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Haynes and Boone

Melissa M. Goodman

Melissa M. Goodman



  • Class Action Defense
  • Employment Litigation
  • ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation
  • Family Office

WSG Practice Industries


Haynes and Boone
Texas, U.S.A.

WSG Leadership

ABA Group
Employment and Labor Group
Melissa Goodman is known for litigating and agilely managing sophisticated employment issues during mission critical scenarios. With 25 years of experience, Melissa has litigated in multiple states, courts of appeal and various arbitration forums. She is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, serves as co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets Practice Group, and is the former chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Melissa focuses on litigation and advising top level corporate leadership - boards of directors, in-house counsel and chief executives - on unique, complex and often crisis-level employment affairs, including:

Executive Transitions and Disputes - Drafts, negotiates, advises and litigates complex executive transitions and disputes such as employment and separation agreements, compensation arrangements, trade secret disputes and restrictive covenants.

Internal Investigations – Conducts high-level, sensitive and complex workplace investigations, and counsels on best practices in investigations.

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 - Counsels leadership in response to allegations of corporate wrongdoing, including allegations related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and the Fair Labor Standards Act, and litigates claims alleging violations or retaliation resulting from such reports.

Major Transactions - With the goal of protecting company assets, counsels leadership during major transactions, advises on purchase agreements, drafts employment and related agreements to navigating disputes and litigation.

ERISA Litigation - Handles all aspects of incentive compensation and retirement and benefit plan litigation.

Indemnification Claims - Provides guidance to leadership and litigates indemnification suits brought by corporate officers.

Melissa has received recognition from several directories and publications for her work in complex employment matters. In addition to being named a DCEO influential leader in North Texas, Melissa’s successful defense of Marathon Oil Company in an ERISA pension plan case helped the Haynes and Boone labor and employment team secure Texas Lawyer’s “Litigation Section of the Year” award in 2013, the inaugural year the award was presented. Melissa represented Marathon’s plan administrator against relatives of a deceased participant.

In addition to complex employment situations, Melissa is also regularly called upon by clients to provide advice on day-to-day employment law issues. Melissa is a frequent speaker for local and national audiences on a variety of labor and employment and litigation issues and is an active member of the American Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Association.

Bar Admissions

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
Areas of Practice

Class Action Defense | Employment Litigation | ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation | Family Office | Investment Banking and Broker Dealer | Investment Management | Labor and Employment | Litigation | Social Media | Trade Secret Litigation | Wage and Hour Litigation

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. Argued a state supreme court case that created new non-compete law.

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.

Advise and defend employers on whistleblower/retaliation claims, such as claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank.

Obtain 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.

Counsel employers on various issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating sexual harassment and employee misconduct, and covenants not to compete.

Changes Coming to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice
Haynes and Boone, October 2016

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has published its first major update to the rules for trademark trials and appeals in nearly a decade. The final changes to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) Rules of Practice appear in the October 7, 2016 Federal Register (81 Fed. Reg. 69950) and are scheduled to go into effect on January 14, 2017...


Haynes and Boone Blogs
Haynes and Boone 

Haynes and Boone Blogs includes the Firm Blog, IP Beacon: Patent Law Review, Practical Benefits Lawyer, Texas Insurance Academy and The Dec Sheet-Insurance Law

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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