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David L. Plaut

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney in Austin, TX

Hanna & Plaut, L.L.P.
Southwest Tower, 211 East 7th Street, Suite 600
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-472-7700
Fax: 512-472-0205
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2012, 2016 - 2022
Licensed in Texas Since: 1990
Practice Areas: Insurance Coverage, Personal Injury - General: Defense, Appellate, Construction Litigation: Business
Attorney Profile

David L. Plaut is the co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Hanna & Plaut, L.L.P. Focusing his practice exclusively on insurance company defense, he provides representation to area insurers in cases involving bad faith, coverage disputes and similar matters at both the trial and appellate levels. He also has experience in personal injury defense, trucking litigation, general commercial litigation and business law. 

Mr. Plaut has lectured and written extensively on subjects related to his practice area. Some of the topics that he has covered have included the duty to defend, residential foundation claims, avoiding summary judgment in bad faith litigation, and hot topics in homeowner's insurance. Admitted to practice in Texas, Mr. Plaut is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of Texas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Mr. Plaut received a Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1985. He then pursued his legal education at The University of Texas School of Law and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1989. While in law school, Mr. Plaut served as an articles editor on the Texas Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Plaut clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit for two years before entering private practice. He co-founded his current firm in February 1998.

Mr. Plaut is highly regarded by his fellow attorneys for his excellent track record and high degree of ethics. This has been evidenced by his receipt of an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. His professional memberships include the Austin Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the Defense Research Institute.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 40%Insurance Coverage
  • 30%Personal Injury - General: Defense
  • 20%Appellate
  • 10%Construction Litigation: Business
Focus Areas

Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance, Insurance Defense, Appeals


12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2012, 2016 - 2022

About David L. Plaut

First Admitted: 1990, Texas

Professional Webpage:


  • , Texas Super Lawyer, 2008 – 2012, 2016-2020, Super Lawyers Magazine

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • The Duty To Defend, Creative Pleadings of “Negligence”, and Coverage Issues, Insurance Bad Faith Seminar (October 16, 1998)
  • Statutory Update (including article 21.55), Insurance Law for Attorneys Representing Carriers, (University of Houston 2004)
  • Subrogation Waivers and Insurance policy Construction: the strange case of SM Energy, 13th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course (June 9-10, 2016)
  • Ruttiger v. Texas mutual and the Viability of Aranda in the Workers’ Compensation “Bad Faith” Context: Defense Perspective, 14th Annual Insurance Law Institute (University of Texas 2009)
  • Insurability of Punitive Damages After Fairfield, 14th Annual Insurance Law Institute (University of Texas 2008)
  • Stowers Update: New Aspects of an Old Claim, Texas Insurance Law Symposium (South Texas College of Law 2006)
  • Trinity v. Cowan: Mental Anguish Is Not “Bodily Injury” and Intentional Torts are Not “Accidents,” 61 Texas Bar Journal 128 (February 1998)
  • Gandy Busts Up Sweetheart Deals For Good, 60 Texas Bar Journal 1112 (December 1997)
  • The Duty To Defend and State Farm v. Gandy,Insurance Bad Faith Claims Seminar (Oct. 17, 1997)
  • A Tale of Two Slabs: Sharp, Nicolau and Insurance Coverage for Residential foundation Claims,Texas Insurance Law: from Nuts and Bolts to Tips and Tricks (Sept. 11,1997)
  • Obtaining or Avoiding Summary Judgment in a Bad Faith Case: The “Bona Fide Dispute” Standard for Assessing an Insurer’s Handling of a Claim, 3rd Advanced Issues in Insurance “Bad Faith” Litigation (Oct 13, 1995)
  • Lyons v. Millers Casualty: The Last Word on the Standard for Assessing Bad Faith in Texas?, 57 Texas Bar Journal 832 (Sept. 1994)
  • A Guide to the Local Rules of Texas Federal Courts, 54 Texas Bar Journal (June 1991)
  • Texas Law Review, Articles Editor, University of Texas School of Law, 1989
  • Certification and the Quest for Certainty: A Primer on Certified Questions to the Texas Supreme Court, 25th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals (June 4, 2015)
  • Beyond the eight corners: Use of Extrinsic Evidence to Determine the Duty to Defend, 5J Tex. Ins. L. 2 (Dec. 2004)
  • Bad Faith Litigation in Texas and Update of Recent Extra-Contractual Cases, Handling Insurance and Tort Claims (University of Houston 2003)
  • Whose Burden Is It Anyway? Article 21.58 and the Burden of Proving Covered and Non-Covered Causes in Property Insurance Cases, 2 J. Tex. Ins. Law (Nov./Dec. 2000)
  • Hot Topics In Homeowner’s Insurance: Including Balandran and Insurance Coverage for Residential Foundation Claims, Texas Insurance Law Symposium (July 30-31, 1998)

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Texas Appleseed Visionary Society

Bar/Professional Activity

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas, Insurance Section, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Texas 
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • Austin Bar Association, Member
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • American Bar Association, Member

Educational Background

  • Johns Hopkins University, BA, with honors, 1985

Industry Groups

  • Appellate
  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • Litigation
  • Trucking
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Office Location for David L. Plaut

Southwest Tower
211 East 7th Street, Suite 600
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-472-7700

Fax: 512-472-0205

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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