With more than three decades of experience and the recipient of numerous honors by prominent publications and ranking agencies, Dennis Duffy concentrates exclusively on representing management in all aspects of labor and employment law matters.
Viewing prompt responsiveness and thorough preparation as the hallmarks of his practice, Dennis ensures that he is always available to provide salient approaches to clients’ workplace challenges.
Dennis provides strategic advice and advocates for clients in a variety of industries including energy, construction, technology, and financial services, representing them in Texas and other states throughout the country. In addition, he handles many executive employment issues, advising management and boards on legal issues related to hiring, contracts, and other employment issues involving high-level executives. He draws on a rich professional background that includes serving as general counsel and in roles in government and academia. In addition to his labor and employment law expertise, Dennis is a nationally recognized speaker and author in the area of evidentiary privileges and legal ethics.
Dennis constantly monitors the ever-changing employment law landscape to anticipate how to best apply new developments and cutting-edge strategies to his clients’ particular problems. He believes in frequent and effective communication and explains issues in plain English rather than legalese so clients thoroughly understand their options and any potential consequences. In the courtroom, Dennis crafts narratives that juries find both clear and compelling.
When defending clients in litigation, Dennis always takes their overall strategic goals into account in advising them about whether to fight or settle matters. He works diligently to help clients reduce the overall incidence of claims, assess the probability that any claims brought will be successful, and increase the likelihood that issues can be resolved efficiently, with the smallest amount of legal spend possible to get a favorable outcome.
Away from the Office
Dennis loves to spend time with his family and large, close-knit extended family. He is also a fan of biographies and a New York Times crossword puzzle addict.
- Labor & Employment
- OSHA Defense
- State Bar of California (1984)
- State Bar of Texas (1986)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1982
- Princeton University, B.A., 1979
- Obtained defense award in AAA arbitration proceeding in race harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage claims case against a major hospitality company.
- Obtained TRO and permanent injunction in trade secrets claim on behalf of a leading custom building concern.
- Obtained summary judgment in a AAA arbitration proceeding in a gender harassment, discrimination, and retaliation case against a major energy services company.
- Obtained dismissal in federal court and on appeal of False Claims Act retaliation claims against a leading engineering and construction services company.
- Obtained summary judgment in state court in a workers’ compensation retaliation case against a leading engineering and construction company.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court in disability, hostile work environment and retaliation case against a major multinational energy corporation.
- Defeated conditional certification in federal court of a company-wide Fair Labor Standards Act putative collective action against an energy services company, and obtained summary judgment in favor of the company on plaintiff’s individual claims.
- Obtained defense award in AAA arbitration proceeding in a Fair Labor Standards Act retaliation case against a leading financial services company.
- Obtained defense judgment in state court trial of breach of contract and fraud case by former executive against a leading power transmission, construction and services company.
- Obtained summary judgment in state court in workers’ compensation retaliation claims against a leading engineering and construction services company.
- Defeated conditional certification in federal court of a company-wide Fair Labor Standards Act putative collective action against a leading energy products and services company.
- Obtained summary judgment in state court in a race and gender discrimination claims against an energy and construction services staffing agency.
- Obtained summary judgment and dismissal in federal court of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims brought by multiple plaintiffs against a leading engineering services company.
- Obtained summary judgment in AAA arbitration in a race and gender harassment, discrimination and retaliation case against a leading financial services company.
- Obtained a unanimous jury verdict in state court for a major restaurant chain in an age discrimination hiring case.
- Obtained defense jury verdict in state court on age discrimination claim brought by former outside counsel claiming status as an employee for a leading seismic services company.
- Law in the Workplace, “Fifth Circuit Declares Day-Rate Workers, even Those Earning over $200K/Year, Not Exempt—Unless the Employer Also Pays a Weekly Guaranteed Amount,” September 2021.
- Law in the Workplace, "Texas "Anti-Vaccination Passport" Law," June 2021.
- Law in the Workplace, "Tips for Conducting Effective Internal Investigations – Including "Zoom" Investigations – Part II," March 2021.
- Law in the Workplace, "Tips for Conducting Effective Internal Investigations —Including “Zoom” Investigations — Part I," February 2021.
- Board Certified, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor and Employment Law (1990)
- Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2008 - 2021)
- Best Lawyers in America©, U.S. News & World Report (2009 - 2022)
- Ranked in Chambers USA Guide, Labor & Employment (2012-2022)
- Lawdragon 500: Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyer, 2020 - 2022
- Chambers Global: Labor & Employment (USA), 2019 – 2021; Band 2, 2019 - 2020
– Band 2, 2019 – 2021
- Chambers USA: Labor & Employment in Texas, 2011 – 2021
– Band 1, 2017 – 2020
- The Legal 500 United States, 2019
– Recommended in Labor and Employment Disputes (including collective actions): Defense
- Benchmark Litigation: Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year, Texas, 2019
- Acritas Star, 2016
- Who’s Who Legal: Labour, Employment & Benefits, 2012 – 2019
- Human Resource Executive “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys—Top 100”, 2008 – 2019
- “Ten Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America”, 2008
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 2009 – Present
– Texas: Employment Law – Management
– Texas: Labor Law – Management
– Texas: Litigation – Labor and Employment
- Texas Super Lawyers “Top 100”, 2019
- College of Labor and Employment Lawyers - Fellow
- National Employment Law Institute - Chair, Board of Directors
Panel: Legal Issues in First Amendment and Speech Issues in Public and Private Employment, PLI Employment Law Conference (Remote, August 2022)
“Legal Issues in Sexual Harassment and Internal Investigations in the ‘Me Too’ and ‘BLM’ Era,” National Employment Law Institute, Public Sector EEO and Employment Law Update (Remote, July 2022)
“Ethics and Professionalism Update,” National Employment Law Institute Mid-Year Teleconference (Remote, June 1, 2022)
“Ethics and Professionalism Issues,” National Employment Law Council (Remote, April 28, 2022)
“Ethics and Professionalism Update,” National Employment Law Institute Employment Law Briefing (St. Pete Beach, Florida - March 28, 2022)
“Ethics and Professionalism Update,” National Employment Law Institute Year-End Conference (Remote December 9, 2021)
“Navigating Ethics Landmines in Internal Investigations,” National Employment Law Council (Remote September 16, 2021)
“Conducting Lawful and Effective Internal Investigations,” National Employment Law Institute Public Sector EEO and Employment Law Update – Webinar (August 25, 2021)
“Ethics Issues for Employment and Labor Lawyers,” National Employment Law Institute Mid-Year Employment Law Conference –Webinar (June 3, 2021)
“Internal Investigations,” KRCL Webinar (March 23, 2021)
“Lies, Damned Lies and Ethics in the Age of ‘Alternative Facts’ and ‘Fake News,’” Pacific Coast Legal Conference – (Remote) (May 6, 2021)
- Children at Risk: Advisory Board