Dan L. Cogdell

Dan L. Cogdell

Cogdell Law Firm, PLLC

Recognized since 1995

Houston, Texas

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: General Practice

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

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Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Criminal Defense: White-Collar
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Dan Cogdell is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and a member of the corporate compliance and white collar defense team. He defends corporations and individuals in high-profile white collar criminal defense jury trials and related disputes. Dan has nearly 40 years of experience representing individuals and corporations in a broad range of high-profile, bet-the-company white collar and criminal defense matters. Dan is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization for attorneys who have demonstrated the highest levels of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism, and collegiality. Dan also holds an AV Preeminent® peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 1995. Currently, he is ranked in Band 2 for white collar crime and government investigations in Texas by Chambers USA. Dan has served as trial counsel in more than 300 trials in 16 states, including some of the most highly publicized cases in recent decades. Among other matters, he obtained the only acquittal in the original trials related to the collapse of Enron Corp. and represented the head of logistics for Arkema in litigation following the 2017 chemical plant explosion in Crosby, Texas. Dan has successfully won dismissals of charges, jury verdicts, and appeals on behalf of individuals facing allegations of securities, wire, bank, government, insurance, Medicare, tax, and mail fraud; conspiracy, obstruction of justice, bribery, and money laundering; and assault, kidnapping, and murder. Drawing on his early experience as a briefing attorney for Judge John Onion, former presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and his familiarity with federal and state law enforcement officials, Dan has an in-depth understanding of the priorities, processes, and standards of judges, prosecutors, and industry regulators. He works closely with clients at every step — from indictment to trial and appeal — to develop and execute effective legal and courtroom strategies in even the most complex cases. Dan has represented business executives and owners, athletes, medical professionals, and other individuals from a broad range of industries, including banking and finance, energy, entertainment, healthcare, sports, and utilities. He has also represented a number of appointed and elected government officials targeted in corruption and related investigations. Outside the courtroom, Dan speaks frequently before bar associations and industry groups and has been a guest lecturer at a number of law schools. Known as an effective commentator on emerging legal and criminal justice issues, he has appeared on dozens of local, national, and global news programs and networks including NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Court TV, and the BBC. In his spare time, Dan races motorcycles in long-distance events, a pursuit that he credits with helping him learn and practice focus, balance, and endurance — skills that translate directly to his work on behalf of clients. Dan has spoken before a variety of organizations and institutions, including: State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Harris County Bar Association, Dallas County Bar Association, South Texas College of Law, University of Houston Law Center, Texas Tech School of Law, The University of Texas School of Law, Harvard Law School and the AT&T Legal Conference (Dallas).

Contact & Links
  • 1000 Main Street, Suite 2300
    Houston, TX 77002
  • South Texas College of Law, JD, graduated 1982
  • The University of Texas, BBA, graduated 1979
Bar Admissions
  • Texas, TX
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association - Member
  • Houston Bar Association - Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Member
  • State Bar of Texas - Member
  • Texas Criminal Lawyers Association - Member
Court Admissions
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • US District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • US Supreme Court

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2011 - Criminal Defense: White-Collar
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Houston (2011)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
Special Focus:
  • Environmental Crimes
  • Federal
  • Government Investigations
  • Securities Fraud
  • State
  • Tax-Evasion Defense
  • Violent and Nonviolent Crimes
  • Southern Texas College of Law, Houston, Alumnus of the Year (2017)
  • South Texas College of Law, Impact Alumni of the Year (2014)
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, Lawyer of the Year (1989)
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Appellate Practice

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Forging a Legal Legacy

by John Fields

Texas trial icon Dan Cogdell on his impactful career in criminal defense.

Dan Cogdell headshot on dark gray background

Fighting Government Overreach

by John Fields

Criminal defense lawyer Dan Cogdell reflects on the Waco siege trial—a pivotal moment in his career now being revisited in a new Showtime miniseries.

Man in black suit poses for lawyer headshot

Texas' Best Lawyers 2022

by Best Lawyers

Our Texas' Best Lawyers 2022 publication features top-ranked legal talent in Texas.


A Trial Icon Joins a Legal Powerhouse

by John Fields

Dan Cogdell on moving his renowned criminal defense practice to Jones Walker LLP.


A Trial Icon

by Sean Stonefield

Dan Cogdell on his almost four decades of courtroom success.


The Defense (Never) Rests

by Johanna Marmon

Dan Cogdell is a very busy man, but he’s just not the kind of lawyer who doesn’t return phone calls.


Eyes Cast to the Future

by Nicole Ortiz

The Houston criminal defense attorney discusses past successes and future plans.

Waco Attorney Reflects on 25th Anniversasry

In the News: Dallas/Forth Worth

by Compiled by Tess Congo

A summary of newsworthy content from Dallas/Fort Worth lawyers and law firms.

Dallas/Fort Worth In the News

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