Overview

Kerry E. Notestine represents management in employment matters, particularly trials and other litigation under federal, state, and local anti-discrimination statutes, and has deep knowledge in reductions-in-force and other downsizing issues. Kerry wrote the leading book on trials of employment law cases, Employment Law Trials: A Practical Guide. Kerry also counsels employers regarding other employment issues and represents employers in legal disputes before government agencies, arbitrators and administrative tribunals.

Kerry has tried 22 lawsuits to verdict in federal and state courts, including one class action, and has represented companies in more than 20 administrative trials, non-labor arbitrations, and labor arbitrations. His jury trials include:

  • Multi-plaintiff race discrimination case involving nooses in the workplace
  • Two Fair Labor Standards Act misclassification cases
  • Several cases involving alleged unlawful discrimination and retaliation
  • Several cases involving alleged breach of employment agreements

He also handled a federal class action bench trial involving alleged denial of retiree medical benefits in violation of ERISA, as well as state jury trials involving claims of denial of employment benefits, unlawful discrimination and retaliation, employment law torts, and breach of employment contracts.

Additionally, Kerry has represented employers in administrative law trials and arbitrations involving exempt status under the Washington wage and hour statute, retaliation under the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act, sexual harassment claims, executive compensation and numerous matters relating to union/management relations.

He also has litigated employment claims, in which the claimant alleged:

  • Misclassification of workers as independent contractors
  • Sexual harassment
  • Retaliation and workers’ compensation retaliation
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Assault and defamation
  • Breach of executive contract and severance rights
  • Race, national origin, religion, and gender discrimination
  • Disability discrimination and failure to accommodate
  • Age discrimination
  • Violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
  • Violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
  • Denial of employment benefits

He has represented companies in more than 20 appeals.

Kerry has obtained numerous published decisions, including dismissals, summary judgments, and motions for decertification of collective actions. He has served as lead counsel in the defense of significant employment class/representative actions, including cases involving claims of:

  • Misclassification as independent contractors involving several hundred opt-in plaintiffs
  • Denial of retiree medical benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in federal district court involving 100 class members
  • Misclassification of assistant store managers under the Fair Labor Standards Act involving 600 class members
  • Race discrimination in hiring involving 8,000 class members
  • Failure to provide proper notice under the Worker Adjustment Notification and Retraining Act in a mass layoff of 1,800 individuals
  • Age discrimination in hiring involving over 500 class members

He also participated in the litigation team on two other significant class/representative actions, one involving more than 150 plaintiffs in a representative action under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the other a 1,500-member class action involving claims of sex discrimination in compensation and promotion.

Kerry's clients span the following industries:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Oil and Gas Services
  • Financial Services
  • Staffing
  • Manufacturing

A frequent writer and speaker on employment matters before business and professional groups, Kerry has authored more than 10 articles and book chapters on employment law topics.

Kerry is the co-chair of Littler's Business Restructuring Practice Group, a member of the EPLI Committee core group and a founding member of the Complex Litigation and Jury Trials Practice Group. Prior to becoming a shareholder at Littler, Kerry was an associate and partner with a large Houston based general practice firm for 14 years.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

Labor and Employment / Litigation / Tort and Insurance Practice Sections

American Bar Association

Member, Former Chair and Vice-Chair

Employer/Employee Relations Committee

American Bar Association

1993-1999

Member

Labor and Employment / Litigation Sections

State Bar of Texas

Member

Labor and Employment Law / History Committees

Houston Bar Association

Former Chair

History Committee

Houston Bar Association

1988

Former Council Member

Labor and Employment Committee

Houston Bar Association

2003-2005

Former Member

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Committee

Texas Young Lawyers

1984-1985

Former Chair

Houston Management Labor Forum

1989

Member, Board of Directors

Lifehouse, Inc.

1989-1992

Member, Board of Directors

Youth-Reach Houston, Inc.

1986-1988

Member, Board of Directors

Encorps, Inc.

1984-1985

Ruling Elder

City of Refuge Church

1996-1998

Ruling Elder

Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church

1991-1992

Deacon

First Presbyterian Church

1988-1991

Chair

Wednesday Night School of Christian Living

First Presbyterian Church

1985-1991

Participant

Houston Senior Baseball League - World Series

1993

Recognition

Fellow

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Inducted 2017

Fellow

Texas Bar Foundation

2013-present

Named, The Best Lawyers in America©

2008-2019

Named, Lawyer of the Year

Houston

The Best Lawyers in America©

2013, 2019

Named, Super Lawyer

Texas

Super Lawyers

2003-2015

Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating

Martindale-Hubbell

News, Analysis & Press

Government sequester could bring host of issues for employers

Thomson Reuters News & Insight

February 27, 2013

Controlling Outside Counsel Costs Through an Alternative Billing Model

ACC Docket, p. 71

May 2008

Employment Issues for Bankrupt Employers

Law.com

April 9, 2002

Proof and Causation Standards in Employment Cases: The Need For A Uniform Standard Under Federal And State Law

The Houston Lawyer 26

February 2000

Closing Arguments

29 The Brief 72

Fall 1999

Cross Examination in Employment Cases

10 The Practical Litigator 37

March 1999

10 Rules for Every Employer

Abode Magazine

Houston Apartment Association

June 1997

Human Resources Management for Lawyers: An Employment Law Primer

57 Tex. B.J. 173

February 1994

Fielding the Issue of Unlawful Termination of Employment

The Houston Lawyer 20

August 1989

Books & Book Chapters

  • Employment Law Trials: A Practical Guide, Lexis/Nexis, 2005
  • Emotional Injury and Employment Causes of Action, The Practitioner’s Guide to Defense of EPL Claims, Chapter 10, Co-author: Murov, ABA/TIPS, 2004
  • Fundamentals of Employment Law, Co-authors: Ford and Hill, ABA/TIPS, 2000
  • Guide to Equal Employment Practices, Co-author: McCandless, Warren Gorham & Lamont, RIA Group, 1997, Chapter 2, Race, Sex and National Origin; Chapter 6, Equal Pay; Chapter 9, Sections 2 (pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions), 3 (marital and family status), and 9 (reverse discrimination and seniority); Chapter 14, Equal and Consistent Treatment
  • Littler on Bankruptcy & Employment Law Issues, Littler National Employer Library

Speaking Engagements

Littler Global Summit 2018 - Part 3: A Tale of Three Cities: Responding to Natural Disasters from Puerto Rico and Houston to Mexico City

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 2, 2018

Conducting Efficient, Effective and Lawful Workplace Investigations

2017 Littler Houston Employer Conference

August 10, 2017

The New Supreme Court Balance: Implications for Labor and Employment Law

The 2017 Executive Employer® Conference

May 11, 2017

Employment Law Update

Corporate Organization Ombudsmen Roundtable, Houston, TX

September 28, 2016
2016 Houston Employer Conference

Houston, TX

August 11, 2016

What Employers Can Do to Secure Effective Releases, Separation Agreements, and Settlement Agreements Despite the EEOC, NLRB, and SEC Recent Enforcement Agendas

Clear Law Institute Webinar

November 6, 2015

Drafting Severance and Confidentiality Agreements Amid New EEOC, NLRB, and Now SEC Scrutiny

Strafford Publications Webinar

September 9, 2015
2015 Houston Employer Conference

Houston, TX

August 13, 2015

Working With Expert Witnesses Throughout Your Employment Law Case

Florida Bar Association Webinar

February 24, 2015
Furloughs, WARN, Reductions-in-Force and Other Cost-Savings Considerations in the $40 per Barrel Oil Economy

February 11, 2015
What Employers Can do to Secure Effective Releases, Separation Agreements, and Settlement Agreements Despite the EEOC and NLRB’s Recent Enforcement Agendas

December 11, 2014
Wage & Hour Issues in the Oil Patch

December 2, 2014

Managing Outside Counsel – The Benefits of Value Billing

2014 Legal Seminar - Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA), Houston, TX

November 7, 2014

Drafting Severance and Confidentiality Agreements Amid New EEOC and NLRB Scrutiny

Strafford Publishing Company Webinar

November 4, 2014
Wage & Hour Issues in the Oil Patch

Houston, TX

October 24, 2014

Friday Night Massacres: Employment, Benefits, and Union Issues in Turnarounds

Annual Meeting - Turnaround Management Association, Toronto, Canada

September 30, 2014

Drafting Severance and Confidentiality Agreements Amid New EEOC and NLRB Scrutiny

Strafford Publishing Company Webinar

September 24, 2014
The 2014 Houston Employer Conference

Houston, TX

August 14, 2014
Critical Changes to Mexico and Venezuela's Labor Landscape and the Implications for U.S. Employers

Houston, TX

January 29, 2013
The 2012 Houston Employer Conference

Houston, TXDallas, TX

August 2, 2012

Business or Pleasure: The Challenges of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) Policies in the Workplace

The 2012 Houston Employer Conference

Littler Mendelson, Houston, TX

August 2, 2012

Successful Project Management for In-House Counsel

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 9, 2012

Recent Developments in FLSA Collective Actions

Employment Law Committee - Houston Bar Association

October 2011

Cross-Border Employment – Understanding the Legal Challenges of Managing a Global Workforce

Global HR Business Education Conference

October 2011
The 2011 Houston Employer Conference

Houston, TX

August 11, 2011

Ethics in Employment

Great American Insurance Company

2011
Using Serengeti Tracker - More Than a Matter Management Tool

Houston, TX

March 4, 2010

Alternative Fee Arrangements for Law Firms and Corporate Law Departments

Strafford Publishing Company Webinar

2010

Religion in the Workplace

Priority Associates Luncheon Presentation, Houston Chapter, Houston, TX

2007-2010

Day-to-Day Management and Implementation of Global Policies

Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee - International Bar Association, New Delhi, India

2010

Matter Management Systems

Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston Chapter, Houston, TX

2010
Information Management in the Digital Age

Houston, TX

September 23, 2009
Reductions in Force

Houston, TX

March 12, 2009

RIFs, the Puzzle, the Process, the Alternatives

The Woodlands Bar Association, The Woodlands

2009

Relationship Management with Outside Counsel

Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston Chapter Webinar, Houston, TX

2009

Settlement and Severance Agreements

University of Houston Advanced Employment Law, Houston and Dallas, TX

2009

Alternative Billing: How to Implement Sustainable Programs for the Long Run

West Legal Education Center Webinar

2009

Information Management in the Digital Age

Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston Chapter, Houston, TX

2009

Basics for Reductions-in-Force

2009 Employment Institute - Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX

2009

Settlement and Severance Agreements

University of Houston Advanced Employment Law, Houston, TX

2008

Company Under Siege: Labor & Employment Issues Facing Troubled Companies

Labor and Employment Committee Luncheon - Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX

2008

Dialogue on the American Jury

Bellaire High School, Houston, TX

2006

Voir Dire Demonstration

Houston Bar Association Labor and Employment Institute

2006

Preparing to Win At Trial: A View from Both Sides

Labor and Employment Committee Luncheon - Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX

2006

Harassment and Discrimination

Gevity, Houston, TX

2005

Managing Difficult Return to Work Issues

Council on Education in Management, Houston, TX

2005

Complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rules: What you Need to Know

Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association (PESA), Houston, TX

2004

Employee Classifications in the 21st Century: Compliance with the New USDOL White Collar Exemptions

Gevity and various local chambers of commerce

2004

Employee Classifications in the 21st Century: Compliance with the New USDOL White Collar Exemptions

Right Consultants HR Roundtable, Houston, TX

2004

Update on Privacy and Emerging Issues in Electronic Workplace Litigation: Policies and Practices to Safeguard Your Organization

Council on Education in Management

2003

Workplace Privacy

Rio Grande Valley SHRM, Brownsville, TX

2003

Hiring and Firing in Texas

Sterling Education Services, LLC, Houston, TX

2003

Non-Disclosure, Non-Competition, and Non-Solicitation Agreements: Ethical Lifeboats for Lawyers and Landmen When Jumping Ship

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Institute, Lake Tahoe

2002

Employment Aspects of Corporate Due Diligence

Conducting Bulletproof Due Diligence Seminar - Fulcrum Information Services Inc., Houston, TX

2001

The Digital Employer

Right Consultants HR Roundtable, Houston, TX

2001

Ethics Panel

Mid-Year Meeting, Equal Opportunity Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section - American Bar Association, Tucson, AZ

2000

The Digital Employer

Enron Wholesale Markets Law Conference, The Woodlands

2000

Ethics in Employment Cases

Mid-Year Meeting, Equal Opportunity Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section - American Bar Association, Boca Raton, FL

1999

Sexually Addictive Disorders And The Employer

National Institute On The ADA - American Bar Association (ABA), Chicago, IL

1999

Ethics in Employment

Labor and Employment Section - Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX

1998

Mock Trial of Workplace Privacy Case

Annual Meeting - American Bar Association, Toronto, Canada

1998

Ethics in Sexual Harassment Cases

National Institute on Sexual Harassment - American Bar Association (ABA), Washington, D.C.

1998

Ethics in Sexual Harassment Cases

National Institute on Sexual Harassment - American Bar Association (ABA), Chicago, IL

1997

Workplace Violence

Council on Education in Management, Houston, TX

1996

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.

1996

Insurance Coverage of Employment Disputes

Annual Meeting - American Bar Association, Chicago, IL

1995

Workplace Violence

Council on Education in Management, Houston, TX

1994

Employing the Mentally Disabled: A Guide to Avoiding Liability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Annual Meeting - American Bar Association, New Orleans, LA

1994

Terminating Employees Without Being Sued Under Texas Law

The Cambridge Institute, Dallas and Houston, TX

1993

Establishing Essential Job Functions and Understanding the Selection Process Criteria under the Americans with Disabilities Act

South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX

1992

Terminating Employees Without Being Sued Under Texas Law

The Cambridge Institute, Austin and Houston, TX

1992

Remedies and the Court's Charge in Labor and Employment Cases

South Texas College of Law - Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX

1991

Employment Law

National Association of Credit Managers

1991

Employment Law

Texas Association of Steel Importers, Houston, TX

1991

Recent Developments in Race and Sex Discrimination

University of Houston Law Center, San Antonio, TX

1991

Employment Litigation, Advanced Litigation Seminar

University of Houston Law Center, Houston and Dallas, TX

1991

Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Race and Sex Discrimination

University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX

1990

The Safe and Efficient Workplace, How to Deal with Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Bryan/College Station Small Business Development Council

1990

Health Issues, The Workplace and the Law

Council on Education in Management

1990

Workplace Disability Laws, Occupational Medicine for the Practicing Physician

Baylor College of Medicine

1989

Expanding Issues of Privacy in Employment

South Texas College of Law

1988

Discrimination Law Update

South Texas College of Law

1988

Age, Pregnancy and Handicap Discrimination

University of Houston Law Center

1985

Recent Developments in Traditional Labor Law

South Texas College of Law

1984

Numerous firm seminars, conferences, and breakfast briefings on all aspects of employment law

Education

  • M.A., University of Virginia, 1985
  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., DePauw University, 1979

Bar Admission

Texas

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado