Education

Baylor Law School, J.D. with Special Distinction, 2017

University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Plan I Honors - History with Honors, 2014

Bar Admissions

Texas

District of Columbia

Court Admissions

United States District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Profile

William McMichael is a trial lawyer who maintains a nationwide practice with an emphasis on complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. He has successfully represented both insurance carriers and policyholders in state and federal courts in more than a dozen states across the nation. He also represents a variety of clients in commercial litigation matters throughout the State of Texas.

Representative Matters

Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation

  • Represented directors and officers liability carrier as trial counsel in insurance coverage lawsuit in federal court in Houston, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of coverage after commercial insured inadvertently wired funds to fraudfeasor, ultimately resulting in damages to operating board member.
  • Represented governmental risks insurance carrier as trial counsel in two insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits in federal court in Butte, Montana. Claims arose out of alleged wrongful failure to settle underlying personal injury claims brought against political subdivision of the State of Montana. Despite statutory bar on tort liability claims against government, trial of underlying lawsuit resulted in excess verdict against insured, thereby prompting multiple extra-contractual liability suits against insurer. 
  • Represented excess insurer as trial counsel in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuit in federal court in Dallas, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of property coverage claim after tornadic weather event caused substantial damage to luxury golf course property in Johnson County, Texas. Retained as trial counsel after close of discovery to prepare case for trial. Prevailed on primary coverage issues on summary judgment and proceeded to trial on alleged damages, extra-contractual liability. See Double Diamond Delaware, Inc. v. Homeland Ins. Co. of New York, 2020 WL 7645434 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 23, 2020).
  • Represented captive insurance company in hearings before Vermont Department of Financial Regulation in connection with state-supervised run-off proceedings and, thereafter, entry into formal liquidation. Successfully insulated insurer from exposure to extra-contractual liability.
  • Represented professional liability carrier as coverage counsel in connection with underlying lawsuit formerly pending in state court in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. Claim arose out of alleged negligent treatment of elderly patient at local nursing home facility; however, plaintiffs amended complaint to allege civil and criminal conspiracy against entity officers and directors. Successfully negotiated resolution of underlying claim while insulating insurer from extra-contractual exposure.
  • Represented commercial liability insurance carrier in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits in both state court in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and federal court in Fargo, North Dakota. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful failure to settle traumatic brain injury claim that resulted in excess verdict against Oklahoma-based oil company. Successfully resolved underlying claim pending appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and then resolved extra-contractual claims against carrier.
  • Represented commercial auto insurance carrier as first-chair trial counsel in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuit in in federal court in San Antonio, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of UM/UIM coverage for injuries sustained during workplace accident. Obtained summary judgment on all claims. Sanchez, et al. v. Great American Ins. Co., 2020 WL 2086552 (W.D. Tex. Apr. 29, 2020).
  • Represented specialty insurance carrier as trial counsel in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles, California. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of coverage when 2014 Gaza War caused Fortune 50 media company to cease operations and withdraw from Israel. Retained as trial counsel following Ninth Circuit’s reversal of summary judgment order in favor of client. See Universal Cable Productions, LLC v. Atlantic Specialty Ins. Co., 929 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 2019).
  • Represented commercial property insurance carrier as first-chair trial counsel in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuit in state court in Brazos County, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of coverage when regional property developer claimed that Hurricane Harvey caused substantial damage to multi-family housing complex. Obtained voluntary dismissal of all claims against insurer mere hours before trial.
  • Represented directors and officers liability insurance carrier as trial counsel in insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuit in state court in Los Alamos County, New Mexico. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of coverage for regional bank, former bank offers when Securities & Exchange Commission, Office of the Comptroller of Currency prosecuted claims for violations of various securities and banking regulations.
  • Represented liability insurance carrier as lead coverage counsel in deadliest oilfield-related wrongful death case since Deepwater Horizon. Claim arose out of rig blowout in Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma that resulted in death of five individuals, prompting families of the deceased to prosecute wrongful death and survival claims. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/22/five-people-missing-after-explosion-at-oklahoma-drilling-site/
  • Represented commercial auto insurance carrier as trial counsel in insurance coverage action in state court in Montgomery County, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful denial of coverage for injuries. Obtained summary judgment on all claims and successfully defended case in Beaumont Court of Appeals. Cole v. Mercury County Mut. Ins. Co., 2019 WL 5607903 (Tex. App.—Beaumont Oct. 31, 2019) (no pet.).
  • Represented liability insurance carrier as trial counsel in bad faith lawsuit in federal court in Marshall, Texas. Claim arose out of underlying personal injury trial brought against national trucking company that resulted in an excess verdict, prompting Stowers claim against carrier. See Medallion Transport & Logistics, LLC v. AIG Claims, Inc., 2018 WL 3249708 (E.D. Tex. Jun. 27, 2018).
  • Represented liability insurance carrier as trial counsel in bad faith lawsuit in state court in Lubbock County, Texas. Lawsuit. Lawsuit arose out of underlying personal injury claim brought against regional trucking company that resulted in an excess verdict, resulting in Stowers claim against carrier and legal malpractice claim against former defense counsel. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/05/25/missing-a-deadline-by-41-minutes-may-cost-one-of-jerry-jones-attorneys-millions-of-dollars/

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented former partner of Houston-area accounting firm as trial counsel in breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit in state court in Harris County, Texas. Claim arose out of alleged wrongful acts committed by former partner when he committed to sell his book of business to younger partner, only for many of those clients to then follow former partner to new consulting venture shortly after the sale.
  • Represented fire suppression system subcontractor in alleged products liability, breach of contract, and breach of warranty lawsuit in state court in Harris County, Texas. Claim arose out of property damage, business interruption tenant suffered after fire sprinkler failed and released water throughout building.  
  • Represented oilfield services company in prosecution of multiple lawsuits in state courts across Texas. Claims arose after accounting department error resulted in overpayment to employees, several of whom liquidated their bank accounts and/or fled to foreign jurisdictions to evade redress. Obtained judgments against all former employees, thereby ensuring recovery of misappropriated funds.
  • Represented electrical subcontractor in alleged construction defect case in state court in Harris County, Texas. Claim arose out of incident at Houston-area mall when a young woman suffered traumatic brain injury after wooden ceiling panel fell and hit her in the head. Injuries occurred following remodeling of area where accident occurred, prompting suit against property owner and all parties involved in remodel.
  • Represented national business in alleged RICO, 1983, and fraud lawsuit brought by former employee in federal court in Dallas, Texas. Claim arose out of allegations that client conspired with law enforcement, other national businesses to have plaintiff terminated and/or arrested for various crimes. Obtained 12(b)(6) dismissal of all claims alleged against client. Parsons v. Horace Mann Educators Corp., et al., 2019 WL 2233309 (N.D. Tex. May 3, 2019).
  • Represented Houston-area nightclub in alleged premises liability, negligent hiring and supervision lawsuit in state court in Harris County, Texas. Claim arose out of injuries sustained by local photographer who fell from elevated platform while working during club hours.
  • Represented Houston-area bicycle shop in alleged products liability case in state court in Harris County, Texas. Claim originated after bicycle frame split during use, causing customer to fly over the handlebars and suffer injuries.

Other Representative Matters

  • Represented prominent regional architecture firm in connection with its acquisition of Dallas-area architecture firm. Advised client regarding insurance due diligence matters, litigation due diligence matters, thereby enabling client to establish its first office in North Texas.
  • Represented Texas state judicial officer in 1983 lawsuit in state court in Matagorda County, Texas. Obtained dismissal of all claims alleged and successfully defended case on appeal. Archer v. Finlay, 2021 WL 3777169 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Aug. 26, 2021) (no pet.). Then, successfully secured declaratory judgment and permanent anti-suit injunction against former plaintiff in subsequent lawsuit after he continued to harass judicial officer and make threatening publications online, and again defended case on appeal. Archer v. Finlay, 2022 WL 1415679 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi May 5, 2022) (no pet.).
  • Represented Texas state judicial officer in 1983 lawsuit in state court in Matagorda County, Texas. Obtained dismissal of all claims alleged and successfully defended case on appeal. Archer v. Finlay, 2021 WL 3777169 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Aug. 26, 2021) (no pet.). Then, successfully secured declaratory judgment and permanent anti-suit injunction against former plaintiff in subsequent lawsuit after he continued to harass judicial officer and make threatening publications online, and again defended case on appeal. Archer v. Finlay, 2022 WL 1415679 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi May 5, 2022) (no pet.).

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas, Litigation and Insurance Sections
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit
  • Baylor Law Alumni Association

News

News

Publications

Publications

“Subject to Exceptions? Texas Supreme Court Accepts Challenge to ‘Eight Corners’ Rule,” State Bar of Texas - Insurance Section, April 6, 2021; “COVID-19 Update,” State Bar of Texas 18th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Seminar (coauthor), October 1, 2021