Thomas P. Sartwelle

Thomas P. Sartwelle

Of Counsel

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Thomas P. Sartwelle has forty-nine years of trial experience primarily handling complex cases involving business disputes, catastrophic personal injury and death, cerebral palsy and birth injury, drug and medical devices, nursing homes, general and premises liability, defamation, medical, hospital, and legal malpractice cases. In addition, he has extensive experience handling medical and legal administrative, credentialing and discipline hearings.

Cases & Verdicts

  • Tried to verdict case involving the first Texas Corporation indicted for murder in the longest trial in Texas history in State of Texas v. Autumn Hills Nursing Homes. This murder trial is the subject of Steve Long's book "Death Without Dignity" (Texas Monthly Press).
  • Tried to verdict case involving highway contractors in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases.
  • Tried to verdict case involving medical malpractice claim against two pediatric ophthalmologists involving the world's only blind and deaf triplets.
  • Tried to verdict case involving the defense of transferring hospital in the first alleged patient dumping trial in Texas.
  • Represented the plaintiff in fraudulent stock transfer cases involving claim of fraud, conspiracy, conversion, and tortuous interference with a business relationship.
  • Tried to verdict various complex drug and medical device litigation throughout Texas.
  • Tried to verdict case involving defense of hospital in the four-month trial of the infamous Pasadena liposuction doctor whose patients developed flesh eating infections.
  • Tried to verdict nursing home cases involving alleged nursing and medical malpractice and alleged elder abuse and injury.
  • Represented the defendant in breach of fiduciary duty case involving Sam Houston Race Park stock transaction dispute.
  • Represented the defendant in the first Texas trial where a jury found a plaintiff's negligence in failing to wear a seat belt caused the plaintiffs injuries.
  • Tried to verdict case involving defendant lawyer in one of the first Texas legal malpractice cases where an excess carrier alleged the lawyer's negligent mishandling of the defense caused a settlement over primary limits.
  • Tried to verdict case involving obstetrician in one of the first successful defense verdicts in Texas in a birth-related permanent brain injury cerebral palsy case.
  • Represented numerous physicians and hospitals in cases involving alleged birth asphyxia brain damage, and cerebral palsy.

Certified Legal Specialties

  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys - Medical Professional Liability (Recertified 2003, 2008, 2013) (Accredited by ABA)
  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys - Legal Professional Liability (Recertified 2013) (Accredited by ABA)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy-Civil Trial Advocate (Recertified 2005, 2010, 2015) (Accredited by ABA)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy-Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy (Accredited by ABA)
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization - Personal Injury Trial Law (Recertified 2005, 2010, 2015).

Education

  • University of Texas
    • B.B.A. - 1965
  • University of Texas Law School
    • LL.B. - 1967

Published Works

  • Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C. Johnson M.D., J.D., Cerebral Palsy and Electronic Fetal Monitoring: Rearranging The Titanic's Deck Chairs. 2(2) J. Childhood & Develop Disorders (April 2016)
  • Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C. Johnson, M.D., J.D., Berna Arda, M.D., Med. Spec., Ph.D. "Perpetuating Myths, Fables, and Fairy Tales: A Half Century of Electronic Fetal Monitoring," TheSurgery Journal (November 2015)
  • Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C. Johnson, M.D., J.D., "Neonatal Encephalopathy 2015: Opportunity Lost and Words Unspoken," J. Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Medicine (June 2015)
  • Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C. Johnston, M.D., J.D., "Cerebral Palsy Litigation: A Continuing 21st Century Epidemic, Legal Medicine and Medical Ethics, 9th Ed., Ch 23, Module 6
  • Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C. Johnston, M.D., J.D. "Cerebral Palsy Litigation: Change Course or Abandon Ship," 30(7) J. Child Neurology 828-841 (2014)
  • James C. Johnson, M.D., J.D. and Thomas P. Sartwelle "The Expert Witness in Medical Malpractice Litigation: Through The Looking Glass," 28 J. Child Neurology 484-501 (2013)
  • "Electronic Fetal Monitoring: A Defense Lawyer's View" Rev.In Obstetrics & Gynecology (January 2013)
  • "Electronic Fetal Monitoring: A Bridge Too Far," 33 Journalof Legal Medicine, 313-379(2012)
  • "Your Doctor is Board Certified. Is Your Lawyer?" The Professional Lawyer (May 2011) (American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility)
  • "Defending a Neurologic Birth Injury: Asphyxia Neonatorum Redux," 30 Journal of Legal Medicine, 181-247 (2009)
  • Annual Survey of Texas Law, Workmen's Compensation Sections, Volumes 29-33 Southwestern Law Journal (Southern Methodist University)

Diffuse Tensor Imaging & Advanced Imaging Techniques

One of the biggest hurdles brain injury victims have in personal injury and products liability cases is quantifying the degree of injury to the jury. If a jury can’t feel or discern the extent of a person’s injuries, they are less inclined to award damages. We have effectively utilized cutting-edge advanced imaging techniques such and diffuse tensor imaging or DTI in cases involving brain injuries. With this technology, a jury can confirm that an individual has no injury and should not be awarded damages for a significant brain injury or, alternatively, such as in the case of the example provided, that the individual has suffered injuries throughout the brain. When paired with a history of trauma and an absence of some other explanation, this evidence has become the gold standard for confirming brain injuries. You can click on the player to see a 3-D rendering of the brain made by DTI.

Trial Animations

Trial animations can be incredibly impactful if used properly. Sometimes a concept or complex scenario is described, but only a picture can shed light on what really happened. Having the ability to show and explain a client’s position using trial animations is a compelling way to get the point across. Understanding the proper way to create and utilize these tools is just as important as putting together the evidence that supports them. Often times, a creative animation can be the difference in having a successful outcome at trial.

Trial Illustrations

Presenting information that a jury can see and understand is so critical to a good outcome at trial. Whether it's understanding the gravity of a particular injury or ascertaining how an accident sequence occurred, proper illustrations that call the jury, judge or arbitrator's attention to what's important in a way that is impactful is a critical component to our trial teams. Here are some examples of our trial illustrations.

View Illustrations

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