Our team includes former prosecutors in the U.S. and Europe and has worked on some of the most significant cases to date in the UK. Thanks to our past governmental and recent defence experience, our lawyers are known and respected by leading prosecutors and regulators in the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

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— M. K.

Brent E. Newton

  • Position: Of Counsel
  • Email: bnewton@cogdell-law.com
  • Phone: (713) 426-2244

Brent Newton’s unparalleled expertise in federal criminal law and procedure magnifies the force that Cogdell Law Firm brings to bear for its clients.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brent graduated from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Kent Scholar, a Stone Scholar, and Senior Editor at the Columbia Law Review. He followed his academic achievements with a prestigious clerkship at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Brent put his scholarly and practical training to good use as a federal and state public defender for sixteen years, including time as a staff attorney for the Texas Death Penalty Resource Center. He racked up a stellar record of successes in trials, appeals, and post-conviction cases, including a number of capital cases. His career as a public defender culminated in a habeas corpus case in which Brent’s client was adjudged to be innocent, setting the stage for a substantial award of compensation from the State of Texas for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

The next ten years saw Brent as the deputy director of the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C., where he managed a staff of nearly 100 employees and was the primary author of five influential Commission publications.

Brent’s scholarly endeavors include three books published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, multiple law-review articles, and book chapters. He has shared his expertise during adjunct professorships at American University and Georgetown University, during a visiting professorship at Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson Law School, and by serving as a lecturer in law at the University of Houston Law Center, enlightening young minds in such courses as Criminal Litigation, Criminal Procedure, Civil Remedies, Civil Procedure, and Legal Ethics.

  • B.A. with highest honors, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (Phi Beta Kappa), 1989
  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law (Kent Scholar, Stone Scholar, Senior Editor – Columbia Law Review), 1992
  • Texas; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Florida (inactive) 
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, and Southern districts of Texas and District of Maryland 
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth circuits 
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute, 2010  
  • Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” Rating   
  • Student Bar Association’s “Adjunct Professor of the Year,” 2013-2014, Washington College of Law, American University  
  • Student Bar Association’s “Adjunct Professor of the Year,” 2008-2009, University of Houston Law Center  
  • Named “Outstanding Assistant Federal Defender, 2006” (one of four nationally) by the National Association of Federal Defenders  
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar, 1987


  • Trial Advocacy in Action (NITA/LEXIS 2015)  
  • Practical Criminal Procedure: A Constitutional Manual (4th ed., NITA/LEXIS 2021)  
  • Criminal Litigation and Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure (5th ed., NITA/Wolters Kluwer 2023)  
  • Incentivizing Ineffective-Assistance-of-Counsel Claims Raised on Direct Appeal: Why Appellate Courts Should Remand “Colorable” Claims for Evidentiary Hearings, 22 J. App. Prac. & Process 107 (2022)
  • A Partial Fix of a Broken Guideline: A Proposed Amendment to Section 2G2.2 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, 70 Case Western Reserve L. Rev. 53 (2020) 
  • Recurring Ethical Issues Related to Federal Sentencing, 43 J. of the Legal Prof. 25 (2018)  
  • The History of the Original United States Sentencing Commission, 1985-87, 45 Hofstra L. Rev. 1167 (2017) (co-authored with Dawinder Sidhu)  
  • The Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Scorecard, 13 Stanford Journal of Civ. Rts. & Civ. Liberties 1 (2017)  
  • The Real-World Fourth Amendment, 43 Hastings Const. L. Quarterly 759 (2016)  
  • The Story of Federal Probation, 53 Amer. Crim. L. Rev. 311 (2016)  
  • Three chapters – Mental Health Issues in Federal Criminal Practice, Pretrial Statements, and Constitutional Issues that Arise During Trial – in Defending a Federal Criminal Case (2010)  
  • Four entries – Retroactivity, The Eighth Amendment, Substantive Due Process, and Professional Baseball Cases – in The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillian Reference USA 2008) 
  • “Hot Topics in the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Jurisprudence” – Federal Public Defender’s Office/CLE for CJA Panel Attorneys; Phoenix, AZ;  March 2020
  • Annual or Biannual Presentations on Legal Ethics, Immigration Offenses, Firearms Offenses, Child Pornography Offenses, and Federal Supervised Release, at U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Annual National Seminars on the Sentencing Guidelines; 2007-2019; Philadelphia, PA; Orlando, FL; New Orleans, LA; San Diego, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Minneapolis, MN; Baltimore, MD; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA
  • “Sentencing in Securities Fraud Cases” – ABA’s Fifth Annual Institute on Securities Fraud; New Orleans, LA; October 2010
  • Annual Presentations on Federal Habeas Corpus Practice, Mental Health Issues in Criminal Law, Federal Pretrial Motions Practice, and Federal Sentencing Issues Advanced Criminal Law Course (State Bar of Texas); 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007-2009, 2011; Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX
  • Regular Presentations on Firearms Offenses, Immigration Offenses, Pretrial Motions Practice, and Title III Wiretaps – “Winning Strategies” Seminars (sponsored by the Defender Services Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts); 2002-2009; Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; Miami, FL; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA; Albuquerque, NM; Memphis, TN; Seattle, WA