Michael J. Murtha
Michael Murtha is an attorney in the Trial & Appellate Litigation and Investigations & White Collar Defense practices of Jackson Walker’s Dallas office. A former federal clerk, Michael is experienced in legal drafting, courtroom hearings, complex commercial litigation, and white collar defense.
Prior to Jackson Walker, Michael served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Edith Brown Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. He also previously served as a law clerk in the Texas Office of the Solicitor General and advised Texas Senator John Cornyn’s office during the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Beyond his federal and state clerkships, Michael practiced at a Dallas-based criminal defense firm and at an international law firm, where he handled white collar defense and investigations, appeals, and complex commercial litigation.
Michael is a former Antonin Scalia Fellow with the Public Interest Fellowship.
B.A., magna cum laude, Texas A&M University
- Phi Beta Kappa
J.D., magna cum laude, Notre Dame Law School
- Notre Dame Law Review, Staff Editor (Vol. 93) and Articles Editor (Vol. 94)
- Moot Court Board
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas
Pre-Trial, Trial, & Appellate Matters
- Represented individual under DOJ and SEC investigation in a matter involving an alleged “pump and dump” scheme.
- (N.D. Tex. & E.D. Tex.) Represented multiple individuals under federal indictments for conspiracies, drug charges, healthcare fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud.
- (N.D. Tex. & E.D. Tex.) Advised multiple individuals on plea deals and helped secure multiple variances and/or departures at federal sentencings.
- Advised Fortune 100 company on various ESG disclosures and constitutional issues.
- Secured release and waiver of liability for tenant seeking to terminate inequitable lease.
- (N.D. Tex.) Represented healthcare company in breach of contract/misappropriation of trade secret action.
- (5th Circuit) Co-authored amicus brief arguing disabled inmate properly asserted Eighth Amendment violation under intervening Supreme Court precedent. The Fifth Circuit reversed the District Court’s dismissal of our client’s case.
- Conducted internal investigation into healthcare company related to alleged billing code errors.
- Conducted internal investigation into police department on alleged human rights violations.
- Advised Fortune 500 company on receipt of grand jury subpoena.
- Co-Author, “Major Case Alert: Is the Fifth Circuit About to Transform How Courts Apply Sentencing Guidelines?” Jackson Walker Insights (January 2023)
- Co-Author, “Docket Check: US Supreme Court to Decide Key Criminal and Regulatory Cases this Term,” Jackson Walker Insights, (October 2022)
- Dallas Bar Association
- Judge Paul Brown Inn of Court
- State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College
January 25, 2023Insights
Docket Check Update: US Supreme Court Declines to Decide Whether Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Dual-Purpose Communications
The U.S. Supreme Court decided on January 23, 2023, in a per curiam slip opinion that it would not consider whether communications including both legal and non-legal advice are protected by attorney-client privilege.
By Jennifer S. Freel & Michael J. Murtha
January 17, 2023Insights
On January 24, 2023, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will sit en banc to decide how much deference courts should give commentary to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The full Court will do so in the much-anticipated case of United States v. Vargas, 21-20140. Specifically, the Court will decide whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, which limited judicial deference to agency interpretations, extends to the Guidelines.
By Jennifer Freel & Michael Murtha
October 11, 2022Insights
This term, the U.S. Supreme Court is tasked with construing the Bank Secrecy Act’s penalty provision, ruling on whether the “right to control theory” provides a viable theory of liability under the federal wire fraud statute, and deciding whether a private citizen who has informal political influence over governmental decision-making can be convicted of honest services fraud. It also must decide whether the Government has authority to dismiss a False Claims Act case after initially declining to intervene.
By Jennifer Freel & Michael Murtha