Michael D. Conner

Michael D. Conner

by Onyinyechi Muilenburg

Mike Conner has led Hirsch & Westheimer’s appellate group since 2000.

As lead appellate counsel in over eighty cases, Mike has appeared in all fourteen Texas Courts of Appeals and has presented oral argument in eleven of them. He has had cases in the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit, where he also has argued orally, and in the United States Supreme Court.

An AV rated civil litigator, Mike has represented institutional clients, companies and individuals in both state and federal trial courts, in Texas administrative agency proceedings and in arbitration. Before shifting focus to an appellate docket, Mike tried more than a dozen cases to juries and many more to trial court judges.

In over 30 years of practice, Mike has represented clients in oil & gas, construction, banking, intellectual property, real estate, wrongful death, products liability, premises liability, consumer law, employment law, insurance coverage, attorney malpractice, family law, and probate matters.

A fifth generation Texan, Houston native, father and grandfather, Mike graduated in 1974 from the University of Houston with a degree in Fine Arts.  In 1986 he earned his JD from the University of Houston Law Center. Mike served as law clerk to the late Ross N. Sterling, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. He also clerked for the Honorable Karen K. Brown, then a United States Magistrate. Following the federal clerkships, Mike joined Hirsch & Westheimer in 1988 where he was a litigator for six years. After a brief stint with boutique litigation firm and a few years in solo practice, Mike returned to the firm in 2000 and, since then, has concentrated on his civil appellate practice.

  • In the Guardianship of Burley, 499 S.W.3d 196 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016, pet. denied), a statutory construction case concerning recoverability of attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with an application for guardianship in which our team successfully defended the probate court’s discretion to award fees to the unsuccessful cross-applicant.
  • Bank of Am., N.A. v. Eisenhauer, 474 S.W.3d 264 (Tex. 2015), in which we persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to reverse both the court of appeals and the trial court and to render a take nothing judgment consistent with the verdict returned by a Corpus Christi jury.
  • In re Bank of Am., N.A., 278 S.W.3d 342 (Tex. 2009), in which we successfully petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for mandamus relief from an adverse decision on interlocutory appeal. When the case was sent back, one Fort Worth justice filed a dissent questioning whether mandamus was the proper procedural remedy. At the time, it was. But, in 2011, the legislature amended the Texas Government Code to expressly permit discretionary review rather than mandamus in this kind of interlocutory appeal; and
  • In re P.R., 04-05-00509-CV, 2006 WL 2545919 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2006, pet. denied). In 2007, shortly after this favorable decision, the legislature amended the Texas Family Code to resolve a conflict between sections within chapter 157 illuminated by the case.