John Mostyn
1971 - 2017
John Steven "Steve" Mostyn
In the entryway of the Mostyn Law firm in Austin hangs a painting that Amber Mostyn gave to her husband Steve as a Valentine's gift. It contains a quote by Sam Houston that best summarizes Steve's life's work in the legal, political and legislative fields: "Do right and risk the consequences."
John Steven ("Steve") Mostyn was born in Perth, Australia in 1971 to a Texas oilfield family. Shortly thereafter, the family came back home and settled in East Texas where he grew up and graduated from high school.
Steve's tenacious commitment to doing good in the world started at a young age. In elementary school, he once rode his bicycle 48 miles to raise money for Saint Jude's Research Hospital and was the only fundraiser on the road for long stretches at a time. As a child, he played football, was active in FFA, and on more than one occasion he rode his horse to school (on the days when he wasn't suspended).
Steve attended The University of Texas at Austin, graduating in 1994; and from the South Texas College of Law in 1996.
Steve joined a Houston law firm, but like most things in his life, Steve imagined a different, better way of doing things, and soon set off on his own. Steve founded Mostyn Law in 1999.
Steve was the first person in his family to graduate from college, and was immediately interested in helping people who had been wronged. One of his first groundbreaking cases came when he represented a paraplegic man that had been badly harmed by a faulty component in his vehicle. Steve's work led to a nationwide recall that protected tens of thousands of consumers.
Steve became a father in 2001, with the birth of Mitchell. From football to lacrosse to music, to late nights at the ranch or the beach or fishing out on the open water, Steve was filled with love and pride for Mitch. Steve loved Mitch's friends, and he loved sharing the world with his son. Steve was incomparably proud of the young man Mitch is today watching him hit his stride in high school, playing both JV and starting Varsity football while soaring academically.
Steve and Amber met, although neither of them can quite remember the moment they first crossed paths. Maybe it just felt as though they had always known each other. But like anything else, once Steve knew what he wanted, there nothing anyone else could do about it and in 2006, Amber and Steve were married at their lake house in the Texas Hill Country. Steve's friends will know that he could often only muster a half-smile for photos. But not on his wedding day. Steve's smile in his wedding photos filled the camera. The depth of their love and partnership gave Steve the support he needed to become the man he became.
Their daughter Avalyn was born in 2007. Ava is a writer, a thinker, a fighter, and an athlete. She fills the world around her with a joyous and generous spirit. In other words: she's just like her dad. Steve always had a partner in crime in Ava, and they filled one another's lives with adventure. Steve had just helped Ava perfect her volleyball serve and after 6 seasons together, there will never be a better flag football coach for Avalyn than Coach Steve.
When Hurricanes Ike and Rita devastated Steve's beloved Texas Gulf Coast in 2008, he reinvented the practice of first-party insurance litigation. Mostyn Law represented thousands of homeowners, churches, businesses and local governments who had seen their valid insurance claims wrongly denied. Along the way, Steve helped uncover a culture of corruption and failure at the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
As Mostyn Law grew, so did Steve's role in Texas politics and policy-making. Steve was an active member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, serving as its youngest president in the history of the organization in 2011. And when powerful politicians moved to limit his clients' rights, Steve stormed the Capitol in Austin like Davey Crockett riding to the Alamo. He led efforts to stop multinational insurance companies and their network of special interests from stripping away the rights of homeowners and businesses on the Texas Gulf Coast. In 2014, Steve co-founded his own organization to build upon this work, the Texas Association of Consumer Lawyers.
As Steve's political participation grew, his family and his law firm's clients were targeted for retaliatory attacks by weak men who didn't care who they hurt while clinging to their own money and political power. Steve's response, as ever, was to punch the bully in the nose. He began by fighting against insurance companies as they tried to rewrite the laws in their favor, but soon engaged in legislative battles on behalf of all working families in the state. Steve fought predatory payday lenders, opposed efforts to slash billions from public education and healthcare, advocated for workers and immigrants, and stood up to bullies and special interests at every turn.
Steve knew how deeply flawed our political system is, but he gave anyway, because he knew the stakes. He felt a bone-deep duty to use his financial success and relationships to improve the lives of people without a voice. Steve knew that there was no need to lobby a lawmaker to support working class families if you could just elect fighters from the very beginning. As a result, he and his wife pushed to end the pay-to-play political system and stepped up to serve as anchor donors for fundamental, systemic change in Texas. They put up millions - and raised millions more - to build long lasting infrastructure, revert decades of voter suppression and empower citizens to select the lawmaker of their choice.
After battling insurance companies in Texas, Steve turned his expertise to serving the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York, uncovering fraud and abuse and helping thousands of Hurricane victims receive the help they needed to rebuild. As trial lawyers, Steve and Amber have presided over some of the most complex and ground-breaking cases stemming from major natural disasters like Hurricanes Ike, Rita and Sandy. Steve was not limited, however, to storm-related damage. He and Amber and their firm have worked on important and influential cases against large companies, including medical device manufacturers that knowingly implanted faulty products in their clients, causing irreparable harm and injury.
Steve was a philanthropic romantic, making surprise donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on Amber's behalf and giving $2 million dollars to fund a headquarters in Austin for Special Olympics of Texas, in honor of Amber's mother. The Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno Foundation that works on behalf of special needs children across Texas, arose out of Steve's trips to East Texas at Christmas to help his sister with her work as a special needs administrator. Steve's political and charitable generosity has been well documented; but his public giving was just a sliver of his work to improve the lives of nearly everyone he encountered. Steve hired people who were down on their luck, bought dinner and blankets and hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness. He sponsored immigrants to our country. He secretly paid for another's college tuition. He helped a father with young children have a criminal charge dismissed. He made no-interest loans and often forgot to ask for his money back. He spent hours pacing outside hospital rooms, never wanting to leave friend alone in a time of need. Steve got the head of a pharmaceutical company on the phone to approve the use of a live-saving drug for a young child in need and then flew the family half way across the country to pick up the medicine.
Steve and his family lived a lot of life in his short time on this Earth, traveling, working, eating, drinking, loving and building others up. Steve Mostyn is survived by the loves of his life: Amber, Mitch, and Ava. He is also mourned by the nephew he loved like a son, Skylar, by his sister Jackie, and by "Shrek's Swamp" -- the hundreds of friends, colleagues, and employees whom he gathered up. You always ended up doing Steve what wanted, but he had a way of making you want it too. And he would never let you miss a sunset.

Published by Houston Chronicle from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2017.
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30 Entries
June 27, 2018
June 27, 2018
Rest in perfect peace, Steve Mostyn. Thank you for your fight for me. Sincere condolences to Amber & their children.
Betty Ellis
February 27, 2018
Steve was the best Attorney any Military family could have. He rescued us in a crucial time when my husband was going through cancer care at M.D. Anderson. Always in our prayers...Mostyn Family.
Pastor & Mrs. Eddie L. Bradley, US Army Retired
Pastor Eddie Bradley
November 28, 2017
Steve was always very kind and helpful to me. He taught me how to help my clients with UIM/UM claims and to use section 21.55 of the insurance code until the legislature and our courts got rid of it.
It was not surprising to me when he helped fellow Texans recover their property damage claims when the insurance industry decided not to pay them for storm damage. Steve did it in typical fashion of tremendous success. All Texans benefitted from his work.
I am saddened to hear the news and my heart goes out to the family. I lost my Dad when he was 48 and empathize with Amber and their children.
Our family prayers are with you.
Bob Haslam
November 26, 2017
I didn't know this gentle giant of a man. But after reading his obituary, all I can say is that he lived a life we should all strive for. I can hear God say to him; "well done, my good and faithful servant." May his legacy live on through his family, friends, and people like me, who just happened upon his obituary.
Bishop G W Morris
November 23, 2017
God is amazing. I didn't know Steve nor do I know his wife/children. By way of searching for a friend of a friend son's obituary, I came across Steve's obituary and I have been tremendously blessed and inspired by the way he lived his life. His story is a firm reminder that there are good people in this crazy world and encouraged me to keep up my own good fight. Sending up prayers for Steve's wife and children - praying that peace and comfort chase and overtake them now and forever more.
Kimberly Williams
November 22, 2017
RIP prayers for family
James Pellerin
November 22, 2017
Sending you, Ava and your family love and light, Amber.
Beth Keith
November 22, 2017
RIP my friend. You did so much good for so many people. I will always treasure my time on the team fighting the good fight and your friendship. I will pray for your family and God willing I will see you on the other side.
Deborah Ingersoll
November 22, 2017
One of my favorite Steve Mostyn stories is him at his and Amber's wedding, reading his vows to her. I never forgot when he said, "I will use all my resources to help you change the world!" It was beautiful and revealing of what all was to come. He was a strong man in love with the strong woman he was further strengthened by. Their love story truly was a marriage of two unique people with a passionate mission to do good in the world.

Naysayer armies may rise and chant, like in the beach littered with starfish story: "You can't help all of them! There are too many!" In other words: you can't change the world. That never seems to deter people determined to do what's right, who understand that being largely outnumbered is part of the battle. And like the little boy who saves starfish by throwing them one by one back to the water, Steve's actions said, "To that one, I made a difference."

My other favorite Steve story is when Steve had to give the mega-successful country singer Alan Jackson a pep talk before the star was scheduled to perform at Steve's 40th birthday bash. When Jackson arrived and looked around he felt his songs weren't going to rock the house enough for a party where people were going to want to dance the night away, but Steve talked the singer into giving it his all anyway, and it was great!

Reading Steve's obituary is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. There must be countless other stories about how Steve helped and fought for others in his well-lived short life.

To Mitch and Ava: your Daddy was a true hero.
To Amber: you were his wonder woman and he was your Steve.
Veronica Anderson
November 21, 2017
Praying you as much peace as possible during this difficult time.
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
November 21, 2017
My sincerest condolences to you and your children, Amber. Steve was larger than life, a force to be reckoned with, and despite being on opposite sides, I credit him for making me a better lawyer. Rest in peace, Steve. Amber, you and your children remain in my prayers.
Jennifer Kearns
November 21, 2017
Dear Amber
May the care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.
The Measure of a man:
Not - "how did he die" But - "how did he live" Not - "what did he gain" But - "what did he give" These are the units to measure the worth of a man, as a man, Regardless of birth. -Steve was a wonderful generous man. A loving husband and father. He always give so much to the community.
Sending you and Ava my love.
Glafis Martin
November 21, 2017
Sleep in Peace Steve. We'll always remember how you welcomed our son, Carl, into your family. Amber- we were blessed to be able to know you and Steve through our boys friendship. Watching them on the football and lacrosse teams were joys we all shared. We'll keep you all in our prayers.
Love Craig, Denise, Corrinne & Carl Cassel
Denise Baynes-Cassel
November 20, 2017
Rest In Peace Steve
Vantrese Harvey
November 20, 2017
My deepest sympathy goes out to the Mostyn Family. Amber, Ava, and Mitchell I am very sorry for your loss. Steve leaves big shoes to fill. He was always pleasant and very helpful and giving. May you find peace with all the good memories.
Jackie Struss
November 20, 2017
My sincere condolences to the Mostyn family, to Amber and to Steve's children. So sorry for you all's loss.
Jackie Struss
November 20, 2017
Another son of Texas goes to heaven, leaving hope, strength and inspiration in his wake. My sincere condolences to Steve's immediate and extended family. Steve made his life count immeasurably. People in heaven will come to him and thank him and he won't even know them because his good works radiated far and wide. God bless your family in the years to come. Be at peace knowing Steve's kindness, sacrifice and hard work for the innocent will never be forgotten.
Victoria Nored
November 20, 2017
Please accept my condolences for your loss. Steve gave more and did more than most could do in two lifetimes.
Chloe Cockburn
November 20, 2017
He was among the best of us. My deepest condolences.
Lisa F. Johnson
November 20, 2017
My heart breaks for you Amber. Your family is in my thoughts. The two of were such an inspiration together. Take time to heal.
Jennifer Halvorson
November 19, 2017
Jillian Anderson
November 19, 2017
You leave big shoes to fill, but at least you set the gold standard. We will keep fighting, in your memory.
Jodee Neil
November 19, 2017
My condolences to Amber and family. May God continue to watch over you.
Sheryl Taylor
November 19, 2017
My heart breaks for Amber and Jackie. Steve was always larger than life and magnanimous in his generosity. He will be remembered with love. The world has lost a true hero.
Leslie Beinkman George
November 19, 2017
To Amber, Mitch and Ava you have my love and sincerest condolences for the loss of your beloved Steve. I hold you all in my heart and in prayer.
Sandra Puente
November 19, 2017
Thank you for your fight. Texas mourns with you.
Carrie McMahan
November 19, 2017
"Some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been a part of our journey, but it has also shown us what is precious. So has love for which we can only be grateful." (Message in a Bottle)

These words always seem appropriate, even in loss. Condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers, whose strength will serve well in this time of great loss. JSM will surely be missed.
November 19, 2017
Anything worth doing is never easy, especially when done well. Condolences to all who knew, loved and respected him near or far. His footprints stand in the sands of time. R.I.P., JSM.
A. Rodriguez
November 19, 2017
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