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Tara Porterfield

Tara Porterfield Counsel, Labor & Employment

Tara focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling. Board certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she represents employers in disputes involving discrimination, wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act(FLSA), ERISA violations, employment contracts, and other statutory and common law claims.

She has handled matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts in multiple jurisdictions, and before administrative agencies. Additionally, Tara routinely advises corporate clients on issues involving the employment relationship, such as hiring, wage and hour concerns, leave, allegations of misconduct or discrimination, and termination.

Experience Highlights

  • (N.D. Georgia) — Representation of an employer against claims of withdrawal liability under ERISA’s Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act
  • Representation of an employer in litigation involving multiple, willful OSHA citations alleging violations of Process Safety Management Standard; primarily responsible for complex briefing, including summary judgment motion, post-trial briefs, and appellate briefs
  • Represented a client in an arbitration involving allegations of pregnancy discrimination, resulting in a take-nothing award in client’s favor
  • (S.D.Tex.); (5th Circuit) — Representation of an employer and its pension plan administrative committee in bringing ERISA claims against multiple participants and beneficiaries involving improperly distributed benefits, and defending counterclaims asserting interference with protected benefits in violation of ERISA Section 510 and age discrimination
  • (S.D. Tex.) — Represented an energy industry client in several lawsuits, including both putative collective actions and multiple plaintiff cases, alleging violations of FLSA overtime provisions

Additional Experience

  • (D.V.I.) — Representation of an employer in a lawsuit involving its bonus program for exempt-level employees, where more than 50 current and former employees brought claims of breach of contract, breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, and infliction of emotional distress
  • Represented a client in an arbitration of FLSA claims brought by multiple former employees seeking overtime pay for “on-call” time, resulting in award in favor of client on all claims (co-lead counsel)
  • Represented a client in an arbitration of a Title VII race discrimination claim resulting in award in client’s favor (lead counsel)
  • Represented a client in an arbitration of workers’ compensation retaliation, disability, and age claims, resulting in award in favor of client on all claims (lead counsel)
  • (Tex. Dist.); (E.D. Tex.) — Representation of a large national insurance company in several suits by terminated agents, alleging discrimination and violation of the insurance code
  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty. and Travis Cnty.) — Obtained summary judgments in two test cases (12 similar cases) where plaintiffs challenged insurance company’s agent rating system with multiple claims under the Texas antitrust, consumer protection, and insurance statutes
  • Represented client in an ERISA action arising from the denial of benefits. Obtained a summary judgment in favor of the client in arbitration, upholding the plan administrator’s decision (lead counsel)
  • (3d Cir.) — Wrote appellate briefs obtaining reversal of an order holding an arbitration agreement unenforceable as to personal injury claims against a third-party beneficiary


Contact Details

Austin

T +1.512.542.8879
F +1.512.236.3267
tporterfield@velaw.com
2801 Via Fortuna
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
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Tara's Practices

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1996 (Order of the Coif; Chancellors; Articles Editor, Texas Law Review, 1995–1996)
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1990
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; United States Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third, Fifth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Stephen S. Trott, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1996–1997