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214.661.5582
  • Education
    • J.D., University of Virginia, 1987, Virginia Journal of Law & Politics, Notes Editor
    • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1983, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1987
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1995
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 1994
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, 1989
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2008
    • The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, 1992
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2004
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2008
Stephen Fox has spent more than 25 years in boardrooms and courtrooms acting as a trusted advisor to and litigation advocate for clients—from Fortune 500 corporations to entrepreneurs—in complicated and often high-profile business and employment disputes. Consistently recognized by peers and clients in state and national surveys as a “go-to” courtroom advocate, Steve is one of the few lawyers in Texas to be inducted as a Fellow into the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and selected by Texas Monthly as one of the top 100 litigation attorneys in Texas.

Steve’s counseling and trial practice is focused on complex business litigation and employment litigation/counseling.

His business litigation work includes trying cases involving:
  • Theft of intellectual property 
  • Breaches of contract and fiduciary duties 
  • Business torts 
  • Corporate espionage 
  • Defamation 
  • Whistleblowing and qui tam actions 
  • Securities fraud

In 2013, one of Steve’s cases secured a place in the Texas Jury Trial Hall of Fame. In that case, Steve led the trial effort of a renowned computer-game developer and company executive against one of the world’s largest video game publishers for breaching a stock option agreement, securing a jury verdict of $28 million (and a judgment of $32 million). The National Law Journal identified the award as one of the Top Verdicts in the country.

In the area of labor and employment law, clients look to Steve for proactive and practical recommendations to avoid litigation. But, when disagreements or disputes end up in the courtroom or in arbitration, Steve is a vigorous advocate, successfully trying cases in a myriad of areas, including:
  • Trade secret theft 
  • Executive departures 
  • Wage and hour compliance and collective actions 
  • Corporate downsizing 
  • Leaves of absence 
  • Sexual harassment investigations 
  • Compliance with federal/state anti-discrimination and retaliation statutes

In 2014, Steve’s defense of one of the country’s largest grocery retail merchandising brokers in a wage and hour collective action helped secure Texas Lawyer’s “Litigation Section of the Year” award. In that case, 50 former employees sought to secure collective action status to represent a class of potentially 20,000 employees. After extensive discovery and briefing, the court summarily rejected the plaintiffs’ efforts to conditionally certify the class.

Steve’s ability to synthesize complex facts and arguments into understandable and memorable pieces of information makes him a compelling courtroom advocate, as well as a frequent resource to print, broadcast and radio media. He has appeared on local television and radio stations and has been quoted or mentioned in many national publications including the Bureau of National Affairs, The National Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, American Way Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Modern Healthcare, Aventura, Dallas Morning News, Orlando Business Journal, The Dallas Business Journal, and Fort Worth Business Press.
  • Breach of contract. Led trial effort of renowned computer-game developer and company executive against one of world’s largest video game publishers for breaching a stock option agreement, securing a jury verdict of $28 million (and a judgment of $32 million). National Law Journal identified award as one of the “Top Verdicts” in the country.
  • Collective Action. Defense of market-leading grocery retail merchandising broker in wage and hour collective action brought by fifty employees who sought to secure collective action status In New Jersey to represent a class of potentially 20,000 employees based on alleged off-the-clock work. After extensive discovery and briefing, court summarily rejected plaintiffs’ efforts to conditionally certify class. The case helped secure Texas Lawyer’s “Litigation Section of the Year” award.
  • Trade secret theft. Lead counsel for S&P 500 manufacturer of highly complex cancer detection and treatment machinery in bringing action to address theft of trade secrets by former senior-level sales executive, who downloaded thousands of electronic documents containing highly confidential sales, marketing and manufacturing information prior to departure. Obtained TRO barring executive from joining arch-competitor and, after several months of discovery, secured preliminary injunction, enjoining executive and her employer from soliciting business from customers and using client’s confidential information.
  • Collective action. Lead counsel in defending market-leading grocery retail merchandising broker in wage and hour collective action in Pennsylvania by employees who claimed that they had not been paid for all time worked, including morning and evening commute time, time spent working in retail stores, and time spent performing administrative duties. After extensive discovery and briefing, court summarily rejected plaintiffs’ efforts to conditionally certify class exceeding 20,000 persons.
  • Inevitable disclosure. Lead counsel for Fortune 500 gaming retailer in bringing action to stop company’s former Chief Financial Officer from beginning work for a competing retailer in same role. Although CFO had not signed non-compete agreement preventing her from working for a competitor, obtained TRO against CFO and, thereafter, used TRO as leverage to force acceptance of limitations on executive’s work activities at new employer.
  • Section 1983. Lead counsel in defense of action against school district, its superintendent, and 4 other senior executives in high profile lawsuit brought by former district employee who claimed her civil rights were violated when she was placed on paid administrative leave (and later terminated) after news accounts showed potential abuse of program she oversaw. Obtained summary judgment on eve of trial, and affirmed on appeal by Fifth Circuit.
  • ERISA class action. Lead counsel in defending an ERISA class action brought by two pilots of an airline who claimed that airline and its benefits consulting firm breached fiduciary duties with regard to transferring their pension plans after their former employer was acquired by another airline. Obtained summary judgment, and Fifth Circuit affirmed on appeal.
  • Collective action. Lead counsel for a nationwide mortgage broker in lawsuit brought by mortgage brokers who alleged that they had been misclassified as exempt. After extensive discovery and mortgage broker’s submission of dispositive motion, Plaintiffs agreed to resolve claims for pennies on dollar.
  • Section 1983. Lead counsel for Texas County and its commissioners in lawsuit filed by disgruntled employee who was terminated for violating county policy by campaigning for office during working hours and for threatening other employees. Employee asserted retaliation claim under Section 1983, alleging termination was based on his reports of misconduct by county officer and because he ran for public office. Court granted county’s motion for summary judgment and Fifth Circuit affirmed on appeal.
  • Collective action. Lead counsel for market-leading retail grocery merchandising broker in state law class action filed in CA alleging failure to pay current and former California-based sales representatives for all hours worked by them and to reimburse them for expenses incurred in performing duties, and issued deficient wage statements to them. Plaintiff sought to represent a class of approximately 4,500 employees. After extensive discovery and client’s submission of a dispositive motion, Plaintiff agreed to resolve claims for deep discount.
  • Employment discrimination/retaliation/Section 1981. Retained by one of Texas’ largest utilities for defense of lawsuit filed by then-current African-American employee who asserted retaliation claim (under Title VII and Section 1981) for complaining about company’s failure to pay for certification training even though it allegedly had done so for Caucasian employees. Obtained summary judgment.
  • Collective action. Lead counsel for Fortune 100 semiconductor design/manufacturing company in lawsuit brought by current and former employees who claimed they were not properly compensated for time spent donning and doffing cleanroom attire and walking to and from workstations within company's cleanroom facilities. Plaintiffs sought to certify class of more than 8,000 employees stationed at seven plants located in four states. Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification, and case was resolved on favorable terms.
  • Inevitable disclosure. Lead counsel in bringing action on behalf of Fortune 200 electronics firm to address departure of its Chief Marketing Officer who sought to join arch-competitor in same position. Although CMO had not signed non-compete agreement, obtained TRO on basis it was highly likely that former executive would use client’s confidential information in performing new job and, thereafter, leveraged TRO to obtain a settlement preventing former executive from working for competitor for a period of time sufficient to protect client’s trade secrets.
  • Collective action. Lead counsel representing market-leading grocery retail merchandising brokers in wage and hour collective action brought in Tennessee by sales representatives who asserted claims on alleged off-the-clock work. Plaintiffs sought to conditionally certify a class of more than 15,000 full-time and part-time employees. After extensive discovery, court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification, and Plaintiffs declined to appeal.
  • Inevitable disclosure and trade secret theft. Co-lead counsel in bringing state court action against former senior-level employee of Fortune 100 semi-conductor design/manufacturing company after he resigned to take similar position with competing company, alleging probable disclosure of trade secrets. After obtaining TRO and preliminary injunction against new employer and former employee—prohibiting them from contacting certain customers, using client's trade secrets, and soliciting or hiring client's employees—new employer initiated action in CA state court to nullify effect of injunction, but effort was rejected.
  • Employment discrimination/retaliation. Lead counsel in defending a county and a sitting Justice of the Peace in lawsuit filed by former employee who was terminated for poor work performance. Termination occurred after employee had filed charge of discrimination, alleging gender and age discrimination and sexual harassment. After being fired, employee asserted claims for discrimination, harassment and retaliation against the county and her supervisor—the Justice of the Peace. After successfully narrowing the scope of the claims through summary judgment, lawsuit was settled on favorable terms.
  • Inevitable disclosure. Lead counsel in bringing lawsuit against nine employees and their new employer after employees abruptly resigned from Fortune 100 semi-conductor design/ manufacturing company to join competing company, alleging trade secret theft and contract violations. After obtaining temporary and permanent injunctions against new employer and former employees prohibiting them from contacting certain customers, using client's trade secrets, and soliciting or hiring client's employees, case settled on favorable terms.
  • Trade secret theft. Co-lead counsel for Fortune 50 computer/printer company in bringing hundred million dollar suit against former high-level employees who, while still employed by client, covertly organized and began operating a competing business venture using client’s resources, contacts and trade secrets to steal product designs, market analyses and other confidential and proprietary business information. After prevailing in jurisdictional dispute, case settled.
  • Cyberlaw/trade secret theft. Retained by a Fortune 100 semiconductor company to serve as lead counsel to stop a former disgruntled employee who created several Internet websites containing confidential information and video clips, as well as derogatory comments about the company’s officers. Obtained TRO requiring employee to take down offensive websites and, thereafter, used computer forensics to obtain permanent injunction prohibiting employee from posting company information on the Internet.
  • Breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Lead trial counsel in defending Fortune 100 semiconductor firm in a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by former vendor of quartz materials used in client’s manufacturing processes. Plaintiff asserted it entered into fiduciary relationship with client based on parties' course of dealing. When vendor's business collapsed because of market conditions and poor management, it sued for breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Obtained summary judgment on several claims, enabling client to settle on favorable terms.
  • Collective Action. Lead counsel in defending for-profit college system in collective action brought by outside sales representatives who claimed their positions were misclassified as exempt. After convincing CA court (in a parallel action) to deny class certification status on the basis that sales representatives were exempt as “outside salespersons,” Texas Plaintiff dismissed her collective action allegations, saving millions of dollars in alleged overtime pay. Thereafter, court granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claim that employer had willfully misclassified her position. Soon thereafter, case was resolved on favorable terms.
  • Employment discrimination class action. Assisted in defense of a putative class action filed by former employees of Dallas’ leading newspaper who claimed that black employees were systematically denied promotions on basis of race. Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
  • Employment discrimination class action. Assisted in representing market-leading technology consulting businesses in defense of class action brought by nine former employees, alleging race discrimination and retaliation. After pursuing an aggressive defense of case, court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
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