Celebrating 125 Years

Scott M. McElhaney


As the trial and appellate lawyer for large and small companies and business executives, Scott M. McElhaney works with clients to cost-effectively resolve commercial disputes and employment matters his clients face. Recognized by his peers in local, state, and national surveys, Mr. McElhaney has been included in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment Law, named a "Texas Super Lawyer," and listed as one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas" in D Magazine.

Mr. McElhaney has over 20 years of experience in contract and commercial tort suits and trade secret and non-competition agreement cases. He also regularly counsels businesses on employment matters and handles employment discrimination, ERISA and other labor claims. He focuses on the long-term commercial needs of his clients by identifying risks and providing strategies for handling complex legal challenges.

He has had jury trials in both federal and state courts as well as arbitrations before panels of arbitrators. He also uses his appellate experience to defend favorable trial court judgments and obtain reversal of adverse results, and he has successfully handled multiple class actions at the trial and appellate level.

Apart from his practice, Mr. McElhaney is active in the Bar and legal community. In 2014, he served as the President of the Dallas Bar Association, and he currently serves as a trustee of the Dallas Bar Foundation. He has also chaired the DBA's Equal Access to Justice Campaign, and is a past Chair of the DBA's Business Litigation Section and Judiciary Committee. Mr. McElhaney has also served on the State Bar's District 6 Grievance Committee and as Vice Chair of the Dallas Committee for a Qualified Judiciary.

Mr. McElhaney has been a Lecturer at SMU's Dedman School of Law, where he has taught Employment Law and Legal Research and Writing.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, he was a Law Clerk to Judge Irving Goldberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to Judge Barefoot Sanders of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

More about Scott M. McElhaney: Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Representative Matters

  • Obtained and defended on appeal summary judgment for a title company that it did not owe negligence and fiduciary duties to the party to a real estate transaction as alleged. IQ Holdings, Inc. v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 451 S.W.3d 861 (Tex. App. — Houston [1st Dist.] 2014, no pet.).

  • Overturned an over $2 million trial court judgment that had been entered against the client in a breach of contract case on the grounds that the terms of the alleged contract were too indefinite to be enforced. FFSS v. Corilant Financial, L.P., 376 S.W.3d 253 (Tex. App. — Dallas 2012, pet. denied).

  • Defeated motion for class certification of putative Texas-based class after a contested hearing in a class arbitration proceeding before the American Arbitration Association.

  • Secured a defense verdict from a federal court jury in an age discrimination case alleging wrongful discharge

  • Successfully settled attempted nationwide FLSA collective action for unpaid overtime

  • Won and successfully defended on appeal summary judgment in favor of client on ERISA estoppel, waiver, and breach of fiduciary duty claims for $1 million in plan benefits

More about Scott M. McElhaney: Biography | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

Mr. McElhaney has been elected to be a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a Life Fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation.

Community Involvement

Apart from his work with the Dallas Bar Association and Dallas Bar Foundation, Mr. McElhaney is a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2004.


More about Scott M. McElhaney: Biography | Experience | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Peer Recognition

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation (2008-2016), Labor and Employment Law (2008-2011), Litigation - ERISA and Labor & Employment (2012-2016)

Listed as a "Super Lawyer in Business Litigation" in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008-2009, 2012

Named a "Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters, 2004-2015

Selected as a "Best Lawyer in Dallas" in D Magazine, July 2009, May 2011

Selected as a "Best Lawyer in Dallas Under 40" in D Magazine, 2004, 2006

More about Scott M. McElhaney: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Speeches / Publications | News

Speeches / Publications

Mr. McElhaney's publications and speaking engagements include the following:

  • "Enforcing and Avoiding Arbitration Clauses Under Texas Law" (March 12, 2012)

  • "The Fair Labor Standards Act: Recent Developments and Issues of Interest" (June 14, 2007)

  • "Legal Counsel" in The Professional Services Firm Bible (John Wiley & Sons, 2005)

  • "Electronic Data: Retention Policies, Spoliation, and Use in Litigation" (August 4, 2004)

  • "Avoiding Punitive Damages in Employment Discrimination Cases" Jackson Walker Employer's Update (Spring 2003)

  • "From Start to Finish: Procedural Issues and Practical Outcomes in Class Actions" Presented to the Texas State Bar Antitrust and Business Litigation Section Class Action Seminar (April 12, 2002)


Links to Publications

More about Scott M. McElhaney: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | News

Latest News

More about Scott M. McElhaney: Biography | Experience | Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications |

  • Scott M. McElhaney
Dallas Office
T: 214.953.6147
F: 214.661.6672

Labor and Employment Law
Practice Areas

A.B. history, summa cum laude, Dartmouth College
  • Phi Beta Kappa

J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School
  • Managing Editor, Harvard Civil Rights -- Civil Liberties Law Review
Bar Admissions

  • 1992, Texas
Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
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