Dean Schaner


Education and Clerkships

J.D., Creighton University School of Law, 1987, with honors; Student Articles Editor, Creighton Law Review

B.A., Texas Tech University, 1984, with honors

Bar Admissions



Court Admissions

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

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

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Supreme Court


Dean Schaner, founder of the Houston Labor and Employment Practice Group, has exclusively practiced employment and labor litigation for more than 26 years, representing employers in all aspects of unfair competition, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, ERISA, wrongful termination, and tort/contract claims arising out of the employment relationship. After moving from Dallas to the Houston office in 1995, Mr. Schaner built the Houston labor and employment practice group. Mr. Schaner has tried a wide variety of cases in the federal and state courts, including the successful defense of an energy company in a class action case in which plaintiffs sought $30 million in damages. He is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a labor and employment law specialist. Mr. Schaner is the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Employment Law Desk Reference, 5th Edition. Additionally, as a member of the Social Media Practice Group, Mr. Schaner advises clients on matters regarding social media and the risks and implications it may have in the labor and employment arena.

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • "Common Pitfalls in Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Protection Facing Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Attorneys," New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation - 2013 (October 2013).
  • Employment Law Survey 2011-2012, 45 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 727 (Spring 2013).
  • "Everyday Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Ethics for Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Attorneys," BNA Pension & Benefits Daily (June 28, 2013).
  • "Relying on Employer-Favorable Case Law Outcomes to Help Defend Against Employment Class and Collective Actions," chapter in Inside the Minds publication,Strategies for Employment Class and Collective Actions: Leading Lawyers on Addressing Trends in Wage and Hour Allegations and Defending Employers in Class Action Litigation, Aspatore Books, (2012).
  • Focus on the Workplace: "Noncompete Agreements in the Employment Context," Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 66, No. 5 (November 2011).
  • Editor-in-Chief, Texas Employment Law Desk Reference (5th Ed., 2011).
  • FLSA Travel Issues: "I Would Walk 500 Miles But Would I Get Paid for it?" Law 360 (July 19, 2011).
  • "Beware of the Claw: Implementing Mandatory Clawback Provisions in Executive Employment Agreements After Dodd-Frank," Wolters Kluwer [Corporation Section 2, Vol. LXXXII, No. 14] (July 15, 2011).
  • "The EEOC Issues Final Regulations Implementing the ADAAA," Associated Security Services and Investigators Magazine (June 2011).
  • "FLSA: Death Star Workers Were Independent Contractors," Employee Benefit Plan Review (May 2011).
  • "Electronic Communications Policies Post Quon," Law 360 (July 21, 2010). 


Best Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Maintains Strong Presence in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

The Best Lawyers in America 2016, an annual referral guide listing outstanding lawyers throughout the U.S., has recognized 114 Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers across more than 60 practice areas.

Published by Woodward/White, Inc. in August 2015

Selected Client Representations

Mr. Schaner has successfully tried cases for employers in both Federal and Texas courts, including:

  • Defended national class action misclassification FLSA case involving officers of a mortgage company and financial institution; case successfully settled on favorable terms for the client.
  • Obtained numerous temporary restraining orders and injunctions for clients in non-competition agreement, unfair competition, trade secret, Computer Fraud Abuse Act, and inevitable disclosure cases.
  • Obtained a defense jury verdict for an oil and gas employer in a Texas state court, class action case in which the class plaintiffs sought $10 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages. A Texas appeals court affirmed the defense verdict.
  • Defended class action employment discrimination and employee benefits lawsuits by preventing class certification and obtaining summary judgment on the merits. Several of the class actions sought nationwide class certification for thousands of putative plaintiffs.
  • Obtained jury verdicts for banking institutions, energy companies, and other employers on the merits of employee discrimination/wrongful discharge claims.
  • Convinced a Texas appeals court to adopt the after-acquired evidence doctrine, namely, the discovery of post-discharge employee misconduct to bar an employee's wrongful discharge claim. Jordan v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 881 S.W.2d 363 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1994).
  • Convinced a Texas appeals court to reject plaintiff's request to adopt the "cats-paw" doctrine in a workers' compensation retaliation lawsuit under Texas law.Costello v. Bank of America, N.A., 2007 WL 4303499 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 2007).
  • Convinced a Texas district judge to compel a plaintiff-former employee asserting whistleblower and slander claims to return numerous documents plaintiff downloaded without employer authorization to support plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff later dismissed his lawsuit with prejudice.

Published Cases

Obtained summary judgment and judgment as a matter of law victories in numerous published cases, including:
  • Young v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 658 F.3d 436 (5th Cir. 2011)
  • Simmons v. Wilcox, 911 F.2d 1077 (5th Cir. 1990) (adopting exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement in ERISA fiduciary breach/benefits claims lawsuit).
  • Khavari v. Varo, Inc., No. 05-92-01733-CV, 1993 WL 84788 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1993) (affirming summary judgment in contract breach and tort claims arising out of employment termination).
  • Geiger v. Varo, Inc., No. 05-93-1511-CV, 1994 WL 246159 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994) (affirming summary judgment on multiple count sexual harassment and assault lawsuit).
  • Nowlin v. Resolution Trust Corp., et al., 33 F.3d 498 (5th Cir. 1994) (affirming summary judgment for Haynes and Boone client, Mitchell Jobe, on scope of EEOC charge argument).
  • Ellis v. NCNB Texas National Bank, 842 F. Supp. 243 (N.D. Tex. 1994) (granting summary judgment for financial institution in one of first whistleblower cases filed under the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act in which the plaintiff sought $6 million in damages; case was reported in the Big Suits section of the American Lawyer).
  • Simien v. Chemical Waste Management, Inc., 30 F. Supp. 2d 939 (W.D.La. 1998), aff’d, 174 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 1999) (affirming summary judgment in race discrimination lawsuit).
  • Blanks and Breedlove v. Waste Management of Arkansas, Inc., 31 F. Supp. 2d 673 (W.D. Ark. 1998) (affirming summary judgment in nationwide class action case).
  • Amos v. Wheelabrator Coal Services Co., 47 F. Supp. 2d 798 (N.D. Tex. 1999) (granting judgment as a matter of law in ADA lawsuit).
  • Green v. Industrial Specialty Contractors, 1 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 25, 1999) (affirming summary judgment in sex harassment case involving six alleged harassment incidents).
  • Krug v. Caltex Petroleum Corporation, No. 05-96-0079-CV, 1999 WL 652495 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1999) (affirming jury verdict for the defense in fraud/contract class action lawsuit).
  • Patitu v. NationsBank, N.A., 90 F. Supp.2d 781 (S.D. Tex. 2000) (granting summary judgment in national origin discrimination case).
  • Tiemeyer v. Quality Publishing, Inc., 144 F. Supp. 2d 727 (S.D. Tex. 2001) (granting summary judgment in age discrimination case).
  • Burgos v. Tex. Trude, et al., 286 F. Supp. 2d 812 (S.D. Tex. 2003) (granting motion to dismiss on ERISA preemption grounds).
  • Bodine v. Employers Casualty Co., et al., 352 F.3d 245 (5th Cir. 2003) (affirming dismissal of ERISA lawsuit under anti-cutback and prohibited transaction ERISA provisions).
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int'l Corps., 308 F. Supp. 2d 761 (S.D. Tex. 2004) (granting summary judgment on pension benefits claim).
  • Costello v. Bank of America, N.A., 2007 WL 4303499 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2007) (affirming summary judgment on workers' compensation retaliation claim and rejecting "cat's paw" doctrine under Texas statute).
  • St. John v. NCI Bldg. Systems, Inc., 537 F. Supp. 2d 848 (S.D. Tex. 2008) (granting summary judgment on plaintiff's ADA discrimination and retaliation claims).
  • Mensa-Wilmot v. Smith International, Inc., 312 SW.3d 771, 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 8944 (Tex. App. – [1st Dist.] Nov. 19, 2009) (affirming summary judgment for employer on plaintiff’s non-qualified stock option claims under stock option agreements).
  • Young v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 658 F.3d. 436 (5th Cir. 2011) (holding that employer did not act arbitrarily, under New York law, in refusing to pay value of unexercised stock options to former executive because the executive's resignation was not a resignation for good reason after a change in control).
  • Successfully argued over 20 cases before the Texas Courts of Appeal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits.


Professional and Community Activities

  • Member of the Exam Committee for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Labor and Employment Law Exam Commission, 2005-2014
  • Exam Coordinator for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor and Employment Specialization Exam Committee, 2008-2014
  • Chair of the Texas Labor and Employment Exam Committee, 2013-2014
  • Member, Board of Directors, Houston West Chamber of Commerce
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Nebraska
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • Texas Association of Business


Chambers USA 2015

Chambers USA Recognizes 52 Haynes and Boone Lawyers

Fifty-two Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers are recognized in the 2015 edition of the highly regarded Chambers USA directory of top lawyers and law firms.

Published by Chambers & Partners in May 2015

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners, in Labor & Employment (Texas), 2014-2015
  • Included in the Houston Business Journal’s 2015 Law Guide – Houston’s Largest Law Firms and Their Top Lawyers, American City Business Journals, 2015
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America®, Woodward/White, Inc., for Employment Law - Management, 2012-2016; Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2016
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, in Employment Litigation Defense, 2003-2015; Employment & Labor; Employee Benefits/ERISA, 2015
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™
  • ALM and Martindale Hubbell® recognition of Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law, 2013-2014

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