Thomas Harkins


Tom Harkins is an experienced IP attorney who has had an active civil litigation and appellate practice for over 30 years. His specific experience includes preparing a successful Respondents’ Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in a complex computer copyright action. He also set a precedent in bankruptcy law as to the requirement of notice for discharge purposes when a case is converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (In re Pannell, 136 B.R. 430 (N.D. Tex.), aff’d without opin. (5th Cir. 1992).

Tom has handled trial and mediation in a dispute over church property due to a church split, and he has successfully defended an author in a First Amendment case on appeal. Tom has filed multiple appellate briefs, motions and arguments in numerous forums. A large percentage of the cases he has worked on involve intellectual property.

Awards & Recognitions

AV-Rated Martindale-Hubbell®: Preeminent™

Named a Top Attorney by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine for 2022.

Recognized as a Top Attorney by 360 West Magazine 2018 to present

Areas of Practice

1st Amendment Issues
Appellate Practice
Business Litigation
Intellectual Property


“The Texas Accommodation Doctrine" in the field of Oil & Gas Law

“The ‘Free Look’ Rule." Published in the Legal Landscape of the Fort Worth Basin Oil & Gas Magazine. August 2008





  • JD Duke University
  • BA Furman University

Bar/Court Admissions

  • Texas Bar (1988)
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits
  • US District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

Whitaker Chalk Lawyers Successfully Defend an Action to Keep Political Client Off Ballot

Tom Harkins and Bruce James have successfully defended an action seeking to keep the political client off the ballot which resulted...

Rocky Schwartz and Tom Harkins Achieve Defense Verdict in a Major Computer Software Copyright Infringement Case

In a case lasting well over 3 years ( filed August 31, 2007), Rocky Schwartz, as assisted by Tom Harkins,...