Shelbi Barnhouse

Shelbi Barnhouse

Of Counsel

Shelbi is the resident commercial litigation guru at Amy Stewart Law.  She started her career at Carrington Coleman, a highly-regarded Dallas law firm, where she honed her skills litigating business disputes for over 11 years on some of the most high-profile cases in the country.  

Shelbi is an issue spotter and problem solver, as well as an expert cat herder. Whether those “cats” are other lawyers working together as part of a joint defense group, a team of document reviewers, a client’s own employees, or a gaggle of elementary school kids on a field trip, Shelbi makes sense out of chaos and maps out winning strategies in an efficient and effective way.  These skills make her invaluable to clients when complex challenges arise in coverage disputes.  

Shelbi is a proud “double Longhorn,” having received both her Plan II undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Texas. She and her husband Chris Schwegmann, a partner at litigation boutique Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, are the parents of three young children and one ill-behaved rescue dog.

Education

The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas

  • J.D., with Honors, May 2000
  • Teaching Quizmaster, August 1999 to May 2000:  taught legal research to first-year law students and served as a teaching assistant for a first-year legal writing class
  • Consul Award for outstanding contributions to UT Law School, 2000

The University of Texas, Austin, Texas

  • B.A. in Plan II Honors Program, with Highest Honors and Special Honors, May 1997
  • Normandy Scholar, January to July 1996: semester-long study of World War II and scholarship to study in France
  • University of Texas College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Distinguished Graduate, 1997
  • University of Texas Greek Woman of the Year, 1997
  • University of Texas Cactus Yearbook Outstanding Student, 1996
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • National Merit Scholar

Court Admissions

State Bar of Texas

United States Supreme Court

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Representative Experience

Shelbi’s most significant experience is in representing businesses, officers, and directors in high-stakes, complex business disputes involving claims for securities fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, RICO, and shareholder derivative suits.

  • Represented securities broker-dealer for over four years in multi-billion dollar RICO and commercial disparagement lawsuit brought by a major insurance company in New Jersey state court; drafted dispositive motions; took depositions; coordinated massive electronic document productions and reviews, including third-party discovery; engaged in extensive motion practice; ultimately dismissed on the eve of trial
  • Defended a chemical and climate control company in a lawsuit in Kansas federal court brought by a hedge fund seeking up to $12 million in damages relating to an investment in preferred stock; managed discovery; drafted dispositive motions; ultimately dismissed on all counts
  • Drafted successful summary judgment for a national law firm that was sued by an aggressive hedge fund, which led to the dismissal of a $90 million fraud claim; subsequently secured the dismissal of the lawsuit in the Dallas Court of Appeals 
  • Member of the team of lawyers that represented former Enron CEO Ken Lay in the vast litigation following Enron’s collapse, including the federal securities class action, ERISA class action, criminal prosecution, and MDL proceedings; drafted dispositive motions; coordinated massive electronic document productions and reviews, including third-party discovery; drafted and argued successful partial summary judgment motion in related state court natural gas action; obtained dismissal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals of an Enron-related class action that alleged state securities and fraud violations  
  • Assisted pro bono clients in a number of family law-related matters, including adoption, divorce, custody, and child support matters

Awards and Recognition

  • Named by Benchmark Litigation:  The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a “Future Star,” (2010 to 2012) the national publication noted that, “Shelbi Barnhouse receives praise [from her peers and clients] for her complex securities litigation practice.”
  • Recognized as a Texas Rising Star in business and securities litigation (2006 to 2009) by Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement

Professional and Community Involvement

Attorneys Serving the Community

  • Committee Co-Chair, 2005 to 2009
  • Member, 2000 to present

Dallas Association of Young Lawyers

  • DAYL Foundation, Life Fellow, 2007 to present
  • Grant Committee, 2009
  • Equal Access to Justice Committee, Co-Chair, 2004 to 2007
  • Lawyers Against Domestic Violence Committee, 2001 to 2003
  • DAYL Leadership Class, 2001

  • Co-Founder of annual DAYL Freedom Run, 2001

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Attorney Volunteer, 2000 to present

Dallas Bar Association, Member, 2000 to present

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

  • Priority Needs Grant Panel, 2008 to 2011; Vice-Chair, 2009
  • Carrington Coleman Campaign Coordinator, 2006 to 2007
  • Young Leaders Society, 2006 to 2009

The Kessler School

  • PTO President, 2017 to 2018
  • PTO Volunteer Coordinator, 2018 to 2019

Publications and Presentations

  • February 2012, “Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers: Avoiding Pitfalls 2011,” article for the Corporate Counsel Review, a publication of the South Texas College of Law
  • December 2008, “E-Discovery Nightmares that Keep Lawyers Awake at Night,” presentation to the Dallas chapter of Women in E-Discovery

Employment

Shelbi previously was a partner at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal where she practiced high-stakes business and securities litigation.

Judicial Internship

Judicial Intern, Justice James A. Baker, Texas Supreme Court, January to May 2000