Texas Watch

About Us

Texas Watch is a non-partisan citizen advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that insurance companies and other corporations are accountable to their customers. Since 1998, Texas Watch has fought for Texas families and consumers by advocating for laws that:

• Ensure accountability through our courts and guarantee our constitutional right to Trial by Jury;

• Improve safety for workers, patients, and communities; and
• Reform the insurance marketplace to ensure meaningful coverage at a fair price.

Our organization thrives on community engagement, providing a platform for Texans to preserve and strengthen their constitutional rights and protections. Take action for policyholder protections, patient safety, corporate accountability, and more here.  

Texas Watch Staff

  • Ware V. Wendell

    Executive Director

    Ware leads all phases of Texas Watch. He first began working for the organization in 2003 and has been privileged to serve the organization in multiple capacities through the years. 

    As Texas Watch’s spokesperson, he is dedicated to giving voice to the need for public safety and full accountability through our civil justice system. In the face of a sustained assault on our life and liberty by corporate lobbyists, he stands for the preservation of individual constitutional rights, specifically the right to trial by jury enshrined in the Seventh Amendment to our Constitution. He has been quoted in leading media outlets on issues important to consumers and working families. Ware monitors legal developments that impact Texans and helps craft policy proposals that focus on fulfilling the promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

    Ware has served as the Legislative Aide to a senior member of the Texas House and Chief of Staff in the Texas Senate, enabling him to work on legislation of statewide importance and giving him insights into the workings of the Texas Capitol. He has testified before legislative committees and state agencies more times than he can count. 

    He holds a degree in Political Science with departmental honors from Stanford University, where he was the recipient of the Thomas Barclay Endowed Scholarship. He is also a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where he was the recipient of the Albert P. Jones Endowed Scholarship, and has taught as an adjunct professor at the law school for eight years. He has twice been named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star and is listed among the Best Attorneys of America. He served as a voice for policyholders at the national level as a consumer liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and fought for the rights of Texas homeowners on a statewide task force on residential arbitration.

    Ware and his wife have one daughter. When he finds free time, he makes music.

  • Tori Sommerman

    Deputy Director

    As Deputy Director, Tori leads Texas Watch’s public communications and helps set our policy agenda. Trained as a journalist, her works have been published in the Boston Globe, The San Antonio Current, and San Antonio Magazine. Now, she tells the stories of Texas families and businesses through video, podcasts, written content, graphics, and more.  She also acts as a spokesperson for Texas Watch, advocating for consumers and working with the media. 

    As a key member of our legislative team, Tori elevates our presence at the Capitol, fighting for meaningful protections for Texas families, businesses, and workers. Along with Ware, Tori sets Texas Watch’s policy priorities and messaging on safety, civil justice, and constitutional protections.

    After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Boston University, Tori worked in Austin as a Communications Intern. Tori initially joined Texas Watch as our Communications Coordinator and Digital Engagement Specialist, expanding the reach of our message across the state.

    In her spare time, Tori travels the state in search of the best barbeque. 

  • Tara Lee

    Development and Operations Coordinator

    As the Development and Operations Coordinator, Tara is responsible for all of the fundraising and administrative functions for Texas Watch.  
    Tara began her interest in fighting for justice during her studies at Middle Tennessee State University where she graduated Cum Lade with a degree in Sociology. Upon graduation, she accepted an assistantship with the College of Graduate Studies where she continued delving into the field, specifically focusing on systemic injustices and advocating for families. Shortly after receiving an opportunity to conduct research in Austin during graduate school, like everyone else, Tara fell in love with the city and never looked back. She began her professional career in education as the director of a private preschool where she focused on building relationships with families and engaging with the community. Prior to joining Texas Watch, she was the Office Manager of a law firm where she oversaw the human resources, administrative, and financial operations of the firm. Tara is excited to join in the fight to protect Texas families and consumers.
    When she's not working to build our community of supporters, she likes to start her day before the sun rises with an intense CrossFit workout. As a Nashville transplant, she appreciates the eclectic Austin music scene, Texas hospitality, and good southern cooking. Tara also enjoys the arts, film, crossword puzzles, exploring the great outdoors, and taking long walks in her South Austin neighborhood.