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01/18/2022

Ogletree Deakins Expands Houston Office with “Go-To” Litigators

Ogletree Deakins, one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, welcomes Scott McLaughlin and Marlene Williams to the firm’s Houston office as shareholders. Both join Ogletree Deakins from Eversheds Sutherland, where Scott led the labor and employment practice, and Marlene served as the Partner in Charge for the Houston office. Together, Scott and Marlene possess more than 50 years of legal experience and represent clients in the energy, manufacturing, and chemical industries, along with companies throughout the Fortune 200.

“Scott and Marlene have spent their careers at the forefront of handling nuanced, technical, and evolving labor and employment matters that frequently lead to complex, costly, and highly visible litigation,” said Carolyn Russell, office managing shareholder of Ogletree Deakins in Houston. “Both are incredibly well-known in Houston’s legal community and throughout Texas for their innovative approaches, proactive delivery of actionable and practical counsel, and a commitment to client service as reflected in our Client Pledge.” Carolyn continued, “Their decision to join Ogletree Deakins signals that we remain a labor and employment law firm of choice for those practitioners seeking to resolve an employer’s most vexing workplace issues.”

Scott is widely recognized as an authority for bet-the-company litigation involving a range of labor and employment matters. He has a successful track record for defending Fortune 200 companies in multimillion-dollar claims before state and federal courts in numerous trials and arbitrations. Scott is an experienced litigator for employers facing trade secret, fiduciary, discrimination, wage and hour, and executive matters.

Scott regularly files lawsuits under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and related laws to recover information misappropriated by departing employees and has vast related experience in gathering, securing, and preserving electronic evidence. He is often called upon to conduct workplace investigations involving sexual harassment, discrimination, and fraud, and provides day-to-day labor and employment advice and counsel to employers. Scott also has extensive traditional labor experience, having handled litigation against unions, union elections supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), strikes, and many labor arbitrations.

Marlene is a seasoned litigator who guides employers through complex labor and employment matters, defending Fortune 100 and other companies in class action disputes and collective action litigation, as well as complex discrimination, harassment, retaliation and whistleblower lawsuits. With clients spanning a variety of industries, including energy, media, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare services, she serves as lead counsel in bench and jury trials, in appeals in federal and state appellate courts, and in arbitrations, including cases involving multiple parties and millions of dollars in claims.

With her extensive litigation experience, Marlene assists employers in resolving a wide range of employment law issues, including wage and hour issues; discrimination, retaliation and harassment; whistleblower claims; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance; employment agreements; leave issues and disputes; hiring and onboarding processes; and general human resources practices. Marlene also has extensive experience representing clients in non-compete and trade secret matters and in traditional labor matters, having successfully handled numerous labor arbitrations.

Marlene’s in-depth knowledge of these employment law matters allows her expand her practice to effectively train employers on their policy and enforcement matters, internal investigations, and document retention and employee retention issues.

Both Scott and Marlene demonstrated prowess have led both to become well-decorated practitioners in the legal field. Scott was recently named a “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Employment Law – Management in 2021. He has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Labor and Employment Law – Litigation consistently since 2007 and Labor and Employment Law – Management since 2012. Acritas Stars recognized Scott as a stand-out lawyer. He is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Marlene is active in her legal industry and civic endeavors. Marlene has been recognized as a Houston Top Lawyer in the area of Labor and Employment by Houston Business Journal. She is a Board Member for the State Bar of Texas’ Labor & Employment Law Section Council, a fellow for the Texas Bar Foundation and has served as a fellow for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and previously served as a Board Member for Catholic Charities of Galveston/Houston.

Scott earned his J.D. from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Herbert Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Rice University. Marlene earned her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Loyola University, New Orleans.

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