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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


  • 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


  • 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 has been an associate attorney at Kaplan Law Firm since August 2019.

Maff’s practice has focused on pursuing justice for workers on a wide range of employment issues, including workplace discrimination, wage and overtime violations, and whistleblower retaliation. At Kaplan Law Firm, Maff has tried two employment cases to jury verdict, including a jury verdict and damage award in his client’s favor in federal court for FMLA interference.

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, successfully represented clients at mediations, and successfully tried a breach of contract case remotely via Zoom in small claims court during the pandemic, obtaining a judgment in his client’s favor.

As a law student at his hometown University of Texas School of Law, he focused on public interest work, completing internships with the Equal Justice Center, Refugee Services of Texas, and Save Our Springs Alliance. As a student attorney with the University of Texas’s Civil Rights Clinic, Maff worked with a small team that won 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


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


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

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. Having graduated law school, he is excited to work in the labor and employment field on the side of employees.

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


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


The John Marshall Law School – Juris Doctor

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

Trenton Lacy

Trenton is an associate attorney with Kaplan Law Firm.

After receiving his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Trenton graduated cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2017, where he also placed on the Pro Bono Honor Roll. He returned to Austin shortly thereafter, where he’s dedicated his professional career to fighting on behalf of aggrieved employees throughout the State of Texas.

Trenton has years of experience, in both the public and private sector, handling a wide range of employment cases—including unlawful discrimination, retaliation, unpaid wage and overtime claims, noncompete and severance agreement disputes, unemployment insurance claims, and much more. He’s helped clients navigate all stages of their cases, from the initial consultation all the way to trial.


  • Author, “’Well There’s Your Problem!’: Diagnosing and Repairing Auto Dealership Exemptions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act”, Business & Bankruptcy Law Journal Vol. 3, Fall 2017.

Memberships, Awards, and Organizations

  • Texas State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section


  • Texas Tech University School of Law – Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
  • The University of Texas at Austin – Bachelor of Arts, Government


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

Jillian Kushner

Jillian Kushner

Jillian started at Kaplan Law Firm in 2018 as a paralegal and returned to the firm as a law clerk in spring 2022. She returns as an attorney after graduating from the University of Miami School of Law and passing the Texas bar. Jillian is a native Austinite who attended the University of Texas for undergrad. Jillian is passionate about fighting injustice and giving a voice to the voiceless.


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.

Law Clerks

Julia Stern

Julia Stern

Julia joined Kaplan Law Firm in August of 2022 after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. Born and raised in the DC area, Julia brings with her years of experience working in and around Austin, and in multiple law offices back home. Julia previously worked in roles at the Texas House of Representatives and the Austin Film Festival. Julia is passionate about aiding clients on their paths to justice.