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MICHAEL D. SYDOW

Michael SydowPERSONAL

Mr. Sydow was born in Cuero, Texas. His family first came to Texas in 1840. He was raised in Latin America, returning to Texas to attend university. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern University in 1973. Mr. Sydow graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, with honors, in 1976. He has 2 children.

PROFESSIONAL

Mr. Sydow began his legal career with the United States Navy. He was assigned to the General Counsel’s Office, in the Office of Trial Counsel. While with the Navy, Mr. Sydow tried numerous multi-million dollar government contract claims on behalf of the Navy, with a 100% success rate.

Mr. Sydow returned to Texas where he joined the firm Eastham, Watson, Dale & Forney, specializing in admiralty and maritime law. While at the firm, Mr. Sydow tried cases involving maritime personal injury, collisions, cargo, aviation, international arbitration, commodities, securities, and shipbuilding claims. Within 3 years, Mr. Sydow was made a partner in the firm.

He left Eastham, Watson in 1984 to concentrate on litigation and international arbitrations. He has tried admiralty, aviation, defamation, business tort, intellectual property, contract, general negligence, medical negligence, entertainment, commodities, construction, securities, oil and gas, utilities, trademark, copyright, patent, and product liability cases. He has handled cases of more than $10 million in each of the following areas:

  • Insurance coverage/bad faith
  • General product liability
  • Medical negligence
  • Premises liability
  • General aviation
  • Airline casualty
  • Defamation
  • Admiralty
  • Aviation
  • Oil and gas
  • Finance
  • Trademark & copyrights
  • Utilities regulations
  • Contracts
  • Commodities

In addition, he has achieved eight-figure judgment settlements for clients in each of the above fields, as well as in nursing home, elder abuse cases and breach of contract cases.

In 1997 Mr. Sydow was offered shareholder status in the national law firm, Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, & Hand. While at the firm he specialized in complex civil litigation and arbitrations, prosecuting and defending class actions, qui tam, and multi-district litigation matters.

With the break up of Verner, Liipfert in 2002 Mr. Sydow re-established his own practice, adding a substantial docket of utility and intellectual property cases to the practice he took with him from Verner, Liipfert.

In 2004 Mr. Sydow was asked to become Counsel to entertainer Michael Jackson for all civil and business matters, including family law issues. Mr. Sydow served in that role until Mr. Jackson’s acquittal on criminal charges in 2006.

From 2008-2010 Mr. Sydow developed two multi-billion dollar international capital projects for energy clients.

In 2010 Mr. Sydow returned to the private practice of law. He currently runs a docket including international business transactions and business organizations, utilities regulation, international litigation and arbitration, trademark, contracts, insurance, finance, energy, complex family law, domestic and international child custody and support, qui tam and carbon markets.

Michael D. Sydow is certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

He is also a multi-engine instrument rated pilot with more than 3,000 hours of turbine time.

Mr. Sydow was admitted to practice in Texas in 1976. He has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in state and federal courts in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Idaho, and British Columbia. He is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Claims, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Courts of the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, and the Northern District of Michigan.

Mr. Sydow is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation. He has chaired the Houston Bar Association’s Judicial Liaison Committee, for which he received the President’s Award in 1990.


PUBLICATIONS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES

“Admiralty Jurisdiction Over Injuries to Offshore Workers.” 22 South Texas Law Journal 3, 1982.

“No Duty: An Historical Perspective on the Judicial Creation of a Privileged Class: 12 Trial Lawyers Forum 17, 1988.


SPEECHES AND LECTURES

  • Fourth Annual Southwest Regional Head Injury Symposium: How to Deal Competently with Legally Competent Individuals Who are Incompetent; Trusts, etc.,” Colorado, 1986.
  • Houston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program, “Effective Planning and Use of Discovery Tools,” 1990.
  • Advanced Civil Litigation, University of Houston Law Center, “Pleadings and Attacks on Pleadings,” 1991.
  • 10th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, “Probing the Edges of Peer Privileges,” 2001.
  • Advanced Evidence and Discovery Institute, University of Houston Law Foundation, “Damages (Including Actual and Punitive Damages): Evidentiary Requirements and Proof of Techniques,” 1999 and 2001.

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
Sydow Law Firm