Karen Denney


Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2002

B.S., Texas Tech University, 1999, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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 Southern District of Texas

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


Karen Denney is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group and is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Karen represents clients in employment litigation and arbitration matters involving a variety of claims, including claims concerning age, sex, race, national origin, disability, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, retaliation, misappropriation, gross negligence, breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference, covenants not to compete and other employment laws and related torts. She has also represented employers in negotiations and/or proceedings with the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Texas Workforce Commission and parties in numerous employment arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. She frequently prepares employment agreements and employment-related policies; counsels employers on various issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating harassment and discrimination complaints, social media-related employment issues, and covenants not to compete; and performs public seminars on assorted employment law topics.

Select Publications and Speeches

  • “Employment Law Update: Why Employers Never Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” 2014.
  • "Labor and Employment Law and Social Media: 2013 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2014," co-author, Bloomberg BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report, January 21, 2014.
  • "Drawing the Line on Social Media," HRE Online, January 13, 2014.
  • "Social Media Employment Law Evolving," Fort Worth Business Press, December 9, 2013.
  • "Social Media and Labor and Employment Law: Top Five Issues to Watch in 2013," co-author with Alex Stevens, Social Media Law Reporter, January 24, 2013.
  • "Tax Implications in Employment Law," 2013.
  • "Helping Employers Stay On Top of Employment Law Changes," chapter in Inside the Minds publication, The Impact of Recent Regulatory Developments in Employment Law, Aspatore Books, 2013.
  • "Hot Topics in Employment Law for 2013," 2013.
  • "How Do I Manage Employees and Employment Law?" 2013.
  • “What Not to Ask in an Interview and Other Helpful Employment Law Tips,” 2013.
  • "Mysteries of Employment Law Revealed," 2012.
  • "Management Skills: What You Need to Know About Employment Law and How it Affects Your Day-to-Day Job Duties," 2012.
  • "The Fair Labor Standards Act: Back to the Basics," 2012.
  • "The Family Medical Leave Act: The Devil is in the Details," 2011.
  • "Social Media and the Law," 2011.
  • "Sexual Harassment," 2011.
  • "Employment Law Myths, Overlooked Basics and Best Practices," 2011.
  • "Texas Employees Receive New Gun Rights," Haynes and Boone Alert, 2011.
  • "Responding to an EEOC Charge: How to Answer when the EEOC Comes Knocking," 2010. 

Client Focus

Haynes and Boone and American Airlines Lawyers Help Pro Bono Client Gain Asylum

Two Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers and an American Airlines lawyer have won asylum for a Cameroon native, who was a member of the Cameroon Democratic Union, an opposition political party whose members were targeted by the ruling party in Cameroon, and CODE, a human rights organization focused on exposing the abuses of the Cameroonian people by the Cameroonian president and his political party.

Selected Client Representations

  • Successfully obtained and/or defended numerous temporary and permanent injunctions in misappropriation of trade secrets and covenant not to compete cases. 
  • Representation of securities brokerage firms in employment disputes, including a complete defense award against former broker challenging stock forfeiture provisions in employee incentive compensation plan. 
  • Obtained numerous summary judgments and dismissals for employers in employment litigation matters involving defamation, tortious interference, race, sex, age, sexual harassment, pregnancy, the Family Medical Leave Act, disability and retaliation claims. 
  • Obtained summary judgments for companies on breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, premises liability, and unjust enrichment claims. 
  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial against employees claiming retaliation. 
  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial for employer based on alleged negligence of an employee.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit 
  • 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 Southern District of Texas 
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Professional Recognition

  • Awarded the Friend of Clayton Award by Clayton Youth Enrichment Services (2013) 
  • Named by the Fort Worth Business Press as a 40 Under 40 Honoree (2013) 
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition (2006, 2008-2013) 
  • Top Three Finalist for the 2012 National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division   
  • Named the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association 
  • Selected as the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County by the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association 
  • Chosen by her peers as one of Fort Worth's Top Attorneys in Labor and Employment in Fort Worth, Texas, The City's Magazine (2009-2013)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Casa Mañana, Inc., Board Member, Vice Chair Development and Gala Chair 
  • The Parenting Center, President and Board Member 
  • Clayton Youth Enrichment Services Board Member (2005-2013) 
  • Co-Chair of Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Committee (2012-2013) 
  • Past President of the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association 
  • LeadershipSBOT, Class of 2011-2012 
  • Leadership Fort Worth, Class of 2010-2011
  • American Bar Association 
  • State Bar of Texas 
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association 
  • Tarrant County Bar Association 
  • Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association 
  • Labor and Employment Sections of the Texas and Tarrant County Bar Associations 
  • Texas Bar Foundation Member 
  • Tarrant County Bar Foundation Life Fellow 
  • State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College Member 
  • Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, Associated 2006-2008 
  • Haynes and Boone Diversity Committee

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