Photo of Mike Northrup

Mike Northrup is the chair of the appellate practice group at Cowles & Thompson, P.C. He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is a former Chair of the Appellate Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association. He is also a former briefing attorney for the Supreme Court of Texas.

Practice Areas

  • Civil Appeals
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Municipal Law

Professional Associations

  • Dallas Bar Association, Appellate Law Section
  • Defense Research Institute
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association

Education

  • JD, Texas Tech University School of Law (1988)
  • B.S., (Political Science), Texas A&M University (1985)

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas

This past year presented some unique challenges for the judiciary, and specifically for the Supreme Court of Texas.  The court confronted a pandemic, a ransomeware attack, and some unusual election-year court filings.  In spite of these challenges, the court persevered and performed.  Here’s what my initial calculations show:

  • During the 2020 calendar year, the court

Cases involving questions on the admissibility of evidence rarely rise to the level of importance that the Texas Supreme Court gets involved.  Yet these questions routinely arise in the trial courts and are fundamental to trial practice.  The Texas Supreme Court recently examined an evidence question involving the admissibility of public records.

In Fleming v.

At a recent continuing education seminar, one of the presenters stated as a fact that amounts awarded in a judgment for prejudgment interest do not need to be included in the amount of a supersedeas bond.  The presenter cited the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in In re Nalle Plastics Family Ltd. Partnership, 406 S.W.3d

For many years after the Texas Supreme Court adopted rules that divided the opinions issued by the intermediate courts of appeals into “opinions” and “memorandum opinions,” many appellate practitioners privately concluded that if an opinion was designated “memorandum opinion,” the chances of getting Texas Supreme Court review were substantially reduced.  But in 2018, I reported

I’ve run the numbers on the reversal rates for the intermediate appellate courts in Texas for the calendar year 2019.  The overall reversal rate for the year was 77%.  To clarify, when the Supreme Court of Texas granted a petition for review, it reversed the court of appeals 77% of the time in 2019. 

A dispute exists among the bench and bar as to whether attorney immunity from suit by a non-client is limited to conduct that is related to litigation.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Texas recognized that attorneys do not owe a professional duty of care to third parties who may be damaged by the attorney’s