Skip to main content

Carol C. Payne

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Dallas, TX

Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC
3811 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 2000
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: 214-599-4000
Fax: 214-599-4099
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2021
Licensed in Texas Since: 1993
Education: Baylor Law School
Practice Areas: Business Litigation (50%), Alternative Dispute Resolution (10%), Construction Litigation: Business (10%), General Litigation (10%), Professional Liability: Defense (10%), Real Estate: Business (10%)
Attorney Profile

Carol helps businesses and individuals solve their commercial and business legal problems, everything from addressing disputes before a lawsuit is filed to aggressively pursuing full-blown litigation and trials.  A lawyer for more than 20 years, Carol is experienced, creative, tough and prepared.  She understands the importance of each case to her clients, and she approaches each case with the same focus, intensity, determination and sheer will to win that has served her well since the beginning.  As a former big-firm lawyer, she knows how to provide high-quality legal services, but through a small-firm boutique platform that emphasizes personal service, responsiveness, and value.

Carol handles a wide variety of business-related disputes in state and federal courts, in Texas and around the country, including breach-of-contract claims, real estate litigation matters, lender/borrower disputes, fraud and other business torts, and construction matters.  She also has significant experience representing lawyers and law firms, and she has successfully defended lawsuits for professional negligence and legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, and disqualification. Finally, she is a member of the American Arbitration Association's panel of arbitrators for commercial matters.

Before joining Estes Thorne & Carr, Carol was a partner for almost 10 years with Vinson & Elkins LLP.  She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation every year since 2006, and she has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer since 2014.  She is a former Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Professional Liability Litigation Committee. She is also a former member of the Texas State Bar's Standing Committee on the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.  Carol is active in the Dallas Bar Association and is currently a member of the planning council for the DBA's Business Litigation Section.

About Carol C. Payne

First Admitted: 1993, Texas

Professional Webpage:


  • Recognized, Top 100: Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, as published in Texas Monthly (2017-2019)
  • Recognized, ABA Section of Litigation Outstanding Subcommittee Chair (2002-2003)
  • Recognized, Women Leaders in the Law, Fortune Magazine & ALM (2015)
  • Recognized, Top 50: Women Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, as published in Texas Monthly (2016-2019)
  • Business Litigation, Texas Super Lawyers, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • As published by D Magazine (2017-2020), Best Lawyers in Dallas
  • Recognized in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, and Construction Litigation., Best Lawyers in America
  •  AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Dallas Bar Association Section of Litigation, Planning Council Member
  • Fellow: American Bar Foundation
  • Standing Committee Member: Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, State Bar of Texas, 2007 - 2013
  • Chair: Professional Liability Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association, 2005 - 2008; Attorney Liability Sub-Committee, Professional Liability Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association, 2002 - 2005

Educational Background

  • Baylor University School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1993 (Senior Notes & Comments Editor, Baylor Law Review; Baylor's ABA Moot Court Team; Baylor's National Mock Trial Team; National Order of Barristers) The University of Texas, B.B.A., 1987 The University of Texas, B.S. with honors, 1986

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1993 and 1994

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Founder: Vinson & Elkins' Veterans Initiative, which provides pro bono legal services to current and former members of the United States military. This program was recognized in 2009 when Vinson & Elkins was awarded the State Bar of Texas' W. Frank Newton Award for outstanding pro bono services

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • American Arbitration Association, Arbitrator Panel Member for Commercial Arbitration , 2019

Industry Groups

  • General Business
  • Real Estate Litigation
Show More
Office Location for Carol C. Payne

3811 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Suite 2000
Dallas, TX 75219

Last Updated: 6/2/2021

Page Generated: 0.64499592781067 sec