Michelle Stratton

Counsel

Michelle Stratton’s practice focuses on complex civil and commercial litigation and appeals.   She brings rigorous and persuasive analysis, legal writing, and oral advocacy to each of her cases, as well as the same dedication and commitment to excellence that made her first in her class in law school, where she earned the top grade in twenty courses.   In addition to practicing in state and federal district courts in Texas, Ms. Stratton has litigated in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and D.C. Circuits, the Texas Supreme Court, and both Houston courts of appeals.

Before entering private practice, Ms. Stratton served as law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge Edith Jones on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  She was also a Bristow Fellow in the Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, where she prepared cases on behalf of the United States for briefing and argument in the U.S. Supreme Court and made recommendations concerning the government’s litigation in lower courts of appeals.  These experiences taught her how to efficiently navigate and master numerous, diverse fields of law, as well as how judges think and what they need from the lawyers before them—skills she now uses on behalf of her clients.

United States Supreme Court Cases

Successfully opposed certiorari on behalf of Episcopal diocese in church property dispute (The Episcopal Church v. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, No. 13–1520)

Briefed merits case concerning whether the Bankruptcy Code permits attorney’s fees for time spent defending the attorney’s fee application (Baker Botts LLP v. ASARCO LLC, No. 14-103)

United States Courts of Appeals Cases

Successfully briefed appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit defending energy company’s mandatory pilot retirement age against Age Discrimination in Employment Act challenge (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 13-10164)

Successfully briefed appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of river authority in Endangered Species Act challenge, obtaining reversal of permanent injunctive relief (The Aransas Project v. Shaw, No. 13-40317)

Successfully briefed consolidated appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of energy companies, defending against conversion claims brought by Mexico’s national oil company (Pemex Exploracion Y Produccion v. ConocoPhillips et al., Nos. 14-20417, 14-20418)

Successfully briefed appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of high frequency trading firm in trade-secret misappropriation case, defending a multi-million dollar jury verdict. (Quantlab Technologies Ltd. v. Andriy Kuharsky et al., No. 16-20242)

Successfully briefed and argued appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, representing the federal government in criminal defendant's sentencing challenge.  (United States v. Ventura, No. 09-3101)

Texas Supreme Court Cases

Successfully defended intermediate Texas appellate court’s determination that major health insurer’s claims in alleged multimillion-dollar healthcare billing dispute were barred by the statutes of limitations (United Healthcare Services, Inc., et al. v. Gonzales, et al., No. 19-0028)

Successfully petitioned for review of an intermediate Texas appellate court decision concerning the evidence a trial court may consider when determining whether a child support obligor is in arrears; the Texas Supreme Court agreed with petitioner and reversed (Ochsner v. Ochsner, No. 14-0638)

Successfully defended an intermediate Texas appellate court’s statutory interpretation of a public retirement system’s authority (Klumb v. Houston Mun. Emps. Pension Sys., No. 13­0515)

Successfully petitioned for review and obtained reversal on the merits in statutory interpretation appeal on behalf of phone and internet provider who requested reimbursement of equipment relocation costs from flood control district (Southwestern Bell Telephone, LP v. Emmett, No. 13-0584)

Additonal Representative Matters

Recognized as a “Texas Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, 2019 and 2020

American Inns of Court, Temple Bar Scholar, 2012

Washingtonian Magazine’s “Ten Women to Watch,” 2011

American Society of Legal Writers' Scribes Award for the best student-written article in a law review or journal, 2009

Federal Bar Association, Baton Rouge Chapter's Federal Courts Award, 2009

Vinson & Elkins Best Casenote or Comment Award for Excellence in Legal Writing, 2008

 

 

Admissions:
State Bar of Texas
State Bar of Louisiana
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

 
Organizations
:
The Federalist Society, Houston Lawyers Chapter, Board Member
Houston Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section
LSU Young Alumni Leadership Council
Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales
Editorial Board Member for THE ADVOCATE, a quarterly journal published by the State Bar of Texas Litigation Section

"Krewe du Supreme: Supreme Court of the United States,” Baton Rouge Bench and Bar Conference, April 2019 (co-presenter Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill)

"Percolating and Potential Legal Conflicts: Challenges for Lawyers and Judges,” Appellate Judges Education Institute, November 2014, (co­authors, Aaron M. Streett & Ernest A. Young)

“Advanced Appellate Briefwriting,” Course Instructor, LSU Law

 “United States Supreme Court Update,” Houston Bar Association, September 19, 2013

“Silencing Chicken Little: Options for School Districts after Parents Involved,” Louisiana Law Review, 2009 

 

Louisiana College
B.A., History, summa cum laude
2006

Louisiana State University
J.D. and Graduate Diploma in Civil Law, summa cum laude, 2009
Order of the Coif

Law Clerk
to the Honorable Edith Jones
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
2009-2010

Bristow Fellow
Office of the Solicitor General of the United States
2010-2011

Law Clerk
to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court of the United States
2011-2012

Associate
Baker Botts, L.L.P.
2012-2015

Counsel
Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P.
2015-Present

Stratton Rising Star    Stratton Super Lawyer (2)