Shawn Phelan represents lawyers, design professionals, officers and directors, real estate brokers, insurance agents, and other professional clients in litigation throughout Texas. Shawn defends lawyers in legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty suits and in grievance proceedings, and design professionals on errors and omissions claims and construction defect cases. He also has substantial experience representing broker/dealers, registered representatives, and officers and directors in securities and commercial matters involving a wide variety of business litigation issues, including securities fraud, business torts, deceptive trade practices, construction, unfair competition, and alter-ego claims. Shawn has also represented numerous parties in class action litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Represent lawyers in grievance proceedings before the State Bar of Texas.
  • Obtained summary judgment for lawyer alleged to have mishandled multi-million dollar copyright litigation.
  • Defended Real Estate Broker in class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Practices Act (RESPA) and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained dismissal of numerous claims against design professionals under Chapter 150 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against lawyer/arbitrator and award of sanctions against plaintiff.
  • Represent parties in copyright and trade names disputes relating to design of structures.
  • Obtained summary judgment for immigration lawyer alleged to have committed malpractice in the handling of her clients’ immigration application.
  • Represent fee attorneys and lawyers in claims asserted by lenders involved in subprime lending practices.
  • Represented national architectural firm in lawsuit involving the design of local courthouse.
  • Obtained summary judgment for plaintiffs employment lawyer who was sued for allegedly mishandling employment discrimination claim.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of local law firm sued in bankruptcy court by bankruptcy trustee for turnover of legal fees.
  • Tried legal malpractice case against family law lawyer, resulting in no liability for lawyer and lawyer’s recovery of outstanding fees.
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit against North Carolina architect in Texas based upon lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Obtained dismissal of grievance alleging family law lawyer mishandled legal matter and violated numerous disciplinary rules.
  • Obtained dismissal of suit on behalf of structural engineer sued for errors in design of restaurant HVAC system.
  • Obtained summary judgment for civil engineer on claim asserted by homeowner and homeowners’ association for millions in damages as a result of alleged defective retaining walls.
  • Tried legal malpractice case against lawyer alleged to have committed malpractice in defending client at trial, where jury returned a verdict substantially below plaintiff’s last settlement demand.


  • University of Wisconsin Law School  (J.D., 1992)
  • University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse  (B.S., 1989)
    • with highest honors

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1992
  • Wisconsin, 1993

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member of the Professional Liability Underwriters Society
  • DRI Professional Liability Section
  • Member of Dallas Bar Association

Speeches and Presentations

  • Presented "Overview of Contract Law" at the Legal Issues for Texas Civil Engineers seminar on January 21, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.
  • Participated in a mock mediation session presented by Hanover Insurance at the A/E ProNet Spring Meeting 2015.
  • Presented "The Tripartite Relationship: What Is It? The Relationship Between The Insurer, Insured, And Defense Counsel” Thompson Coe's Texas Litigation Update 2014
  • Co-Presented "Ethics in Business Litigation" along with Randy Johnston at the Business Disputes 2013 seminar sponsored by the Texas Bar CLE.
  • Presented "Adopting Strategies to Minimize Liability Exposure" on July 31, 2012 at the Minimizing Engineering Liability Exposure seminar in Arlington, Texas.
  • Presented "Protect Yourself at All Times: Words Every Fighter and Lawyer Should Follow" on August 18, 2011 at the Advanced Consumer Law Course in Houston, Texas.
  • Presented at the McLaughlin Brunson Insurance Agency 2011 Loss Prevention & Risk Management Seminar on Design Professional liability issues and recent Texas case law affecting architects and engineers, April 20-21, 2011.
  • Presented “Avoiding and Defending a Malpractice Suit—Welcome to the Real World” on August 11, 2008 at the 2008 Advanced Family Law Course in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Presented "Avoiding Bad Faith and Responding to Stowers Demands" to Firemans Fund Insurance Company on October 1, 2007.
  • Regular speaker at Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) educational seminars, most recently on issues relating to construction observation, risk management, contract and other liability issues (2005-present).
  • Panel member at the 2006 Texas Society of Architects Annual Convention, case study presentation.
  • Presented “Pitfalls Under the Texas Securities Act” to the Securities Section of a Dallas law firm on July 29, 2004.
  • Presented “The New Grievance Process and Ethics Issues Criminal Defense Lawyers Encounter” to the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association on June 11, 2004.
  • Presented “Ethical Consideration and Legal Malpractice Prevention in Litigation” to the Plano Bar Association on January 2, 2004.

Professional Recognition

  • “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale Hubbell.