How does Theodore Stevenson III excel as a trade secrets and patent litigator? His intelligence, credibility, and preparedness when entering the courtroom. Instead of withholding information from and oversimplifying technologies to jurors, Stevenson has learned how to translate complex information with mock deliberations, receiving constant feedback that allows him to present intelligible data to jurors.


“You’ve got to respect the collective intelligence of juries,” he states. “A jury can understand a lot more detail as long as it’s presented coherently, patiently, and in a well-organized fashion. You can explain tough issues, and juries respect that. They find it credible, and that’s a big edge.”

Stevenson also recognizes the value of witnesses. By devoting time to developing the narrative of each case, selecting the proper order of witnesses to convey that story to jurors, and preparing witnesses for any questions that may be asked, Stevenson tells a seamless story that juries can understand and agree with. Companies he’s represented include Ericsson, Medtronic, Inc., Nokia, AT&T, Summit 6, Versata, and Halliburton. Some of his cases have involved cellular phones, Wi-Fi, implantable medical devices, oil and gas drilling and fracking, computer software, and programming languages.

When he’s not helping companies or inventors retain and defend trade secrets and patents, Stevenson contributes his time to aid the development of younger lawyers. Once a trial advocacy instructor with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Stevenson now has been a master lawyer in The Honorable Barbara M. G. Lynn American Inn of Court for the last eight years, where he mentors new lawyers. Deeply involved with projects and illuminating dinner presentations regarding intellectual property, he also works frequently with younger lawyers in his firm who help him at trial.


Recently, Stevenson involved several younger lawyers in a trial representing Ericsson against TCL Communications in Santa Ana, California.

“[Participating in trials] is how you learn to be a trial lawyer,” says Stevenson. “It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life.”

The trial involved royalty rates for cellular technology, thousands of patents, and very high stakes in the millions. Every day there were 50–75 observers in the courtroom watching the progress of the trial.


“We made a decision to let some of the younger lawyers who had been working on the case—and the client agreed—to present witnesses in court,” Stevenson elaborates. “For several of them, it was the first time they put on a witness. They did fantastic. Not only did the client come to us and say, ‘We’re very pleased with how well they did,’ the judge took five minutes out to commend us for getting young lawyers involved.”

Stevenson is a principal in McKool Smith’s Dallas office. Listed with Best Lawyers® since 2007, Stevenson has been recognized in the areas of bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, litigation – intellectual property, litigation – patent, and trade secrets law. Stevenson has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has been a trial attorney and registered patent attorney for over 25 years.