Michelle Hartmann is a partner in the Firm’s Dallas office and is a member of the North American Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group (NALGE). She also co-chairs the Firm’s North American Litigation Trial Team, is a member of the Firm’s North American Litigation Steering Committee, and is a member of the Firm’s North American Litigation Recruiting Committee. Michelle has served as lead counsel in complex multidistrict litigation, class actions, and tried cases in state and federal court throughout the country. Michelle consistently has been recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer and Best Lawyers in Dallas for Business Litigation and Employment Litigation, and as a leading lawyer in America in the area of Trade Secrets.
Michelle is a current board member of The Dallas Children’s Theater and the All Stars Project of Dallas. She is a former child advocate through the Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (Dallas CASA); former President of the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet Guild; and former officer of the Booker T. Washington Dance Guild at the BTWSPVA in Dallas.
Representative Legal Matters
Michelle has advised in multiple industries, including, among others, the retail, energy, transportation, and insurance industries. A sampling of some of her matters are as follows:
Representing a publicly-traded drilling company as indemnity counsel and lead coordinating counsel in multiple investigations and ongoing litigation arising from same.
Representing a private energy company in multiple workplace employment investigations.
Representing a publicly-traded telecommunications company in confidential workplace employment investigation
The Michaels Companies, Inc. (Texas) -- DOJ v. The Michaels Companies, Inc. - Lead counsel in Consumer Product Safety Act matter in federal court. Favorable settlement following dismissal of multiple claims.
The Michaels Companies, Inc. (New Jersey) -- JEM v. The Michaels Companies, Inc. - Lead counsel in breach of contract and warranty dispute in federal court. Favorable settlement following grant of client’s summary judgment motion.
American Airlines, Inc. (Illinois) - Wippman v. American Airlines, Inc. - Lead counsel in putative class action related to EU 261 claim. Successful dismissal of class action, with prejudice.
Sally Beauty, Inc. (California) - Kidd v. Sally Beauty, Inc. - Lead counsel in putative class action related to gift cards. Successful dismissal.
Bloom Energy (Texas) - Unicat Services, Inc. v. Bloom Energy - Lead trial counsel in federal litigation related to fuel cell canister servicing dispute.
Seawind, Inc. and AMResorts, L.P. (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Jamaica) - Copia Communications v. Seawind, Inc. and AMResorts, L.P. - Lead trial counsel in federal litigation related to Internet servicing and trade secret dispute. Successful summary judgment in federal court and affirmed at the First Circuit.
Intel (Texas) - Intel v. Christopher Bray - Lead trial counsel in Rule 202 proceeding and follow-on non-compete litigation.
- Judge Carolyn Dineen King, then-Chief Judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (2002-2003)
- Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, current Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2001-2002)
- Recognized as leading Litigation attorney in the area of Trade Secrets, The Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2019
- Recognized as leading Litigation attorney, Best Lawyers in Dallas, 2016-2019
- Leading Lawyer for Litigation: Trade Secrets in the US, The Legal 500 USA, 2011, 2013 and 2015-2019
- 40 Under 40 Award, Dallas Business Journal, 2011
- Texas Rising Star for Litigation/Regulatory,Texas Super Lawyers/Texas Monthly, 2008-2011
- Texas Super Lawyer, Texas Super Lawyers/Texas Monthly, 2012-2019
- Recipient of Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court - Associate
- Judge Mac Taylor American Inn of Court - Barrister
- Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program - Member
- Dallas Women Lawyer's Association - Former President and Board Member
- Attorneys Serving the Community - Sustaining Member
- State Bar of Texas - Member
- Lifetime Corps Member of Teach for America (an organization in which she formerly taught high school biology as a Teach for America Corps teacher).
- Current board member of All Stars Program of Dallas and The Dallas Children’s Theatre.
- Past board member of Vogel Alcove, the Dance Guild at Booker T. Washington School of the Arts, and the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet Guild.
- Previously served as a child advocate for foster children through the Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit~United States (2015)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (2011)
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas~United States (2005)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas~United States (2009)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas~United States (2004)
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas~United States (2005)
- New York~United States (2010)
- Texas~United States (2001)
- SMU Dedman School of Law (JD summa cum laude) (2001)
- University of North Carolina (BA with honors) (1994)
Author, “Insurance Considerations in Tort Cases,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, April 2017
Author, “Post-Spokeo, Standing Arguments Rise and Fall on Interpretation of ‘Concreteness',” The Texas Lawbook, 24 October 2016
Author, “Whistle-blower Provisions Take Aim at Severance Agreements,” The Texas Lawbook, 6 June 2016
Author, “The Warrior,” The Texas Lawbook, 2016
Author, “2014 Year in Review: Securities Class Action Law,” Texas Lawyer, 15 December 2014