Michael S. Carnahan
Education, Honors, Distinctions
- Texas Super Lawyer 2006-present
- Martindale Hubbell – Peer review AV rated for over 20 years
- Successfully tried over 100 civil jury trials to verdict
- Member, Advocate Level, American Board of Trial Advocates 2005- Present
- University of Texas School of Law, J.D. 1983
- University of Texas at Austin, School of Business, B.B.A., Finance 1980
Michael S. Carnahan, was born December 4, 1957, in Amarillo, Texas. Mike earned his BBA in finance from The University of Texas in 1980 and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1983. Licensed in 1983, Mike practiced with one of Dallas’ oldest law firms, Touchstone, Bernays, Johnston, Beall & Smith from 1983-2003, and was a shareholder with that firm from 1989-2003, leaving in February 2003 to start his own firm, Carnahan Thomas. Mike has enjoyed a statewide practice representing clients in insurance cases on both sides of the docket, as well as clients in the corporate sector. Mike’s litigation practice has included claims involving personal injury, commercial liability, premises liability, insurance bad faith, professional liability, auto liability, products liability, and other general negligence litigation and claims.
Mike has been recognized with an AV “Preeminent “rating from Martindale-Hubbell, their highest rating for professional ethics and excellence, and has maintained that distinction in excess of twenty years. He has been named a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2006 and was named as one of Best’s Recommended Insurance Attorneys for over ten years, as well as being named one of Tarrant County’s Top Attorneys (personal injury-defense) by Fort Worth Magazine in 2007 and 2008. Mike was also named state-wide “Litigator of the Week” by The Texas Lawyer newspaper in 2011 for his representation of a corporation in a commercial lawsuit filed by a corporate franchisee.
Mike was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an exclusive national organization of trial attorneys, in October 2005, and is ranked as an “advocate” member with the Dallas ABOTA chapter, a level of membership requiring both nomination and election by a majority of existing member attorneys, and documented proof of at least 40 jury trials to conclusion. Mike has successfully tried over 100 jury trials to conclusion in his legal career.
Focusing on litigation for the entirety of his 34 years of practice, Mike has completed jury trials involving all manner of personal injury and death cases as well as commercial lawsuits, including first-party insurance litigation, automobile and trucking accidents, commercial disputes, civil assaults, arson, premises liability, water rights and trespass. For the last several years, one of the focus areas of Mike’s practice has been cases involving property damage, and more particularly property damage caused by storms, as well as the coverage issues relating to those claims. Mike has handled well over 400 such property damage cases to resolution and has significant experience in the valuation of such claims from both the defense and plaintiff side of the docket, and has served as an umpire in property damage cases as well. In 2017, Mike began pursuing a full time mediation practice.
Few mediators have Mike’s level of trial experience; Mike’s substantial trial experience brings a unique perspective to the mediation process. Because of his experience and expertise in jury trials, he is exceptionally qualified to fairly assess the risks to all parties in the event of a trial, which can be instrumental in his efforts to resolve cases.
Mike has been a member of the State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association, Northeast Tarrant County Bar Association, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Research Institute, and Best’s Directories of Recommended Insurance Attorneys.
He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1983 and is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas.
Mike and his wife Nancy have four sons. In his free time, he serves on the Board of Directors of White Chapel United Methodist Church, in Southlake, Texas, and the Board of Directors for the Southlake Baseball Association. He has coached his sons’ little league baseball teams for over 10 years.