Former Dallas appellate justice Douglas S. Lang has joined Thompson Coburn’s national appellate practice group as co-chair. His first day is Wednesday.
Lang will be of counsel and will share management of the appellate section with Booker Shaw, a former chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis and onetime St. Louis circuit court judge.
Lang calls this next stage in his nearly 50-year career “enlivening.“
“Being co-chair of the nationwide appellate practice gives me a broader base from which to serve clients,” he says.
He and Shaw, as former judges, will collaborate for clients. “We kind of see the world the same way,” he says.
St. Louis-based Thompson Coburn has offices in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and Belleville, Illinois.
Lang, a St. Louis native who graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia law school, began his practice in Dallas in 1973 after serving as a briefing attorney with the Missouri Supreme Court. A Republican, he was appointed to the Dallas Court of Appeals in 2002 and served on it until November 2018, when he lost a bid to succeed retiring Chief Justice Carolyn Wright.
He was a litigation partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell, now Foley Gardere, when he was appointed to Dallas’ Fifth Court of Appeals.
Lang is leaving Dorsey & Whitney’s Dallas office, where he has been of counsel since 2019.
While he was on the Dallas Court of Appeals Lang also served on the Texas Multi-District Litigation panel and was chair of the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. He served by special appointment on the Texas Supreme Court in 2007.
Lang said he left Missouri in a snowstorm for an interview in Dallas after a colleague recommended he consider Dallas to begin his practice. “If I had interviewed in August,” he jokes, “I maybe would have ended up in northern Michigan.”
You don’t shovel heat, he likes to tell people complaining about the Texas heat.
Lang demurs when he’s asked to note his proudest decisions he authored while on the Dallas court. “I can’t really pick any out,” he says. “Some were painful to decide, but you have to apply the law to the facts in the case.”