Principal & Founder
Principal and founding attorney at Cogdell Law Firm, Dan Cogdell, is often referred to by his contemporaries as a “Texas trial legend.” He has been practicing criminal defense law for 36 years, during which time he has handled some of the most complex and high-profile cases in the country.
He is particularly adept at representing individuals and entities in fraud and federal white collar crime matters and has secured winning verdicts in such cases as the Enron litigation and the Houston City Hall bribery case. Dan's reputation and results speak for themselves.
Background and Experience
Dan began his legal career as a briefing attorney for Judge John Onion, the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He later joined the Houston-based firm Haynes & Fullenweider, where he worked with the legendary Richard “Racehorse” Haynes for five years. Due to his successes, he became youngest attorney to make partner at Haynes & Fullenweider.
In 1988, Dan left to start his own law firm, bringing his brand of practice to a wider audience. Dan has been defending all types of criminal cases, including:
- White collar criminal matters
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
- Bank fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Medical fraud
- Governmental contracting fraud
- Murder charges
- Sophisticated white collar cases
Dan has also been hired in complex civil matters to be lead counsel when his particular courtroom skill set has been needed.
"It was unbelievably reassuring the reception Mr. Cogdell gets when entering the court room. I knew I was in good hands." - Former Client
Dan has served as trial counsel in nearly 300 cases tried by jury in over sixteen states and has obtained acquittals in a wide array of cases – from DWI to murder and everything in between. His experience as a trial attorney includes obtaining verdicts of “not guilty” in:
- The Enron litigation
- The Branch Davidian trial
- The trial of alternative cancer treatment physician involving Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski
Lifewise, he obtained the acquittal of Judge John Peavy, Jr. in the Houston City Hall scandal, “Operation Lightening Strike” (NASA), and has successfully represented defendants in multiple state cases.
His Involvement in the David Koresh Case
In 1996, when federal authorities prosecuted several David Koresh-followers who survived the deadly government assault on the Branch Davidian headquarters, Cogdell and several other attorneys signed on for the seemingly impossible job of defending the Davidians.
When the jury came back with “not guilty” verdicts in favor of his client, one media outlet praised Cogdell for the most memorable closing argument of the trial in which he ruthlessly picked apart the government's case until it appeared hollow at its very core.
Most recently, the Houston Chronicle described Cogdell as a “gunslinger of a Texas criminal lawyer” who “stood out against the mostly New York lawyers” in the first Enron criminal trial. Again, against all odds and popular sentiment, Cogdell and his client emerged victoriously; it was the lone acquittal in the entire round of Enron trials.
Dan is not only competitive in the courtroom. He has been an avid motorcycle racer for the past 40 years. As Dan puts it, “Overcoming fear is an absolute necessity for prevailing in a Courtroom. Racing motorcycles not only keeps me physically sharp, it helps me mentally as well. ‘Afraid' is not ever an adjective I want used to describe me.”
Dismissals of Charges in Various Criminal Cases
He has also obtained dismissals of charges in a wide array of criminal cases, including:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Money laundering
- Intoxicated manslaughter
- Securities fraud
- Bank fraud
- Tax fraud
- “Woodward White, Inc. Best Lawyers” (1994-2015)
- Texas Super Lawyers list (2002-2015)
- Alumnus of the Year by his Law School alma mater, South Texas College of Law in Houston
- Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2014, Mr. Cogdell was honored as an
- J.D., with Highest Honors, 1982. South Texas College of Law
- B.B.A., 1979. University of Texas at Austin
Admissions to Practice
- State Bar of Texas
- The United States Supreme Court
- The United States District Court: Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
- The United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Fifth Circuit
Bar Association Memberships
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association (Past President & Lawyer of the Year)
- Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Mr. Cogdell is a frequent lecturer and speaker. He has been engaged to lecture or speak at organizations such as:
- The State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
- Dallas County Bar Association
- South Texas College of Law
- University of Houston Law Center
- Texas Tech School of Law
- University of Texas School of Law
- Harvard Law School
Public Appearances & Media
Mr. Cogdell has made multiple appearances in the local, national, and global media, including:
- Megyn Kelly Today
- Oxygen: In Defense Of
- NBC Nightly News
- Dateline NBC
- Larry King Show
- Good Morning America
- The Today Show
- Court TV
- Nancy Grace
- American Justice
To learn more about Dan, call (713) 426-2244.
Put Experience on Your Side
& Excellence in Your Corner
- Mr. Cogdell has successfully handled many high profile criminal cases, including obtaining a verdict of "Not Guilty" in the Enron litigation, the Branch Davidian Trial and the Houston City Hall Bribery case.
- With our large legal team, we are better able to take on complex cases.
- Mr. Cogdell has served as lead trial counsel in nearly 300 cases tried by jury in over sixteen states.
- Our firm has earned a 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo.
- We have upheld a solid reputation for proven experience and excellence for decades.
Recent Blog Posts
Houston Police Arrest More Than 30 Drivers on Alleged DWI Charges in February
How You Can Have Your Texas Juvenile Criminal Record Sealed or Expunged
Understanding How Texas Prosecutes Adults and Teens for Sexting
What to Do If Your Minor Child is Arrested in Texas
How Jurisdiction is Determined in Texas Criminal Cases
Dan Cogdell definitely lives up to his firm's motto of "When Results Matter Most"“I was in jail with no bond over a weekend and had to appear in Court on Monday morning. My wife left a message for Mr. Cogdell on Sunday afternoon. He returned her call right away. He had his associate (because Dan was out of town) meet my wife in Court Monday morning and had me out on bond. Bec...
Dan was/is consistently professional, informative and 100% honest.“We were referred to Dan Cogdell regarding a criminal defense case by a well-known Houston attorney. After we initially met Dan, we knew he could be entrusted to defend our family member. Our decision was not just based on the fact that he was a power-house attorney, but more importantly to us, t...
I was very impressed with your great presentations and the attention to details“Please accept my deepest thanks for your involvement in my defense in the criminal litigation. Your participation was very important. Personally, I was very impressed with your great presentations and at the same time, the attention to the details and reactions of our adversaries.”
It was unbelievably reassuring the reception Mr. Cogdell gets when entering the court room. I knew I was in good hands.“I was pulled over for a routine speeding ticket. The police officer claimed I ran over his foot. I was arrested and put in jail for aggravated assault on a police officer. I spent over 24+ hours in jail. I have never been so scared or humiliated in my life. My sister in Georgia, did all the leg-...
The intensity of your focus and preparation is nothing short of incredible.“The intensity of your focus and preparation is nothing short of incredible. Your grasp of detail and nuance in complex transactions prove intellectual skills worthy of any adversary. Your “in your face” trial skills held the courtroom's attention at every word and act, and blunted the government...
Dan is consistently professional, informative and 100% honest.“Dan is consistently professional, informative and 100% honest. Dan Cogdell is the only attorney we would ever recommend, period.”
I have tremendous respect for your work and look forward to working with you again in the future.“Thank you for appearing on my show, Johnnie Cochran Tonight. It was a pleasure to have you come and share your thoughts and views with my audience. Unfortunately these serious racial crimes are occurring, but if we continue to educate our viewers on the legal system, we can combat these incident...
Dan always provided us a sense of comfort and confidence, knowing that he had the knowledge needed to process through.“From the beginning of our situation, Dan always provided us a sense of comfort and confidence, knowing that he had the knowledge needed to process through. Although we thought, from the beginning that we could fight the charges and leave the situation without any jail time, that did not happen. ...
Until, Dan Cogdell, I didn't think Lawyers actual care about their clients but I was dead wrong.“I was charged with interference of 911 call class A as well as charged with Assault of a family member class A. Dan was able to get both charges dismissed and expunged off my record. Until, Dan Cogdell, I didn't think Lawyers actual care about their clients but I was dead wrong. Dan treated me w...
His knowledge of the legal system and responsiveness to my case took away any anxiety that I had.“Dan Cogdell made me feel from the first day he took my case that it would all work out fine. His knowledge of the legal system and responsiveness to my case took away any anxiety that I had. I would not hesitate to hire him again if needed and would recommend him to anyone wanting an attorney th...
Honesty, dedication, integrity and the willingness to stand behind your client at all times“You possess the qualities I admire most in your profession: honesty, dedication, integrity and the willingness to stand behind your client at all times. Excellence is more than competence. You are excellent.”