Eligible to Practice in Texas
Law Office of Michael Sean Quinn
Bar Card Number: 16432900
TX License Date: 11/24/1980

Primary Practice Location:
Austin , Texas
1300 W Lynn Street
Ste 102
Austin, TX 78703-3927

Practice Areas: Ethics-Legal Malpractice, Insurance, Litigation: Commercial, Mediation

Statutory Profile
Last Certified On: 04/20/2021


A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin: Philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae) is the most common degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study.

The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. Although a graduate degree, the J.D. is the standard degree obtained to practice law in the United States because there is no ‘law degree’ at the undergraduate level. In the United States, along with Australia, Canada, and some other common law countries, the J.D. is earned by completing law school.

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management, administered by The Institutes (AKA American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters).  Held by fewer than 65,000 people (less than 4% of the insurance industry), the CPCU designation is widely considered the most distinguished designation offered in the insurance industry.

An associate in claims (AIC) is a professional designation for professionals with enhanced skill training to handle different types of claims.

An Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) is a professional credential awarded to a financial professional qualified to evaluate risk for commercial insurance companies. These risks include losses that stem from insurance coverage provided to protect against future financial loss from injury, illness, property damage, or liability for the losses of others.

Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) is a professional designation for agents, brokers, risk managers, underwriters, claims professionals, regulators and other professionals who work in the surplus lines insurance industry.

An Associate in Marine Insurance Management (AMIM) is a professional designation for marine insurance professionals.

The Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) is a professional certification in the insurance industry that emphasizes general knowledge about the industry, its products, and its regulatory landscape.



Law Practice

I have been practicing law since 1980 and am a member of the Texas Bar Association.  Before becoming a lawyer, I took a Ph.D. in philosophy.  My focus was on jurisprudence, ethics, business ethics, professional ethics, and assorted other value-related topics. After graduate school, I taught in various universities.  Most of my teaching was to undergraduates and philosophy majors, but occasionally I taught graduate students and law students.

Counsel & Litigation

I have been involved in litigation continuously since 1980, and as a law-student intern since 1978 or so. This litigation has involved a variety of different forms and locations and has included both state and federal courts and has involved all sorts of discovery, including many depositions, more than a few trials, and several appeals.  I have taught civil procedure in two different law schools, and have lectured or written on these topics a number of times.

Insurance Law

I have been systematically studying insurance law matters since the 1980s.  I have studied legal cases, legal treatises, historical books, scholarly articles, insurance industry articles, and a variety of other sources.   Much of my work has been connected with misconduct in the contexts of insurance law, including common law bad faith, statutory bad faith, and problems arising under the Texas Insurance Code (PDF)  and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

In the middle of the 1990s, the law school at the University of Texas at Austin asked me to teach Texas Civil Procedure for a year.  In addition, I taught insurance law and legal ethics.  I continued for two years and as an adjunct at the University of  Texas Law School until around the end of the decade, primarily teaching insurance law.  I also taught insurance law in the MBA program at St. Edwards University in Austin, and have included insurance law in undergraduate courses I have taught at the University of Texas at Austin.

Continuing Legal Education

I have also taken various professional courses concerning insurance law, and have received a number of certificates for these studies, including the “diploma” as a “Charted Property Casualty Underwriter” (CPCU), among others.  These courses and certificates are listed on the left of this page.  I was a licensed insurance adjuster, as well as an insurance agent, for many years.


As already mentioned, I have taught insurance law to various audiences, such as academic audiences, since the 1980s.  These have included law students at three different law schools, undergraduates, and MBA students.  Significantly, I also lecture on these topics frequently to lawyers, sometimes to adjusters, and occasionally to other personnel at insurance companies or intermediaries.


I have written on insurance matters many times over the last decade, or so, and I have spoken on these matters numerous times.  I taught professional ethics from time to time, and this topic articulates itself in – and at the foundation of – the idea of claims-related insurance-related misconduct.

My published works on professional responsibility take up most of a book published by the Texas Bar Association, of which there are two editions.  Essays of mine on insurance matters have appeared in law reviews, bar journals, and insurance journals. Many of my writings have appeared in law journals; others have appeared in magazines focusing on the insurance industry.  Most of the lectures have been at Continuing Legal Education programs sponsored by the Texas Bar Association, although not exclusively. (noteworthy publications)

Expert Witness Testimony

In the 1990s, I began testifying as an expert witness in insurance and other kinds of cases, e.g., lawyer performance, legal malpractice, and disputes, and have continued doing so for the past eighteen or so years.  I have also often been a consulting expert and witness.  A complete, so far as I can remember list of testimony as an expert witness is set forth in my Long Resume. The same is true for lectures and writings.


As a mediator, I begin by helping parties break down barriers standing in their way to agreement. In the well-known phrase, I help parties “get to ‘YES.” This often means getting past “NO.” Often this encourages the use of empathy. Although this idea is well-known in professional circles, many parties are not comfortable with it as a route to a win-win situation.  If these approaches do not work, I sometimes propose a new substantive, out-of-the-box solution that often helps lead to resolution. I believe firmly in finding “win-win” solutions.

Current Scope of Practice

Currently, and for the last several years my professional time is a combination of actual law practice, expert witnessing on insurance law matters and lawyer performance matters (including fees), and counseling on legal ethics, among other things. The actual practice has become somewhat more diversified mainly because of my accidental acquisition of a client whose needs take me beyond my usual scope.