David Merkley

Partner / Houston

P: 281.573.8832

David Merkley is a board-certified trial lawyer and Co-Chair of the firm’s litigation group and trial team. He is frequently retained in high-profile catastrophic accident cases to assume the defense or to navigate through complicated discovery issues leading to trial. He has tried dozens of cases to verdict and has been involved in several record-setting settlements for companies seeking to avoid the publicity of a jury trial. David is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and was elected as one of the youngest members of the Houston chapter. He also has been recognized by Thompson Reuters as a Texas Super Lawyer each year since 2008. This is a distinction limited to five percent of attorneys statewide. Previous to this, he was recognized as a Texas Rising Star, which is limited to three percent of attorneys under age 40, from 2005-2007.

As a trial lawyer, David has a broad base of corporate clients as well as excess insurance carriers who require trial counsel monitoring or the assumption of a party’s defense in matters that are heading to trial. He has defended oil companies (on and offshore) as well as oilfield service companies because of explosions, chemical releases, and other injury events. He represents large motor carriers and others within the transportation industry because of catastrophic accidents resulting in fatalities or serious bodily injuries. He also has defended a variety of manufacturers in products liability suits across several different industries.

David is licensed to practice law in Texas and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and all state and federal district courts in Texas. He also has been hired as trial counsel on a pro hac basis to defend cases outside of Texas and is expanding his national presence with the firm’s growing footprint across the country.

Practice Areas

Practice Areas

  • Energy and Oilfield Services
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • General Maritime
  • Insurance Defense


  • J.D., Baylor Law School, 1996
    • Baylor Law Review—Senior Notes and Comments Editor, Assistant Managing Editor
    • Order of the Barristers
  • B.A., English, Brigham Young University, 1993

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas


  • Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2003-present)

Honors and Distinctions

  • Texas Super Lawyers® by Thompson Reuters (2008-present)
  • Recognized among Super Lawyers® Texas Rising Stars by Thompson Reuters (2005-2007)

Professional Memberships

  • Associate, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Editorial Board Member, Texas Bar Journal (2005–2008)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel (TADC)
  • Houston Bar Association – Oil, Gas & Mineral Law; Litigation; Construction sections
  • Travis County Bar Association
  • Texas Energy Law Association
  • Texas Trucking Association