René L. Duckworth

Of Counsel || St. Louis

Since joining Ogletree Deakins in 2011, Ms. Duckworth has represented national and local employers from a variety of industries in multiple aspects of employment law.  Ms. Duckworth’s primary focus is litigating discrimination, retaliation, and harassment cases in state and federal courts, as well as defending claims before, and investigations by, state and federal administrative agencies such as the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the EEOC, DOL, and OSHA.  Ms. Duckworth also partners with her clients to train management on compliance and current legal issues; drafts employment policies, handbooks, and contracts; and provides counseling on a wide range of employment-related matters such as terminations, leaves of absence and FMLA compliance, unemployment compensation, garnishments, background checks, and more.

Ms. Duckworth began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Scott O. Wright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Learn more about René L. Duckworth
  • Assisted defense team in obtaining a defense verdict in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri involving claims under the Missouri Human Rights Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment for employers in state and federal courts, including claims of gender discrimination and retaliation under the Missouri Human Rights Act, race discrimination and harassment under Title VII and Section 1981, and interference and retaliation under the FMLA.
  • Represented employer in proceedings before the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations resulting in denial of unemployment benefits for appropriately discharged employee.
  • Have prepared numerous position statements in response to charges before the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the EEOC resulting in dismissals and case closures.
  • Negotiated favorable settlements of pre-litigation claims and pending cases involving allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.


  • J.D., University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law, 2009
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Truman State University, 2005

Admittance to Practice

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Board of Directors, Love Fund for Children (non-profit charity)
  • Ross T. Roberts Trial Academy (formerly Inn of Court), 2012-2013


  • Enterprise University - "Hiring and Firing from A to Z" - Leawood - May 5, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce 2015 - "HR in the Movies" - Kansas City - October 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Please Release Me!: Preparing Enforceable Releases" - Overland Park - October 8, 2013
  • Sterling Education Services, Inc. - 6th Annual Labor & Employment Law 2013 - "Social Media in the Workplace" - Kansas City - May 8, 2013
  • June 2012 - Practical Law Company Labor & Employment (co-author) - "Background Check Laws: Missouri, Q&A Guide"
  • April 2012 - Practical Law Company Labor & Employment (co-author) - "Non-Compete Laws: Missouri, Q&A Guide"
  • March 12, 2018 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Back to work: Milk Stork benefit makes work travel easier for attorney moms"
  • October 21, 2015 - - "Light Up the Runway for the FOX 4 Love Fund"
  • Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition
  • Associate Managing Editor, Missouri Law Review
  • Missouri Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014-present)

Insights by René L. Duckworth