Anthony W. Kirkwood

Paul Myers

April 24, 2018



Eric G. Carlson

May 2, 2017



Practice Description

Ms. Newkirk’s practice includes employment law litigation as well as employment law counseling and transactional work.  She regularly represents clients in lawsuits and administrative proceedings involving federal and state employment law statutes (such as Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, Texas Labor Code, etc.) as well as litigation involving allegations of theft of trade secrets and violation of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.  Ms. Newkirk also works with clients on complex employment law counseling issues such as managing discipline and terminations in high risk scenarios (which may involve employees who fall within multiple protected categories or are high-ranking executives), managing leaves of absences and navigating the issues raised by the FMLA, ADA and workers’ compensation statutes, and conducting sensitive or high level internal investigations.  She has significant experience in planning and executing reductions in force, which includes evaluating the risks raised by the proposed reductions and drafting employee communications and severance agreements.  Ms. Newkirk assists clients with drafting executive employment agreements as well as non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.  She regularly advises clients on appropriate classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt under FLSA and of workers as employees or independent contractors under state and federal statutes; she handles administrative proceedings and litigation on these subjects as well.  Ms. Newkirk also teams with transactional lawyers to perform due diligence and review and provide advice on the employment law aspects of merger and asset purchase agreements.

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “New Regulations, Recent Court Decision, and Vital Strategies for Managing Your Leave Law Challenges”
  • Presenter, “Trends in Employment: Pop Culture Crosses Into the Workplace”
  • Presenter, “Did You Know?  Recent  Trends in Employment Law”
  • Presenter, “Reduction in Force Issues”
  • Presenter, “Managing the Difficult Employee”
  • Author, Controversy Surrounds EEOC’s Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

Professional / Civic Activities

  • Attorneys Serving the Community
  • Co-Chair, Networking Committee 2013 – Present
  • Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, 2011 – Present
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Employment Law Section
  • Chair, Employment Law Section, 2004, Vice-chair, 2003
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Employment Law Section


  • Best Lawyers in America – Employment Law Management and Labor Law, 2013-2015
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2012, 2015
  • Texas Super Lawyer by Law & Politics Magazine and Texas Monthly in 2005 – 2015
  • Texas Rising Star by Law & Politics Magazine and Texas Monthly in 2004 and 2005

James H. Birch

July 23, 2015



Practice Description

Mr. Birch represents business clients in all aspects of labor and employment law and in commercial litigation. During 33 years of practice, he has assisted businesses in a variety of industries, including outsourcing, information technology, insurance, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, transportation, media, professional services, banking and construction.

In addition to counseling clients on compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws and corporate codes of conduct, Mr. Birch represents employers in court, administrative and arbitration proceedings in individual, class and collective actions. Mr. Birch represents clients in corporate compliance and internal investigation matters. Mr. Birch represents companies regarding the protection of trade secrets and confidential information, including covenants not to compete.   Mr. Birch also represents executives in connection employment contract and separation agreements.

Mr. Birch’s business litigation practice includes shareholder/partner disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, contract, professional liability and business torts.  He also regularly represents companies relating to corporate compliance programs and in regulatory matters.

Areas of Practice

  • Labor and Employment
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Corporate Compliance
  • Trade Secret and Proprietary Information
  • Professional Liability and Ethics


  • Best Lawyers ® 2015 edition, Lawyer of the Year — Labor Law – Union
  • Best Lawyers ® 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Union, Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Best Lawyers ® 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Bankruptcy, and Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Best Lawyers® 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Employment Litigation – Law & Politics Magazine and Texas Monthly, 2008-2015
  • Best Lawyers, Labor and Employment Law – D Magazine, 2011-2015.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • State Bar of Texas
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Litigation Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Litigation Section

Sample Speaking Engagements

  • “Update on Whistleblower and Retaliation Law,” Multinational General Counsel Boot Camp, Center for American and International Comparative Legal Studies, 2015
  • “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and AML Compliance,” Varel International Management Conference 2014
  • “Who is My Client, Loss Prevention for Health Care Lawyers,” Health Law Conference sponsored by the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Hospital Association, 2007
  • “Ethical Issues and Malpractice Prevention for Healthcare Lawyers,” University of Houston Health Law Seminar, 2007
  • Panelist, “Labor and Employment Law Roundtable-Recent Developments”, sponsored by Texas Lawyer, 2007
  • “Traps for the Unwary, Ethical Pitfalls in Tax Practice” Tax Section of Dallas County Bar Association, 2007
  • “Legal and Ethical Issues in Electronic Discovery” International Council of Shopping Center Counsel Conference, Orlando, Florida, 2006
  • “How to Take and Defend the Executive’s Deposition,” Texas Bar CLE-Webcast, 2005
  • “Compliance Programs One Year After the Sentencing Guidelines Amendments,” Panelist, South Texas College of Law, Corporate Compliance Center, 2005
  • “Wage & Hour Update, New Developments Under an Old Standby,” Hughes & Luce Client Briefing, Dallas, 2003
  • “Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Law,” Dallas Baptist University, Masters of Human Resources class, 2003
  • “HR Practices to Keep You Out of Jail,” Law@work 2002, Dallas and Austin, Texas, 2002
  • “Pick Your Poison: Arbitrate or Litigate,” Law@work 2001: Strategies for Change, Dallas and Austin, Texas, 2001
  • “Ethical Dilemmas in Joint Defendant Cases: Who’s Your Buddy?” Law@work 2001: Strategies for Change, Dallas and Austin, Texas, 2001

Representative Cases

  • Watson v. Surf-Frac Wellhead Equipment Co., Case No. 4:11-cv-00843 (E.D. Ark. 2013) (Order Decertifying Collective Action and Order Denying Motion for Leave to Add Additional Plaintiffs)
  • McCloud v. McClinton Energy, Case No. 5:14-cv-620 XR (W.D. Tex 2014) (Order Granting Motion to Transfer FLSA Collective Action)
  • Palasota v. Haggar Clothing Co, 499 F.3d 474, (5th Cir. 2007). (ADEA appeal);
  • Bacon v. Electronic Data Systems, 219 Fed.Appx. 355, 2007 WL 625008 (C.A.5 2007) (FMLA Retaliation),
  • Raven Services Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 315 F.3d 499, No. 01-60976 (5th Cir. 2002) (Appeal of an NLRB bargaining order.)
  • Johnson v. SBC Advanced Solutions, Inc., Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 1151650 (N.D.Tex.,2004)
  • Treadway v. Shanks, 110 S.W.3d 1 (Tex.App.-Dallas,2000.)
  • Lyon College v. Melissa Gray, 67 Ark. App. 323, 999 S.W. 2d, 213, 1999 Ark. App., Lexis 605 (Ark. App. 1999) (Breach of contract claim under a collegiate Honor Code.)
  • Four T’s, Inc. v. Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, 108 F.3d 909 (1997) (Complex case involving claims under the Airport and Airways Improvement Act, Sherman Act and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.)
  • Pace Industries, Inc. d/b/a Precision Ind., Inc., 320 NLRB No. 15, 1996 NLRB Lexis 23 (1996) (Successorship and discrimination case under the National Labor Relations Act)
  • Simmons v. Lockhart, 915 F.2d 372 (8th Cir. 1990); Simmons v. Lockhart, 856 F.2d 1144 (8th Cir. 1988); and Simmons v. Lockhart, 709 F. Supp. 1457 (E.D. Ark. 1989) (Death penalty habeas corpus case)
  • Monroe v. Guardsmark, Inc., 856 F.2d 1065, 47 F.E.P. Cases 425 (8th Cir. 1988)
  • Monroe v. Guardsmark, Inc., 660 F. Supp. 1357, 44 F.E.P. Cases 1232 (W.D. Ark. 1987) (Employment discrimination case.)
  • Cobb v. Stringer, 850 F.2d 356, 47 F.E.P. Cases 130 (8th Cir. 1988) (Employment discrimination case)
  • Bracamontes v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 840 F.2d 271 (5th Cir. 1988) (Agricultural Worker Protection Act case)
  • Thomerson v. Lockhart, 835 F.2d 1257 (1987) (Habeas corpus appeal)
  • Mary Baggett v. Program Resources, Inc., 806 F.2d 178, 42 FEP Cases 648 (1986) (Employment discrimination case)
  • Donovan v. Rose Law Firm, 768 F.2d 964, 119 L.R.R.M. 3345 (8th Cir. 1985) (Constitutional challenge to the consultant reporting provisions of the LRMDA)
  • NLRB v. Monark Boat Co., 713 F.2d 355, 113 L.R.R.M. 3749 (8th Cir. 1983) (Challenge to the NLRB’s certification of election results)
  • Davis Forestry v. Smith, 707 F.2d 1325 (11th Cir. 1983) (AWPA appeal)
  • Monark Boat Co. v. NLRB, 708 F.2d 1322 (8th Cir. 1983) (Equal Access to Justice Act appeal)
  • Williams v. BLM Co., Inc., 731 F. Supp. 231, 52 F.E.P. Cases 459 (N.D. Miss. 1990) (Employment discrimination case)
  • Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct v. Muhammed, 291 Ark. 225, 723 S.W. 2d. 828 (1987) (Represented the committee in a contempt proceeding against an attorney)

Steven J. Lownds

November 28, 2013



Practice Description

Mr. Lownds represents clients in complex litigation regarding banking, construction, fraud, corporate control, real estate, trademark infringement, commodities trading, deceptive trade practices and contract disputes. His consistent success in court has been based on his unique ability to condense and theme complex transactions and facts into simple and persuasive presentations.

Representative Experience

Appointed to American Arbitration Association, Commercial and Construction Panels, in 1991. Served as arbitrator over more than 100 arbitrations. Appointed to American Arbitration National Mass Claims Panel in 1998.

Served as lead appellate counsel in cases before the Courts of Appeal in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Amarillo, and Corpus Christi, as well as the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits.

Served as lead trial counsel with litigation team in over 50 trials and arbitrations involving commercial and business disputes. Trials and arbitrations range from a few days to over 4 months. Cases tried are diverse including disputes regarding construction delays in construction of petrochemical plants and retractable roof sports facility, business fraud, defective design of air separation facility, global freight forwarding contracts, trade secret and noncompetes, securities fraud, real estate, and the design, operation and warranty of industrial equipment.

Handled one of first “paperless” trials in Federal District Court in Dallas in 1995. For past 15 years has consistently taken advantage of the latest advancements in document management and presentation technology in discovery and the courtroom to provide the most effective advocacy for clients while keeping costs in line with the clients’ ultimate objectives.

Selected Publications, Seminars and Cases

Formosa Plastics Corp., USA v. Kajima International, Inc., 216 S.W.3d 436 (Tex.App.- Corpus Christi, 2006, pet. denied)

Bulko v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., 2004 WL 2973760 (N.D.Tex. Dec. 20, 2004) (Sanders, J.)

Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation v. Cribbs, 918 F.2d 557

Campbell v. C.D. Payne and Geldermann Securities, Inc., 894 S.W.2d 411

Hirschfeld Steel Co., Inc. v. Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 201 S.W.3d 272 (Tex.App.- Houston [14 Dist.],2006)

American Fidelity Fire Inc. Co. v. Pixley, 687 S.W.2d 50 (Tex. App. -Houston [14 Dist]., 1985)

Shamrock Roofing Supply, Inc. v. Mercantile Nat. Bank at Dallas, 703 S.W.2d 256 (Tex. App. –Dallas, 1985)

Deer Creek Limited v. North American Mortgage Company, 792 S.W.2d 198

In re Kajima International, 139 S.W.3d 107 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, 2004)

Kajima International, Inc., v. Formosa Plastics Corporation, USA, 15 S.W.3d 289

Brown v. Capital Bank, N.A., 703 S.W.2d 231

Bulko v. Morgan Stanley DW, Inc., 450 F.3d 622 (5th Cir.2006)

Awards & Honors

“Texas Super Lawyers” (Texas Monthly magazine, 2004-2013)

“Texas Top-Rated Lawyers” (Dallas Morning News & The Wallstreet Journal, 2012)

AV ® PREEMINENT Martindale-Hubbell rating