Shawn and Laura met while in law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, where Shawn was selected as a member of the St. Mary’s Law Journal and worked as research assistant for the Dean of the law school. After graduation and the bar exam, Shawn and Laura were married at La Mansion Del Rio Hotel on the Riverwalk in 1998. Shawn and Laura moved to Arlington as their jobs were in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Shawn and Laura have lived in Southlake for almost 20 years and have 4 children, all of whom are Dragons who started in kindergarten at Carroll Elementary School. Joseph (“Joe”) graduated from Carroll Senior High School in 2019 and is a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas at the Cox Business School. Madeleine (“Maddie”) graduated from Carroll Senior High School in 2021 and is a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Caroline (age 15) and Jack (age 14) are students at Carroll High School.
Shawn’s first job was a Judicial Clerkship at the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Texas, serving under the Honorable Justice Tom James in 1998 and 1999. After that Judicial Clerkship, Shawn worked as an Associate at the law firm of Cowles & Thompson PC in Dallas. In 2002, Shawn joined the law firm of Godwin Gruber (now known as Godwin Bowman) in Dallas as an associate in the Appellate Practice Group, handing appeals to the Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Texas. Shawn was promoted to Shareholder, and later was appointed by his fellow shareholders as the President and Managing Shareholder of the law firm and a member of the Executive Committee. Shawn is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, with multiple case victories before the Supreme Court of Texas. Shawn has been recognized as a Texas Rising Star and a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters and among the Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine. The McCaskill Family are members at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake.
Shawn has a consistent voting record against high density developments in Southlake, including voting against both the Parkview multi-family residences in Town Square (August 22, 2013) and the Super Kroger store (November 20, 2014) while serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission. While serving on City Council, Shawn made the motion to deny, and voted to deny, both the Town Square apartment application on February 18, 2020 (cases ZA20-0001 and 0002) and the Creekside Point hotel application on April 6, 2021 which only proposed to preserve 14% of the trees on its site at State Highway 114 and Kirkwood Blvd. During Shawn's time on City Council, Southlake had the lowest residential density of any city in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and City Council made multi-million dollar investments to acquire multiple tracts of vacant land for preservation as open/green space and possible city parks.
Shawn's record on City Council includes implementing the maximum residential homestead property tax exemption allowed under Texas state law, and 3 consecutive years of property tax rate cuts in 2019, 2020, and 2021, to the lowest property tax rate in Southlake since the 1980s. In addition, during Shawn's 6 years on City Council, Southlake paid down its debt from $76 million in 2015 to $29 million in 2021, with City Council mandating (1) refinancing of debt at lower interest rates, (2) accelerating the repayment of debt each year, and (3) cash funding for capital improvement projects such as roads, sidewalks, and underground infrastructure.