• Biography

    Matthew Deffebach is a partner in the firm’s Houston and Orange County offices, and Matt is the chair of the firm’s OSHA and Workplace Disasters Practice Group. He assists clients in numerous industries and uses what he has learned with his trial and overall experience to help clients understand how to utilize preventative measures to minimize claims and reduce exposure to litigation. Matt is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is recognized in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, for labor and employment in Texas.

    As an employment litigator, he has successfully handled hundreds of agency proceedings, arbitrations, and lawsuits in state and federal court concerning ERISA, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave and accommodation issues, ADA public access, wage and hour (including FLSA collective actions), executive compensation, wrongful termination, privacy matters, social media, and others. He also counsels clients on these areas and other aspects of employment law, and is frequently enlisted to conduct workplace investigations based on employee complaints of misconduct. He is a frequent speaker, having conducted numerous trainings for clients on employment law compliance and appearing at dozens of seminars and conferences. Matt was previously the chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group.

    As an OSHA litigator, he has appeared in more than 30 states handling OSHA matters and is entering his 16th year as National OSHA counsel for The Home Depot. He is familiar with the state OSHA programs, particularly with California where he has handled numerous contested cases involving Cal/OSHA. Matt has also successfully defended clients in OSHA administrative trials, including recent trials on PPE in California, Powered Industrial Trucks in Utah, Recordkeeping in Iowa, and other regulatory matters in four separate trials in California.

    As a general commercial litigator, Matt has handled contract disputes and a number of non-subscriber negligence lawsuits/arbitrations. He also routinely assists on misappropriation of trade secret matters and unfair competition claims regarding non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Matt was previously a co-chair of the firm's Litigation Department.

    In 2010, Law360 by Portfolio Media, Inc. named him a "Rising Star" and one of ten employment lawyers under 40 to watch. Thereafter, he received the 2013 International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice award as the sole recipient in the Employment and Labor category in Texas. In 2019, Benchmark Litigation by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC named him a “Labor & Employment Star – South, Labor & Employment Star – West.”

  • Education and Clerkships

    • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 1999
    • B.A., Political Science and Speech Communication, Trinity University, 1993, cum laude
  • Admissions

    • Texas
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas