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Steven H. Stodghill


Dallas, TX
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Mr. Stodghill is National Director of Business Litigation Development for Fish & Richardson.

Mr. Stodghill was profiled in the Texas Super Lawyers 2003 magazine published by Texas Monthly in an article entitled “The Dark Knight: Holy Transactions and Litigation! Steve Stodghill comes to the rescue for all his famous clients.” As Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and Mr. Stodghill’s long-time client, stated in that article: “Steve’s mind is always working on your case, and I like that … I’m not an expert in litigation, but Steve has one quality I really like: He wins.”

In 2016, BTI Litigation Outlook 2017 named Fish one of the “Most Feared Firms in Litigation,” ranking the firm in the top 15 firms nationally and rated Mr. Stodghill’s litigation group as either a “Standout” or “Honor Roll” for complex commercial litigation, class actions, product liability litigation, securities and finance litigation and complex employment litigation.

  • Stodghill has been named a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly for each of the 14 years in which the publication has been in existence.
  • Stodghill was named one of the top 500 lawyers in the nation by
  • Stodghill was recognized among the country’s top business litigators in the nation by Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition.
  • Stodghill has been named to the national litigation section of the Super Lawyers Business Edition.
  • Stodghill has been named one of the top 15 business defense attorneys in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal.
  • For the last twenty years Mr. Stodghill has had an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for ethics and ability.
  • The Dallas Observer “Best of Dallas” issue described Mr. Stodghill as a “pit bull of a lawyer.”
  • Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer have nationally rated Mr. Stodghill as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation.”

Mr. Stodghill is a Principal in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson P.C. His practice emphasizes all aspects of complex litigation. Mr. Stodghill served as Team Counsel for the Dallas Mavericks from 2000 to 2002. He was a Founding Partner at Lynn, Stodghill, Melsheimer & Tillotson (which the Texas Monthly described in a 1998 article “Top Guns” as the “Navy Seals” of litigation), working with the firm from 1993 to 2000. He also served as an associate with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld from 1987 to 1993 and as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ralph M. Hall in 1985.

Mr. Stodghill possesses a broad range of experience in complex commercial litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants in contractual disputes, breach of fiduciary duty cases, securities litigation and arbitration, shareholder derivative actions and shareholder oppression cases, TRO and injunctive relief proceedings, insurance coverage disputes, class actions, employment litigation, catastrophic injury and medical malpractice cases, intellectual property/trade secret theft cases, lawyer/accountant malpractice cases and post trial/appellate practice. In addition to being chief litigation counsel to Mark Cuban and The Dallas Mavericks, Mr. Stodghill has also represented numerous prominent companies including Yahoo!, Bank One, Zurich Financial, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Alcatel, Guaranty Federal Bank, Trammell Crow, Texaco, Xerox, Sabre, Eljer Industries, Qwest, Hunt Asset Management, Callaway Golf, Dean Foods, Fossil,, Richmont, U.S. Risk, Generation Partners and Driscoll Children’s Hospital in significant litigation matters. In addition to Mark Cuban, Mr. Stodghill has represented interests of twelve billionaires and other high net worth individuals including Todd Wagner, Tom Hicks, Lamar Hunt, Trammell Crow, Phil Romano, Tim Headington, and multiple members of the Al Rajhi family. Mr. Stodghill has also represented Carrie Prejean (former Miss California and first runner up Miss USA) and her husband, Kyle Boller (quarterback Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders), as well as Vince Young (quarterback, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles).

The firm’s representation of Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks has drawn numerous media accolades:

  • The Dallas Observer called the motion: “The Greatest Legal Brief in the History of Jurisprudence”
  • The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the motion: “ . . . extended the Mavericks victory parade another week.”
  • The American Lawyer described Stodghill as “. . . a longtime Cuban confidant . . . ” and said Cuban is “. . . no stranger to high-powered defense lawyers.”
  • The San Antonio Express-News described the motion as “. . . the ultimate legal defense . . .”
  • The Wall Street Journal described Cuban’s argument as “The Dallas Mavericks are world champions, so go pound sand.”
  • referred to Tom Melsheimer as: “The Brilliant Legal Mind Behind Mark Cuban’s … Brief”
  • Entertainment website said: “Even Mark Cuban’s legal team is the best in the world.”
  • “Mark Cuban files classic legal brief . . .probably the greatest legal brief in the history of legal briefs . . .”
  • A high-profile legal website labeled Cuban’s legal team as “. . . the best lawyers around.”

Working with high-profile clients, Mr. Stodghill has drawn many media accolades and mentions. called his work for Mark Cuban and The Dallas Mavericks: “The Most Badass Legal Doc Ever.”

Client Testimonials:

Terdema Ussery, President and CEO, Dallas Mavericks:

I like to call Steve ‘The Dark Knight.’ When he focuses on the litigation and believes his client has been wronged,  he has this laser-like focus to come in, find what’s not right, and blow up stuff.

They’ve done everything for us. They’ve run the gamut of legal work for us over the years.

I remember walking in there when there was no one in the office but Steve and his Batman costume.

We feel like we’re client no. 1, and I’m sure all their clients feel the same way.

You get the feeling that after they agree to do something, the problem is already resolved.

He goes into dark situations, and takes them on. That’s why I call him The Dark Knight.

Steve and Tom are intellectual black belts. They know it, but they don’t flaunt it.

Terdema Ussery

Dallas Mavericks

2909 Taylor Street

Dallas, TX 75226

Sterling Miller, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Sabre Holdings

I have recommended Steve and Fish & Richardson to a number of general counsel around the country.

I think very highly of Steve, Tom and their team for litigation expertise and patent litigation expertise.

We have worked with Steve on commercial litigation matters, and other attorneys at the firm on patent litigation, employment litigation, copyright matters, practically everything.

In every case, we’ve been very pleased with the result.

If we have to go to trial, I can’t think of a better team to bring to trial.

They have the best client relationship skills of any firm I’ve dealt with. I’m not talking about dinners or tickets to a Maverick’s game. On their own time and their own dime – they’ll do a whole presentation on what the case is about.

They are so thoughtful on the front end in terms of what you need to know about a case.

They return phone calls right away. They don’t nickel and dime you for five minutes, or even 20 minutes. Those types of things go a long way.

I sent an email about my case, and got an email from Tom in five minutes.

I’m a big fan of Tom and Steve.

You find that same attitude to solve problems with everyone  at the firm.

Sterling Miller

Sabre Holdings

3150 Sabre Drive

Southlake, TX 76092

Nathan Moore, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Mary Kay

Steve and the firm have helped us with patent litigation and high-stakes commercial litigation.

Steve truly understands the role of general counsel – the intricacies and the details.

To be a good outside counsel and add value, you must have a keen understanding of your client’s business.

One of Steve’s strengths is understanding our business.

If it’s a patent litigation matter, then by definition it’s a very serious litigation matter.

Something that we would get Fish and Steve involved in.

They’ve delivered again and again.

At the end of the day, they deliver results.

We’ve recommended them on several occasions.

Nathan Moore

Mary Kay

16251 Dallas Parkway

Addison, TX 75001

Rick W. Merrill, CEO & President, Cook Children’s Health Care System

I was introduced to the fine attorneys at FR when I was working in Corpus Christi at Driscoll Children’s Hospital where they handled a couple of qui tam lawsuits.

We had a lot on our plate to deal with, obviously, and Steve and Tom did great work for us.

We settled with the federal government for pennies on the dollar.

The team at Fish & Richardson did a remarkable job at helping position Driscoll Children’s in the best way possible.

They are on my speed dial. If we ever have to punch that button, they’re on the top of my list

These are good guys and they know their stuff. This is a firm that clearly understands the law and they do a great job of working through the issues with an organization in order to drive a favorable outcome.

Rick Merrill

Cook Children’s Healthcare System

801 Seventh Avenue

Fort Worth, TX 76104

Ross Gatlin, CEO/Managing Partner, Prophet Equity LLC

We found something rare at Fish & Richardson.

Fish & Richardson and Steve were recommended to me by a lot of folks who I respect.

Steve is obviously a litigator.

When we first talked, I outlined a decision I was facing, and his advice was counterintuitive for a litigator. He told me, ‘Ross a lawsuit is like cancer; you want to avoid it in every possible way.’ That gave me enormous confidence in this guy. For him to recommend something so opposite of what you would expect from a lawyer is why he earned my trust immediately.

I don’t think you can ask an attorney to be more thoughtful and practical than Steve Stodghill.

He uses wisdom, judgment and experience to make calculated decisions on how to handle things.

He is the best form of warrior. There’s nothing more that Steve Stodghill wants than a good fight. He loves the battle. He loves the taste of blood. But years of wisdom have taught him when not draw the sword. That’s rare, and that’s what impresses me most about Stodghill.

He’ll say ‘I could get you another five or ten million, but you have to decide if that’s a good use of your time.’ I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away from situations that others would view as an opportunity because Steve knew it was a bad situation.

He has enough experience to get really involved in the important parts of a case, and to delegate the rest to a great team and let them stand on their own.

These guys are focused on the right priority issues. They don’t lose the forest for the trees, and they don’t try to boil the ocean.

Steve is a Renaissance man among lawyers. I don’t think of him as a lawyer, he’s a business advisor.

Ross Gatlin

Prophet Equity LLC

1460 Main Street, Suite 200

Southlake, TX 76092

Dr. Greg Pearl, Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center

We were involved with a physician practice management company that was underperforming, and things went from bad to worse. We had an ironclad contract not to complete that would have prevented us from practicing vascular surgery in Texas.

They showed and proved that it would have been a  true hardship for the community to lose our the vascular services provided by our group.

We got a summary judgment. We kicked their butt.

I’ve referred them to several other clients.

Steve is a fantastic communicator. We had a great experience with them.

They explained everything that was going on in our case.

Steve and I have become great friends.

Dr. Greg Pearl

Baylor University Medical Center

621 N. Hall Street, Suite 100

Dallas, TX 75226

Randy Hyne, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Fossil Partners, L.P.

I’ve been very satisfied with the work they’ve done for us. Over the years, we’ve had to fight off several patent trolls, and they’ve done a good job for us.

A lot of law firms rely on email, but we have lot of phone calls and in person meetings.

I’ve referred cases to them. In fact, an attorney who used to work for me is now with another company and he also works with Fish & Richardson.

Randy Hyne

Fossil Partners, L.P.

2280 N. Greenville Ave.

Richardson, TX 75082

David Kiger, President and CEO, Worldwide Express

We’ve worked with them for the whole 10 years they’ve been at Fish & Richardson, and worked with them before then.

The core group of Stodghill, Melsheimer and Harper are who we’ve worked with the most.

I have taken any and all litigation to them, and they have handled all of those cases to our complete satisfaction.

As a large franchise-based company, we’ve had quite a few legal matters arise over the years, and we always call on Steve and Tom. They’re just the best.

I refer to him as the ‘Wizard of Stodg.’ He’s always been able to handle the work, no matter that I’ve brought to him. He will find a way to work through everything. No matter has ever confounded him or left us in a position where we didn’t think we were completely protected.

They’ve handled our contract matters, large and small.

When we started working with Steve and Tom, we were a $40 million company. Now we’re in excess of $300 million. I guess you can say we’ve grown along with them over the years.

Litigation for a business can be very unsettling, but they have a great way of making you feel comfortable and explaining the issues in a way that lets you know they understand your case.

David Kiger

Worldwide Express

2828 Routh Street, Suite 400

Dallas, TX 75201

Mark Jennings, Managing Partner, Generation Partners

As long as I was able to avoid litigation professionally, I didn’t need Steve. When I did, he was the first person I called.

Steve is our first phone call. It doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Steve is a quarterback; he knows how to lead. He’s just so trustworthy and loyal.

He’s someone who’s kept every friend he’s had.

He’ll drop everything he’s doing, jump on a plane and do whatever it takes to help us out.

Steve has the biggest brain of anyone I’ve ever met.

What’s so interesting about Steve is that he can just remember everything he’s ever learned. He’s the closest I’ve ever known to someone with a  photographic memory. In litigation it’s priceless. He devours information.

I’ve recommended him and other attorneys at the firm on many, many occasions.

Maybe Steve is Batman, who knows?

Mark Jennings

Generation Partners

One Greenwhich Office Park

Greenwhich, CT 06831-5156


J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law 1987

B.A., University of Texas 1983
magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


  • Texas 1987
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Memberships & Affiliations

Memberships Dallas Bar Association; American Bar Association; Research Fellow, Southwestern Legal Foundation; Charter Member, Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court; Texas Bar Foundation.

Philanthropic Activities

AFI/Dallas International Film Festival/Dallas Film Society

  • ​Advisory Board Member, 2006-2015
  • Executive Board, 2008-2009, 2012-2015
  • Inaugural Chair of Festival, 2009
  • Recipient, The Stodghill Award for lifetime contribution to support of film in Dallas, 2016
  • Host Classic Movie Night:
    • 2007 North by Northwest​
    • 2008 The Searchers
    • 2009 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    • 2010 Touch of Evil
    • 2011 Giant
    • 2012 Singing in the Rain
    • 2013 Sweet Smell of Success
    • 2014 In the Heat of the Night​
    • ​2015 The Hustler​
    • 2016 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

American Film Institute

  • National Advisory Council, 2011-2016
  • Chair, 2016
  • Vice Chair, 2012-2016
  • Business Council for The Arts

  • Host, The Obelisk Awards, 2016
    • Cancer Blows

      • Chair, Gala 2016

      Circle 10 Council, Boy Scouts of America

      • ​Board, 2014-2016

      Constituting America

      • ​Chair, Constituting America Dinner Honoring Texas Governor Rick Perry, 2011

      Dallas Contemporary

      • Founding Member

      Dallas Opera

      • Board Member, 2012-2015
      • Chair, First Night Dinner, 2015
      • Host, Kick-off Party, 2012

      Dallas Summer Musicals

      • Board Member, 2010-2016
      • Executive Committee, 2012-2016
      • Host, Priscilla Queen of the Desert Cast Party, 2013
      • Host, Nice Work If You Can Get It Cast Party, 2014
      • Host, 42nd Street Cast Party, 2016

      Dallas Symphony Orchestra

      • Chair, Gala, 2013
      • Host, Gala Kick-off Party, 2013


      • Honorary Chair, 2015
      • Style Council, 2014
      • Host, Burgers and Burgandy Fundraiser, 2012

      John Wayne Cancer Foundation

      • Chair, John Wayne Film Festival, 2014
      • Honorary Chair, John Wayne Film Festival, 2015​​

      Leadership Foundation

      • Recipient, Business Leadership Award, 2012

      Meadows Museum

      • Fiftieth Anniversary Ambassador
      • Founding Chair, John Alexander Membership Society

      Mission Olé

      • Host Fundraiser

      North Texas Food Bank

      • Honorary Chair, Harvest, 2015

      Parish Episcopal School

      • Capital Campaign, External Relations Committee

      Ronald McDonald House

      • Host, Kick-off Party, 2016

      SMU Tate Lecture Series

      • Board Member, 2008-2013
      • Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, 2010-2011
      • Nomination Committee, 2012-2013


      • Honorary Chair, Fur Ball, 2016

      Special Care and Career Services/LaunchAbility

      • Inaugural Chair of Special Evening Event, 2003
      • Board Member, 2006-2011
      • Honorary Chair of Special Evening Event, 2007
      • Inaugural Chair of Community Advisory Board, 2011-2012
      • Recipient, Milton Levy Award for Lifetime Service, 2012
      • Foundation Trustee, 2012
      • Host, Special Evening Kick-off Party, 2013
      • Host, Special Evening Kick-off Party, 2015

      Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEEDS)

      • Chair, NBA All Star Game VIP Party, 2010

      Turtle Creek Recovery Center

      • Founder, A Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge, 2010
      • ​Honorary Chair, A Night at the Turtle Creek Karaoke Lounge, 2012

      University of Texas

      • Advisory Board, School of Liberal Arts, 2014-2016
      • Board, Harry Ransom Center, 2016
      • Host of Reception for Director of Harry Ransom Center, Stephen Enniss, to promote Spring Gala, 2016
      • Lifetime Member, The Littlefield Society
      • Chancellor's Council, 2016
      • Host, Reception Honoring Law School Dean, Ward Farnsworth, 2016

      USA Film Festival

      • Opening Night Host with Jennifer Grant and David Hyde Pierce, 2011
      • Screening Host: To Catch a Thief, 2011

      Vince Young Foundation/Leadership Foundation

      • Chair, Boots and Bling Gala, 2012​

    Other Distinctions

    Mr. Stodghill was profiled in the cover story of the February 21, 2000 issue of the Texas Lawyer: “When it’s a serious issue, and [Mark] Cuban figures an opponent is after his deep pockets, the billionaire entrepreneur says he asks Stodghill to take care of the problem. “When there is even a hint of a threat, I put Stodg on them to ‘Stodg them,’ meaning pull out all the stops and let them know they are dealing with Steve Stodghill and they don’t have a chance,” Cuban says.

    Mr. Stodghill has an extensive film acting and producing career, which can be seen at  In 2007, Mr. Stodghill played the role of Luke Wilson’s lawyer in The Wendell Baker Story (co-starring Owen Wilson, Will Farrell, Eva Mendes and Harry Dean Stanton), a performance, which Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Observer described as “the best thing in the movie.” In 2008, Mr. Stodghill appeared in the film Karma Police, in 2010 Mr. Stodghill was featured in the documentary Dinner, in 2015 Mr. Stodghill was featured in the film Occupy, Texas, in 2016 Mr. Stodghill appeared in the documentary The Starck Club and in 2017 Mr. Stodghill will be featured in the film Undying.

    Mr. Stodghill has appeared in print as a character in three thrillers by Harry Hunsicker, the former executive vice president of the Mystery Writers of America: Shadow Boys (Thomas & Mercer, December 2014); The Grid (Thomas & Mercer, August 2015); and The Devil’s Country (Thomas & Mercer, March 2017).

    The Stodg Burger is a widely known, mammoth hamburger named for Mr. Stodghill.  It has been on the menu at The Porch since the restaurant was opened in 2007 by local restaurateur Tristan Simon. Topped with a fried egg, bacon and foie gras butter, the Stodg Burger recently helped The Porch claim the title as one of the Top 10 burger joints in the country as determined by reviewers on Foursquare: has been named a top 5 burger in the State of Texas by Texas Monthly and in 2007 was named by the Dallas Observer as “Best Excuse for a Heart Attack.”

    “Punitive Damages: Standard less Juries, Due Process & Current Reform,” address before the American Bar Association Litigation section Meeting Business Torts Committee (Aug. 9, 1993); Co-Author: with Thomas M. Melsheimer, “Annual Survey to Texas Law: Damages,” 46 Southern Methodist University Law Review 1315, Spring 1993; “Due Process and Punitive Damages: Providing Meaningful Guidance to the Jury,” 47 Southern Methodist University Law Review 329, January/February 1994; with Thomas M. Melsheimer and Diana L. Faust, “The Law of Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Work on Progress,” The Review of Litigation, University of Texas School of Law, Summer 1994; Author: “Anita Hill’s Legacy: While Texas Courts Tighten the Boundaries, Juries Pave the Way for Sexual Harassment Plaintiffs,” Texas Lawyer Labor & Employment Law Supplement, Volume 12, Number 15, June 24, 1995; “The Top Ten Factors in Evaluating a Sexual Harassment Case,” Texas Lawyer Labor & Employment Law Supplement, Volume 12, Number 15, June 24, 1995; with M. Brett Johnson, “Race and Sex Discrimination,” University of Houston Advanced Employment Law Seminar, February (Dallas) and March (Houston), 1997; with M. Brett Johnson and Rene Skinner, “Race and Sex Discrimination,” University of Houston Advanced Employment Law Seminar, March (Dallas, Houston), 1998; with M. Brett Johnson and Thomas E. Gavigan, “Race and Sex Discrimination,” University of Houston Advanced Employment Law Seminar, February (Dallas, Houston), 1999; “Rolling the Dice: A Plaintiff and Defense Perspective on Texas Employment Law,” ABA Litigation Section 1999 Annual Meeting, April 1999; “Arbitration Risk: Why Arbitration is Not Necessarily Better, Faster, or Cheaper Than Litigation,” Fish Litigation Blog, November 2016; Arbitration Risks, Part Two: Inside the Arbitration Process, Fish Litigation Blog, January 2017 (co-author).

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