Michelle Y. Ku

Partner

Overview

Michelle is a business litigator who has successfully represented businesses and individuals in various industries in high-stakes trials and appeals, and in matters involving local, state and federal governments. Her practice focuses on business cases involving tax controversy, intellectual property, and energy, regulatory, and commercial issues. Her recent trial experience includes litigating an issue of first impression involving claimed deductions under I.R.C. § 199, defending against trade secret, non-compete, and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims, and prosecuting fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims. Michelle also has appellate experience in state and federal courts.

Michelle’s creative legal reasoning and strategies have helped her clients win significant verdicts, including a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a recent business fraud and theft case, and other favorable results, including dismissal of a trademark lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction, dismissal of a class action lawsuit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where damages sought exceeded $1 billion, and denial of class certification in a putative class action arising from the sale of allegedly defective mobile devices. Whether the circumstances require tactful extrajudicial negotiations to resolve burgeoning business disputes or bet-the-business litigation before a judge, jury, arbitral panel, or government agency, Michelle is a fierce advocate for her clients at every stage. In addition to taking her clients’ cases from initial investigation through trial and into successful appeals, Michelle counsels clients on dispute avoidance and implementing strategies geared toward resolving business challenges early and minimizing risk and liability in operations going forward. 

Michelle is a member of the Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice as well as the Tax, Intellectual Property, and Energy Litigation Practices and Energy Industry Team. Michelle was honored in 2018 with the Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyers award from the Texas Diversity Council and was recognized by D Magazine as one of its Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas.

Prior to joining the firm, Michelle clerked for Judge Catharina Haynes at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Michelle earned her law degree with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was honored as a member of Chancellors, the law school’s most prestigious honor society, and Order of the Coif.  Before pursuing her career as a lawyer, Michelle was a television sportscaster and teacher in Korea.  

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • Barrister, The Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court (2018)
  • Associate, The Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court (2017-2018)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Dallas Regional Chamber Young Professionals (YP)

Honors & Awards

  • Honored, Dallas Top 50 Women Lawyers Award, Texas Diversity Council (2018)
  • Recognized, The Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas, D Magazine (2018)

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with high honors, 2010)
    • Staff Editor, The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law
    • Chancellor-at-Large, Chancellors Honor Society
    • Member, Order of the Coif
    • Co-President, Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
    • Vice Magister, Phi Delta Phi
  • The University of California at Los Angeles (B.A., magna cum laude, 2005)
    • Asian Humanities

Admissions

  • Texas State Courts
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Languages Spoken

  • Korean, Conversant