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Don DEan

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Don M. Dean, a former district judge, has almost 50 years of experience in complex litigation and construction litigation. His experience in construction litigation has involved, among other subjects, roof collapse as a result of superimposed live load, structural failure of prefabricated steel buildings, fire loss arising from HVAC installation and the renovation of health care facilities. Don’s practice has also included business litigation, construction law and education law, along with arbitration, mediation and all forms of alternative dispute resolution. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Don was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1958 and is admitted to practice before U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas, the Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Tenth Circuits, the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.


College: (1952-53) George Washington University
(1953-1955) Texas Technological College (B.A., 1955)

Law School: (1955-1958) Southern Methodist University (L.L.B.,1958)


In the course of Don’s career, he has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors and materialman. This experience has included the negotiation and preparation of contracts, bid requests and specifications. During his representation of school districts, Don has drafted contracts between school districts, architects and general contractors in connection with more than $215 million in construction and renovation projects. In this representation, Don has also assisted in resolving disputes between school districts and others regarding compliance with contract documents and problems in construction. Don has represented both owners and contractors in litigation involving, among other subjects, roof collapse as a result of a superimposed live load, structural failure of prefabricated steel buildings, fire loss arising from HVAC installation and the renovation of healthcare facilities.


Don serves as an arbitration and mediation panelist for the National Arbitration Forum and the Association of Attorney Mediators. During his 5 years as a Texas District Judge, he presided over 1,500 non-jury trials and was never reversed by the appellate courts.
Don is a certified mediator qualified under the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §154.052. He was originally certified by the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute in 1993. That same year, Don took additional training at Pepperdine University School of Law. Don completed the Construction Dispute Resolution Services’ additional training in the Theory, Practice and Rules of Arbitration in 2007. He also attend the National Arbitration Forum’s Winter Conference in 2007 and the Association of Attorney Mediator’s 2007 conference. Don is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas.


  • Member, State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas Education Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas Judicial Section
  • Member, National Association of School Attorneys
  • Member, Texas Counsel of School Attorneys
  • Member, Amarillo Bar Association


U.S. District Court Advisory Committee, Northern District of Texas (2001-2006)
University of Texas School Law Conference Planning Committee (1999-2005)
Board of Editors, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2000-2004)
Newsletter Co-Editor, School Law Section of State Bar of Texas (1999-2000)
Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation (1992)
Life Fellow, American Bar Association (1992)
Chairman of the Texas Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Selection, Compensation and Tenure of State Judges (1980 – 1987)
Committee of 100 for the Merit Selection of Judges (member, 1986)
Texas Bar Association President’s Special Service Award (1983)
Judge of 181st District Court, Amarillo, Texas (1969-1974)
Board of Editors, Southwestern Law Journal (1957-1958)


  • “The Tie that Binds – Drafting Construction Documents,” presentation at Counsel of School Attorneys Construction Law Seminar, Austin, April 2004
  •  “Criminal Liability Of A Corporate Officer Based On The Acts Of Corporate Agents And Employees” and “Invoking The Fifth Amendment Privilege In Civil Actions,” presentation for CLE Options Master Advocates Institute Series, August 2004
  • The Enforcement and Legality of Indemnity Provisions in Contracts," State Bar Section Report: School Law, Volume 3, No. 3, June 1999
  • "Employment Law Seminar," presentation to Region 16 Educational Support Center, Amarillo TX, January 2003
  • "Constitutional Restrictions on Expenditure of Governmental Funds," University of Texas School of Law 14th Annual School Law Conference, March 1999
  • "Americans with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodation," University of Texas School of Law 10th Annual School Law Conference, March 1995