Dennis P. Duffy

Partner

Houston
T +1.713.646.1364
F +1.713.751.1717

Dennis Duffy gives "great, practical advice". . . He has "personalities, interactions and strategies down-pat. He's the person to go to when you need to take personal dynamics into consideration."

— Chambers USA 2016

Overview

Dennis Duffy concentrates exclusively on representation of management in all aspects of labor and employment law matters. Client responsiveness and thorough preparation are the hallmarks of his practice, as Dennis ensures that he is available to his clients, responding quickly with a thorough approach to addressing their workplace challenges.

Dennis is board-certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and ranked in Chambers USA as a “Leading Lawyer.”

Select Experience

  • Defeated conditional certification 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 in federal court in sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims 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.
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Experience

  • Defeated conditional certification 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 in federal court in sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims 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.
  • Lead trial counsel in a retaliation, age discrimination and breach of contract case brought by the former outside counsel claiming status as an employee for a leading seismic services company. Obtained defense verdict on age discrimination claims following a two-week jury trial and pretrial dismissal of remaining claims against the company.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for a leading water technology company in a case brought by a former employee alleging multiple gender discrimination and retaliatory discharge claims. Obtained permanent injunction in a parallel state court action against the same plaintiff arising from the plaintiff’s misappropriation of confidential information.
  • Lead counsel in a Fair Labor Standards Act nationwide putative collective action case against a leading information technology company. Defeated a motion for conditional certification of class and successfully obtained an order referring claims of named plaintiffs to binding arbitration.
  • Obtained a unanimous defense verdict in federal court for a leading engineering construction company in a gender discrimination and retaliation case arising out of layoff. Judgment was affirmed by the 5th Circuit.
  • Represented the employer, a radio broadcasting company, at trial and on appeal with respect to federal discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims brought by a former general sales manager who alleged that she was terminated and denied promotion because of her gender, and that the company declined to do business with her after her firing due to pending litigation she had with the company. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the company on the plaintiff’s termination and promotion claims, and the jury returned a verdict on the retaliation claim. On appeal, the 5th Circuit gave the company total victory, affirming summary judgment as to the termination and promotion claims and reversed the jury verdict, and rendered judgment in the company’s favor on the plaintiff’s retaliation claim, finding that “a reasonable employee would not be dissuaded from filing an EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] charge because of the possibility that her former employer might refuse to do business with her separate company: more than a year after the EEOC filing; 18 months after her termination for cause and twice threatening her former employer with contract litigation; and after working for a direct competitor.” The Supreme Court denied writ of certiorari.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment in Texas (2011 to 2017)
    • Band 1 (2017)
  • Acritas Star (2016)
  • International Who's Who Legal: Management Labor and Employment (2013 to 2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2009 to 2017)
    • Houston: Employment Law – Management
    • Houston: Labor Law – Management
    • Houston: Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Human Resource Executive "Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys—Top 100" (2008 to 2017)
    • "Ten Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America" (2008)
  • Texas "Super Lawyer" (2008 to 2016)

Memberships

  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers: Fellow
  • National Employment Law Institute
    • Advisory Board
    • Board of Directors

News

News

Press Releases

Community

  • Children at Risk: Advisory Board

Prior Positions

  • Houston Firm:  Chair, Management Labor and Employment Practice Group
  • Time Warner Inc.: Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Chief Counsel, Labor and Employment 
  • University of Houston System/University of Houston: General Counsel
  • U.S. Office of Compliance: General Counsel
  • University of Houston Law Center: Professor of Law
  • University of Virginia: Visiting Professor of Law
  • San Antonio Firm: Management Labor and Employment Lawyer
  • San Francisco Firm: Management Labor and Employment Lawyer
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable George P. Kazen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Admissions

  • 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
  • Texas
  • California

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1982
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1979