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Ogletree Deakins Strengthens Employment Law, Workplace Safety and Health Practices in Texas

   |   Press Release

HOUSTON – April 17, 2014 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, is pleased to welcome Merritt Chastain as a shareholder in the firm’s Houston office. Chastain joins Ogletree Deakins from the Houston office of Gardere Wynne Sewell, where he was a partner. His arrival at the firm will immediately strengthen the firm’s Employment Law and Workplace Safety and Health Practice Groups in Texas.

An accomplished attorney with 18 years of employment and labor law experience in Texas, Chastain focuses his litigation practice on employment discrimination, Occupation Safety and Health Act (OSHA) citations, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and related matters. He also litigates claims involving misappropriation of trade secrets, violation of covenants not to compete, and breach of employment agreements.

Chastain also counsels employers on federal and state discrimination and wage and hour laws, OSHA, anti-trust and anti-competitive activities, and a range of other labor and employment laws. He has drafted employee handbooks and policies, employment and arbitration agreements, alternative dispute resolution programs, and executive compensation agreements. He regularly assists clients in corporate transactions and drafts employment documents and agreements related to mergers, acquisitions, and asset purchases and sales.

In his traditional labor relations practice, Chastain represents management in union disputes, including union organizing and decertification campaigns, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

“Merritt is highly regarded throughout Texas as an accomplished labor and employment attorney who has strong relationships in a range of industries across Texas and the United States. He is a former law clerk to the Texas Supreme Court and is widely regarded as one of Texas’ premier appellate lawyers when it comes to the appeal of employment disputes,” said Jeff Londa, managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins’ Houston office. “Merritt’s energetic, upbeat personality, entrepreneurial drive, and vast network will quickly make him an asset to our clients.”

Chastain is very involved in Houston’s civic and legal communities. He is an active member of the Houston Rotary and serves as the national chairman and executive committee member for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Chastain also serves as the director of the Texas Association of Business and the managing director of the National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators. He provides pro bono legal services for several local non-profits including the Houston Ballet Foundation, Houston Symphony Society, and Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. Chastain earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from South Texas College of Law.


About Ogletree Deakins

Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has 700 lawyers located in 45 offices across the United States and in Europe. Ogletree Deakins is the “Law Firm of the Year” in both the Employment Law – Management and Labor Law – Management categories in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list. In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, employee benefits, and workplace safety and health law. Ogletree Deakins represents a diverse range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies. 

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