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Attorneys

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)

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



Melissa Jacobs

Melissa joined the Kaplan Law Firm in 2018. Melissa has over eight years of experience representing employees in employment litigation in state and federal court. She has represented individuals in a wide range of employment matters, including cases involving discrimination, harassment, overtime and minimum wage violations, breach of employment contracts, whistleblower retaliation, and FMLA violations. Melissa speaks Spanish.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Irma Carrillo Ramirez, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Texas
  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, South Dallas Clinic Volunteer of the Year, 2006
  • Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights (Symposium Chair, 2003-2004; Member 2002-2004)
  • University Co-op Public Interest Fellowship Award, 2004

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D. with Honors (2004)
  • Rice University, B.A. in English and the Study of Women and Gender (1998)

Admissions

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

Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Employment Lawyers Association



Vincent Harding

Vincent Harding

Vincent joined the Kaplan Law Firm in 2018. Vincent has years of experience working in the areas of employment law including issues of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, contracts. He has also conducted investigations into EEO allegations, proper use of government resources, and presented on ethics and employment laws. Further, Vincent has provided guidance on open meetings, open records, real estate, procurement, and administrative hearings.

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Houston, Political Science major, Global Business minor

Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Real Estate Commission

Honors & Distinctions

  • 2017 Presenter at Texas Attorney General’s Government Law and Liability Conference
  • Austin Bar Leadership Academy
  • Austin Black Lawyer’s Association, Secretary
  • Austin Young Lawyer’s Association
  • Texas Journal on Women and the Law, Member
  • Travis County Democratic Party, Chair
  • City of Austin Board of Adjustment, Chair
  • 2017 and 2016 Austin 40 under 40 Finalist
  • 2017 and 2016 National Black Lawyer’s Top 40 under 40

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.