Dean Schaner


Schaner Law Firm PLLC
5313 Pocohantas St.
Bellaire, TX 77401
United States

Tel: (832) 548-1478


Dean Schaner, founder of the Schaner Law Firm, specializes in labor and employment law with 30 years of experience, including all aspects of unfair competition, discrimination, retaliation, ERISA, wrongful termination, wage and hour, whistleblower, harassment, and contract/tort claims arising out of the employment relationship.

The Schaner Law Firm represents clients in labor and employment matters (for both employees and employers) and has tried a wide variety of cases in the federal and state courts, including the successful defense of an energy company in a class action case in which the plaintiffs sought $30 million in damages. He is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist.  Mr. Schaner is the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Employment LaDesk Reference5th Edition. Additionally, as a member of the Social Media Practice Group, Mr. Schaner advises clients on matters regarding social media and the risks and implications it may have in the labor and employment arena.

Activities and Honors

  • Recognized by Chambers USA in Labor & Employment (Texas).
  • Member of the Exam Committee for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Labor and Employment Law Exam Commission, 2005-2019.
  • Exam Coordinator for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Labor and Employment Specialization Exam Committee, 2008-2019.
  • Chair of the Texas Labor and Employment Exam Committee, 2013-2020.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Houston West Chamber of Commerce.
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012-2020 for Employment Law – Management.
  • Named as a Texas Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine in Employment Litigation Defense from 2003-2021.
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™.
  • ALM and Martindale Hubbell® recognition of Top Rated Lawyer in Labor  & Employment Law, 2013-2017.

Mr. Schaner has successfully tried cases for employers in both Federal and Texas courts, including:

  • Defended national class action misclassification FLSA case involving officers of a mortgage company and financial institution; case successfully settled on favorable terms for the client.
  • Obtained numerous temporary restraining orders and injunctions for clients in non-competition agreement, unfair competition, trade secret, Computer Fraud Abuse Act, and inevitable disclosure cases.
  • Obtained a defense jury verdict for an oil and gas employer in a Texas state court, class action case in which the class plaintiffs sought $10 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages. A Texas appeals court affirmed the defense
  • Defended class action employment discrimination and employee benefits lawsuits by preventing class certification and obtaining summary judgment on the merits. Several of the class actions sought nationwide class certification for thousands of putative plaintiffs.
  • Obtained jury verdicts for banking institutions, energy companies, and other employers on the merits of employee discrimination/wrongful discharge claims.
  • Convinced a Texas appeals court to adopt the after-acquired evidence doctrine, namely, the discovery of post-discharge employee misconduct to bar an employee’s wrongful discharge claim. Jordan v. Johnson Controls, Inc., 881 S.W.2d 363 (Tex. App.··Dallas 1994).
  • Convinced a Texas appeals court to reject plaintiff’s request to adopt the “cats-paw” doctrine in a workers’ compensation retaliation lawsuit under Texas law. Costello v. Bank of America, N.A., 2007 WL 4303499 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2007).
  • Mr. Schaner has represented pro bono clients in cases involving HIV-positive employees and immigration matters.

Obtained summary judgment and judgment as a matter of law victories in numerous published cases, including:

  • Young v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 658 F.3d 436 (5th Cir. 2011) (affirming summary judgment in complex executive bonus lawsuit involving executive bonus plan)
  • Simmons v. Wilcox, 911 F.2d 1077 (5th Cir. 1990) (adopting exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement in ERISA fiduciary breach/benefits claims lawsuit).
  • Khavari v. Varo, Inc., No. 05-92-01733-CV, 1993 WL 84788 (Tex. App.­ Dallas 1993) (affirming summary judgment in contract breach and tort claims arising out of employment termination).
  • Geiger v. Varo, Inc., No. 05-93-1511-CV, 1994 WL 246159 (Tex. App. Dallas 1994) (affirming summary judgment on multiple count sexual harassment and assault lawsuit).
  • Nowlin v. Resolution Trust Corp., et al., 33 F.3d 498 (5th Cir. 1994) (affirming summary judgment for Haynes and Boone client, Mitchell Jobe, on scope of EEOC charge argument).
  • Ellis v. NCNB Texas National Bank, 842 F. Supp. 243 (N.D. Tex. 1994) (granting summary judgment for financial institution in one of first whistleblower cases filed under the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act in which the plaintiff sought $6 million in damages; case was reported in the Big Suits section of the American Lawyer).
  • Simien v. Chemical Waste Management, Inc., 30 F. Supp. 2d 939 (W.D.La. 1998), aff’d, 174 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 1999) (affirming summary judgment in race discrimination lawsuit).
  • Blanks and Breedlove v. Waste Management of Arkansas, Inc., 31 F. Supp. 2d 673 (W.D. Ark. 1998) {affirming summary judgment in nationwide class action case).
  • Amos v. Wheelabrator Coal Services Co., 47 F. Supp. 2d 798 (N.D. Tex. 1999) (granting judgment as a matter of law in ADA lawsuit).
  • Green v. Industrial Specialty Contractors, 1 S.W.3d 126 {Tex. App.­ Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 25, 1999) (affirming summary judgment in sex harassment case involving six alleged harassment incidents).
  • Krug v. Caltex Petroleum Corporation, No. 05-96-0079-CV, 1999 WL 652495 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1999) (affirming jury verdict for the defense in fraud/contract class action lawsuit).
  • Patitu v. NationsBank, N.A., 90 F. Supp.2d 781 (S.D. Tex. 2000) (granting summary judgment in national origin discrimination case).
  • Tiemeyer v. Quality Publishing, Inc., 144 F. Supp. 2d 727 (S.D. Tex. 2001) (granting summary judgment in age discrimination case).
  • Burgos v. Tex. Trude, et al., 286 F. Supp. 2d 812 (S.D. Tex. 2003) (granting motion to dismiss on ERISA preemption grounds).
  • Bodine v. Employers Casualty Co., et al., 352 F.3d 245 (5th Cir. 2003) (affirming dismissal of ERISA lawsuit under anti-cutback and prohibited transaction ERISA provisions).
  • Bourgeois v. The Pension Plan for the Employees of Santa Fe Int’/ Corps., 308 F. Supp. 2d 761 (S.D. Tex. 2004) (granting summary judgment on pension benefits claim).
  • Costello v. Bank of America, N.A., 2007 WL 4303499 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2007) (affirming summary judgment on workers’ compensation retaliation claim and rejecting “cat’s paw” doctrine under Texas statute).
  • St. John v. NCI Bldg. Systems, Inc., 537 F. Supp. 2d 848 (S.D. Tex. 2008) (granting summary judgment on plaintiff’s ADA discrimination and retaliation claims).
  • Mensa-Wilmot v. Smith International, Inc., 312 SW.3d 771, 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 8944 (Tex. App. – [1st Dist.] Nov. 19, 2009) (affirming summary judgment for employer on plaintiff’s non-qualified stock option claims under stock option agreements).
  • Young v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 658 F.3d. 436 (5th Cir. 2011) (holding that employer did not act arbitrarily, under New York law, in refusing to pay the value of unexercised stock options to former executive because the executive’s resignation was not a resignation for good reason after a change in control).
  • Successfully argued over 20 cases before the Texas Courts of Appeal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits.
Dean Schaner handles a wide range of employment disputes on behalf of both employers and employees.
“He is very thorough and handles complex employment litigation.”
Chambers & Partners