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About Sean Buckley

State and Federal Criminal Defense

Attorney Sean Buckley is a highly-recognized Houston Criminal Defense Attorney representing clients in Federal and State criminal cases. With over two decades of experience, he holds the coveted AV-Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell and appears annually on the prestigious Super Lawyers list.


Buckley first gained national acclaim in 2004 in Ex parte Harvey by winning the exoneration and release of a wrongfully convicted Texas man serving a 40-year prison sentence for sexual assault. Since then, Buckley has earned continued recognition for his criminal defense advocacy in a wide array of state and federal cases. His colorful list of trial victories includes a stunning “Not Guilty” jury verdict in U.S. v. Cooper, et al., a $120 million federal healthcare fraud conspiracy case; an unprecedented “Not Guilty” felony drug possession verdict in State v. Alzate based on the fabled borrowed pants defense; and a “Not Guilty” murder verdict in State v. Palmer based on self-defense in a Houston nightclub shooting.


In addition, Attorney Sean Buckley’s extensive list of pre-trial victories includes rare federal court dismissals in cases of Healthcare Fraud Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking Conspiracy, Alien Trafficking, and Tax Evasion. He has successfully prevented the filing of criminal charges against clients targeted in state and federal criminal investigations including the notorious Panama Papers federal tax evasion investigation, the CITGO – PDVSA foreign bribery investigation, and others.


Attorney Buckley is experienced in handling cases with international dimensions. In 2017, he made international headlines serving as co-counsel and diplomatic liaison for a Houston businessman accused in the Dominican Republic of smuggling 985 kilograms of cocaine. Buckley's client was acquitted by a Dominican federal court following trial in Santo Domingo, D.R.  In 2016, Buckley won a Speedy Trial dismissal of Federal Tax Evasion charges in U.S. v. Armaugh for a client extradited to the U.S. from Panama who was also accused of hiding in Central America to escape the criminal tax charges. United States District Judge Kenneth Hoyt agreed with Attorney Buckley that prosecutors could not continue prosecuting Buckley’s client because the U.S. government took too long to find him in Central America.  


Other high-profile criminal clients have included former U.S. Congressman Stephen Stockman (sentence commuted by President Trump in 2021), former sitting U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent (as co-counsel to Dick DeGuerin), and one-time billionaire financier Allen Stanford (as co-counsel to Dick DeGuerin).


In 2016, Sean Buckley ignited a national scandal in his representation of “Jenny,” a rape victim jailed by prosecutors for 28 days to ensure her testimony against her rapist. Buckley filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking compensation for his client’s mistreatment. The lawsuit created widespread outrage across the United States, influenced the outcome of the Harris County political race for District Attorney, and resulted in the Texas Legislature passing Senate Bill 291 (known as “Jenny’s Law”) to prevent such abuses in the future. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed “Jenny’s Law” into effect on May 31, 2017 and Buckley settled the civil lawsuit for undisclosed damages in 2020.

Attorney Sean Buckley is a protégé of famed criminal defense trial lawyer Dick DeGuerin, whose influence defined Buckley’s skillset and multi-dimensional approach to defending clients. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Buckley’s work has been favorably covered by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and numerous other national and local media outlets. Buckley also serves as lead editor of O’Connor’s Federal Criminal Rules & Codes, a legal reference book used by criminal lawyers across the United States. He earned his B.A. from Auburn in 1996 and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 1999.

State Bar Admissions

  • Texas


Federal Bar Admissions

  • Southern District of Texas

  • Northern District of Texas

  • Eastern District of Texas

  • Western District of Texas

  • U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Federal Bar Admissions (pro hac vice)

  • Southern District of California (2016)

  • Southern District of New York (2018)

  • Middle District of Florida (2006)


Professional Recognitions

  • Martindale Hubbell – Rated AV Preeminent

  • Super Lawyers

  • Best Lawyers

Professional Associations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • The Federal Bar Association

  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association   



  • The Federalist Society

  • National Eagle Scout Association

  • American Mensa

  • Virtuosi of Houston (Board of Directors 2019 - 2021)

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The information referenced on this page is presented to illustrate Sean Buckley’s past performance, accomplishments, and experience and is provided for informational purposes only. Of course, past results do not guarantee future outcomes. As with any legal matter, outcomes are often influenced by the facts and circumstances of each case.

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Personalized service is a cornerstone of competent criminal defense representation. Sean Buckley delivers personalized service by selecting his clients and turning away high volume.