Lawyer, Author, Advocate, Speaker
Michael “Tate” Barkley has been in recovery for more than 20 years. His personal experiences with alcoholism and addiction have driven him to write and speak on the themes of personal integrity and ethics, recovery and resilience, self-acceptance, and mental wellness.
A litigation attorney for 30 years, Tate is a founding partner of Bain & Barkley law firm. He is also a professor at the University of Houston, teaching Communications Law and Ethics for more than 20 years, where he was awarded the School of Communications 2019 Valenti Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer.
His first book, Successful Ethical Decision Making: Get What You Want Without Getting in Trouble, published in 2008, breaks down the process of making difficult decisions into easy-to-implement tactics that can be used by anyone in any situation, business, or personal.
Tate is a dynamic, engaging speaker and a highly sought-after trainer with a wonderful ability to inform and inspire audiences. His powerful, inspirational talks and results-oriented seminars provide the tools for immediate change and long-term personal growth. Tate has shared his story of recovery at Regional and National-level organizations dedicated to recovery, including the Texas Opioid Treatment Alliance. He has also spoken on ethics and situational decision-making to a wide variety of organizations, including the VA Boston Healthcare System; the U.S. Forestry Service; the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts; American National Property & Casualty Insurance; Institute of Management Consultants; Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Universal North America Insurance Company; the Stonewall Lawyer’s Association; and, the Houston Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, where he shared the stage with former Enron CFO and convicted felon, Andrew Fastow, who also speaks on the topic of business ethics.
Tate presently serves on the Board of Directors for Avenue Community Development Corp., which is dedicated to providing affordable housing for veterans, seniors, and the working poor, he serves on the board of the church council for Covenant Church, an ecumenical liberal Baptist congregation in Houston’s museum district. He is a past board member of the Texas Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders. He also formerly served on the Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse board, whose mission is to provide families and individuals the substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment services needed for positive change for themselves and the community. Tate lives in Houston with his husband, Anson, who is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital. Anson was recently honored as the inaugural winner of the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Faculty Award in Professionalism in Education by UT Health McGovern Medical School.
Tate’s memoir: Sunday Dinners, Moonshine, and Men, is due in Spring 2023.