Nancy L. Patterson litigates employment, commercial, intellectual property, personal injury, and benefits issues in US state and federal courts. She has tried more than 30 cases and has arbitrated more than 20 cases (FINRA and AAA) with numerous victories, including individual plaintiff, collective action, and multiplaintiff actions for various national and multinational companies. Her work has involved matters in a wide variety of industries, including the healthcare, energy, financial services, computer/technology, transportation, construction, chemical manufacturing, retail, consumer products and services, and professional services industries.
Nancy has also litigated and won numerous injunction cases in trade secret and noncompetition disputes. Her practice also includes representing employers before various federal and state agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the US Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Texas Workforce Commission.
Nancy regularly litigates discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims arising under Title VII, the ADA Amendments Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Texas Labor Code. In one such nationwide class action discrimination case, she negotiated an unprecedented settlement and consent decree with the EEOC after several years of contentious litigation. Nancy also regularly handles wage and hour individual and collective actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and has tried two such cases to verdict. She also handles whistleblower claims arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, OSHA, the Texas Health & Safety Code, and the Texas Occupations Code. She has also litigated and arbitrated unfair labor practice and breach of contract claims involving the National Labor Relations Act.
Nancy also has experience litigating cases involving alleged noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement violations, theft of employer trade secrets, and breach of fiduciary duty/breach of loyalty claims. She litigates breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary claims related to commercial and business transaction agreements’ executive severance, stock options, and related compensation issues. She also handles complex negligence, personal injury, and defamation claims. Nancy is frequently called on to handle sensitive, high-level internal investigations regarding alleged discrimination/retaliation or ethics/policy violations for a number of clients in various industries.
Nancy holds the distinction of being Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has been listed in Chambers USA annually since 2005 and has consistently been listed as a Super Lawyer each year since 2003, as well as named in various years as one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas” and one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Houston.” She has also been listed in the Best Lawyers in America since 2003. The National Law Journal selected a case that Nancy tried as lead counsel in 2001 as one of the “Top 20 Defense Verdicts of the Year.”
Nancy lectures and provides training on various topics and is involved in a variety of pro bono projects.
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1988, J.D.
University of Missouri, 1985, B.A.
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits
U.S. Supreme Court
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Employment Law – Management, Houston; Labor Law – Management, Houston; Litigation – Labor and Employment, Houston, The Best Lawyers in America (2003–2006, 2008–2011, 2014–2019)
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation–Labor and Employment, The Best Lawyers in America (2017)
Top Woman Lawyer, Best Lawyers (2016, 2017)
Band 1, Labor & Employment, Texas, Chambers USA (2018, 2019)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2005–2017)
Ranked, Labor & Employment, USA, Chambers Global (2016–2019)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Labor & Employment, Law360 (2017)
Winner, Texas Lawyer’s 2015 Texas Litigation Department of the Year for Labor and Employment
Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers (2003–2014)
Recommended, Labor and Employment Litigation, The Legal 500 US (2014)
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Texas Super Lawyers (2010)