John J. Kappel

John J. Kappel

Office: Dallas
Phone: 214-273-2400 Email: LinkedIn:


One of the many reasons John began practicing Family Law is because it allowed him to work face to face with his clients. He has advocated for them in the courtroom and has seen firsthand the effects a case can have on their lives. Those experiences are why he works so hard to provide clients with sound legal advice, find practical solutions to some of the biggest problems they’ve ever faced, and passionately advocate on their behalf. Over the years, John has garnered a reputation for giving those he represents individual attention. His clients appreciate that he’s able to put himself in their shoes and see issues from a different perspective.

John graduated cum laude from SMU Dedman School of Law. Before that, he received a Bachelor of Science in economics from Baylor University. This training has given him particular insight into cases dealing with issues of property division, as well as probate and estate planning. Outside the office, John enjoys traveling with his wife, playing golf, and the occasional game of chess.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • International Family Law
  • Appellate
  • Estate Planning and Probate

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2020

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas, 2014
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas

  • J.D., cum laude – 2014

Baylor University, Waco, Texas

  • B.S. – 2011

Published Works and Presentations

  • Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford: The World’s Oldest Profession Struggles to Carve out a Future for Itself, Law & Business Review of the Americas, 2013
  • Drawing Bright Lines: Limiting the Scope of Representation and the Snare of Unintended Responsibility, Law & Business Review of the Americas, 2013
  • Two Down, Eleven to Go: Creating a Canadian SEC or Something Like It, Law & Business Review of the Americas, 2014
  • Freedom of Expression, the Right to Privacy, and Grasping for a Middle Ground, Law & Business Review of the Americas, 2014

Representative Cases

  • Smith v. Smith, 976 F.3d 558 (5th Cir. 2020)
  • In re Interest of A.E.J., No. 05-20-00340-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas Aug. 31, 2020, pet. denied)
  • In re S.H., No. 05-17-00336-CV (Tex. App. .—Dallas, Aug. 8, 2018, no pet.)
  • In re Interest of K.M.C., No. 05-16-00635-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas, Feb. 27, 2017, no pet.)

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, 2023
  • Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas, D Magazine, 2021-2022

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas—Family Law and Appellate Sections (2014-present)
  • Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists (2021-present)
  • Texas Bar College (2018-present)
  • Dallas Bar Association—Family Law and Appellate Sections, Legal Ethics Committee (2012-present)
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (2012-present)
  • Annette Stewart Inn of Court (2019-present)