Michael J. Whellan


DIRECT PHONE: 512.480.5734
DIRECT FAX: 512.480.5834


Michael Whellan represents clients before city and county governmental entities in land-use and business matters.  He also represents local and national clients in a variety of disputes, including those involving trade secrets, contracts, misrepresentations, fraud and product liability.

AV®Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale.com
Austin Business Journal Profile, June, 2012


  • Admitted to bar, 1990, Texas; 1992, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas; 1993, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; 1994, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas.
  • Education: University of Texas (Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program, B.A., with high honors, 1987; J.D., with honors, 1990). Phi Beta Kappa; Order of the Coif.
  • Briefing Attorney to the Honorable Lloyd Doggett, Supreme Court of Texas, 1990-1991. Robert W. Calvert Chapter of the American Inns of Court, 1996-1999.
  • 40-Hour Mediation Training, 1992.


  • Enjoin former employees for using confidential business information in violation of employment agreements and state law.
  • Defend suit by former employee and stakeholder over rights related to his interest in a major entertainment franchise and venue.
  • Sue property owner to seek declaration or rights and obligations under commercial lease with development restrictions.
  • Represented land owners in various litigation matters concerning easements, contracts, leases and city code interpretation.
  • Rezone 31-acre Austin Oaks’ site at Mopac and Spicewood Springs Rd to allow for the redevelopment of a mixed-use project.
  • Rezone properties at S. 1st and W. Riverside, and at Gibson and S. Lamar to allow dense multi-family development in the urban core.
  • Work with neighborhood association and neighborhood plan contact team to obtain rezoning of property for a branch bank.
  • Arbitration of claims against brokerage firms for churning, unsuitability and failure to supervise.
  • Represented securities dealer throughout Texas in connection with customer-list cases to enjoin former employees from utilizing such information.
  • Defended environmental consulting firm against allegations of professional negligence.
  • Assisted client in obtaining policy changes from municipal airport advisory board and City Council.
  • Advocated and negotiated for Austin Rowing Club’s successful award of the contract to manage the new Waller Creek Boathouse in the face of strong and technical opposition.
  • Negotiated the preservation and relocation of a downtown historic building.


Member: Austin Bar Association (Co-Chair Annual Bench Bar Conference, 2010 – 2013; Chair, Settlement Week Committee, 1995-1996; Co-Chair, Family Law Task Force, 1993-1995; Settlement Week Volunteer Mediator, 1992-2001; ADR Section; Civil Litigation Section; Co-Chair, Land Development Seminar, Real Estate Section, 2000-2006); American Bar Association (Litigation Section); State Bar of Texas (Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Secretary, 1996-1998, Treasurer, 1998-1999).


  • Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, J. Chrys Dougherty Award for probono service, 2014
  • Service Award – Hostelling International – USA, 2013
  • Texas Monthly, Super Lawyers®, published by Thomson Reuters, 2004-2006, 2013 -2015
  • Texas Monthly, Super Lawyers® Rising Star, published by Thomson Reuters, 2004
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association, Community Service Award, 2000.
  • Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, Pro Bono Recognition, 1995 – 2007.
  • State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Recognition for Service, 1999.
  • Heritage Society of Austin, Recognition for Service, 2001.


  • University of Texas, College of Pharmacy, UTech Dorm Room, Drug Dynamics Institute, Steering Committee 2012 – present.
  • Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) – Member, 2010 – present.
  • Anti-Defamation League – Board of Directors, 2015 – present.
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County – President 1999-2000; Board of Directors, 1994-2001; Founders Board, 2001-present.
  • Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas – President, 2000-2001; Board of Directors, 1997-2004; Volunteer Attorney.
  • Travis County Dispute Resolution Center – Board of Directors, 1995-1999; Advisory Board, 1999-present; Volunteer Mediator.
  • Leadership Austin, Class of 1996-1997.
  • Jewish Community Association of Austin – Board of Directors, 2003-2005.


  • Author/Speaker, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies, 18th Annual Land Development Seminar, October 29, 2010
  • Co-Author, Tips for Dealing with Local Governments, State Bar of Texas Advanced Real Estate Law Course – Summer, 2007.
  • Co-Author, What Attorneys Want From Mediators, The Texas Mediator – Fall, 2002.
  • Author/Speaker, Expert Liability in Real Estate Matters: What to Consider When Things Go Wrong, Eminent Domain – CLE International, Dallas, Texas June 14-15, 2001.