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Attorneys

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Austin Kaplan

Austin Kaplan, Kaplan Law Firm

Austin Kaplan is the Founder and Managing Attorney at Kaplan Law Firm.

Austin is an employment law and civil rights attorney and litigator serving clients in Austin, Texas and surrounding communities. Austin represents individuals in a wide range of employment and civil rights matters, including claims for breach of employment contract, breach of noncompete agreements, discrimination, overtime violations, wage and hour violations, whistleblower retaliation, FMLA violations, and marriage equality matters.  Austin spends most of his days litigating cases for the Firm’s clients in state and federal court.

Protecting employees who have been sued by their former employers

Austin defends people who are sued for misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of non-competes (non-competition, non-solicitation, or no-hire agreements), and other contract matters by their former employers, or by other entities.

Advice and Counsel

Austin regularly provides advice to employees about their employment rights, what their options are at work, and how to negotiate a fair severance.

Memberships, Awards, and Organizations

  • Recipient of the 2016 Austin Under 40 Legal Category Award
  • Recipient of the 2016 Austinite of the Year Award
  • President-Elect, Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation Fellow
  • 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Co-Chair, Austin Capital Area Plaintiffs Employment Law Association
  • Former Chairperson, City of Austin Ethics Review Commission
  • Member, Austin Bar Association Labor and Employment Section
  • Member, Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Central Texas Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
  • Member, Texas Bar College

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • State Bar of Illinois (inactive)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Presentations and Publications

  • CLE presenter – April 4, 2012 Austin Employment Law Update – Lorman Seminar.  Topic: Dealing with Discipline and Discharge
  • Co-author, “Issue Spotting: The Multitude of Ways Social Media Impacts Employment Law and Litigation,” State Bar Litigation Section Report, The Advocate, Fall 2012
  • Co-author, “Copyright: Google’s Library Project: Copyright and Fair Use,” E-commerce Law & Policy, October 2009
  • Co-author, “Media Law Legislative Record of President Barack Obama,” Media Law Resource Center, January 2009

Education

  • University of Illinois College of  Law – Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, recipient of the Rickert Award in Pro Bono Service
  • American University – Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society, cum laude, recipient of University Honors and Honors in Law and Society



Matthew (Maff) Caponi

Maff Caponi

Matthew “Maff” Caponi is an associate attorney at Kaplan Law Firm.

Maff joined Kaplan Law Firm in August 2019, was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in October 2019, and hit the ground running, second-chairing a jury trial of a wrongful termination case in state court in November 2019, including directing and cross-examining witnesses. Maff’s practice has included pursuing justice for workers on a wide range of employment litigation, including wage and overtime violations, whistleblower retaliation, and all kinds of workplace discrimination issues. In addition, Maff has litigated police abuse cases, reviewed and negotiated severance agreements, advised and defended employees on alleged violations of non-compete or non-solicitation clauses, and even tried a breach of contract case remotely via Zoom in small claims court during the pandemic.

As a law student at his hometown University of Texas School of Law, he focused on public interest work—from helping immigrant workers recover unpaid wages with the Equal Justice Center, to protecting Barton Springs and its wildlife with Save Our Springs Alliance, to helping refugees apply for green cards and citizenship at Refugee Services of Texas. As a student attorney with UT’s Civil Rights Clinic, Maff helped win a habeas corpus case in federal court for a detained asylum seeker, securing the client’s release after nearly a year in detention. Maff is passionate about enforcing employee and civil rights in Texas and practical about obtaining the best result for his clients.

Memberships, Awards, and Organizations

  • Austin Bar Association Labor and Employment Section
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Employment Lawyers Association

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Education

  • The University of Texas School of Law – Juris Doctor, with Honors
  • Arizona State University – Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, cum laude

Ryan Estes

Ryan O. Estes is an attorney at Kaplan Law Firm.

Ryan has practiced employment and civil rights law exclusively since 2013 and devoted his practice to advocating for employee rights. Ryan has represented clients harmed by workplace discrimination, retaliation, unpaid wages/overtime, and contractual disputes.

Ryan has handled all aspects of litigation, including drafting complaints, arguing motions in court, questioning high-level executives at depositions, and cross-examining witnesses before a jury.  Ryan’s favorite experiences as an attorney have been the multiple times the jury has found in his client’s favor after difficult trials.

Ryan has also successfully negotiated numerous settlements on behalf of his clients, including severance agreements and in mediations.

Memberships, Awards, and Organizations

American Constitution Society

Austin Bar Association Labor and Employment Section

Texas Employment Lawyers Association

National Employment Lawyers Association

Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2017-2020

Admissions

State Bar of Texas

State Bar of Illinois (inactive)

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois


Education

The John Marshall Law School – Juris Doctor

The University of Michigan – Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English Language and Literature


Paralegals

Christie Coffey

Christie Coffey, Kaplan Law Firm

Christie joined the Kaplan Law Firm in 2017.  Christie brings with her over 18 years of experience working as a paralegal and legal assistant, handling matters such as complex litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, and products liability.  Christie first fell in love with the legal profession while working for the County Attorney’s office.

Christie has experience in all types of law and justice departments, but she has a passion for Plaintiff’s Civil Litigation and fighting for people’s rights.  Christie volunteered during two local political campaigns and fought alongside several attorneys to stop the passing of the Tort Reform Act of 2003.  Christie served as Vice President of the North Texas Legal Association for two terms and treasurer for one term.  During her time as Vice President of the North Texas Legal Association, she helped rebuild the Center for Battered Women and organized the annual teddy bear drive for displaced children.

Christie looks forward to building client relationships and working diligently to get justice for people that have been mistreated.


John Aden Higgs

John joined Kaplan Law Firm in July of 2020. Born and raised in Austin, John brings more than 10 years of experience supporting clients as a legal assistant and trial preparation specialist. Before working for Kalpan Law Firm he clerked with Spivey & Grigg LLP and the Law Office of Craig Barker. You can expect John to be passionate about your rights and support you in securing the justice you deserve.


Summer Associates

Andrew Eckhous

Andrew joined Kaplan Law Firm in the summer of 2020 after finishing his second year of law school at the University of Texas School of Law. Andrew previously worked for the Texas Attorney General, the Equal Justice Center, and Texas Advocacy Project. Andrew also worked for nonprofits all over the East Coast, a tech company in Wisconsin, and as a paralegal in New York City. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a major in Public Policy and a minor in Spanish. Once he graduates from law school he hopes to work in the labor and employment field on the side of employees.