Andrea "AJ" Johnson

Partner

 Houston

Biography

Andrea Johnson, or "AJ" as her friends call her, has practiced in the areas of employment and commercial litigation for more than 29 years. Earlier, she spent two years as a briefing attorney for the Honorable Hugh Gibson, Jr., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas.

AJ's focus is simple: to seek the most expedient and effective way to resolve matters and to work closely with clients on prevention and training protocols to avoid litigation entirely. She developed her determined and successful approach from years of experience handling a variety of dockets in the areas of employment, general commercial, and product liability law. Her favorable results include obtaining a summary judgment invalidating a patent; obtaining a summary judgment in an employment case of first impression involving a transsexual; obtaining a complete defense verdict in a $54 million alleged slander suit in Galveston County (cited in the "Biggest Suits" section of Texas Lawyer); and obtaining a complete defense verdict in a multimillion-dollar Deceptive Trade Practices Act case in Harris County. She has represented clients in and outside of Texas and has successfully enforced mandatory arbitration programs for clients in several states. Her experience is not just at trial, in arbitration, and in mediation, but also on appeal, both in state and federal appeals courts.

AJ has a particular passion for training management and supervisors in order to avoid litigation problems involving employees. She offers a one-hour, interactive management seminar that provides an overview of employment litigation in regards to both the law and the financial impact on companies. The program, "Everything You Wanted to Know about Employment Law, But Were Afraid to Ask!," is designed to impress upon managers and supervisors the importance of their role in avoiding employment litigation and about the critical necessity of documentation, appropriate language usage, and proper timing of action in employment matters. Please contact AJ if you are interested in booking this informative, fun, and thought-provoking seminar.

Experience

  • Defended and resolved favorably a large overtime class action involving issues about worker classification for 200 workers/employees in an energy services company
  • Defended and resolved favorably a company-wide Department of Labor audit as to overtime issues for several hundred employees in an energy services company
  • Defended and resolved favorably an overtime class action involving a class of 27 workers for a Houston-based engineering services business
  • Defended and resolved favorably several overtime lawsuits involving a single plaintiff or small groups of workers for energy and non-energy companies
  • Defended a multinational chemical manufacturing company as to an EEOC sexual harassment claim concerning a worker at a Texas site
  • Defended and successfully resolved a federal lawsuit concerning the president of an international company in regard to sexual harassment events in Texas and New York
  • Defended in arbitration a Houston-based start-up entity in regard to demands for over $500,000 in alleged sales commissions and fees
  • Defended and resolved favorably an EEOC claim against a Canada-based services company as to sexual harassment allegations involving its Houston branch office
  • Prosecuted a breach of contract lawsuit in state court for a Houston-based technology company
  • Defended successfully a tortious interference, noncompetition, nonsolicitation lawsuit, including a temporary injunction hearing, for a Houston-based medical recruiting company
  • Assisted a senior executive with an internet stalking issue
  • Represented high-ranking executives in resolving several employment agreement and severance agreement issues
  • Assisted a company with cease and desist actions involving noncompetition and confidentiality issues
  • Provides day-to-day advice for numerous oil & gas and energy services companies, and many other non-energy entities, as to the following:
    • RIFs - small and organization-wide
    • WARN Act issues
    • 409A compliance
    • Drafting and enforcing independent contractor contracts
    • Noncompetes, confidentiality and nonsolicitation issues
    • Benefit issues
    • General employee discipline and counseling issues
    • Personnel handbooks (writing from scratch or revising and updating)
    • Job applications
    • Investigations of misconduct or complaints of harassment
    • Drug screening
    • Overtime compliance
    • Employee compensation
    • FMLA & ADA compliance
    • Lawsuit avoidance as to various statutory issues including Title VII, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, etc.
    • General immigration issues related to employment hiring/firing

EDUCATION

  • Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Law School
    (J.D., 1981) (St. Thomas More Law Honor Society)
  • U.C.L.A.
    (B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1978)

ADMISSIONS

  • Texas, 1984
  • California, 1981
  • All federal courts in Texas
  • U.S. District Courts in the Central and Eastern Districts of California and the Western District of Oklahoma
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

PUBLICATIONS

  • Burleson Blog contributor
  • "Classifying Workers - Contractor Versus Employee - The Who, What, Where and Why?" presented at the Houston Business Cabinet, Houston, February 19, 2013
  • "Hiring Your First Employee or Contractor," presented at University of Houston Small Business Development Center, Houston, February 13, 2013
  • "The Energy Industry and Employment Law: A Match Made in Heaven?" presented at Texas Lawyer's In-house Counsel Summit, San Antonio, September 6, 2012
  • "Whose Tweet Is It Anyway?" HR Matters eNewsletter, Texas SHRM Council, October 2012
  • "Key Facts, Critical Law: Saying Good-bye to Employees Within Legal Bounds," Burleson Cooke Continuing Education Series, March 31, 2009
  • "Equal-Pay Measures Will Ignite Litigation," National Law Weekly, January 2009
  • "HR Strategies Q&A: Communication and Costumes," Houston Business Journal, October 2008
  • "Terminating Employment When a Non-compete Is Involved," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 2008
  • "Artful Intelligence, Tools, and Techniques for Best Lawyering," moderator and organizer of daylong event for Texas Women Lawyers, Annual CLE Program, Houston, February 2010
  • "A Little of This and a Little of That about Employment and Discrimination Laws," presented at U.S. Veterans Program, Houston, October 2009
  • "Social Media: The Employer's Advantage," presenter in panel discussion at South Texas College of Law, Employment Law Course, Houston, July 2009
  • "Cutting-Edge Employment Issues," presented for HEB Markets, Houston, July 2009
  • "How Are We Meeting the Challenge of Diversity in These Economic Times?" moderator of panel discussion for Diversity Forum, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Dallas, June 2009
  • "Changing Employment Laws and Their Effect on Women in the Workplace," moderator and organizer of panel discussion for Women and the Law Section, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, CLE Program, Dallas, June 2009
  • "Securing Hiring Success: Easy Guides to Empower Business,"presented for various chemical companies of Louisiana and Texas, Galveston, Texas, May 2009
  • "Déjà Vu: Union Issues, Legislation, and Prevention," presented for LANXESS Corporation, Orange, Texas, April 2009
  • "Key Facts, Critical Law: Saying Good-bye to Employees Within Legal Bounds," presented at Corporate Breakfast Meeting, Burleson Cooke L.L.P., Houston, March 2009
  • "Chart Your Successful Path Forward," moderator and organizer of panel discussion for Texas Women Lawyers Annual CLE Program, Austin, Texas, February 2009
  • "The Lawyer, Abraham Lincoln," participant in award-winning program at Garland Walker Inn of Court, American Inns of Court, Houston, February 2009
  • "Witness Deposition Tactics: The Games People Play," presenter in panel discussion, ALI-ABA Webcast, January 2009
  • "Current Practical Issues in the Damages Case," presented at Advanced Employment Law Seminar, University of Houston, Houston and Dallas, Fall/Winter 2008-09
  • "Emerging Issue of Employee Blogging: What Every Employer Should Know,"presenter in panel discussion, ALI-ABA Webcast, November 2008
  • "When an Employee's Private Life Becomes Your Business: Workplace Internet & Employee Blogs," presenter in panel discussion at Employment Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, Houston, July 2008
  • "Growing Your Business from Start to Finish," presented at Women's Business Enterprise Alliance, Houston, July 2008
  • "The Changing Demographics in Texas," presented at Diversity Summit, 2008 Bar Leaders Conference, Spring, Texas, July 2008
  • "Lawyers, Their Life, and Their Vision in the Diverse 21st Century," moderator and organizer of panel discussion at Diversity Forum, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Houston, June 2008
  • "Blogs, Social Networking, and Web 2.0: Employees Use These Tools, Should Companies Have Rules?" presenter in panel discussion at American Bar Association Section of Business Law, Dallas, Spring 2008
  • "Blogs, Technology, & the Workplace: Connecting Employment Strategies in 2008. and Beyond!" presented at17th Annual Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues, Housto, May 2008
  • "Anti-Trust Orientation: Or, Is the Price Right?" presented for various chemical companies of Louisiana and Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, May 2008
  • "Securing Hiring Success: Easy Guides to Empower Business," presented at Spring Seminar Program, Houston Bar Association, Houston, April 2008
  • "Drafting Employment Contracts: The Three C's and Other Issues," presented at State Bar of Texas Advanced Employment Law Seminar, Houston, February 2008
  • "Everything You Want to Know about Employment Law. But Were Afraid to Ask!"CLE Program presented for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Dallas, October 2007
  • Roundtable participant with EEOC Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru, EEOC Offices, Houston, September 2007
  • "The Top Ten Tools to Improve Employee Relations and Reduce Costs," presented at University of Houston, Small Business Development Center, August 2007
  • Moderator of panel discussion for Diversity Summit, Texas State Bar Leaders Conference, Houston, July 2007
  • Moderator and coordinator of panel discussion for Diversity Forum, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, San Antonio, June 2007
  • "Everything You Want to Know about Employment Law. But Were Afraid to Ask!" presented at Annual Meeting of Louisiana Primary Care Association, Inc., and Southwest Regional Primary Care Association [pro bono affiliation with Pfizer, Inc.], New Orleans, June 2007
  • Moderator andorganizer of Legislative Action Committee's seminar presentation (directing discussion with three state legislators and a Rice professor of an overview of state legislation), HR Houston Luncheon, Houston, June 2007
  • "When an Employee's Private Life Becomes Your Own,"moderator of panel discussion at Employment Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, Houston, uly 2007
  • "Workplace Internet and Employee Blogs-Doocing (Termination Based on Internet Content)," presented at Spring Continuing Education Seminar for various chemical companies, New Orleans, April 2007
  • "The Ten Best Ways to Protect Your Business from Employment Claims," presented at Greater Heights Lunch and Learn Program, Houston, April 2007
  • "Blogs, Email, & Technology: Connecting Employment Strategies in 2007. and Beyond!" organizer and moderator of in-house HR seminar for Powers & Frost, Houston, March 2007
  • "Ensuring Litigation Readiness: Going Beyond the Standard Zubulake Analysis to Meet the Demands of the Life Sciences Industry," presenter in panel discussion at E-Discovery & Litigation Readiness for Life Sciences, National CLE Program, New York, February 2007
  • "Everything You Want to Know About Employment Law. But Were Afraid to Ask!" organizer and presenter of workshop at University of Houston, Small Business Development Center, Houston, February 2007
  • "Multiple Entities," presented at 15th Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, Texas CLE Program, Dallas, February 2007
  • "Effective Case Management: Facilitating Claims Management Between the Insured, Carrier, and Defense Counsel,"presenter in panel discussion at 12th Annual Conference on Employment Practices Liability Insurance, New York, January 2007
  • "Workplace Internet and Employee Blogs-Doocing (Termination Based on Internet Content)," presented at University of Houston Law Foundation, Advanced Employment Law for Employers and Employment Lawyers, Dallas and Houston, November and December 2006
  • "Labor & Employment Roundtable," presenter in panel discussion in Houston, August 2006; proceedings published in Texas Lawyer, November 2006
  • "Retaliation and Whistleblowing, The New Litigation Frontier," organizer and moderator of Pfizer Inc.'s National Web-Conference: Strategic Legal Thinking for Not-for-Profit Executives, Fall 2006
  • "Integrating Security and Accuracy Measures into Your Document Retention Policy," presented at E-Discovery Preparedness for the Pharmaceutical Industry, New York, March 2006
  • "Retaliation Claims - Dodging a Bullet (Did You See It Coming?) - How to Avoid Employment Retaliation Claims," presented at Houston Bar Association, Houston, March 2006
  • "Everything You Want to Know About Employment Law. But Were Afraid to Ask!" presented at IEEE Meeting, Houston, December 2005
  • "Employment Law Update, Issues and Trends - 2005," presented at HR Houston Quarterly Meeting, Houston, September 2005
  • "The Basics of Employment Law: A Woman's Perspective," presented at Annual CLE Program, Texas Women Lawyers Association, Houston, February 2005
  • "Legal Claims and the Practical Impact on Employee Relations," presented at various Houston business seminars , (2000-05)
  • "Co-employment Issues: Independent Contractors, 'Leased Employees,' and Employees," presented at Bayer Corporation training program, Baytown, Texas, Fall 1999
  • "Sexual Harassment: Defining, Discussing, and Dealing with the Problem," presented at M. David Lowe Seminar, Houston, Fall 1994
  • coauthor, "The Close Case - Handling Difficult Sexual Harassment Claims," State Bar of Texas Advanced Employment Course, December 1994
  • "The Perils of Privileges: Asserting and Attacking the Limits on Discovery and Evidence," presented at Houston Bar Association Seminar, Houston, September 1992
  • "Work Product and Party Communications Privileges: Recent Texas Developments," presented at Houston Bar Association Seminar, Houston, September 1992
  • coauthor,"Texas Work Product Rule Extended," The Advocate, , December 1991

NOTEWORTHY

  • Texas SuperLawyer (Employment Law) (2008-2014)
  • Named a "Top Rated Commercial Litigation Lawyer" by American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel
  • Named a "Top-Rated Labor & Employment Lawyer" by Fortune (2013)
  • AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Named to Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • Recipient of Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court 2012 Professionalism AwardRecognized in Cambridge's Who's Who List
  • Editor (Ninth Circuit Review), Loyola Law School Law Review

Blog

Activities

  • College of the State Bar Association of Texas
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • State Bar Association of California
  • State Bar Association of Texas, Labor and Employment Section and Women and the Law Section, Treasurer and former Chair of latter
  • Texas State Bar Association Council of Chairs, 2009-2010
  • Houston Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • HR Houston
  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Texas Women Lawyers, president, 2010
  • Texas Bar Foundation "Texas Bar Fellow"
  • Garland Walker Inn of Court, American Inns of Court
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Tahirih Justice Center, supporter

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