Dallas divorce lawyer Michelle May O’Neil presented a speech on pretrial appellate remedies entitled Mandamus and More.  The continuing education conference for Texas divorce lawyers was titled Family Law on the Front Lines and it was held at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort June 18-19, 2009.

Ms. O’Neil discussed the standards for pursing mandamus appellate remedies when a trial court makes an error in the middle of a case, prior to trial, that requires review before a trial can be held.  She, together with co-presenter Rick Flowers of McEvily and Flowers in Houston, discussed the seminal mandamus case of Walker v. Packer that set for the standards for seeking mandamus as requiring a 1) clear abuse of discretion by the trial court, and 2) lack of adequate remedy by appeal at the conclusion of the case.  Further, she reviewed the impact of the 2004 Texas Supreme Court opinion in In re Prudential, which expanded the examination of the adequacy of appellate remedy by adding a balancing test of the detriments versus benefits of mandamus review.  Lastly, Ms. O’Neil examined the 2008 Texas Supreme Court opinion in McAllen Medical Center, which clarified the Prudential balancing test to include an analysis of the expenditure of money, time and judicial resources if mandamus is not considered.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.