R. Michael Northrup

R. Michael Northrup: Attorney with Cowles & Thompson A Professional Corporation


R. Michael Northrup is a Shareholder and Section Head of the Firm’s Appellate Practice Group. He practices in both the trial and appellate courts in cases involving personal injury, insurance issues, employment law and commercial disputes, and he provides litigation support to attorneys in other sections of the firm. Mr. Northrup served as a briefing attorney for former Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, Texas Supreme Court, 1988-89. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Hastings College of Law and SMU School of Law. He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Mr. Northrup is a contributing author to the Texas Torts & Remedies as well as the Texas Litigation Guide for which he has authored chapters on the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Punitive Damages, Limitation of Actions, the Appellate Record, and Liquor Liability. He also authored Restrictions on Class-Action Attorney-Fee Awards, 46 South Texas Law Review (2005), Per Curiam Disposition The Houston Lawyer, March/April 1990, and Per Curiam Review in the Supreme Court, The Appellate Advocate, Winter 1990.

Mr. Northrup is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association, College of the State Bar of Texas, and the Defense Research Institute. He is a former chair of the Appellate Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association. He received his B.S. degree in 1985 from Texas A & M University and his J.D. degree in 1988 from Texas Tech University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi. Additionally, he was a recipient of the Houston Bar Foundation’s award for Outstanding Legal Article and was named to the Who’s Who Among Attorneys in America from 1989-90. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1988 and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

News, Publications & Speaking Events

A sample of published opinions in which Mr. Northrup wrote the brief and/or argued:

Northrup v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 72 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. App. -- Corpus Christi 2001, pet. denied);
Texas Commerce Bank v. Grizzle, 96 S.W.3d 240 (Tex. 2002);
Espalin v. Children’s Medical Center, 27 S.W.3d 675 (Tex. App. -- Dallas 2000, no pet. h.);
St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Dal-Worth Tank Co., 974 S.W.2d 51 (Tex. 1998);
Greene’s Pressure Testing & Rentals, Inc. v. Flournoy Drilling Co., 113 F.3d 47 (5th Cir. 1997); Pansegrau v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 23 F.3d 960 (5th Cir. 1994);
Little v. Smith, 943 S.W.2d 414 (Tex. 1997);
Cleaver v. George Staton Co. 908 S.W.2d 468 (Tex. App.--Tyler 1995, writ denied);
Besing v. Vanden Eykel 878 S.W.2d 182 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1994, writ denied);
Beavers v. Northrop Worldwide Aircraft Servs. 821 S.W.2d 669 (Tex. App.--Amarillo 1991, writ denied);
First Title Co of Waco v. Garrett 802 S.W.2d 254 (Tex. App.--Waco 1990), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 860 S.W.2d 74 (Tex. 1993);
Fogel v. Shoemake 795 S.W.2d 903, rev’d 826 S.W.2d 933 (Tex. 1992).

Awards & Honors

For years 2013-2018, Mike Northrup was listed by Best Lawyers (a Woodward/White, Inc. publication) as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the field of Appellate practice.

For years 2012, 2013, and 2016, Mike Northrup was recognized by D Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas in the area of Appellate law.

Since 2003, Mike has been selected by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers as a Texas Super Lawyer in the field of Appellate law.

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Appellate
  • Employment Law
  • Insurance Coverage and Litigation
  • Municipal
  • Public Law and Land Use

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
214.672.2150  Phone
214.672.2347  Fax
University Attended:
Texas A&M University, B.S., 1985
Law School Attended:
Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., 1988
Year of First Admission:
Civil Trial Law Board; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas; 1988, Texas; United States Supreme Court


•Member, State Bar of Texas
•Member, Dallas Bar Association
•Member, College of the State Bar of Texas
•Member, Defense Research Institute
•Member, Texas Aggie Bar Association

Reported Cases:
Experience: Succeeded in challenging a series of trial court's orders on appeal on the basis that the orders did not establish a final judgment, as the party in whose favor the orders were rendered had argued. The Appellee had obtained an order severing out various claims and parties -apparently for the purpose of creating a final enforceable judgment and forcing an appeal. The Court of Appeals concluded that there was no final judgment because no order disposed of post-judgment interest. The Court of Appeals also noted that the trial court should not have severed the judgment merely for the purpose of obtaining an advisory appellate opinion.; Successfully defended a summary judgment awarded in favor of a homeowner's association and a group of individual homeowners. The Plaintiffs were themselves homeowners and brought suit seeking to declare that the various homeowners were in violation of the association's deed restrictions and that all the deed restrictions were void because of lack of enforcement. The association and individual homeowners secured a summary judgment against the claims and the Plaintiffs appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the summary judgment. They held that one of the Plaintiffs had failed to prosecute an appeal, while the other plaintiff lacked standing to sue because the record showed she was not the record owner of the property at the time she brought suit.; Successful in getting claims against two individual Georgia residents dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction. In the same case, he was also successful in getting claims for fraud and conspiracy against a corporate defendant dismissed for failure to state a claim.; Successfully won an appeal in the Dallas Court of Appeals regarding a Municipal Airport operator's right to charge an access fee pursuant to its regulatory power as a governmental entity because the license agreement and lease agreement the property owner relied upon expressly made the rights in those agreements subject to future ordinances and regulations.; Provides litigation support in pretrial matters, including review of pleadings, drafting of complex motions and responses, preservation of error during trial, and preparation of jury charges; Handles post-trial and appellate matters, including drafting of proposed judgments, post-trial motions, requests for findings of fact and conclusions of law, supersedeas challenges, and appellate briefs; Successfully obtained reversal of judgment against chiropractors and doctors for alleged fraudulent treatment and billing practices and conspiracy charges; Successfully invalidated contractual indemnity clause in appeal of insurance coverage dispute under the Texas Oilfield Anti-indemnity Act; Successfully defended in-house insurance counsel against allegations of the unauthorized practice of law; Successfully defended a summary judgment in a Will contest involving a Will purportedly signed on the decedent's deathbed; Established the right of putative class members objecting to class action settlement agreement to appeal judgment approving the settlement agreement; Successfully defended a Trust against a beneficiary's divorcing spouse's claim that the trust was community property; Reversed a summary judgment barring a lender from foreclosing on real property due to the expiration of the statute of limitations; Successfully defended an appeal asserting that an employer discriminated against its employee on the basis of gender, and retaliated against her; Successfully overturned a $5 million medical negligence verdict; Successfully overturned an insurance bad-faith jury verdict including punitive damage award
Payment Information:

    Peer Reviews

    • 5.0/5.0
    • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

    *Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

    Client Reviews

    • 3.0/5.0 (2 reviews)
    • (1 recommendation)
    • Communication

    • Responsiveness

    • Quality of Service

    • Value for Money

    • Recommended 5.0/5.0 Rated on 10/01/18 in Appellate Practice.

      Having dealt with multiple attorneys over the last nine years, I can honestly say that NONE compare to Mike Northrup. He is outstanding. I am hardly alone in this assessment- he has been named to TEXAS SUPER LAWYERS 2003-2018. As a person he has gre... Read more

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      Having dealt with multiple attorneys over the last nine years, I can honestly say that NONE compare to Mike Northrup. He is outstanding. I am hardly alone in this assessment- he has been named to TEXAS SUPER LAWYERS 2003-2018. As a person he has great integrity. He always gave me his honest opinion as well as the best course of action for my case. He was ALWAYS on top of EVERY DETAIL regarding my case. No deadlines were missed. He’ s the best Appellate Attorney in Dallas in my opinion. Read less

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    • No Recommendations   1.0/5.0 Rated on 03/30/18 in Appellate Practice.

      In my opinion, Mr. Northrup's lacks both skills as an attorney, and decency as a person. Despite paying his firm close to $15,000 he still approached me with threats of interest and a lawsuit. To top it off, he tried to intimidate me from leaving thi... Read more

      Read more

      In my opinion, Mr. Northrup's lacks both skills as an attorney, and decency as a person. Despite paying his firm close to $15,000 he still approached me with threats of interest and a lawsuit. To top it off, he tried to intimidate me from leaving this review. I would HIGHLY NOT RECOMMEND his services to anyone. Read less

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    Dallas, Texas

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