Biography

Daniel O’Neil, an experienced dispute resolution and litigation lawyer, joined the Thompson Coe Houston office in 2021. Daniel is a member of the firm’s Professional Liability practice where he pursues creative solutions to resolve complicated issues in professional malpractice, catastrophic injury, and other disputes.

Before joining Thompson Coe, Daniel served as Texas house counsel for one of the nation’s leading specialized P&C insurers which included several claims involving fatalities. Prior to that, he served in the Products, Pharma, Medical, and Mass Tort Disputes group in one of the world’s largest international law firms as well as a nationally acclaimed litigation boutique defending aviation and maritime catastrophic incidents.

After earning his J.D., Daniel continued his formal education in the law earning a Master of Laws (Legum Magister) in Tax Law. The quantitative and analytical skills developed in the specialized program—including an externship in the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel, Large Business & International Division—have assisted clients in tax controversy & litigation disputes with state taxing authorities and the Internal Revenue Service as well as in representing tax professionals directly in other disputes.

Daniel has worked extensively with clients who are facing their first, dreaded interaction with the legal system and he works diligently to explain what to expect and analyzes the options for moving forward in an easy-to-understand way. No matter what type of dispute or how complex it may be, Daniel advises clients with an eye toward early and efficient resolution.

Representative Experience

  • Defending Fortune 500 electric and gas utility in a variety of lawsuits involving personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, and other claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a utility in a personal injury lawsuit involving cows allegedly on the roadway during a morning commute.
  • Through effective litigation and offering $0 at mediation, obtained a complete nonsuit from Pro Se Plaintiff on behalf of utility in a property damage lawsuit ten minutes before jury selection began in what would have been a first-chair trial.
  • Through effective litigation and Plaintiff storming out of mediation, obtained a complete nonsuit from Plaintiff the night before the pretrial conference (well past the statute of limitations to refile) on behalf of a natural gas service technician shockingly alleged to have “run over” a pedestrian in the street with a Ford F-550 truck.
  • Assisted in research and formulating a novel argument for financial services industry client in seven-figure damages arbitration.
  • Defending healthcare institution against intrusive non-party discovery.
  • Obtained $1.37M in penalty relief for energy industry client in tax controversy & litigation.
  • Sustained $2.1M business credit for pharmaceutical industry client in tax controversy & litigation.
  • Prior experience with aviation and maritime catastrophic incident defense.
  • Assisted numerous pro bono clients with deathbed Wills in hospitals, service as an annual volunteer with HBA’s Will-A-Thon, assisted numerous U.S. veterans with unique estate planning needs through Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and volunteered to help numerous families in the Third and Fifth Wards replace estate planning documents lost or destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center  (LL.M., 2011)
    • Staff, Houston Business and Tax Law Journal
  • South Texas College of Law  (J.D., 2010)
    • Phi Delta Phi (Wood Inn) – Texas legal honors society for top 1/3 of class by GPA
    • Pro Bono Honors Program Certificate earned for legal assistance rendered through the AIDS Project to expand estate planning and probate resources for indigent HIV/AIDS patients.
    • Top exam grades (CALI Awards) in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law and Texas Marital Property
  • Southern Methodist University  (B.A., 2007)
    • Golden Key International Honor Society – top 15% of class by GPA
    • SMU National Ethics Traveling Team

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2010

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Tax Court
  • Supreme Court of the United State

Professional and Community Activities

  • Director, Houston Young Lawyers Association 2020-2022
  • Trustee, Houston Young Lawyers Foundation 2021-2022
  • CLE Committee Chair, Houston Young Lawyers Association 2019-2022
  • Spanish Class Committee Chair, Houston Young Lawyers Association 2020-2021
  • Chair of the Poker Tournament Charity Event, Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, 2021-2022
  • HYLA’s Liaison to the Houston Bar Association’s LGBTQ+ Committee; service on the Law School Engagement Subcommittee of the HBA’s LGBTQ+ Committee 
  • Evergreen Young Professional Member for the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
  • Life Member, University of Houston Alumni Association
  • Volunteer attorney service through HBA’s Will-A-Thon, Texas Law Help legal clinics, and more.
  • Non-legal volunteer service through Meals on Wheels, Houston Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and more.
  • Earned certificate of completion from Professor Brenda J. Allen’s course “Inclusive Leadership: The Power of Workplace Diversity” from the University of Colorado System, April 28, 2021
  • Previously served as a District 4 Subcommittee Member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee

Professional Recognition

  • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation – the top 1/3 of 1% of Texas lawyers
  • Fellow of the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation – restricted to only 1% of HYLA membership
  • HYLA Leadership Academy graduate, Class of 2021
  • HYLA President’s Award Winner for Outstanding Committee Co-Chair (CLE Committee – co-chairs with Benjamin L.S. Ritz) for bar year ending 2020
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed October 1, 2018 “Daniel O’Neil Day” in the City of Houston for his history of local volunteer service.
  • Awarded the “Outstanding Small Firm Contribution Award to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers” by the Houston Bar Foundation for bar year ending 2017
  • The only lawyer in private practice designated as a “Probate Master” by the Houston Volunteer Lawyers
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College
  • Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society
  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
  • Mortar Board Honor Society
  • Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honor Society