Don Cruse’s legal practice is focused on Texas appeals. After a judicial clerkship at the Texas Supreme Court, he worked on high-stakes commercial litigation at a New York firm. In 2003, he returned to serve in Texas’s Office of Solicitor General, which handles complex appeals for state officials and agencies, while also monitoring issues in Texas law for possible amicus involvement.
Don’s private practice includes all aspects of Texas civil appeals. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants, with recent cases on commercial fraud, contract interpretation, statutory construction, defamation, malicious prosecution, arbitration clauses, suits challenging government action, and the constitutional limits on exemplary damages.
He also writes the Supreme Court of Texas Blog, which covers the latest opinions, tracks currently pending petitions, and analyzes voting patterns of the Justices.
Don brings some of this perspective to his amicus practice. He has submitted amicus briefs to the Texas Supreme Court, Texas intermediate appellate courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He also consults with fellow lawyers about strategies for framing their petitions for review and motions for rehearing.
Since 2013, he has been chosen by his peers to be listed as a “Super Lawyer” in Appellate Litigation. From 2010-2013, he was chosen as a “Rising Star” in the same category.
Judicial law clerk for Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas Supreme Court (1999-2000)
Litigation Associate, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (2000-2003). The cases involved complex questions of contract law, insurance coverage, business torts, securities fraud, bankruptcy, antitrust law, and federal regulatory investigations, with issues involving internet domain names, trademark law, and copyright. Matters included IBP, Inc. v. Tyson Foods, a landmark merger case in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and the property-insurance lawsuit filed to help rebuild the World Trade Center.
Assistant Solicitor General, Texas Office of the Solicitor General (2003-2007). Served as lead-counsel in high-stakes appeals. Wrote amicus briefs. Prepared other agency attorneys for oral arguments through moot courts. Reviewed the legal consistency of the State’s litigation positions.
University of Texas at Austin: Economics (B.A.), Mathematics (B.S.). Texas Excellence Award. Dedman Scholar. UT Friar Society.
University of Texas School of Law. Associate Editor, Texas Law Review. Order of the Coif. Order of Barristers. Champion of both the Susman Godfrey and Gibbs & Bruns moot court competitions.
“Super Lawyers” in Appellate Law (2013-2021)
“Rising Star” in Appellate Law (2010-2013)
Board Member, Civil Appellate Section of the Austin Bar Association (2011-2013)
Coach, UT Interscholastic ABA Moot Court Team (2003-2008)
Don was born and raised in Arlington, Texas, where he attended Martin High School.