Texas courts charged with everything from the possession of small quantities of marijuana and driving while intoxicated cases to capital murder cases. In the Federal courts, Buck has represented clients charged with everything from white-collar fraud and drug conspiracies to the possession of child pornography. Buck has also been retained by corporate counsel to represent their clients in OSHA, EPA, USDA and immigration cases.

Buck has represented many clients in high profile cases. CourtTV has covered more than 70 days of his trials. Perhaps Buck's most challenging and emotionally draining case was his representation of a mother who was charged with the murder of two of her children and a serious injury of a third. Buck raised an insanity defense. The jury agreed with him and returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity - - the first such verdict in Smith County for at least the past 60 years.

Buck is a charter member and former director of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He is also a long time member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Over the Years, Buck Has Been Honored by His Peers

The Texas Bar Foundation has recognized Buck with the Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award (2015) and a Sustaining Life Fellow.

In 2012, Buck received The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas. The inscription read, "For your endless devotion to the improvement of the criminal justice system."

In 2012, Buck received the Tom Garner Award from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The inscription read, "In recognition of distinguished service to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization."

In 2011, Buck was inducted into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association's Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Buck received the Justinian Award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism and the Smith County Bar Association.

In 2007, Buck received a Presidential Citation from President Martha Dickie. The inscription read, "For your belief in our criminal justice system and your faith and confidence that Texas can and must get it right every time."

In 2007, Buck received the Outstanding Third Year Director Award from the Chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.

In 2007, Buck was honored by a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. The resolution read,

"Whereas F. R. "Buck" Files, Jr. is a Charter Member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association;

Whereas Mr. Files, an outstanding scholar and prolific author, has written in excess of 200 articles since 1978, including his "Federal Corner" column, which have all been published in VOICE for the Defense Magazine;

Whereas Mr. Files is a talented attorney and champion of justice, serving his clients with understanding and compassion;

Whereas Mr. Files exemplifies the qualities inherent in a true criminal defense lawyer, always striving to fulfill the ultimate purpose of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association: to promote justice and the common good;

Therefore be it resolved that the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association pay tribute to the accomplishments of the Honorable F.R. "Buck" Files, Jr.

In 2004, Buck was named the Defense Lawyer of the year by the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Buck Has Been Committed to Legal Specialization in Texas

The concept of legal specialization began to be discussed by Texas lawyers and judges in the early 1970's. In 1975, the first specialization examinations were offered in criminal law, labor law, and family law. Buck was a member of the charter class to be certified as a specialist in criminal law.

Buck served for six years as a member of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization's Criminal Law Advisory Commission [Chair, 2001- 2005]. In 2007, Buck was appointed to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and served as a member of the Board until 2011.

Buck has been Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy since 1997 by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.c

Buck Has Been Dedicated to Continuing Legal Education

Buck has now written more than 200 columns - - "The Federal Corner" - - for the VOICE for the Defense, the official publication of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has also been an author/ speaker on many occasions for CLE programs sponsored by TCDLA and by the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project.

Buck has also been active in the CLE programs of the State Bar of Texas. He served as Course Director for the 1997 Advanced Criminal Law Course and has been an author/ speaker at 23 of these annual courses including:

"Confessions," 1983
"Privileges," 1985- 1988
"Fifth Circuit Opinions," 1990- 2004; 2006-2008
Buck served for four years on the State Bar's CLE committee [Vice Chair - 2007; Chair 2008-2011].

Buck is a Fellow of the College of the State Bar.


Buck received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College in 1960. [In 2003, Buck was elected to the Board of Trustees and is in his tenth year of service as a member of the Board. Each year, he returns to the college and reviews hazing issues with the fraternity and sorority officers and those students who wish to pledge a fraternity or sorority.]

Buck received his Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University's School of Law in 1963. Buck received his Master of Liberal Arts degree from SMU in 1974.

Military Service

Buck is a Marine. He earned his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on September 1, 1962. He served with a reserve unit during his third year in law school. He began active duty on December 28, 1963, and served at duty stations in Virginia, Hawaii, Okinawa and the Republic of Vietnam until August 14, 1967. He attained the rank of Captain.

Bar Service

Buck served as a member of the District 2A Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas from 1992-1996. In 2004, Buck was elected to the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and served a three year term. In 2011, Buck was elected to the office of President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas. On June 15, 2012 Buck was sworn in by Judge Cathy Cochran of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as President of the State Bar of Texas.

Life Outside the Practice of Law

Buck and his wife, Robyn, have celebrated over 50 years of marriage. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church in Tyler. They have two children: Jennifer Files Beerline, a lawyer specializing in estate planning in San Francisco; and, Trey Files, a percussionist who performs on Broadway, teaches and tours with ETHOS Percussion Group . They are the grandparents of three, Romy Files, Braden Beerline and Lucy Beerline.

For seven years, Buck was a director or officer of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association and served as President of the Association in 2006.

Buck's hobbies are traveling and photography.

Admitted to Practice

Supreme Court of Texas
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas

Practice Concentration

Criminal Law - State and Federal

Legal Experience

1963 - 1967 United States Marine Corps
1967 - 1970 Smith County Assistant and First Assistant District Attorney

Certified Legal Specialties
Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1975
Criminal Trial Advocacy, National Board Of Trial Advocacy, 1997


Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
J.D. - 1963
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas<
M.L.A. - 1974
Austin College, Sherman, Texas
B.A. - 1960
Board of Trustees (2003 - present)

Published Works

"Federal Corner", Voice for the Defense Magazine, (latest 16 of 200+ articles)
October 2018 - The Supreme Court Giveth and The Courts of Appeal Taketh Away
September 2018 - The D.C. Circuit Relies on Padilla in Deciding An Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Issue
July / August 2018 - 40 Days of Search Cases From the Supreme Court
June 2018 - There Will Be No More Plea Hearings in the Federal Courts by Videoconference
May 2018 - An Unusual Basis for a Motion for Severance - With the Usual Result
April 2018 - Waiting for the Supreme Court to Address Riley and the Border Search Doctrine
Feb 2018 - The Courthouse Was Closed to the Public - But the Trial Continued
Jan 2018 - DHS v. DOJ v. Our Clients
Dec 2017 - Maintaining a Premises for the Purpose of Manufacturing or Distributing a Controlled Substance
Nov 2017 - What Will the Supremes Do With a Fourth Amendment Issue That Would Benefit Some of the Drivers of Rental Vehicles?
Oct 2017 - Surprise! Pre-Trial Interventions Become Convictions for Immigration Purposes!
Sept 2017 - The Defendant Gets Tricked and the Officers Get Treated
July / August 2017 - Jae Lee's Claim of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel - Revisited
June 2017 - Those Waiver of Appeal Provisions in Plea Agreements
April 2017 - Cell Phones, Computers, Fingerprints, Decryption Orders and Civil Contempt
March 2017 - Venue Shopping/Venue Entrapment
Feb 2017 - A Child Pornography Case with Unusual Facts
Jan 2017 - Is the Supreme Court About to Limit Habeas Relief Under Padilla?
Dec 2016 - The Perils of Representing the Client Who Does Not
Want to Even Talk About Pleading Guilty
Nov 2016 - Child Pornography; The Playpen; The Onion Router ("Tor"); Network Investigative Technique ("NIT") Warrants; Suppression; and, Confusion in the Courts
Oct 2016 - Cell-Site Simulators and the Fourth Amendment
Aug 2016 - The Most Unbelievable Sentence Ever Imposed in a Child Pornography Case Buck Files
July 2016 - If You Ever Have to be Concerned about the Issue of punishment in a Criminal Case, You Must Read Judge Block's Opionion inUnited States v. Chevelle Nesbeth
June 2016 - The Fifth Amendment and Sexual history Polygraphs
May 2016 - Judge Robert C Nalley Finally Gets His Comeuppance
April 2016 - Was it a Suspicion or a Reasonable Suspicion?
March 2016 - An "Across the Threshold" Arrest Without a Warrant
Feb 2016 - A Judge, A Prosecutor and a Defense Lawyer Work Together to Give the Judges of the Third Circuit and Unbelievable Case
Jan 2016 - Beware of the Federal Hordes
Dec 2015 - Even Dead men Can Be Compensated For Lost Income
Nov 2015 - A Non-Routine Border Search Issue
Sept 2015 - Judge Delgado-Colon "Skirted Near the Line" But Didn't Cross It
Aug 2015 - And What Is An LPR System?
July 2015 - Did Lex Really Sniff Out the Drugs or Did He Just Want a Giftee?
June 2015 - The Private Search Doctrine Did Not Help the Government
May 2015 - Extending the Traffic Stop to Get the Drug Dog
April 2015 - Raynor the Rapist Should Have Worn a Long Sleeve Shirt
"DWI Myths and Reality," Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in Texas, Aspatore, 2008


Course Director, SBOT's Advanced Criminal Law Course, 1997
Speaker, "Confessions", SBOT's Advanced Criminal Law Course, 1983
Speaker, "Privileges", SBOT's Advanced Criminal Law Course, 1985 - 1988
Speaker, "Fifth Circuit Opinions", SBOT's Advanced Criminal Law Course, 1990-2004, 2006-2008

Honors and Awards

Texas Bar Foundation, Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award (2015), Sustaining Life Fellow
Lifetime Achievement Award, Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2012
Lifetime Achievement Award,Criminal Justice Section of the Texas State Bar, 2012
Tom Garner Award, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2012
John H. Hannah, Jr. Award for Public Service, 2012
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association's Hall of Fame, 2011
Justinian Award, Smith County Bar Association, 2008
Presidential Citation, State Bar of Texas, 2007
Outstanding Third Year Director, State Bar of Texas, 2007
Resolution by the Board of Directors, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2007
Defense Lawyer of the Year, Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2004
Professional Associations and Memberships
State Bar of Texas, President 2012-2013, Director 2004-2007
Smith County Bar Association, Former Director
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Charter member & former Director
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
College of the State Bar of Texas
Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow
Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Member, 2007 - Present
TBLS's Criminal Law Advisory Commission 1999-2004 (Chair 2002-2004)
State Bar of Texas, Grievance Committee, District 2, 1992 - 1996
Austin College, Board of Trustees
East Texas Symphony Orchestra Association, Past President
United States Marine Corps, 1962 - 1967
Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
Military Service
United States Marine Corps (1963 - 1967)
Duty Stations in Virginia, Hawaii, Okinawa and Vietnam
Attained the Rank of Captain


Phi Alpha Delta