• Biography

    Deborah Coldwell represents franchisors, distributors, joint ventures, limited liability companies, partnerships and the individuals who run those companies in jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations. She has litigated across several industries – from hotels and restaurants to health clubs and tax preparation services to product and service-based franchise and distribution networks. 

    Deb will help bring a business solution to a dispute when possible and is skilled in representing clients in mediations and other settlement proceedings. But when litigation is inevitable, she is fully prepared to go to trial or arbitration and to fight for a company and its officers. To that end, she litigated a successful six week jury trial in Texas state court in a joint venture dispute. Nationally-ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA, (Chambers & Partners, 2009–2017) in the franchise law category, clients describe her as an “outstanding trial lawyer,” “very poised, thoughtful and smart,” and as “an especially good advocate.”

    Deb loves to organize and motivate teams to accomplish short and long term goals. She is the immediate past chair of the 2,000-plus member American Bar Association Forum on Franchising. She also served the Forum as the editor-in-chief of the Franchise Law Journal and as its publications officer. Deb channels her love of sports by litigating sports law-related matters and serving as co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s Sports Law Practice Group.

    Prior to attending law school, Deb worked in restaurants and taught junior high and college. Deb’s unique background helps her bring a practical approach to problem solving and allows her to assist clients to find an individual workable strategy in each case she handles. As a skilled and creative trial lawyer, Deb has the experience and flexibility to provide clients with quality representation on a “one size does not fit all” basis.

    Selected Publications and Speeches

    • “Franchise Law,” co-author, SMU Annual Texas Survey, Volume 3, Fall 2017.
  • Education and Clerkships

    • J.D. , University of Texas at Austin School of Law , 1990
    • M.A.T. , Colorado College , 1979
    • B.A. , Colorado State University , 1974
  • Admissions

    • Texas
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • Languages

    • Spanish