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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Dan Cogdell

  • Position: Principal & Founder
  • Email: dan@cogdell-law.com
  • Phone: (713) 426-2244
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Untold attorneys call themselves “trial lawyers.” The truth is, very few are. Dan Cogdell is not only a trial lawyer, he’s an iconic one. 

Cogdell has tried literally hundreds of cases in 20 different states and in too many jurisdictions to count. He has successfully represented a Governor, the Attorney General of Texas, a Mayor, dozens of lawyers and Judges, Physicians, CEOs, Police officers, a Branch Davidian, a Heisman Trophy winner, an Emmy award winners, a Grammy award winner, multiple World Champion motorcycle racers and too many “regular people” to list. 

Dan’s courtroom success has been the focus of numerous books and countless interviews in all forms of media. In 2019, the Peacock Network covered Dan’s courtroom win in the Branch Davidian trial. That same win was the focus of Paramount studios in 2023 where Dan was portrayed by Giovanni Ribissi in the five part-series Waco: The Aftermath.  

Today, Cogdell focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, federal criminal defense, criminal appeals, grand jury investigations, and fraud cases, making him a sought-after advocate for clients facing cases other attorneys deem “unwinnable”.

Cogdell’s journey to legal prominence began when he earned his JD with highest honors from South Texas College of Law. He did a stint as a briefing attorney for Presiding Judge John F. Onion, Jr of the highest criminal appeals court in Texas-the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin. He was then hired by the legendary Richard “Racehorse” Haynes at Haynes & Fullenweider, where he honed his skills, distinguished himself as an aggressive litigator and became the youngest partner in the history of that firm. Cogdell left the firm in 1988 to start his own firm where he remains today.

While with “Racehorse” Haynes (who was by most accounts the greatest criminal defense lawyer of his generation), Cogdell worked on many historic trials of that era. One such trial was in Kerrville, Texas where Cogdell (literally) shocked himself with a cattle prod while cross examining the State’s pathologist who claimed that being shocked by the prod would cause death. The press noted that “Cogdell survived the cross far better than the pathologist.” That trial is also the focus of an upcoming film which is currently in production in Los Angeles, and which will also be the focus of a BBC documentary this Fall.

Cogdell’s storied career includes the successful defense of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against a battery of twenty Articles of Impeachment before the Texas Senate in the Fall of 2023. Earlier, in one of the world’s most notorious corporate corruption cases in history – the Enron scandal-Dan was the sole lawyer to obtain an acquittal for his client. He also led the defense of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a renowned cancer treatment doctor. In 2022 Dan and successfully defended the head of logistics for a global chemical producer whose plant exploded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation. 

One of the top criminal attorneys in Texas, Cogdell convinced a Harris County Grand Jury to not return charges after a euthanasia/mercy killing investigation. Dan obtained the acquittal of his Psychiatric physician of all charges in the “Spring Shadows Glenn Psychiatric Fraud Trial”. He secured the acquittal of a former state district judge and city council member in the of all charges levied against him in the “Houston City Hall Bribery Case.”

His other notable achievements include the acquittal of all charges for a former New Orleans City Attorney accused of Conspiracy, Bribery, and Corruption as well as acquittal of charges including Perjury and Obstruction of Justice for the former head of the Texas Department Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division.

In addition to the media coverage listed above, Cogdell’s legendary courtroom performances have been recounted in numerous books, articles, and law school lessons. He’s been profiled by Texas MonthlyTexas Tribune, and LawDragon. He’s been a sought-after legal commentator and guest for decades and has appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Good Morning America, the Today Show, “Prosecuting Evil” on the Oxygen Network and multiple other shows.

Dan is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a privilege reserved for the top 2% of lawyers in the United States and one of only five criminal lawyers in Texas currently admitted. 

He is Band 1 ranked in Chambers in Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, also listed in Woodward & White’s The Best Lawyers in America and is an active member of legal associations including the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is admitted to practice in multiple Federal Districts across the nation, as well as the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits. 

Though he’s fierce in his legal endeavors, he’s a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Lastly, Dan is a passionate motorcyclist and collector of vintage motorcycles, a connoisseur of all forms of music, and an ardent supporter of his friend and fellow motorcyclist, Lyle Lovett. 

  • J.D., with highest honors, South Texas College of Law, 1982  
  • B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1979 
  • The Branch Davidian trial 
  • The trial of alternative cancer treatment doctor Stanislaw Burzynski 
  • The Houston City Hall Bribery case 
  • The Enron Barge Trial (Merrill Lynch case) 
  • The Arkema Trial
  • Impeachment Trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
  • State Bar of Texas  
  • United States District Court for the Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Western districts of Texas  
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth circuits  
  • United States Supreme Court 
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
    • Past President & Lawyer of the Year
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • State Bar of Texas  
  • Houston Bar Association  
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association  
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers  
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association  
  • Dallas County Bar Association  
  • South Texas College of Law  
  • University of Houston Law Center  
  • Texas Tech School of Law  
  • University of Texas School of Law  
  • Harvard Law School  
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates