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Russell D. Cawyer


Russell D. Cawyer is a partner and chairs the firm's Labor and Employment practice. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Texas Tech University School of Law, where he also served as a note editor on its law review. Mr. Cawyer received his Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from the University of North Texas.

Mr. Cawyer's practice focuses exclusively on labor and employment-related legal matters, including litigation in federal and state courts and administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce Commission - Civil Rights Division, the National Labor Relations Board (including defending both charges of unfair labor practices and representation election proceedings), Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other state fair employment practices agencies.

Additionally, Mr. Cawyer has defended employers in multiple complex wage, hour, and benefit class actions having nearly 20,000 total putative class members. He also has litigated both federal and state court cases involving numerous workplace claims, including, among others, alleged discrimination, harassment and retaliation, workers' compensation retaliation, breach of contract, and the enforceability of numerous covenants-not-to-compete. Mr. Cawyer's defense of employers has included both successful jury and bench trials.

Mr. Cawyer regularly advises employers on employment issues involving federal and state court cases alleging discrimination and sexual harassment. He has litigated employment cases and arbitrated matters arising under collective bargaining agreements. He is a frequent author and speaker on human resources, employee relations, labor, and employment law developments. He has been board-certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2000.

U.S. News and World Reports included Mr. Cawyer on The Best Lawyers in America® ranking every year since 2015. In addition, from 2005 through 2009, he was named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star and was similarly named a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2009; both lists are published in Texas Monthly magazine by Thomson Reuters. His peers also voted Mr. Cawyer among the city's best attorneys in polls conducted by Fort Worth, Texas magazine, and 360 West magazine. He also has been recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Fort Worth Business Press.

Mr. Cawyer is the publisher of the Texas Employment Law Update.

Experience and highlights
  • McIver v. American Eagle Airlines, Inc., 4:08-CV-740-A, In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Jan. 19, 2010) (lead trial attorney obtaining a defense verdict in the jury trial of an age discrimination claim filed by former employee)
  • Rodriguez v. American Eagle Airlines, Inc., Cause No. 2008-541,950, 99th Judicial District Court, Lubbock, County, Texas (Jul. 2, 2009) (Lead trial attorney obtaining defense verdict in jury trial of age, sex and race discrimination and retaliation claims filed by former employee)
  • Franco v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., 2008 WL 4217848 (C.D. Cal, Sept. 11, 2008) (opinion granting summary judgment in breach of contract and disability discrimination case applying California State law)
  • Pitts v. Electrical Power Systems, Inc., 2008 WL 2364998 (N.D. Okla., Jun. 6, 2008) (opinion granting motion to dismiss on private whistleblower cause of action under Oklahoma law)
  • Vasconcellos v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., 2008 WL 4601036 (D.R.I. Apr. 28. 2008) (opinion granting summary judgment in pregnancy discrimination case under Title VII and Rhode Island law)
  • Bingham v. Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, Inc., 2008 WL 163551 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth Jan. 18. 2008) (opinion affirming summary judgment against employee in defamation case against his employer)
  • Abd-Al-Matiyn v. Thos Byrne Construction, 2007 WL 2379590 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 20, 2007) (opinion granting summary judgment in race discrimination and failure to hire claim)
  • Yeoman v. Blackmon Mooring Steamatic of San Antonio, 2006 WL 3514593 (W.D. Tex Dec. 5, 2006) (opinion granting summary judgment on former employees FLSA, conversion and public policy wrongful discharge claims)
  • Cox v. Nextiraone, 169 S.W.3d 778 (Tex. Supp.-Dallas 2005, no writ) (affirming summary judgment in worker's compensation retaliation where plaintiff sought over $2.8 million in damages)
  • Golston v. American Airlines, Inc., 2004 WL 1969842 (N.D. Tex., Sept. 7, 2004) (opinion granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on race discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims based on Railway Labor Act preemption)
  • Brown v. Sabre Inc., et al., 173 S.W.3d 581 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth, no writ) (affirming summary judgment for employer in putative class action over failure to pay accrued but unused vacation upon separation of employment)
  • Serrin-Brandel v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., 2004 WL 1212205 (E.D. Mich., May 19, 2004) (opinion granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on state whistleblower and public policy wrongful termination claims)
  • Griffin v. E.F.W., Inc., 2004 WL 906393 (N.D. Tex., Mar. 4, 2004) (opinion granting employer's motion to dismiss FMLA Claims)
  • Griffin v. E.F.W., Inc., 2004 WL 1898254 (N.D. Tex., Aug. 23, 2004) (NO. 4:04-CV-314-A) (opinion granting defendant's motion to dismiss Griffin II's FMLA Claims)
Affiliations and honors


  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Tarrant County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Secretary, 2010-Present
  • Women's Center Tarrant County, Inc., Board
  • Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, since 2000


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, U.S. News & World Report, 2015-2022
    • Employment Law - Management
    • Labor Law - Management
    • Litigation - Labor & Employment
  • Listed in 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers® Employment Law Issue
    • Employment Law - Management
    • Labor & Employment
    • Labor Law - Management
    • Labor & Employment - Litigation
  • Top Attorney, 360 West magazine, 2017-2021
    • Labor & Employment
    • Worker's Compensation
  • Top Attorney, Fort Worth, Texas magazine, 2004-2021
    • Labor & Employment
  • Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2020
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2009-2020
    • Employment & Labor
  • Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star in Texas, Thomson Reuters, 2005-2009
    • Employment & Labor
  • 40 Under 40 honoree, Fort Worth Business Press
  • Rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell  "Peer Review Rated" 
  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1995
         Texas Tech Law Review, Note Editor
  • University of North Texas, B.S., cum laude, 1992
  • State Bar of Texas, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
Speeches & Publications
Russell Cawyer Named Fort Worth Magazine 2020 Top Attorney in Labor & Employment Law