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For more than 30 years, Russell D. Chapman has represented clients in all areas of employee benefits and Employee Retirement Income Security Act matters, with a particular focus in the past 14 years on labor and employment law, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination litigation. He regularly appears before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and other agencies regarding:

  • Pensions
  • Profit sharing
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans
  • 401(k) plans

He is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Russell also has specific experience in focused areas of health and welfare benefit plans, including:

  • Group health plans (both ERISA-covered and non-ERISA covered)
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Employer-provided mandatory wellness programs
  • On-site medical facilities

With a broad spectrum of notable litigation experience, Russell has represented:

  • A major national employer at district court and on appeal, where the court affirmed summary judgment for the client in a class action lawsuit to clarify an employer's right to amend terms of its retiree health plan
  • A major employer in a Texas workers' compensation retaliation case involving violence in the workplace
  • The trustee of a multi-million dollar employee benefit plan in pursuing former fiduciaries of plan for alleged fiduciary breaches and improprieties
  • A large employer in complex defined-benefit plan distress termination proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

He has obtained a successful outcome in a suit for wrongful termination and sexual harassment and negotiated a favorable settlement in a racial bias Title VII claim, among other cases.

Additionally, Russell provides legal consulting on ERISA, employee benefits and labor and employment matters. He works with a diverse group of clients, including the following industries:

  • Telecommunications
  • Real estate
  • Heavy manufacturing
  • Financial
  • Retail
  • Tax-exempt charitable organizations
  • National defense employers
  • High technology
  • Hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants and casinos

Prior to entering private practice, Russell served as in-house counsel with a Fortune 20 energy company where he handled all areas regarding employee compensation and benefits. Formerly an adjunct professor of law at Oklahoma City University Law School and College of Business, Russell is currently an adjunct professor of law at Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law.  He also is an instrument-rated private pilot.


  • Member, Texas Bar Association - The College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Member, Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Member, Labor and Employment / Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation / Litigation sections - American Bar Association
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Directors, Education Committee - SouthWest Benefits Association
  • Member, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association


  • Named, Super Lawyer, Texas Monthly Magazine, 2006-2008, 2010-2011
  • Named, Best Lawyers in Dallas in Labor and Employment Law, D Magazine, 2013
  • Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating
  • Private Pilot, Instrument Rated
  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization