Thomas W. Mills, Jr.

Texas Legal Board of Specialization
 Criminal Law

Thomas W. Mills, Jr. has been at the forefront of many large and at times colorful, controversial, and legally significant cases. Since entering private law practice in 1972, Mr. Mills' skilled representation in high profile cases has earned him a reputation as one of the top trial lawyers in Texas.  Since 2003, Texas Monthly named him a Texas Super Lawyer and has placed him on the Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyer list for the “Best of the Best” several years running. In addition, D Magazine annually identifies Mr. Mills one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas in both criminal defense and white-collar defense. Mr. Mills has received the coveted President's Commendation Award from the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers and is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

With a professional emphasis primarily on criminal law and civil trial law with criminal law issues, Mr. Mills has over 40 years of legal experience. His civil representation focuses on complex defense work representing those accused of wrongdoing in the business environment. Mr. Mills’ criminal practice includes grand jury representation, financial and investment crimes, environmental violations, money laundering, anti-money laundering compliance, mail fraud, bank fraud, government procurement fraud, RICO claims, insurance fraud, theft of trade secrets litigation, computer fraud litigation, and a heavy emphasis on healthcare and Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Mr. Mills has represented many business executives personally and has tried cases in approximately half of the United States

Having represented a diverse group of individuals and organizations, Mr. Mills’ past clients include: a manager of Muhammad Ali; Dallas School Trustee Dan Peavy (not guilty on 42 indictment counts); Darling Industries; Northrop Corporation; McCormick Distilling Corp.; Oxford Capital Corporation; the Federal Deposit Insurance Company; Greyhound Bus; the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Company; Columbia Packing Co., Inc.; American Discount Telephone and Express Telephone Service accused of telecommunications fraud; a lab manager at Intertek Testing Services acquitted on all environmental fraud counts; nuns protesting nuclear radiation damages; a government contractor found innocent of bribing ex-Congressman James Traficant; an executive connected with Perot Systems charged with fraud against the U.S. Air Force; and a Lone Star Power Company executive indicted for computer and internet fraud.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Mills frequently appears in the news media as a legal expert, serving as an on-air analyst for numerous media outlets including: Court-TV, KXAS-TV Channel 5, KTVT Channel 11, KLIF 570 AM, and KRLD 1080 AM. He has also been an instructor at Southern Methodist University School of Law, the National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Public Defenders, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Mr. Mills received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University in 1969 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas in 1972. After completing a Ford Foundation Grant Project at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Mr. Mills began his private practice in Dallas, Texas, primarily engaging in civil and criminal trial litigation in federal court. Before opening his own practice, Mr. Mills held positions as a partner at Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox and head of the white collar crime section at Gardere & Wynne.

Mr. Mills is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is an Executive Committee member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has served on the Complex Crimes Committee and the White Collar Crime Committee of the American Bar Association and was chairman of the ABA Intellectual Property subsection on computer crime and security from 2005 to 2010. He has also held leadership roles as chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Committee and as co-chair of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Legislative Committee.


University of Texas - J.D., 1972
Southern Methodist University - B.A., 1969


State Bar of Texas


United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
United States District Courts,

  • Northern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Western District of Texas


  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1977-1978,
  • University of North Texas, "American Jurisprudence," guest lecturer
  • National College of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Public Defenders
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1985-1990
  • Dallas Bar Association Trial Skills Course, 1986-1990


"Annual Survey of Texas Criminal Law and Procedure",
Southwestern Law Journal

"Maximizing the Scope of the Motion to Suppress",
Voice for the Defense

"Jury Selection in Death Penalty and High Publicity Cases",
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Public Defenders

"Defending the Defender - The Lawyer Target",
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project


American Bar Association

  • Intellectual Property - Computer Crime & Security Subsection, Chairman
  • White Collar Crime Committee, Member
  • Complex Crimes Committee, Member

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Life Member
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Association

  • Legislative Committee, Co-Chair
  • Executive Committee, Member

Dallas Bar Association

  • Criminal Justice Committee, Chairman - 1991, 1992

American Board of Trial Advocates, Member