Lani Durio


Associate

 

Overview

Named a 2020 Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers®, Lani Durio is an award-winning legal writer and oral advocate who represents employers in state and federal court in lawsuits involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, individual and class action wage and hour disputes, and claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She also assists clients on issues arising in the employment life cycle, including drafting and revising employment agreements, restrictive covenants, handbooks and policies, and counseling employers on leave issues, disciplinary issues and separations.

Representative Experience

Her representative experience includes:

Litigation

  • Drafted and responded to pleadings and written discovery in state and federal court for claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, violations of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, wrongful termination, breach of employment agreements, breach of fiduciary duties and other business-related torts, and class and collective action wage, hour and overtime lawsuits
  • Represented international waste management company in lawsuit involving claims of sex, race and national origin discrimination
  • Represented international biotech company in administrative claims process and lawsuit involving claims of age and disability discrimination and retaliation
  • Defended numerous national oilfield service companies in class and collective actions involving allegations of unpaid overtime under various state laws and federal law
  • Obtained dismissal of charges of discrimination, harassment and retaliation filed with the EEOC, Texas Workforce Commission, and other comparable state and local agencies
  • Obtained judgment against former employee for breach of tuition reimbursement agreement on behalf of a national oilfield service company
  • Defended national tank inspection company in response to Texas Anti-SLAPP allegations asserted under the Texas Citizens' Participation Act
  • Obtained temporary and permanent injunctive relief for clients in various industries in matters involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and violations of restrictive covenants by former employees

Advice and Counsel

  • Prepared, and provided advice and counsel regarding the enforceability of, restrictive covenants, including non-competition and customer and employee non-solicitation agreements, under Texas and other states' laws
  • Advised clients on proper pay practices and employee classification under the FLSA and state law equivalents
  • Advised clients regarding the interactive process and employee requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA as well as leave issues arising under the FMLA
  • Trained human resources departments and other executives and supervisors on issues arising during the employment life cycle, including sexual harassment prevention and response, issues relating to employee disabilities, reasonable accommodations and leaves of absences, and discrimination and retaliation in the workplace
  • Counseled employers on matters arising under the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate provisions
  • Drafted specific policies and full employment handbooks for local, national and global companies across various industries
  • Drafted separation and release agreements in compliance with the OWBPA for employers in various industries
  • Advised large and small employers across various industries on planned reductions in workforce and prepared corresponding agreements and documentation for group terminations
  • Presented to hundreds of company representatives (including in-house legal counsel, human resources managers, and presidents and CEOs) on employment-related topics and issues
  • Advised companies on employment-related issues in the face of COVID-19, including the benefits provided by the CARES Act and the Family First Coronavirus Response Act

Prior Advocacy and Leadership Experience

As a law student, Lani participated in South Texas College of Law's world-renowned varsity advocacy program under the late T. Gerald Treece, where she was recognized as a national champion oral advocate and award-winning legal brief writer. During this time, practitioners and judges selected Lani as a top speaker and brief writer against law students nationwide. Two years in a row (2017 and 2018), the American Society of Legal Writers selected one of Lani's appellate briefs as the second best legal brief in the country.

Prior to law school, Lani attended Clarkson University in upstate New York, where she was a member, two-year captain and two-time All-American on Clarkson's volleyball team. As captain, Lani led her team to the Division III Elite 8 for her junior and senior seasons.

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, Super Lawyers® Texas Rising Star, Employment & Labor: Employer (2020)
  • Named, Top Lawyers-Labor & Employment, Houstonia magazine (2019)
  • Recipient, SCRIBES Award, American Society of Legal Writers (2017-2018)
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, Labor and Employment Section
  • Member, Houston Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
    • Project Train Committee
  • Adjunct Professor, Moot Court, South Texas College of Law
  • Member, Houston Young Lawyers Association