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Best Lawyers has recognized three of the firm's principals as 2017 "Lawyers of the Year" in their respective regions/practices areas. Based on peer reviews, only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”

McKool Smith's 2017 honorees include:

  • Douglas A. Cawley – IP “Lawyer of the Year” (Dallas, TX).  Douglas Cawley’s track record in patent plaintiffs’ cases is unrivaled. Since 2007, he has served as lead counsel in six patent infringement trials that have secured a total of more than $1 billion in damages and earned him six "Top 100 Verdict" rankings by The National Law Journal.  In 2015, Mr. Cawley was recognized as one of the top 50 trial lawyers in the country by Law360, who noted that “you can chalk [Mr. Cawley’s] more than $1 billion in patent victories up to his way of wooing juries.” He was awarded 2014 Dallas "Patent Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers and received the 2013 regional "Litigator of the Year" award from Benchmark Litigation.  
  • Ted Stevenson – Trade Secrets “Lawyer of the Year” (Dallas, TX).  Ted Stevenson is a trial lawyer and registered patent attorney with more than 20 years of experience in complex patent and technology cases.  Three of  Mr. Stevenson’s cases have resulted in nine-figure patent infringement verdicts for his clients. He was named the 2014 Dallas Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" and the 2012 Dallas Patent Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers.  He was also awarded the International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology regional 2014 "Client Choice Award" for  Patent Litigation. The 2016 edition of Chambers USA notes that Ted "has an excellent courtroom reputation and clients think the world of him."
  • Sam Baxter – IP “Lawyer of the Year” (Tyler, TX).   As 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 IP litigation, as well as Sam.  Four of Mr. Baxter’s trial wins are recognized as “Top 100 Verdicts” by The National Law Journal amounting to more than $1 billion in awards for his clients. In January 2016, Mr. Baxter was recognized as an “Icon of IP” by Law360, who noted that his “ability to connect with jurors to earn a reputation of one of the most successful patent litigators...” The publication has also recognized Mr. Baxter as one of the top 50 trial lawyers in the nation and one of the "10 Most Admired Intellectual Property Attorneys."  He was awarded 2015 regional "Outstanding IP Litigator" by Managing IP. 

Attorneys are listed in Best Lawyers based on a national survey involving more than four million evaluations of lawyers by their peers.  Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice."

For more information on Best Lawyers visit

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