Title: Employee Benefits - US


Melissa M. Goodman



Melissa Goodman

Firm: Haynes and Boone, LLP
Address:2323 Victory Avenue
Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75219
United States of America
Phone:+1 214-651-5628
Fax:+1 214-200-0455
Email:Send an Email
Local Time:Fri. 10:50
Web site: Direct Page


Melissa Goodman is the former Chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. Melissa focuses on advising top level corporate leadership - boards of directors, in-house counsel and chief executives - on unique, complex and often crisis-level employment affairs. She is known for agilely managing sophisticated employment issues during mission critical scenarios, including:

Executive Transitions - Drafts, negotiates, advises and litigates complex executive transitions such as employment and separation agreements, trade secret disputes, non-competes, wage and hour disputes, and compensation agreements
Unfair Competition - Litigates complex unfair competition-related claims (including breach of non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duty claims) extensively throughout the United States, advises and strategizes on handling such issues, and drafts and negotiates restrictive covenants
Whistleblowers and Retaliation Threats - Advises on all aspects of whistleblower and retaliation situations, from responding to threats to handling litigation
Regulatory Missteps - Guidance and counsel to leadership in response to allegations of corporate wrongdoing related to Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank
Major Transactions - With the goal of protecting company assets, counsels leadership during major transactions, from advising on purchase agreements, drafting employment and related agreements to navigating disputes and litigation
ERISA Litigation - Handles all aspects of retirement and benefit plan litigation; Indemnification Claims - Provides guidance to leadership and litigates indemnification suits brought by corporate officers

In addition to complex employment situations, Melissa is also regularly called upon by clients to provide advice on day-to-day employment law issues. As a member of the Social Media Practice Group, Melissa has experience in a variety of matters regarding social media and its impact in the labor and employment arena. She advises clients on the risks and implications arising from the use of social media, and creates guidelines and social media policy recommendations.

Melissa is a skilled litigator with 18 years of experience. She has litigated in multiple states, including having argued en banc in a case that created new noncompete law. She has also represented parties in employment arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other arbitration forums.


Areas of Practice


  • Crisis Management
  • Investment Banking and Broker-Dealer
  • Investment Funds and Private Equity
  • Labor and Employment
  • Social Media


Professional Career


Significant Accomplishments

Successfully obtained and/or defended injunctions and litigated cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, unfair competition, and other related torts in several states, arbitrations and in various courts of appeal. Draft covenants not to compete for employers and in business transactions; Successfully tried several employment law cases in federal and state courts. Extensive experience in federal and state appellate courts in employment-related cases; Extensive experience in ERISA-related cases representing plans, employers and administrators in several states, including successfully tried a multi-plaintiff lawsuit and obtaining summary judgments where plaintiffs sought several million in damages; Advising and defending employers on whistleblower/retaliation claims, such as claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank; Obtaining summary judgment for employers in lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and employment-related torts; Wage and hour litigation, including class actions under state law and collective actions under the FLSA; Obtained a jury verdict for the employer in a class action case in which the class plaintiffs sought $10 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages, which was affirmed on appeal; Counseling employers on various issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating sexual harassment and employee misconduct, and covenants not to compete.

Bar Admission

Texas; U.S Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth circuit; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas; U.. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas; Texas Supreme Court;



  • J.D. Creighton University, 1994, cum laude; Assistant Editor, Creighton Law Review
  • B.A. University of Iowa, 1991