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Tara Porterfield
Tara Porterfield
Counsel — Labor & Employment
Counsel — Labor & Employment

Tara Porterfield

Tara Porterfield

200 West 6th Street
Suite 2500
Austin, Texas 78701

Tara Porterfield

Experience Highlights

  • (S.D. Tex.; 5th Cir.); (DOL ALJ & ARB) — Obtained dismissal, and affirmance of dismissal, in pair of Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower cases brought by clients’ independent contractor

  • (S.D. Tex.; E.D. Tex.; AAA) — Represented an energy industry client in multiple lawsuits and arbitrations, including putative collective actions and multiple plaintiff cases, alleging violations of FLSA overtime provisions (lead counsel)

  • (AAA) — Arbitrated executive’s breach of contract claim, resulting in take nothing judgment in client’s favor (lead counsel)

  • (D.N.M.) — Assisted in strategy and briefing to enforce arbitration agreement between clients’ contractor and its employee in wage and hour matter, leading to favorable settlement

  • Advise gig economy client in strategy for litigation and administrative claims brought by independent contractors

  • Long-time pro bono employment counsel to arts organization in Austin

  • (W.D. Tex.; S.D. Tex.) — Oversaw litigation of FLSA retaliation claim, including venue transfer and successful summary judgment motion

  • (D.N.M.) — Assisted in strategy and briefing to enforce arbitration agreement between clients’ contractor and its employee in wage and hour matter, leading to favorable settlement

  • (Tex. Dist. – Harris Cnty. ) — Drafted partial summary judgment motion on tortious interference with restrictive covenant and conspiracy claims in competitor’s employee theft of trade secrets case, contributing to favorable resolution

  • (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

  • (N.D. Ga.) — 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 (lead counsel)

  • (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

  • 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


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with honors, (Order of the Coif; Chancellors; Articles Editor, Texas Law Review)
  • Wesleyan University, B.A.
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Stephen S. Trott, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Litigation–Labor and Employment (Austin), 2023 and 2024
  • 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
  • “Due Diligence after Sun Capital,” V&E Employment, Labor and OSHA Update E-communication, March 19, 2014 (co-author)
  • “A New Day for Texas Non-Competes: Texas Supreme Court Decision Fundamentally Changes Texas Non-Compete Principles,” V&E Labor and Employment Updates E-communication, June 28, 2011