Matthew Deffebach


Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1999

B.A., Political Science and Speech Communication, Trinity University, 1993, cum laude



Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas


Matthew Deffebach leads the Labor, Employment and Immigration Practice Group and co-leads the Litigation Department at Haynes and Boone. Having tried, as first chair, six matters in just the past four years, he is often entrusted with significant trial matters. While his employment and litigation experience is vast, Matthew’s passion is handling OSHA disputes. He has appeared in more than 22 states handling OSHA matters and is entering his 11th year as National OSHA counsel for The Home Depot.

As a litigator, Matthew has handled contract disputes and a number of non-subscriber negligence lawsuits/arbitrations. As an employment litigator, he has managed several teams overseeing national wage and hour collective (or class) action disputes. Matthew also routinely counsels clients and assists them with disputes concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability issues, non-competition and similar agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, wrongful termination, social media, and similar matters. He is a frequent speaker, having conducted more than 100 trainings for clients on employment law compliance and appearing at dozens of seminars and conferences. As an OSHA litigator, Matthew has successfully defended clients in OSHA administrative trials including the following recent illustrative matters: an oil field fatality in Texas; a powered industrial truck matter in Georgia; a hexavalent chromium dispute in Oklahoma; a PSM inspection of an ammonia refrigeration facility in Texas; a fall protection case in California; a state-wide machine guarding case in Maryland; and a PPE matter in California.

After meeting Matthew, it is easy to understand why so many of his clients are long-term, loyal clients. In 2010, Law360 by Portfolio Media, Inc. named him a "Rising Star" and one of ten employment lawyers under 40 to watch. Thereafter, he received the 2013 International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice award as the sole recipient in the Employment and Labor category in Texas.


OSHA newsletter

OSHA Quarterly Newsletter, August 2016

This edition of the Haynes and Boone Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Newsletter discusses OSHA's new pilot program for whistleblower violators in Region VII, the reporting provisions of OSHA’s new recordkeeping rule, OSHA's new guidance on good engineering practices, the new policy of criminal liability for employees, and more.

Labor and Employment

Matthew Deffebach

Haynes and Boone Labor & Employment Leader Co-authors Aspatore Text on Complying with Employment Regulations

Houston Partner Matthew Deffebach, leader of the Haynes and Boone Labor, Employment and Immigration Practice Group and co-leader of the Litigation Department, has authored a key chapter in the recently released Aspatore Books 2016-2017 edition of "Complying with Employment Regulations: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Legislation and Adapting to the Changing State of Employment Law."


Best Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Featured in Best Lawyers in America 2017

Best Lawyers in America, an annual referral guide listing outstanding lawyers throughout the U.S., has recognized 108 Haynes and Boone lawyers across more than 50 practice areas in the 2017 edition.

Published by Woodward/White, Inc., August 2017

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., in Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2015-2017.
  • Included in the Houston Business Journal’s 2015 Law Guide of Houston’s Largest Law Firms and Their Top Lawyers, American City Business Journals, 2015.
  • Selected for Inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, in Employment and Labor, 2010-2016.
  • Received the 2013 International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice award as the sole recipient in the Employment and Labor category in Texas, Globe Business Publishing Ltd, 2013.
  • Named a "Rising Star" and one of 10 employment lawyers under 40 to watch, Law360 by Portfolio Media, Inc., 2010.
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers – Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters, 2005-2010.
  • Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a labor and employment law specialist.


Professional and Community Activities

  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Trinity University Alumni Association
  • American Society of Safety Engineers
  • Retail Industry Leaders Association
  • American Bar Association OSHA Subcommittee

Selected Client Representations

Employment Litigation

  • Lagos, et al. v. Cogent Communications (S.D. Tex. 2014) (granting Motion to Decertify nationwide collective action)
  • Ihegwood v. Harris County Hospital District, 929 F. Supp. 2d 635 (S.D. Tex. 2013) (granting summary judgment on Title VII and ADA claims)
  • Peterson Group v. PLTQ Lotus Group, 417 S.W.3d 46 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2013) (reversing on alter ego finding)
  • Grenado v. White Cap Construction, (El Paso County Court of Law 2012) (granting summary judgment on Chapter 21 discrimination and retaliation claims)


  • Defense of breach of contract
  • Defense of ERISA denial of benefits
  • Defense of non-subscriber negligence
  • Defense of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Defense of non-subscriber negligence

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and Workplace Disasters 

  • Assisted a client with an investigation into a five-alarm fire, which caused over $35 Million in damages
  • Successfully defended clients in OSHA administrative trials including fatality matter in Texas, PSM inspection in Texas, fall protection case in California, state-wide machine guarding case in Maryland, and PPE matter in California
  • Defended a national employer in two separate OSHA proceedings where the Department of Labor withdrew its citations entirely on the eve of trial in both matters

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