Our Team

David T. McDowell


Phone: (713) 337-5582

Fax: (713) 337-8842

Email: david.mcdowell@mhllp.com

Office Location: Houston

David McDowell serves the litigation and trial needs of clients and has handled matters as lead counsel in almost every state in the country. David’s focus is on commercial, financial services, and energy litigation. He has extensive experience in class action litigation, RICO, antitrust actions, appellate work, and arbitrations. Since co-founding the firm in 2009, David has tried cases in Texas, California, Florida, and Minnesota and argued cases before the Second, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as state courts of appeal in Massachusetts, Missouri, Texas, and New York.

David also represents clients in regulatory and lobbying efforts in numerous states. Over the past several years, David has appeared before state legislative committees, met with state governors, and worked with legislative staffers in several states, including California, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, and South Dakota. He has also testified on behalf of clients before various state legislative panels and committees.

Twenty-five years of practice has taught David some lessons about client service. Because the case belongs to the client, not outside counsel, outside counsel should actively partner with the client to ensure the client’s success. Active partnering involves early strategic discussions, candid conversations, creative solutions, and a continual assessment of risk and strategy. The collective wisdom that results from active partnering leads to better results.

Outside his legal practice, David serves on the Board of Directors of Harbor Christian Academy and is an elder of Faithbridge Church. He previously served on the Board of Providence Classical School. David enjoys attending football games with his sons and traveling with his boys to baseball parks across the country.


  • Trial – Represented life insurer sued by hedge fund for alleged misconduct and bad faith regarding title to a large insurance policy. Following a trial in federal court, a Los Angeles, California jury returned a unanimous verdict for the client.
  • Trial – Represented life insurer sued by financial entity claiming a right to $10 million in life insurance proceeds. Following six day trial in Minnesota, a federal judge entered a decision in favor of client.
  • Trial – Represented a child and his parents against a national restaurant chain for damages arising out of a traumatic brain injury suffered at the restaurant. After 3 days of trial in Houston, the case settled on favorable terms.
  • Represents life insurer in putative class action as to whether a duty existed to search the Death Master File.
  • Represents life insurer in putative class action seeking to invalidate a cost of insurance increase on universal life products.
  • Represented financial services client in RICO action, in which antitrust claims were also asserted, brought by hedge fund alleging that the client purposely sought to destroy the value of hedge fund’s investment.
  • Successfully defeated class certification in putative class action in California in which defendants were accused of engaging in a RICO conspiracy regarding the manner in which certain life insurance products were sold.
  • Represented major pipeline company in multi-million dollar fraud action against former employees and vendors resulting in $2.8 million judgment against defendants.
  • Represented defendant in putative class action in Illinois alleging the defendant improperly imposed premium charges for insurance that could not be provided by law.
  • Represented a corporate client in Lanham Act and trade secret theft actions involving technology used in the production of a certain chemical in China.
  • Represented client in product defect and breach of warranty action involving refinery product which allegedly caused millions in damage to a customer’s refinery.
  • Acts as national and regional counsel for numerous financial service companies sued for their roles in various defined benefit pension plans and multi-employer welfare benefit plans across the country.
  • Successfully obtained dismissals of actions in Florida, Missouri, Nevada, and Tennessee brought against life insurers sued for losses suffered by plaintiffs who invested in life insurance products with the intention of selling the policies on the secondary life settlement market.
  • Represented a corporate client in a putative national class action dismissed on the pleading involving the tax treatment of annuity payments generated by a pension plan.
  • Represented a former gas trader in mutimillion-dollar arbitration against a multinational bank.


  • “Stranger-Initiated Annuity Transactions and the Case for Insurable Interest” Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2012) (with T. Hetherington and K. Burr).
  • “Stranger-Initiated Annuity Transactions and the Case for Insurable Interest” NY Business Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2012) (with T. Hetherington and K. Burr)
  • “STOLI: Hedging Insurable Interest,” published in connection with numerous conferences and panel discussions (2007-2012) (with T. Hetherington and J. Ganer)
  • “Fighting Itinerant Fraud in Life Insurance,” The Brief, Summer 2007.
  • “A New Litigation Target: Life Insurance Companies Funding Benefit and Pension Plans,” DRI Life, Health and Disability News, Fall 2006 (with T. Hetherington).
  • Note, “Death of an Idea: The Anencephalic as an Organ Donor,” 72 Texas Law Review 893, 1994.


  • Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1994
  • Texas A&M University, B.B.A., cum laude, 1988