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Michelle@owlawyers.com

Michelle May O’Neil strives to provide clients with high-quality representation in a personalized atmosphere. She has over 20 years of experience representing men, women, and children related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division.  Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals.

One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!” Ms. O’Neil became a certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time.  Representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice; also, family law appellate matters are a unique niche of Ms. O’Neil’s practice.  Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels.

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers in 2011, 2012, and 2013, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas.  She has also been recognized with an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards, and her professionalism was further recognized when she was nominated for membership in the Annette Stewart Inn of Court, an organization devoted to the professionalism of the practice of law.

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.

Certification:

Board Certified in Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization 1997, recertified 2002, 2007, 2012

Bar Admission:

State Bar of Texas, 1992

United States Supreme Court, 1999

Education:

Doctor of Jurisprudence, Baylor University School of Law, 1991

Bachelor of Business Administration, Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, 1989

Mediation Certificate, Texas Women’s University, 2003

Honors:

Texas SuperLawyers, Family Law, 2011, 2012, 2013

A-V Peer Review Rating, Lexis-Nexis, Martindale Hubbell Legal Directories

Best Lawyer in Park Cities/North Dallas, Living Magazine, 2013

Annette Stewart Inn of Court, 2003 to present

Superb 10 rating, AVVO.com

Who’s Who in America, multiple editions

Who’s Who in American Law, multiple editions

Memberships:

State Bar of Texas, Family and Appellate Sections

Dallas Bar Association, Family and Appellate Sections

Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists

Published Cases:

In re M.A.M., 05-14-00040-CV pending.

Sheriff v. Moosa, 05-13-01143-CV pending.

In re O’Donnell, 05-14-00404-CV pending.

In re C.H., 02-13-00312-CV pending.

In re Kinney, 2014 WL 1414280 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2014, orig. proceeding).

In re Alvarez-Rivas, 2014 WL 775402 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth, 2014, orig. proceeding).

In re O’Donnell, 2014 WL 1022111 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2014, orig. proceeding).

Shilling v. Gough, 393 S.W.3d 555 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2013, no pet. h.).

Jablonski v. Jablonski, 2013 WL 2420646 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2013, no pet. h.).

In re Marriage of Bivins, 393 S.W.3d 893 (Tex. App. – Waco 2012, pet. denied).

Moore v. Moore, 383 S.W.3d 190 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012, pet. denied). *case of first impression

In re B.N.L.B., 375 S.W.3d 557 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012, no pet. h.).

In re C.F.M., 360 S.W.3d 654 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012, no pet. h.).

In re J.L.E., 2012 WL 2343901 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012, no pet. h.).

In re Foreman, 2012 WL 2068964 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2012, orig. proceeding).

In re Wedgeworth, 2012 WL 690280 (Tex. App. – Tyler 2012, orig. proceeding).

In re McCray, 2011 WL 6152191 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2011, orig. proceeding).

Collins v. Collins, 345 S.W.3d 644 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2011, no pet.).

In re M.A.M., 346 S.W.3d 10 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2011, pet. denied).

In re Maasoumi, 339 S.W.3d 787 (Tex. App. Dallas 2011, orig. proceeding).

In re McCray, 324 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2010, orig. proceeding).

In re McCray, 2010 WL 3193315 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2010, orig. proceeding).

Ferris v. Ferris, 2010 WL 5158444 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2010, no pet.).

In re Pinkard, 2010 WL 4723770 (Tex. App. – Dallas, 2010, pet. denied).

In re P.L.H., 324 S.W.3d 114 (Tex. App – Dallas 2010, pet. denied).

Kee v. Kee, 307 S.W.3d 812 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2010, pet. denied). *case of first impression

In re D.L.S., 2010 WL 1491860 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2010, no pet. h.).

In re M.K.S.-V., 301S.W.3d 460 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009, pet. denied). *case of first impression

In re Rosbottom, 2009 WL 1058747 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009, dismissed).

Eberstein v. Hunter, 260 S.W.3d 626 (Tex.App.– Dallas 2008, no pet.).

In re S.C.S., 2008 WL 1973570 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2008, no pet.).

In re Mantooth, 2008 WL 1867935 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth 2008, orig. proceeding).

Kemble v. Kemble, 2008 WL 921471 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2008, no pet.).

In re Barnett, 2008 WL 820201 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth 2008, no pet.).

In re L.M.M., 247 S.W.3d 809 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2008, pet. denied).

In re Dobbins, 247 S.W.3d 394 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2008, orig. proceeding).

Wichman v. Wichman, 2008 WL 425830 (Tex.App.– Fort Worth 2008, no pet.).

Eberstein v. Eberstein, 2007 WL 416491 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2007, no pet.).

In re Rowe, 182 S.W.3d 424 (Tex.App. – Eastland 2005, orig. proceeding).

Peck v. Peck, 172 S.W.3d 26 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2005, pet denied). *case of first impression

In re Dettmer, 2005 WL 768406 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2005, orig. proceeding).

Harleaux v. Harleaux, 154 S.W.3d 925 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2005, no pet.).

In Re Dupree, 118 S.W.3d 911 (Tex.App. – Dallas, 2003, pet. denied)(orig. proceeding). *case of first impression

Smith v. Smith, 115 S.W.3d 303 (Tex.App. – Corpus Christi 2003, no pet.)

Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Austin, 65 S.W.3d 371 (Tex.App. – Dallas 2002), pet. denied, 105 S.W.3d 609 (Tex. 2003).

Saenz v. The Insurance Company for the State of Pennsylvania, 66 S.W.3d 444 (Tex.App. – Waco 2001, no pet.).

Gainesville Mem. Hosp. v. Tomlinson, 48 S.W.3d 511 (Tex.App. – Ft. Worth 2001, pet. denied).

In Re Aramark Corp., 38 S.W.3d 291 (Tex.App. – Tyler 2001, orig. proceeding).

Dickens v. Willis, 957 S.W.2d 657 (Tex.App. – Austin 1997, no writ).

Lemley v. Miller, 932 S.W.2d 284 (Tex.App. – Austin 1996, no writ).

Publications:

 

Published Books:

All About Kids and the Law in Texas, Texas Lawyer Press, 2009.

The Basics of Texas Divorce, LuLu Press, 2010, second edition 2012.

Common Law Marriage in Texas booklet, self-published.

Social Study Evaluation booklet, self-published.

Published Articles:

“Advice from a Divorce Lawyer: Whether or Not You Are Thinking About Getting a Divorce”, Today’s Dallas Woman Magazine, January 2002. “Family Law Appeals Distinguished”, Appellate Advocate, Vol. XV, No. 4, Winter 2003. “Ground Rules: Annulment”, Texas’ Divorce Magazine, Vol. I, No. 1, Fall 2003. “Challenges and Rewards of Solo Practice”, Texas Lawyer, October 2003. “Alimony/Maintenance Enforcement By Contempt”, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, April 2004. “Do You Know The New Law On AJ Appeals?”, Family Law Section Report, Vol. 2007-4. “Family Law Appeals Distinguished”, Family Law Section Report, Vol. 2007-4.

Papers and Speeches:

Family Law Topics:

“Discovery in Family Law Cases”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, September 1999. “Enforcement of Court Orders and Decrees”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, April 2000.  “Enforcement of Court Orders and Decrees”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, June 2001. “Enforcement of Court Orders and Decrees”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, March 2003. “When Custody Is At Issue”, Pro Bono Family Law Seminar, Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, October 2001.  “Family Violence”, Advanced Family Law Drafting Course, State Bar of Texas, December 2001. “Maintenance and Alimony: Why Can’t I Get No Satisfaction?”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, June  2002. “Standards of Review in Family Law Appeals,” Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, November 2002. “Court Orders and Decrees”, Family Law Boot Camp 2003, State Bar of Texas, August 2003. “Speak Now or Waive It – Preserving Error for Trial Lawyers”, Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas, August 2006. “Enforcement of Court Orders and Decrees”, Family Law Practice Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, November 2006. “Characterization, Tracing, and Other Property Issues:  What Really Is Clear and Convincing Evidence Anyway?”, Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas, August 2007. We Lost Now What: Perfecting the Appeal, Marriage Dissolution Course, State Bar of Texas, April 2008. Helping Your Client Deal with Debt In Divorce, 8th Annual Family Law on the Front Lines Conference, University of Texas, June 2008. “Writing the Perfect Country and Western Song: Successful Preparation and Trial of a Texas Temporary Orders Hearing”, Marriage Dissolution Boot Camp, State Bar of Texas, April 2009. “Interesting Appellate Issues”, Collin County Bench Bar Conference, May 2009. “Mandamus and More”, 9tth Annual Family Law on the Front Lines Conference, University of Texas, June 2009.  “Winning Your Case Before You Go To Trial: Pretrial Dispositive Motions and Procedures”, Advanced Family Law Conference, State Bar of Texas, August 2009. Presentation materials for TAFLS Trial Institute, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, February 2010.  “Winning Your Case Before You Go To Trial”, Collin County Bar Association, September 2010. Same-Sex Custody Issues, SMU Law School Symposium, February 2012.

Civil Litigation Topics:

“Discovery in Mid-Sized Litigation Under the New Rules: Discovery Strategy for Neither Very Large Nor Very Small Cases”, Civil Discovery Under the New Rules, University of Houston Law Foundation, February 1999. “Top Ten Rules for an Effective Voir Dire”, Litigation and Trial Tactics, University of Houston Law Foundation, December 1999. “Representing the Unsympathetic Party”, Litigation and Trial Tactics Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, December 2000. “Enforcement of Court Orders and Decrees”, General Practice Institute, University of Houston Law Foundation, April 2001. “Protecting Your Client’s Case for Appeal (and You From Malpractice)”, Advance Civil Litigation Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, April 2004. “Anatomy of an Appeal”, Collin County Paralegal Association, November 2004. “Preservation of Error When Offering and Excluding Evidence”,  How to Offer and Exclude Evidence Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, January 2005.

Juvenile Law Topics:

 

“Attorney-Client Privilege Communication Issues”, 13th Annual Juvenile Law Conference, Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, February 2000.