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Natalie L. Arbaugh



Natalie Arbaugh is a Principal in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson and the firm’s leader of the EMPOWER Women’s Initiative. Ms. Arbaugh is a trial lawyer with a broad commercial and intellectual property practice. She leads and tries commercial and business cases for both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of industries in state and federal courts throughout the country, with an emphasis on business torts, qui tam/whistleblower litigation, trade-secret theft, trademark/anti-counterfeiting litigation, employment litigation and noncompete counseling.

Having tried nearly 30 cases as lead counsel or second chair, Ms. Arbaugh has more trial experience in substantial cases than most of her peers, including on high-profile matters. And she is no stranger to complex litigation.  Before she reached the age of 40, Ms. Arbaugh had managed and tried one of the largest and most complex fraud cases in Texas history as co-lead counsel. That effort, which was the culmination of nearly 8 years of effort, the review of millions of pages of documents and over 150 depositions, resulted in the largest Medicaid fraud settlement in Texas.  The record-breaking case was the subject of extensive news coverage in a variety of U.S. and international media outlets, and resulted in Fish being named a Litigation Department of the Year finalist by Texas Lawyer magazine. 

The depth of Ms. Arbaugh’s experience also led to her being asked to become a member of the trial team for the widely publicized insider trading case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against billionaire entrepreneur and long-time Fish client, Mark Cuban. The jury cleared Mr. Cuban of any wrongdoing following a three-week trial in Dallas federal court.

Ms. Arbaugh has a passion for top-notch client service, creative problem solving and courtroom excellence.  She recognizes that her clients need and deserve well-thought out strategic advice to guide them toward the best solutions for their business problems, but they also need an attorney who is responsive and makes them a priority, twenty-four/seven.  These passions have caused Ms. Arbaugh to be repeatedly recognized by surveys designed to identify exceptional legal talent. Most recently, Natalie was chosen as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine. Before reaching the age of 40, Natalie was chosen six times to appear on the Texas “Rising Stars” list by Texas Monthly Magazine, recognizing top and up-and-coming attorneys in Texas (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011). 

Following law school, Ms. Arbaugh served as a law clerk to the Honorable Deborah Hankinson of the Texas Supreme Court.  As an associate at Fish & Richardson, Ms. Arbaugh served as a “Lawyer on Loan” to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office where she prosecuted a variety of misdemeanor cases.

Ms. Arbaugh and her husband Jesse, a dentist, have been married for ten years.  They have one daughter who is eight years old and enjoys running the household.  In her free time, Ms. Arbaugh enjoys college football, yoga and taking part in Attorneys Serving the Community, an organization that brings together women lawyers to combine their resources and talents to support local nonprofit organizations whose programs benefit women, children, and families.


  • Texas 2001
  • United States District Court for the Northern 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 Southern District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Memberships and Affiliations

Leads the firm's EMPOWER Women's Initiative. EMPOWER was formalized in 2009 to provide expanded professional and business development opportunities, mentoring, training, and support to our female legal staff. This initiative also includes a working mothers' forum. EMPOWER--stands for Enrichment, Mentorship, Partnering, Opportunities, Wisdom, Excellence, and Responsibility.

Member: Board of directors, Texas General Counsel Forum (DFW Chapter) (2011-2013); Co-chair, Texas General Counsel Forum program committee (DFW Chapter) (2012); Dallas Bar Association Publications Committee, Co-Vice Chair (Member since 2009); American Bar Association; Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (chosen for DAYL Leadership Class 2003); The William "Mac" Taylor American Inn of Court (2003-2008).

Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Lifetime Fellow.

Other Distinctions

Published Cases
INEOS Group Ltd. v. Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP; 312 S.W.3d 843 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2009).

Named to Texas Lawyer's "Winning Women" list for 2014.

Recognized for her work with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Cuban. This trial earned Fish's litigation department to be named among Texas' best in 2014.

Recipient, as Dallas Bar Association Committee member, of the 2010 State Bar of Texas Award for Best Series Article on substantive law: "Overtime Risks of Employees' Work Using Wireless Devices."

Recognized for her work with State of Texas ex rel. Jones v. Janssen LP, et al. This trial earned Fish's litigation department to be named among Texas' best in 2013.

Speaking Engagements
Sticky Fingers: Responding to a Departing Employee's Theft of Trade Secrets—Practical Advice for Employers, March 2014 (co-speaker).

The Most Effective Strategies to Fight Counterfeiting, February 2014 (co-speaker).

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (S. 2267) marks the latest attempt at creating a federal civil cause of action for fighting trade secret theft, Blog post, May 2014 (co-author).

Are You Prepared For A Whistleblower?, West® Employment Alert, July 2013 (quoted).

What Makes Whistleblowers Tick, Corporate Compliance Insights, June 2013 (author).

Whistleblowers need to prepare when exposing employer wrongdoing, ExpertBeacon, July 2013 (author).

Texas adopts Uniform Trade Secrets Act—Does this mean predictability for your business? Maybe, Blog post, July 2013 (co-author).

Beware of the Scratch of the Cat's Paw, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, June 2011 (author).

iPods Rock! Or Do They? Overtime Risks Arising Out of the Use of Wireless Gizmos, October 2009 HR Southwest Human Resources Conference and Exposition (author and co-speaker).

Overtime Risks From Non-Exempt Employees' Use of Wireless Devices to Work, Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, November 2009 (author).

Arbitration: Is It Still A Good Idea for Employers?, October 2008 HR Southwest Human Resources Conference and Exposition (author and co-speaker).

Recent Trends and Developments in Trade Secret and Non-Compete Law, ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law, Employment Rights & Responsibilities, March 2006 (co-author).

Trade Secrets, A State-by-State Survey (2d Ed.) 2005 Supp., American Bar Association of Labor & Employment Law (contributing editor).

Cybersmear: It's What the Internet Is For - Right?, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee, 2005 Mid-winter Meeting (Key Biscayne, FL) (co-author).

Does the Federal Age Discrimination Statue Protect Younger Workers from Discrimination in Favor of Older Workers? Dallas Human Resources Management Association, Inc., May 2004 (co-author).

Should Employers Implement Policies on Cell Phone Use?, Employment Law Strategist, December 2004 (coauthor).

Wage and Hour Law, and Independent Contractors, National Business Institute, November 2003 (co-author).


Texas Federal Jury Clears Mark Cuban in Insider-Trading Lawsuit (October 17, 2013).

Law360 Q&A with Fish's Natalie Arbaugh, (April 4, 2013).

"Act III Helps Women Thrive in Law Firm Environment," (June 19, 2012).

"Group offers support for women lawyers in Dallas," an article about Act III, a Dallas organization for which Natalie is involved (July 9, 2012).

J&J’s $158 Million Settlement With Texas Approved by Court 
Fish & Richardson successfully represented whistleblower Allen Jones in his claims that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen exaggerated the benefits of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal in order to dupe the Texas Medicaid Program. Following expert testimony elicited by Dallas Managing Principal Tom Melsheimer regarding Janssen’s concealment and manipulation of scientific data, the manufacturers agreed to a settlement that represents the largest Medicaid fraud recovery in Texas history. The record-breaking case was the subject of news coverage in The New York TimesBloombergThe Texas Tribune, and a variety of other U.S. and international media outlets. This verdict was recognized by Texas Lawyer as the second-largest settlement in Texas in 2012.


  • BA, University of Florida 1995
    Business Administration
    with honors
  • JD, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law 2001
    magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
    Marketing and Development Editor, SMU Law Review Association