Melissa Goodman

Practices

Education and Clerkships

J.D., Creighton University, 1994, cum laude; Assistant Editor, Creighton Law Review

B.A., University of Iowa, 1991

Admissions

Texas

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

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

Texas Supreme Court

Profile

Melissa Goodman is known for litigating and agilely managing sophisticated employment issues during mission critical scenarios. With 24 years of experience, Melissa has litigated in multiple states, courts of appeal and various arbitration forums. She serves as co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets Practice Group, and the former chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Melissa focuses on litigation and advising top level corporate leadership - boards of directors, in-house counsel and chief executives - on unique, complex and often crisis-level employment affairs, including:

  • Executive Transitions - Drafts, negotiates, advises and litigates complex executive transitions such as employment and separation agreements, trade secret disputes, non-competes, wage and hour disputes, and compensation agreements.
  • Internal Investigations – Conducts high-level, sensitive and complex workplace investigations, and counsels on best practices in investigations.
  • Unfair Competition - Litigates complex unfair competition-related claims (including breach of non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duty claims) extensively throughout the United States, advises and strategizes on handling such issues, and drafts and negotiates restrictive covenants.
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation Threats - Advises on all aspects of whistleblower and retaliation situations, from responding to threats to handling litigation.
  • Regulatory Missteps - Counsels leadership in response to allegations of corporate wrongdoing related to Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, and litigates claims alleging retaliation resulting from such reports.
  • Major Transactions - With the goal of protecting company assets, counsels leadership during major transactions, from advising on purchase agreements, drafting employment and related agreements to navigating disputes and litigation.
  • ERISA Litigation - Handles all aspects of retirement and benefit plan litigation.
  • Indemnification Claims - Provides guidance to leadership and litigates indemnification suits brought by corporate officers.

In addition to complex employment situations, Melissa is also regularly called upon by clients to provide advice on day-to-day employment law issues. Melissa is a frequent speaker for local and national audiences on a variety of labor and employment and litigation issues and is an active member of the American Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Association.

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • “Protecting your Company Against Sexual Harassment Claims,” presenter, Human Resources Committee Luncheon Series, Richardson, Texas, February 22, 2018.
  • "Examining the Duty of Loyalty and the Corporate Opportunity Doctrine," co-author, Business Torts & Unfair Competition, Summer 2014, Vol. 21, No. 4

Recognition

Best Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2019

Best Lawyers in America 2019 has featured 111 Haynes and Boone lawyers in its annual referral guide of outstanding lawyers throughout the U.S.


Published by Woodward/White, Inc. in August 2018

Selected Client Representations

  • Successfully obtained and/or defended injunctions and litigated cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, unfair competition, and other related torts in several states, arbitrations and in various courts of appeal. Draft covenants not to compete for employers and in business transactions. Argued a state supreme court case that created new non-compete law.
  • Successfully tried several employment law cases in federal and state courts. Extensive experience in federal and state appellate courts in employment-related cases.
  • Extensive experience in ERISA-related cases representing plans, employers and administrators in several states, including successfully tried a multi-plaintiff lawsuit and obtaining summary judgments where plaintiffs sought several million in damages.
  • Advise and defend employers on whistleblower/retaliation claims, such as claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank.
  • Obtain summary judgment for employers in lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and employment-related torts.
  • Wage and hour litigation, including class actions under state law and collective actions under the FLSA.
  • Obtained a jury verdict for the employer in a class action case in which the class plaintiffs sought $10 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Counsel employers on various issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating sexual harassment and employee misconduct, and covenants not to compete.

Honors

Super Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers Features 57 Haynes and Boone Lawyers

Texas Super Lawyers recognized 57 Haynes and Boone lawyers in the 2018 edition of the annual directory published by Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. 

Professional and Community Activities

  • Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Member of the Board of Directors
  • Federal Bar Association, Dallas Chapter, Past President
  • American Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section, Litigation Section, Covenants Not to Compete Subcommittee, Trade Secrets Subcommittee, Duty of Loyalty Subcommittee, ERISA Litigation Subcommittee
  • Dallas Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

Honors

DMag Best Lawyers 2015

Haynes and Boone Recognized in D Magazine’s 2018 Best Lawyers List

D Magazine named 42 Haynes and Boone lawyers across multiple practice areas to its Best Lawyers in Dallas list for 2018, the most selections for the firm over the past decade.


Published by D Magazine Partners, April 2018

Professional Recognition

  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., for Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2013; Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2013-2019
  • Featured in D CEO Magazine’s Dallas 500, D Magazine Partners, as “one of the most influential leaders in North Texas,” 2017-2018
  • Recognized in D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas", D Magazine and Partners, 2018
  • Named in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, in Employment & Labor, 2009, 2011-2013; Employment Litigation, 2010-2013, 2018
  • Named in Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, in Employment Litigation and Labor and Employment Law, 2004-2005

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