Gary A. Udashen's law practice combines the book knowledge that comes with an active appellate practice with the trial skills of a seasoned trial attorney. Dividing his practice between these two areas has enabled Mr. Udashen to bridge what is often considered separate areas of criminal defense work.
Mr. Udashen is well known as a criminal appellate specialist and was one of the first lawyers in the State of Texas to be Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has effectively represented clients in federal and state appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His appellate cases have made law in many areas of criminal jurisprudence ranging from bank fraud cases to suppression of exculpatory evidence by prosecutors.
As a part of his appellate practice, Mr. Udashen handles applications for writs of habeas corpus focused on wrongful convictions and actual innocence cases. He has been counsel or co-counsel in over 25 exonerations of wrongfully convicted persons and is widely recognized as among the leading Texas attorneys in this highly specialized area of the law.
He has also carried his desire to free innocent persons from prison into his work with the Innocence Project of Texas and has been a board member since 2008. Mr. Udashen also served as board president for 10 years and is currently chair of the litigation committee. Mr. Udashen was honored with the Super Lawyers Magazine Pro Bono award for 2014 for his work with the Innocence Project of Texas. Mr. Udashen's success in pursuing innocence claims for his clients has been the subject of widespread media attention.
Additionally, Mr. Udashen has over 40 years experience trying cases in both Federal and State courts. These cases include trials ranging from conspiracy to white collar fraud to murder and manslaughter. He has also been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1985. The intricate knowledge of the law that comes from his appellate practice is carried forward into the trial court where Mr. Udashen is able to effectively pursue complex and innovative defensive strategies. Mr. Udashen has also developed an expertise in various areas of criminal law, including search and seizure, evidence and federal sentencing procedures.
Mr. Udashen frequently appears as a speaker at seminars sponsored by such groups as the State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has spoken on a variety of topics, including pretrial motions, jury selection, contempt, expert testimony, exculpatory evidence, ineffective assistance of counsel, appeals, writs of habeas corpus, actual innocence and preservation of error. He also regularly contributes several articles to the Voice for the Defense, the periodical of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association where his articles have covered a variety of topics, including actual innocence search and seizure issues, jury selection, appellate review standards, and malpractice in criminal cases. Mr. Udashen also served for 5 years as Feature Articles Editor for the Voice for the Defense. Mr. Udashen was also appointed by the Court of Criminal Appeals to serve as a member of the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit.
Mr. Udashen has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2003 to 2023. Mr. Udashen has been continuously listed in the publication, Best Lawyers in America, in the areas of Appellate Law and White Collar Criminal Defense and General Criminal Defense. Mr. Udashen has been named as the Best Lawyers 2011 Dallas Criminal Defense: White Collar Lawyer of the Year and Best Lawyers 2014 Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year. He has also been listed in D Magazine as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Dallas. National Public Radio has described Mr. Udashen as one of the most prominent criminal attorneys in Texas.
Mr. Udashen has also been active at S.M.U. Law School. He has written portions of the Criminal Law Sections on the S.M.U. Law Journal Annual Survey of Texas Law on five different occasions. He also served as a trial tactics instructor at the S.M.U. Law School.
Mr. Udashen is a 1977 honors graduate of the University of Texas and 1980 graduate of the S.M.U. Law School where he was a member of the Southwestern Law Journal. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association as well as the Dallas Bar Association. He was a member of the Board of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and has served as Chairman of the Appellate and Criminal Specialization Committees and co-chairman of the Attorney Assistance Strike Force. Mr. Udashen has also served as chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association. He is also a former member of the Advisory Committee for Criminal Appellate Certification for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Udashen is also a former member of the Patrick Higginbotham Inns of Court. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Texas, as well as the United States Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Tenth Circuit.