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713-535-5504

sgatlin@cokinoslaw.com

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J. Shannon Gatlin

Senior Counsel

Biography

Mr. Gatlin is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, after starting his legal career as a Briefing Attorney to Justice William J. Boyce of the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston. Mr. Gatlin has extensive experience briefing cases before state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, including the United States Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Gatlin has served as a leader of legal writing and motions practice, while also mentoring young attorneys and law clerks.

Mr. Gatlin has built upon his passions for employment law and mentoring attorneys by developing a novel practical skills course focused on drafting and negotiating employment agreements that he teaches as an Adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Mr. Gatlin has also written and presented regularly on a wide variety of employment law topics, ranging from best practices in hiring and promotions to dealing with employment issues related to COVID-19 to the intricacies of requests for medical leave and accommodations. Mr. Gatlin has considerable experience speaking to clients’ workforces, employer groups, and trade associations nationwide at events and conventions, providing them with practical tips related to employment law issues within their respective industries. Mr. Gatlin also recently was named a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Employment Arbitrators, where he has the opportunity to sit as a neutral party and decide employment law disputes between opposing parties who have chosen to arbitrate claims rather than go to court.

Mr. Gatlin represents clients with labor and employment issues in both government agency actions and in litigation in state and federal courts nationwide. Mr. Gatlin also plays a significant role in clients’ efforts to prevent lawsuits and to comply with state and federal employment laws. Prior to law school, Mr. Gatlin spent seven years in the television news industry, working in the capacities of reporter, anchor, and director over the course of his broadcasting career. Mr. Gatlin is happily married with two young children and lives in Fulshear, Texas.

Education

  • Wake Forest University School of Law – J.D., 2008
  • Duke University – B.A., 1998

Recognitions & Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch 2022 – 2023: Labor and Employment Law – Management & Litigation – Labor and Employment

Certifications

  • Board Certified, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor & Employment Law

Speaking Engagements & Presentations

  • “How Much Leave is Too Much Leave, Legally Speaking?”, 2021 AGC Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference (St. Louis, MO Oct. 14, 2021)
  • Adjunct Professor for LAW 569 – Employment Agreements: Basics, Drafting, & Negotiation; South Texas College of Law, Fall 2020 (Houston, TX).
  • “Employment Law Refresher,” AGC Houston webinar, Aug. 5, 2021
  • “How Much Leave is Too Much Leave, Legally Speaking?”, 2021 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues (Houston, TX Aug. 4, 2021)
  • Adjunct Professor for LAW 569 – Employment Agreements: Basics, Drafting, & Negotiation; South Texas College of Law, Fall 2020 & Fall 2021 (Houston, TX)
  • “COVID-19 Legal Issues in the Construction Industry” (panel presentation); Second Annual AGC Houston Employment Practices & Safety Committees Joint Conference; Dec. 3, 2020 (Houston, TX).
  • “Back to School & FFCRA Paid Leave,” webinar (co-hosted with M. Wilson Stoker); Aug. 21, 2020.
  • “Drug Testing in the Age of Marijuana & Opioids,” Inaugural AGC Houston Employment Practices & Safety Committees Joint Conference; Oct. 25, 2019 (Houston, TX).
  • “When Should HR Get Legal Involved?”; 2019 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues; May 16, 2019 (Houston, TX).
  • “A Fleet Safety Manager’s Guide to Surviving Fleet Safety-Related Lawsuits,” 2016 Fleet Safety Conference; July 19, 2016 (Schaumberg, IL).
  • “Wage & Overtime Changes You Need to Know: Taking Care of Business and Working Overtime,” Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce; July 13, 2016 (Fulshear, TX).
  • “Employers’ Law 101: Which Employment Laws Apply to Me?” Cross Creek Ranch Resident Speaker Series; Mar 28, 2015 (Fulshear, TX).
  • “Case Update: Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2013),” Houston Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Luncheon; July 8, 2013 (Houston, TX).

Publications

  • “How Law Firms Can Make ‘Telework’ Work,” The Advocate (Vol. 93)
  • “Rebooting Employment Law Compliance Efforts in a COVID-19 World” (co-authored with M. Wilson Stoker), Construction News (June 2020)
  • “Getting Your I-9 House in Order,” Construction News (Oct. 2018)
  • Quoted extensively in Andy Lundin, “How Fleets Should Handle Liability Exposure,” Fleet Financials (Jan.-Feb. 2017)
  • “Even Judges Make Mistakes: What Recent STAA Whistleblower Cases Can Teach Us,” Employment Law 360 (August 8, 2012)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association, Panel of Employment Arbitrators
  • State Bar of Texas, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Adjunct Faculty, South Texas College of Law
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • ABC Houston Talent Practices Committee
  • AGC Houston Employment Practices Committee
  • Houston Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States District Court: Northern, Eastern & Southern Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit