For more than 30 years, Russell D. Chapman has represented clients in all areas of employee benefits and Employee Retirement Income Security Act matters. Prior to joining Littler, he founded the labor and employment section of a well-known Dallas firm, focusing on employee benefits, labor and employment law, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination, including related 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
  • Group health and welfare 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)
  • 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. He has obtained favorable rulings in U.S. District Courts and at the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in ERISA and other employment litigation 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 taught ERISA compliance and litigation as an adjunct professor of law at Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law for nine years.  He also is an instrument-rated private pilot.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Texas Bar Association


Oklahoma Bar Association


Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Litigation sections

American Bar Association


Dallas Bar Association

Former Member, Board of Directors, Co-Chair of Education Committee

SouthWest Benefits Association


Named, Super Lawyer

Texas Monthly Magazine

2006-2008 and 2010 and 2011

Named, Best Lawyers in Dallas in Labor and Employment Law

D Magazine


Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating


News, Analysis & Press

Battle Line Drawn on Wellness Incentives

Human Resource Executive Online

January 17, 2017

New Year, New ACA Provisions, Court Cases and More

California Healthline

January 6, 2016

The Affordable Care Act and Staffing: One Size Does Not Fit All

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

December 30, 2014

ACA Outlook: What Will 2015 Hold for Employers?

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

December 23, 2014

EEOC Will Square Financial Inducements to Wellness Programs with ADA

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

June 10, 2014

Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products: The Emperor Has No Clothes -- Pretext Plus Is Alive and Kicking

St. Mary's Law Journal

Vol. 37, No. 1

December 2005

Much Ado About Nothing - Why Desert Palace Neither Murdered McDonnell Douglas Nor Transformed All Employment Discrimination Cases to Mixed-Motive

St. Mary’s Law Journal

Vol. 395, No. 2


Navigating Through the Devil’s Triangle – Leave Issues Under ADA, FMLA and Texas Workers’ Comp

Compensation and Benefits Journal


Speaking Engagements

IRS and DOL Audits Explode – How to Avoid Penalties

February 2018

Avoiding IRS and DOL Penalties

September 2017

Utilizing On-Site Medical Clinics to Reduce Health Care Costs

July 2017

Ethics Issues for Benefits Practitioners

June 2017

EEOC Wellness Program Regulations: What Do They Say, and How Will They Impact Your Wellness Programs?

June 29, 2016

ACA Frequently Asked Questions

August 22, 2013

What Does The New Omnibus HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule Really Mean For Employers And Their Service Providers?

February 19, 2013

Health Care Reform: Compliance Issues Which Require Employers' Immediate Attention

October 2, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform – What Does This Mean for Your Company?

July 11, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform – What Does This Mean for Your Company?

June 29, 2012

The Religious Freedom Protection and Illinois Civil Union Act: What Does It Mean for Employers?

Audio Conference - Briefings Media Group: State Law Training

April 14, 2011

The ADAAA Final Regulations, EEOC Enforcement Initiatives and GINA

Dallas, TX

April 12, 2011

Utilizing Mobile and On-Site Medical Clinics to Reduce Health Care Costs

Audio Conference, Lorman Education Services

March 24, 2011

The Illinois Civil Union Act: What Does It Mean for Employers?

Chicago, IL

March 16, 2011

Wellness Programs and Healthcare Reform: The 'Cadillac' Effect

Lorman Education Services

November 2010

Health Care Reform: Employers Brace for Impact

Women's Financial Exchange of Dallas

August 2010

Whose Business Is It Anyway? New Workplace Privacy Rules Under GINA, HIPAA and Other Laws

Amarillo Bar Association

May 2010

On the Cutting Edge of Workplace Privacy

Dallas, TX

February 4, 2010

Wellness Initiatives: How Far Can the Employer Go?

Houston Wellness Association

January 2010

Dependent Audits of Employer Health Plans

Dallas WEB

August 2009

Privacy Issues in Employer Wellness Initiatives

International Association of Privacy Professionals

June 2009

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone: ERISA Fiduciary Tricks, Traps and Downright Tragedies

Dallas WEB

August 2008

Wellness Initiatives: How Far Can an Employer Go?

South Texas College of Law

July 2008

Privacy and Data Protection of Employee Health Information

Texas Bar Association

May 2008

ERISA Section 502(a)(2) Claims After LaRue: Deluge or Drizzle?

Texas Bar Association

May 2008

ERISA Update for Corporate Counsel

Dallas Bar Association

April 2007

Identity Theft: Issues For Employers

Oklahoma City Human Resources Roundtable

March 2007

ERISA Basics for the Uninitiated

Dallas Women Lawyers Association


Fiduciary Issues In Managing Investments In Participant Directed Accounts: How Do I Avoid Being Sued?

Dean Witter Reynolds Seminar


DOL Position On ‘Investment Advice’ and ERISA 404(c) Participant Directed Investment Plans

Dallas Human Resource Association


ERISA’s Greatest Hits: Selected Developments in ERISA and Employee Benefits During the Last Twelve Months

Institute of Business Law, California State University, Los Angeles


67 Questions: An Overview of the Final Regulations Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists


Flying Blind: COBRA, QMCSO’s and the Alphabet Soup of OBRA 93

Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists



  • LL.M. in Taxation, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, 1983
  • J.D., University of Tulsa, 1978With Honor
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1975

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th 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