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McKool Smith Chairman and co-founder Mike McKool along with firm principals Douglas Cawley, Sam Baxter, and William LaFuze have been selected for inclusion in World Intellectual Property Review’s (WIPR) 2016 directory of “World IP Leaders.” The comprehensive guide features profiles of the top intellectual property lawyers practicing in the areas of patents and trademarks around the globe.

To compile the guide, the WIPR research team sought peer nominations and subsequently contacted and vetted thousands of law firm and in-house attorneys, taking into account nominees’ prominence, practice history, notable cases, and involvement in the wider IP community through speaking engagements and published articles.

Mike McKool: 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.  Mr. McKool has named an “Icon of IP” by Law360 and was featured in the publications profile of the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States.

Sam Baxter: Sam Baxter is a Principal in McKool Smith's Marshall and Dallas offices. Mr. Baxter is a former Texas State District Judge and District Attorney for Harrison County, Texas. Few people know the Eastern District of Texas – an important venue in intellectual property litigation – as well as he does. Mr. Baxter’s unique ability to connect with jurors and skillfully cross-examine witnesses has helped him secure significant verdicts for clients. Four of these victories have been recognized in The National Law Journal’s annual listing of “Top 100 Verdicts.” Mr. Baxter has named an “Icon of IP” by Law360 and was featured in the publications profile of the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States.

Douglas A. Cawley: Douglas A. Cawley is a Principal in the Dallas office of McKool Smith.  For more than forty years, he has been engaged in the trial of complex cases and has handled major intellectual property matters throughout the United States and across the globe.  He has served as lead counsel in six patent infringement trials that have earned "Top 100 Verdict" rankings by The National Law Journal and VerdictSearch in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Mr. Cawley is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property Law. He is a frequent speaker on patent litigation at seminars throughout the country.

William LaFuze: William "Bill" LaFuze is a principal in McKool Smith’s Houston and Washington, D.C. offices.  Bill’s practice has been directed to a broad range of intellectual property law issues, with a particular focus on patent and other intellectual property litigation in the smartphone, computer, electronics, oilfield equipment, telecommunications, and internet-related fields.  He currently serves as an officer of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Intellectual Property Law and is a delegate from that section to the ABA House of Delegates.  Over the years, he has led many national and regional professional associations, including serving as the President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and Chair of the Section on Intellectual Property Law of the ABA.  He has testified several times in hearings before Congressional Committees and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with regard to patent law reform issues.

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