MICHAEL J. WHITTEN (Retired)
Mike Whitten began practicing law in Denton in September 1969. Mike began his legal career by taking over an appeal at the Texas Supreme Court after his father passed away after handling the trial. Since that time, Mike has maintained a reputation in Denton and surrounding areas as the go-to attorney for litigation of complex matters that won’t end in the trial court. Mike is a recognized Super Lawyer, a Thompson Reuters Service, recognized 2003-2004, 2008-2012, and 2016, and is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale.com.
Mike graduated from Denton High School in 1962 and from North Texas State University in 1966 with a BA in Government, minor in History and English. Mike went on to attend the University of Texas Law School where he served as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review. Upon graduation from law school, Mike was going to be a briefing attorney in the Texas Supreme Court, but chose to come back to Denton upon his father's early passing in order to help care for his mother and younger siblings.
Mike is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court. He is a past president of the Denton County Bar Association.
As of 2019, Mike has achieved the mark of distinction of practicing law for 50 years. After a career of exceptional trial and appellate work, Mike focuses most of his time on mediations and arbitrations. He also likes working with Adam on appeals.
University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas
Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1969
• Texas Law Review
• Phi Delta Phi—Inducted 2010 into legal honor society.
North Texas State University, Denton, Texas
Bachelor of Arts, 1966
Major: Government | Minor: History and English
In re Estate of Redus, 321 S.W.3d 160 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2010, no pet.)
• Successfully reversed trial court decision dismissing will contestant on basis of standing as an interested person.
Clifton v. Walters, 308 SW 3d 94 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2010, pet. denied)
• Successfully represented City Secretary for City of Denton in frivolous election contest, upholding finding of vexatious litigant status against lead plaintiff.
Carrico v. Kondos, 111 S.W.3d 582 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2003, pet. denied)
• Successfully reversed trial court decision granting summary judgment on complex real estate transaction.
Sumner & Greener v. Carlson, 739 S.W.2d 127 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1987, no writ)
• Reported case establishing law that a motion for new trial may be filed solely to extend appellate deadlines.
Hope v. Allstate Ins. Co., 719 S.W.2d 634 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1986, no writ)
• Successfully reversed trial court decision refusing to treble clients’ damages under applicable law, thereby securing larger verdict for clients.
A. H. Belo Corp. v. Rayzor, 620 S.W.2d 756 (Tex. Civ. App.—Fort Worth 1981, writ dismissed) and A.H. Belo Corp. v. Rayzor, 644 S.W.2d 71 (Tex. Civ. App.—Fort Worth 1982, writ ref’d n.r.e.)
• Successfully sued newspaper for knowingly publishing false and defamatory statements about clients, overcoming newspaper’s strict First Amendment privilege defense.
Denton Publ'g Co. v. Boyd, 460 S.W.2d 881 (Tex. 1970) (op. on reh'g)
• Successfully reversing prior opinion and upholding jury verdict for client based on defamatory comments published in newspaper, overcoming newspaper’s strict First Amendment privilege defense.
Michael J. Whitten has given expert testimony regarding issues such as: Reasonableness and necessity of attorney’s fees; Standard of care in legal malpractice cases; Commonly accepted meaning of certain phrases or terms of art as used in legal instruments, or commonly encountered legal situations; Proper interpretation of legal instruments, insurance policies, and contracts; and Legal consequences of using particular terms and provision in a proposed instrument.