- J.D., with honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1974. Order of the Coif. Texas Law Review
- B.A., magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1971. Debate team president. Phi Beta Kappa
- State of Texas
- The U.S. Supreme Court
- The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Fifth and Federal Circuits
- The U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
- The New York Supreme Court
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association
As Chairman and a Founder of McKool Smith, Mike McKool is largely responsible for creating what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” Since founding the firm in 1991, Mr. McKool’s leadership and courtroom achievements have helped McKool Smith grow from an 11-attorney litigation boutique to a national litigation powerhouse with 185 trial lawyers across eight offices coast to coast.
Mr. McKool’s rigorous case preparation and superlative courtroom skills have earned him a reputation as one of the country’s most prominent trial lawyers. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials and developed an enhanced understanding of the psychology that governs how juries decide cases. His trial wins have secured substantial verdicts and settlements for clients, including major airlines, energy companies, telecommunications firms, investment banking houses, and industrial conglomerates, among others.
In September 2015, Mr. McKool was profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized his “reputation as one of the country’s top trial lawyers.” The article notes that he is “one of the best closers in the business” and “clients bring him in when a trial appears inevitable and they can't afford to lose." He is also described as having “unrelenting focus and preparation in the run-up to a trial, which is rare in its intensity.”
Mr. McKool is also consistently recognized as one of the country’s leading trial lawyers by legal directories such as The Legal 500, Lawdragon, and Benchmark Litigation, among others. In Chambers USA, he is ranked Band 1 in both commercial and intellectual property litigation. His Band 1 national ranking for “Trial Lawyers” puts him among a small and elite group of the nation’s best courtroom lawyers. In Chambers Global, he is again recognized as one of the country’s most esteemed trial attorneys and is also ranked Band 1 in patent litigation.
Chambers USA describes Mr. McKool as “simply one of the best,” stating that he is “extraordinarily focused and extremely quick on the uptake” and that “judges have the highest respect for him.” Chambers Global notes that he is “sought by companies needing a powerful and effective litigator for their most sensitive cases.” Citing his “huge intellect and superb courtroom skills,” Best Lawyers in America lists Mr. McKool in several categories, including Bet-the-Company Litigation.
In 2015, Mr. McKool was included in Benchmark Litigation’s listing of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America,” and Law360’s listing of the Top 50 U.S. trial attorneys. This same year, he received the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Texas Law Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to the legal profession. He is the recipient of the 2014 “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Texas Lawyer and the Dallas Bar Association “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. Mr. McKool is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been selected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to serve on the Federal Circuit Advisory Council.
- Alcoa. Lead counsel for Alcoa Power and Gas Inc. in defense of a case brought by the State of North Carolina concerning ownership rights to North Carolina's second-largest river system and the right to control hydroelectric power in the Yadkin Valley.
- Freddie Mac. Lead counsel for Freddie Mac in litigation against Deloitte in which Freddie Mac is alleging more than $1 billion in damages resulting from Deloitte’s flawed audits of Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. (TBW), which was the largest independent mortgage lender in the United States that collapsed into bankruptcy in 2009.
- Versata. Represented Versata as lead counsel in successfully defending its significant patent infringement judgment against SAP before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Ericsson. Represented Ericsson as lead counsel in its patent infringement dispute against Samsung. The matter included two ITC actions and district court litigation regarding a number of standard essential and implementation patents related to LTE, WCDMA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and 802.11 wireless technology.
- Lockheed Martin. Represented Lockheed Martin in an antitrust lawsuit filed by L-3 Communications in the Northern District of Texas.
- Affiliated Computer Services. Represented Affiliated Computer Services in a suit by JPMorgan Chase regarding patented technology of processing child support payments. The suit was pending in U.S. District Court in Delaware.
- American Airlines. Represented American Airlines as lead counsel in a patent suit filed by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing alleging infringement of patents coving interactive voice applications relating to American Airlines call centers. The U.S. District Court judge in California entered a final judgment in favor of American Airlines.
- Highland Capital. Served as lead counsel in a case filed by James Cable alleging tortious interference with a contract and civil conspiracy. All causes of action against Mr. McKool's client were dismissed.
- Toll Brothers. Represented Toll Brothers and five other national home builders in a case brought by Wachovia Bank, N.A. in the Southern District of New York. The suit alleges that the home builders breached completion guaranties that were executed in connection with a 1,700 acre tract of property that was purchased from the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management for more than $500 million in 2005.
- Medtronic Vascular, Inc. Board of Regents, University of Texas System v. Setagon, Inc. et al. Represented Medtronic in a dispute involving patent applications for stent devices with porous layers for eluting therapeutic agents. The University of Texas alleged breach of contract, fraud, conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets, misjoinder of inventors, and correction of inventors. The case settled favorably for Medtronic, including the dismissal of all of the University of Texas's claims.
- Ericsson. Represented Ericsson in Ericsson v. Interdigital Communications, a defense of patent infringement action involving mobile telephones, and in Ericsson v. Qualcomm, litigation involving digital wireless communications patents.
- EDS. Represented Electronic Data Systems, EDS, in some of its most significant litigation, including EDS v. Xerox, a breach of contract matter involving a $3 billion outsourcing contract. In EDS v. Computer Associates, represented EDS in case involving its right to use CA software for its outsourcing clients. In both cases, Mr. McKool negotiated settlements and licensing agreements that benefited both parties.
- Excel Communications. Successfully represented Excel in landmark software patent litigation.
- BTG International Inc. Represented BTG against Samsung, Apple, Dell, and others in a patent infringement action before the International Trade Commission regarding MLC flash memory devices and products used in MP3 players, cameras, and laptops.
- Eolas Technologies Inc. Represents internet technology provider Eolas in a patent infringement suit against Adobe Systems and others regarding advanced browser technology that allows websites to add fully-interactive embedded applications to their online offerings.
- Hall Phoenix/Inwood Ltd. et al. v. The Hallwood Group Incorporated, et al. Represented Hall/Phoenix/Inwood Ltd. and Hall Performance Energy Partner 4 in this suit in Dallas County District Court regarding investments made in a limited partnership engaged in the business of drilling for and producing natural gas in West Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
- National Instruments. National Instruments Corp. v. The MathWorks, Inc. Represented National Instruments in patent infringement action involving software technology. Jury verdict in favor of National Instruments was upheld on appeal.
- Parental Guide. Represented plaintiff Parental Guide in patent infringement action involving V-Chip technology. Case settled favorably for client. Parental Guide v. Funai.
- Holly Corporation. Served as lead trial counsel for Holly Corporation in Frontier Oil Company v. Holly Corporation. The suit alleged that Holly wrongfully failed to perform under an agreement to merge the two companies when it invoked a material adverse change. The case was tried in the Delaware Chancery Court in February 2004, resulting in Mr. McKool's client being absolved of all wrongdoing.
Professional & Community Activities
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Member, Advisory Council of the Federal Circuit
- Associate, American Board of Trial Advocates
- ABA Advisory Panel
- Advisory Board for the Patent Case Management Judicial Guide to promote improvements in judicial administration for all federal courts in the United States
- Executive Committee, University of Texas Law School Alumni Association
Awards & Recognition
Recognized as one of the top 50 trial lawyers in the nation in Law360’s 2015 special feature on “Trial Aces.”
- Named an Outstanding Alumnus by the University of Texas Law Alumni Association (2015).
- Recognized as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” by Benchmark Litigation (2015).
- Named the Best Lawyers in America 2015 Dallas Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year.”
Recognized as one of the top 50 lawyers in Texas in Texas Lawbook’s feature on the "Lions of the Texas Bar" (2015).
- Received the 2014 "Lifetime Achievement" award by Texas Lawyer
- Named the 2012 "Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the Dallas Bar Association.
- Ranked in Chambers USA as a leading national Trial Lawyer and a leading lawyer for Intellectual Property (Band 1) and Commercial Litigation (Band 1). In the 2015 edition, he is described by clients as "a luminary of the litigation world." The publication also notes that he is "one of the most compelling trial advocates - he has an ability to weave stories together and make them compelling for a jury."
- Ranked in Chambers Global as a leading trial lawyer in the United States and a leading lawyer for Intellectual Property - Patent Litigation (Band 1).
- Named an "IP Star" by Managing IP (2013 - 2015).
- Named Dallas "Lawyer of the Year" for M&A Litigation (2013) and Banking/Finance Litigation (2012) by Best Lawyers.
- Awarded the Anti-Defamation League's 2010 Larry Schoenbrun Jurisprudence Award.
- Recommended as a leading U.S. patent litigator by Legal 500: "strong in maintaining client relations and has excellent judgment" (2014).
- Named a "National IP Litigation Star" and "Texas Litigation Star" by Benchmark Plaintiff.
- Listed in Benchmark Litigation as a Texas Commercial Litigation Star.
- Featured in the guide to The Best Lawyers in America® in Commercial Litigation every year since 1993 and in Bet-the-Company Litigation every year since 2006. Also ranked as a leading lawyer in Litigation: Banking & Finance, Intellectual Property, M&A, Patent, and Securities.
- Received Gold Star ranking for Texas Patent Litigation by IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners (2014).
- Named Best Lawyer in Dallas five different times by D Magazine.
- Texas Lawyer named him one of only five “Go-To Attorneys” for civil litigation.
- Recognized as one of the "Top 100" lawyers in Texas by Super Lawyers.
- Named by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the five Top Business Trial Lawyers in the DFW Metroplex.
- Named to the Lawdragon 500 list of “Leading Lawyers in America” each year since its inception.
- September 14, 2015
- August 18, 2015
- July 1, 2015
- June 16, 2015
- June 4, 2015
- May 19, 2015
- McKool Smith's IP Practice along with Mike McKool and J. Michael Hennigan Recognized in 2015 edition of Chambers GlobalMarch 24, 2015
- November 21, 2014
- Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Mike McKool, Sam Baxter, and Douglas A. Cawley Among “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America”October 29, 2014
- October 24, 2014
- September 5, 2014
- August 18, 2014
- July 18, 2014
- June 17, 2014
- May 23, 2014
- January 29, 2014
- November 2013
- September 9, 2013
- August 15, 2013
- June 18, 2013
- May 24, 2013
- May 2013
- May 2, 2013
- January 18, 2013
- November 2012
- September 18, 2012
- September 10, 2012
- August 27, 2012
- August 13, 2012
- July 19, 2012
- July 5, 2012
- July 1, 2012
- November 22, 2011
- October 5, 2011
- September 13, 2011
- June 3, 2011
- September 2, 2010
- June 30, 2010
- June 21, 2010
- McKool Smith's Intellectual Property and White Collar Defense Practices Recognized in 2010 Chambers USA rankingsJune 10, 2010
- April 30, 2010
- March 29, 2010
- December 2, 2009
- August 6, 2009
- July 13, 2009
- October 13, 2008
- September 15, 2008
- July 1, 2008
- June 13, 2008
- May 1, 2008
- April 1, 2008
- October 10, 2007
- October 1, 2007
- September 25, 2007
- May 1, 2007
- April 24, 2007
- January 1, 2007
- October 9, 2006
- September 6, 2006
- June 9, 2006
- May 1, 2013
- October 2, 2012
- March 16, 2012
- December 13, 2011
- April 20, 2010
- August 18, 2008
- May 14, 2008
- Ericsson, Other Major Telecommunications Companies Prevail In Antitrust Lawsuit Over Wireless Technology StandardsSeptember 11, 2007
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
“Mike McKool is a first-rate litigator and the consummate professional. His depth of experience in high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation, coupled with his dedication, integrity, and determination to get the best possible results for his clients, truly makes for a winning combination. I have had the privilege of working with Mike and his firm on a number of significant patent infringement cases. I have always been very impressed by his personal investment in each case, as well as his focus and attention to detail. I can honestly say that I have never met a "better prepared" trial lawyer. As gifted and talented as he may be as a litigator, I happen to know firsthand that Mike's personal qualities are equally impressive.”
Associate General Counsel - Litigation
“Mike McKool brings a valuable mix of experience, trial skills, attention to detail, and common sense in handling some of American's most complex litigation. We have been expanding our relationship with Mike and his firm over the last few years, and the work and the results have been excellent. Mike understands the importance of being responsive to client needs and inquiries, and works well with inside counsel and other counsel in achieving good results.”
Associate General Counsel
“Mike McKool for years has represented the pinnacle of trial lawyers. His preparation is legendary and his command of the courtroom is incomparable. Mike has uncanny instincts which add to his amazing recall, yielding an orchestrated trial experience. His passion for the law coupled with an unyielding commitment to his clients has earned him a larger than life respect and a reputation as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States. He has assembled and leads a team of incredible attorneys that have won more verdicts over the past several years than any other law firm regardless of size. I give Mike my highest recommendation. It's about results and he delivers.”
The Amend Group
“I want Mike McKool next to me anytime one of my companies is at the courthouse. His preparation, reputation, and skilled advocacy give me an edge that I can't get with other lawyers or other firms. He brings an intensity and focus to my cases that make me feel like I am his most important client and I have the full resources of the firm behind me. Mike is the lawyer I trust to take care of cases that must be won.”
Monts & Ware
“Mike McKool played a crucial role in quarterbacking a large litigation matter a few years ago that was of great importance to my Company's future. Mike led a trial team that included lawyers from major law firms located in several parts of the country. In addition to critical personal contributions in the trial, Mike's leadership brought out the best in each of the lawyers on the team. The result for my Company was a successful outcome obtained as quickly as circumstances permitted.”
W. John Glancy
Senior Vice President & General Counsel