Mike Baggett Selected for 2013 DBF Fellows Award
by Talmage Boston
On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the Dallas Bar Foundation will honor Mike Baggett, of Winstead PC, as this year’s recipient of the Fellows Award, at a luncheon to be held at the Belo Mansion. The award honors an attorney “who has adhered to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, and has served the community and the profession with the highest ethical standards.”
Timothy Mountz, this year’s Chair of the Dallas Bar Foundation, explained why Mike is a good choice to receive the Fellows Award: “Mike Baggett is a role model for every lawyer in Dallas. One of Mike’s core values is loyalty—to his family, his firm, his school, to the profession and to our community. He has achieved so much in his remarkable career, and done it in a way that has made our profession better. He is proud to be a lawyer, and he constantly reminds everyone around him of everything our profession stands for. There is no one more deserving of the Fellows award than Mike Baggett.”
The wide-ranging respect Mike has received from his peers in the legal profession and the community over the course of his 40-year career is demonstrated by the frequency with which he has been asked to lead organizations. For the Dallas Bar Association, Mike has served as President of the DBA in 2000 and Chairman of its Board of Directors in 1996 and also served on the Board of Directors for the State Bar of Texas. In the Dallas community, he has been Chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber in 2010; Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association in 1996-1998; Chairman of Downtown Dallas from 1999‑2000; and President and Chairman of many associations and foundations connected with his alma maters, Texas A&M University and Baylor University Law School.
On the business side, Mike served as CEO of the Winstead PC law firm from 1992-2006, where he led his colleagues to always strive to succeed through teamwork because “We Strengthens Me.” Current Winstead PC CEO Kevin Sullivan, who has practiced law with Mike Baggett for over 30 years, gives this perspective on Mike’s contributions in so many areas: “Whether it’s the practice of law, his service to the bar or his involvement in many civic arenas, Mike does them all the same way: with energy, effectiveness and humor. All of us at Winstead have always been proud of Mike for his many accomplishments, and congratulate him on his well-deserved Fellows Award.”
In the midst of Mike’s many professional and community accomplishments, his status as a super lawyer sometimes gets overlooked. He’s the author of leading treatises published by Matthew Bender: Texas Foreclosure Law and Practice, Real Estate Litigation and Lender Liability Law and Litigation, all of which have been cited often by appellate courts all over Texas. He is a board certified (and recertified) Civil Trial Law specialist, who has first chaired over 50 jury trials, won six cases before the Texas Supreme Court and served as chairman of three Texas Supreme Court Task Forces.
Such achievements have caused Mike Baggett to be recognized as a recipient of “Who’s Who in American Law,” the “Best Lawyers in America,” a “Super Lawyer,” the “Top 10 Business Litigators in Dallas/Fort Worth,” and the State Bar of Texas’ Judge Sam Williams Bar Leadership Award.
Mike believes a lawyer’s most important talent is problem solving, and it has been the key to his success in leading area groups through times of crisis. When the DBA’s need for more meeting rooms and parking became critical over 15 years ago, Mike and Robert Jordan began the drive for “Mansion Expansion,” which resulted in the construction of The Pavilion at the Belo Mansion and underground parking facility. When the Cotton Bowl Classic faced the loss of Mobil Oil as a sponsor, Mike helped find a successor sponsor in Southwestern Bell (now AT&T). He also helped persuade the board to transfer the game from the stadium at Fair Park to Cowboys Stadium, a move likely to put the AT&T Cotton Bowl into the BCS in the near future. And as head of the Chamber’s Transportation Committee during a time of massive population growth, Mike successfully persuaded Austin legislators and the North Texas Tollway Authority to provide additional funding for new and improved tollways and highways.
Though Mike Baggett has many years ahead of him as a top-flight lawyer who makes a positive contribution to his profession and the citizens of North Texas year-in and year-out, he already knows his ultimate goals, “At the end of my life, I want to look back and feel like my contributions made my profession and my community better.” The Dallas legal profession and the community have become better places because Mike Baggett came to town in 1973, and what he has done, and continues to do, make him a worthy recipient of this year’s Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Award.
Talmage Boston is a shareholder at Winstead PC, and can be reached at email@example.com.