WHO WE ARE 2022-12-28T20:03:09+00:00
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Dale Markland is a nationally recognized first-chair trial lawyer with more than 40 years of experience dedicated to defending high exposure product liability and mass tort litigation. He is the quintessential first-chair counsel, a compelling courtroom communicator who…
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Tara Hanley has decades of experience defending major manufacturers in high exposure product liability and mass tort cases. She has defended dozens of catastrophic injury and wrongful death product liability cases in Texas and in many other…
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While in law school Brian worked full-time as an operations manager for UPS, managed a facility start up that grossed $27M in revenue in its first year, and volunteered at the Texas A&M Law Clinic where he advocated for clients in a wide variety of disputes…
Shanica Garrison is a seasoned legal para-professional with over twenty-five years of experience. She has acquired vast legal knowledge while working side by side with top-tier lawyers in Texas, New York and Georgia…

Our Practice

The Cause

The Plan

Markland Hanley is a top tier, Dallas, Texas based product liability defense law firm that defends designers and manufacturers of advanced products in product liability litigation and consults with them regarding design phase processes that can reduce the likelihood of product liability case filings and increase the likelihood of successful defense of any such cases that are filed. If such cases are filed, Markland Hanley provides the highest quality defense in court. Our firm has been named a “Tier One Best Law Firm” in Product Liability - Defense by U.S. News and World Report and Woodward White, Inc.'s Best Lawyers, in 2014-2022. One of the firm’s founders, Texas Super Lawyer®, Dale Markland, was previously the head of the Product Liability Practice Group of one of the nation’s largest law firms, the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins, LLP. Markland Hanley’s other founder, Texas Super Lawyer®, Tara Hanley, also previously with Vinson & Elkins, LLP, is among the most highly respected product liability lawyers in the state of Texas. These firm founders have over 60 years of combined product liability defense experience.


You can achieve a sense of calm and confidence in the product liablility storm if you are prepared for the new and different attacks plaintiffs' trial lawyers are likely to make on your company's products. Do not let the plaintiffs' bar get ahead of your defense.

Our attorneys are ready to visit you at your location or, if you prefer, to connect with you via audio or video conference call to discuss your company's evolving product liablity legal needs and to help you safeguard your company against the likely impending attacks on its newest innovations.

We offer our services to assist your company in its review of its design phase processes and to advise the company regarding additional design phase processes which could be implemented and which can assist the company in reducing the risk of case filings and increase the likelihood of successful defense of any such cases that are filed. As to cases that are filed against the company, we can provide highest qulity defense in court. We will do everything within our power to provide you and your company with a sense of calm and confidence in the new product liability world.

We believe that the creators of modern-day technologically advanced products are true visionaries and that their tireless efforts to refine existing products and create new and better products will drastically improve life for all of humanity. We believe that technologically advanced products, including autonomous products, robots, and artificial intelligence, are the keys to a better future for all people – a future previously unimaginable and seemingly unattainable – that is safer, healthier, more sustainable, more productive, and more prosperous. We are truly inspired by assisting the creators of life-changing products as they bravely usher in an incredible new world. Our cause is simple. We determinedly and doggedly defend, advocate for, and champion the technologically advanced products changing our world and the extraordinary companies and individuals who create them, and we would be honored to pursue this cause on behalf of you, your product, and your company.

Our goal is to provide sound advice to our clients relative to their efforts to avoid lawsuits, and, in the event such lawsuits are filed, to provide defense to their companies' advanced products that is superior to that provided by any other law firm.

The combination of attributes that make it possible for our firm to achieve such goals include:

  • A team of diverse, enthusiastic, motivated individuals who are fired-up to help manufacturers usher in the bright future made possible by technologically advanced products – a team of defenders who are true believers.
  • Our commitment to gaining & maintaining unparalleled knowledge of:
    • Texas substantive product liability law;
    • Texas & federal expert exclusionary law;
    • how to destroy adverse experts during deposition & trial cross examination, and through the use of testing, demonstrations, statistical, and other technical evidence presented by a team of highest quality experts; and
    • the existence of interrelated technical issues arising in product liability cases relating to the specific types of technologically advanced products that we defend, which facilitates our development and maintenance of our unparalleled knowledge.
  • Our ability to provide highest quality legal services at an extremely attractive cost.


The product’s perception device data intake goals;


The product’s radiuses of perception;


The product’s array of perception devices and any limitations on their capabilities;


The product’s perception synthesis system, if any;


The product’s decision-making framework, including the moral judgment framework incorporated within the product’s algorithms, genetic coding or artificial intelligence processes, relative to making decisions regarding best actions under the perceived conditions;


The information and warnings provided to the product user;


Excluding genetically coded products, any designed-in autonomous function disengagement features activated under specified perceived conditions.

And, it is our goal to learn during the course of our engagement as much more about the client’s products and technical issues arising from use of such products as is cost effectively possible.

It is our goal to develop the facts of any specific case or engagement matter as efficiently and as effectively as can be done by any product liability firm.

Finally, it is our goal to help our clients’ in-house lawyers and technical personnel to most appropriately defend their products against plaintiffs’ trial lawyers’ unjustified attacks and to preserve the future visions of technologically advanced product manufacturers and those of our other clients. We will assist your company in creating and sustaining a better future for humanity.

Markland Hanley pledges to do everything within our power to fulfill these goals.


The firm’s experience and accomplishments of the firm’s members include the following:

Past Client Representation
Product Liability Trial Experience
Product Liability Non-Trial Experience
Pharmaceutical, Toxic Tort and Mass Tort
Other Significant Experience

Markland Hanley’s team is uniquely qualified to powerfully and effectively advocate on your behalf. We tailor our advocacy to your needs and bring innovative ideas and time-tested strategies to the courtroom.

For further information about our practice or if we can be of assistance, please call or email Dale Markland at 214-706-9176/dmarkland@marklandhanley.com or Tara Hanley at 214-706-9326/thanley@marklandhanley.com

Our Core Values




















Our firm is committed to employing a legal team of the best and brightest. We live in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic world. By embracing diversity and taking advantage of varying view points and experiences Markland Hanley offers its clients the best strategies to prevail in court and to otherwise foster its clients’ interests. By assembling a diverse team we have created an organization which is truly uplifting and inspirational to its personnel- one in which each team member benefits and grows from interaction with their diverse co-workers, greatly fostering enthusiasm for the practice of law and for life.

Markland Hanley was awarded by client, Navistar Inc., its Law Department Diversity Recognition Award, given annually to one law firm of less than 250 attorneys that has fostered the idea of a diverse law firm.

Our Common Characteristics

For those interested in employment with Markland Hanley, we strive to recruit and maintain a team of lawyers and support personnel who possess a set of common traits that are required to provide the highest quality legal representation in our areas of practice.

We recruit team members who possess this set of characteristics:

  • Integrity
  • High Intelligence
  • Excellent communication and persuasive skills and the ability to get along well with a wide spectrum of people
  • Creativity
  • Enthusiasm for and enjoyment of the practice of law and life generally
  • A high energy and a hard-working nature
  • Mental toughness- the ability to work well within an environment of conflict and competition
  • A burning desire to excel in our practice
  • An intensity of purpose that stands the test of time
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to focus on very detailed information and to discern from such information that which is significant
  • Sound judgment
  • Self-confidence

We are not looking for individuals who believe that their past accomplishments are sufficient to carry them through their careers. We are looking for highly motivated, very hard-working individuals who will devote a very large percentage of their energy, time, and spirits to be all that they can be. We are looking for individuals who want to soar professionally and in life generally. This is a very demanding profession and our niche practice areas within it are even more so. Our clients and our team members expect all personnel to throw themselves into the task and to give it our very best efforts.

Markland Hanley is committed to educating and grooming its employees so that they can become the highest quality trial lawyers and paralegals that they can be.


  • Markland Hanley has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Woodward White, Inc.’s Best Lawyers as a Tier 1 “Best Law Firm” in Dallas for Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, in 2014-2022.
  • Dale Markland has been selected through the Thomson Reuters Peer Selection Process as a “Texas Super Lawyer,” in 2013-2016 and 2019-2022
  • Tara Hanley has been selected through the Thomson Reuters Peer Selection Process as a “Texas Super Lawyer,” in 2019-2022
  • Dale Markland has been recognized by his peers, through Woodward White, Inc.’s Best Lawyers, as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the Field of Product Liability, in 2010-2023.
  • Markland Hanley and its founding partners, Dale Markland and Tara Hanley, are listed by Martindale-Hubbell in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in the Field of Product Liability.
  • Markland Hanley and its founders, Dale Markland and Tara Hanley, have been named “Texas Top Rated Lawyers” by the ALM/Martindale-Hubbell organization, in 2014-2022.
  • Markland Hanley was awarded, by its client, Navistar, Inc., its Law Department Diversity Recognition Award, given annually to one law firm of less than 250 attorneys that has best fostered the ideal of a diverse law firm.
  • Dale Markland has been selected through the America’s Top 100, LLC’s Selection Process as one of “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators” for Northern Texas in 2018-2020.
  • Tara Hanley has been listed in the ALM/Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, in 2011-2017.
  • Dale Markland has been selected, through Woodward White, Inc.’s Best Lawyers, as one of “Texas Best Lawyers” in the Field of Product Liability Litigation, in 2013-2023.
  • Dale Markland has been named the “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation, 2012, Dallas, Texas, by Woodward White, Inc.’s Best Lawyers.
  • Dale Markland has been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” through the D. Magazine peer selection process, in 2015-2018, 2020.
  • Dale Markland has been named by the Dallas Morning News in 2017 as a “Leading Lawyer in Texas.”
  • Dale Markland has been named a Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation. Such Fellows are nominated by Texas Bar members and are selected from 1/3 of 1% of the membership of the State Bar of Texas based on an outstanding record in the legal profession and on commitment to support the community at large.
  • Dale Markland was in the initial small group of outside counsel nationwide to be honored by being invited to join the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. as a “Sustaining Member.”
  • Tara Hanley has been a “Sustaining Member” of the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc. since 2019.
  • Dale Markland’s defense verdict in a product liability case was selected by the National Law Journal as one of the best defense wins in the country in 2000.



Federal Court Judge

Opposing Counsel

Expert Witnesses

“We have found Dale to be an intelligent, aggressive, and worthy advocate. Dale is respected by the court and his peers and always demonstrates the utmost integrity and professionalism in each matter he handles. He is always well prepared, organized and willing to go the extra mile for his clients.”

Steven Covey – Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Ethics Officer, Navistar, Inc. (retired)

“Two outstanding products liability litigators that we have used are Dale Markland and Tara Hanley. When it comes to complex technical causation issues, they can’t be beat. They delivered outstanding results for us…at reasonable prices…. They are very good at what they do.”

Tae Rhee, Tax, Legal, Risk & Compliance Executive at InnoVista Sensors™, former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Leiner Products

“Dale Markland’s capabilities in case preparation were superior….He was extremely proficient in taking very thorough effective depositions, most notably experts’ depositions. He especially excelled, however, with his trial skills; his trial expertise was exemplary and resulted in defense verdicts in high exposure cases.”

James A. Jacobson, Director, Product Litigation, Freightliner LLC (retired)

“I am a former General Attorney of Navistar International Corporation and a former Associate General Counsel of Sears Roebuck and Company. I can think of no finer gentlemen to represent our corporations than Dale Markland. Mr. Markland’s judgment, assertiveness, and tremendous will to win have been unsurpassed in all of his litigation endeavors. He is a credit to the legal profession, the Texas Bar, his family, and himself.”

Kevin E. Condron, Senior Managing Director, LeCG Corporation

No better recommendation could be given for Dale Markland than from one of our Oklahoma District Court judges. Dale Markland’s skills as a trial lawyer so impressed the court that he recommended to Oklahoma City attorneys that they visit his courtroom to watch Dale as he continued to try the case. That lawsuit ended with a defense verdict for Dale’s client, and the case was designated by the National Law Journal as one of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts of the year.”

The Honorable David Russell United Stated District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma as expressed by Rodney Cook, Phillips Murrah P.C., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Both Dale Markland and Tara Hanley are experienced litigators, capable of handling complex litigation at the highest level. They have the ability to think “outside the box”; and seek solutions to presenting evidence and resolving cases. Their wealth of experience gives them an insight and confidence often missing in many of todays so called “litigation” attorneys. Yet, they remain people of the highest integrity whose handshake is a trustworthy bond in litigation matters. I consider them a formidable legal team.

Dale is also a great teacher-whether in the courtroom, deposition, or training experts and other lawyers. A fine example of this is the outstanding lawyer his partner, Tara Hanley, has become under his mentoring. Tara’s first deposition was of one of my clients, and she has continued to practice with Dale since that time, becoming a very fine trial lawyer in her own right.

Kenneth W. Lewis Founding partner of Bush Lewis, PLLC, Beaumont, Texas

Dale is one of the most effective people I have ever met…. I have been around my share of very sharp people, marines, doctors, lawyers, politicians, ambassadors, successful businessmen, and professional athletes – and Dale is one of the very best at what he does. I have learned a great deal from watching him work, and I am a better lawyer for it. Dale is a consummate professional and a worthy adversary.

Terrence E. McCartney Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Shkolnik & McCartney LLP, New York, New York

I have known Dale Markland for many years. We have had cases on opposite sides of the docket over the years, including a very complicated and serious products liability case…. Partners in my firm have also handled cases with Dale. Dale is an outstanding trial lawyer. He is well known amongst the trial bar as “one of the best.” Dale is always extremely well prepared, has a thorough knowledge and command of the technical and factual issues involved in the case and provides his clients with excellent representation. He handles very complex cases. His results at trial demonstrate the tireless preparation and attention to detail that has always been his approach to the development and trial of a case. His actions also reflect that he cares a great deal for his clients and devotes his undivided attention to their cases. You will not “outwork” him in a case. While he is an extremely hard worker and strident advocate, he is ethical and honest in his dealings with his adversaries. He is truly a trial lawyer to be respected and admired. I hold him in the highest regard. I would welcome the opportunity to provide further information on his behalf.

Larry P. Boyd Hsher, Boyd, Brown Boudreaux & Hugenard, LLP, Houston, Texas

Dale Markland and I worked opposite each other on a product liability case in which I represented the plaintiff and Dale represented the primary defendant. The case involved some of the most severe injuries I have ever seen, and as a result, Dale’s client had tremendous financial exposure. For several years we battled it out and as a result, I learned firsthand what an outstanding lawyer Dale is. In the twenty years I have practiced, Dale Markland is, quite simply, one of the best lawyers I have come across. Even though our case had countless depositions, his recall of the facts was unlike anything I have ever seen. Dale was always thorough and well prepared.

As for the case on which we worked, Dale came up with a very clever defense theory that he then presented in a summary judgment motion. That effort directly impacted the manner in which the case was eventually resolved. To anyone considering legal counsel in high stakes or complex litigation, I highly recommend Dale Markland.

Don Tittle Law Offices of Don Tittle, Dallas, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work against Dale Markland and Tara Hanley on major products liability litigation. In every instance, Dale and Tara have demonstrated superior expertise in knowing how to defend their client’s interest on the specific facts of those cases.

Their knowledge of the proper experts for a given case and how to use specialists on a given set of facts is impressive. Beyond just knowing what to do, they are willing to…put the time in to prepare and execute at depositions and courtroom appearances.

Dale especially has the extensive and wide-ranging experience necessary to properly plan and carry out complex vehicle or product inspections using a variety of specialized investigative tools and techniques. As respected adversaries, we consider Dale and Tara as some of the most effective and zealous advocates for their clients, and we offer our best wishes to both of them in their new Firm.

Glen M. Wilkerson Founding partner of Davis & Wilkerson, P.C., Austin, Texas

Dale, l wanted you to know that it was real pleasure working with such a competent lawyer without an ego problem. Your deposition of [my expert] was probably the most effective I’ve ever had to sit through. Keep in mind the job offer.

John Gehlhausen, P.C., Denver, Colorado

As a fire consultant and fire investigator, I have worked with Dale Markland on numerous fire related cases. Mr. Markland is one of the most knowledgeable, efficient attorneys I have ever worked with. His enthusiasm and attention to every detail, no matter how minor, are infectious to everyone involved. His enthusiasm is consistent from the very outset right to trial if necessary. I say, “if necessary” because in most of my involved cases the opposition’s contentions were destroyed by his superior grasp of every expert’s input. Mr. Markland is an outstanding attorney and a joy to work with. I recommend him without reservation.

Patrick McGuiness, Fire Consultant and former Arson Unit Commander, Los Angeles City Fire Department

Dale is a highly skilled product liability attorney and a pleasure to work with. One of his greatest strengths is the ability to understand complex technical issues central to a case. This allows him to both provide sound advice to his clients and very effectively exploit the weaknesses in the opinions of opposing experts. I highly recommend him.

Jeff Colwell, Ph.D., P.E., Principal Engineer, Colwell Consulting LLC, Scottsdale, AZ

Dale Markland and I met more than thirty years ago to discuss the general process of injury causation analysis and its specific application in solving an unusual death case as to causation. Since then, Dale has engaged me in a string of causes on both sides of the docket and I have been impressed with his untiring style, depth of pre-engagement subject matter knowledge, technical understanding, and ability to grasp the interaction nuances of multidisciplinary fields.

On or off the field, Dale has proved to be tenacious in overturning all rocks to collect data not in matters of just legal interest, but also to assist others in accessing evidence whether that be in medicine or engineering not to mention areas beyond the scope of my expertise.

During my more than three decade tenure as an injury causation consultant and multiple appearances as an expert, I have found Dale Markland to be equally effective before the bench earning the respect of the court and opposing counsel alike. Dale comes across with well-founded arguments supported by the appropriate experts as necessary. Needless to say, Dale Markland has not lost too many cases.

With the prospect of complications caused by novel technologies in the automotive and other environments looming on the horizon, Dale Markland and his team are uniquely positioned to be of aid in resolving conflicts that no doubt will arise with the increased operation of autonomous vehicles and other autonomous products by the public.

Harry L. Smith, PhD.,M.D., Medical and Engineering Research Consultants