William H. Payne, IV

Associate || New Orleans

Bill Payne has devoted his entire law career to litigating employment-related disputes in state and federal court and counseling clients on workplace matters.  With a background as a local newspaper reporter and high school English teacher, Payne’s employment law practice has benefitted from an emphasis on in-depth investigations, interviewing and counseling, and effective written and oral presentations.  Payne has argued in the Sixth Circuit, successfully first-chaired a jury trial and handled cases under all the major federal employment discrimination statutes, including class and collective actions.

Most recently, Payne has focused on representing employee benefits plans, plan sponsors, and service providers in lawsuits and government investigations related to ERISA.  Payne has experience developing unique strategies for limiting the remedies available to parties seeking recoveries from ERISA plans and employers.

In addition, Payne served as a law clerk for the Hon. Shelley J. Rucker in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Familiarity with the bankruptcy code enables Payne to handle employment litigation issues that arise in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings and counsel clients on possible bankruptcy court outcomes.

Payne enjoys listening to music of all varieties with his family, long distance running, and throwing the tennis ball for his dog.

Learn more about William H. Payne, IV


  • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, 2010
  • MA, University of London, Goldsmiths College, 2002
  • B.A., Bates College, 1998

Admittance to Practice

  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third, Fifth, and Sixth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana

Professional Activities

  • Morris Jeff Community School, School Board Member
  • Louisiana Bar Association
  • ABA, EEO division


  • BAG Lunch - "What Color is my Collar: the DOL's Salary Level Test" - New Orleans - September 8, 2016
  • American Public Power Legal & Regulatory Conference - "Staying Ahead of Trending Legal Topics" - New Orleans - October 2015
  • ABA/EEO Luncheon - "Litigating Employment Discrimination Cases with Plaintiff or Defendant in Bankruptcy" - New Orleans - June 17, 2015