Celebrating 125 Years

Jay K. Rutherford


Jay K. Rutherford has over 25 years of experience representing management clients in all types of employment litigation and serving as a trusted advisor to clients in dealing with employee issues. Mr. Rutherford's proactive approach often enables clients to anticipate and resolve employment issues before they end up in court; however, when litigation is unavoidable, Mr. Rutherford is a skilled and zealous advocate for his clients with a track record for achieving results.

One client, Eric V. Fox of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., had this to say about Mr. Rutherford: "No one ever wants to need an attorney. However, when you do, you want one who is at the top of their game, steady, smart, cost effective, and above all, makes you feel comfortable with the vision, strategy and the path forward. Jay Rutherford is all of those in one attorney." [Fort Worth Business Press, 2011]

Mr. Rutherford's litigation experience includes having successfully represented clients in labor issues, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, civil rights, and other employment–related matters. In his advisory role, Mr. Rutherford counsels clients on all aspects of personnel and employment policies and practices and all matters affecting the employer–employee relationship and compliance with all state and federal employment laws and regulations, including:

  • Discrimination and wrongful termination laws
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • All other state and federal labor and employment statutes

Mr. Rutherford is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (since 1995), and he is AV rated by Martindale–Hubbell. He has also been the hiring partner for the Fort Worth office since 2013 and became co–chair of the Labor and Employment practice group for Jackson Walker in 2014.

In terms of his personal background, Mr. Rutherford was born and raised in West Texas and graduated from Knox City High School in 1981. In handling matters for clients, he relies upon his West Texas attitude, which combines a strong can–do spirit to fight for his client with the humility and sensibility to look for the right resolution to achieve the client's goals.

Attorney Profile: Jay Rutherford - Legal talent, human touch

More about Jay K. Rutherford: Involvement | Recognition | Speeches / Publications | News

Organization Membership

Mr. Rutherford is a member of the State Bar of Texas (Labor and Employment Section) and the American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section). He has been named a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Tarrant County Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law section in 2003–2004 after previously serving as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice–Chairman, and Chairman for the section. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Institute for Education Reform.

Mr. Rutherford has been extensively involved with the Texas Association of Business (www.txbiz.org), Texas' leading employer organization. Representing companies from the largest multinational corporations to small businesses in nearly every community of the state, TAB works to improve the Texas business climate and to help make the state's economy the strongest in the world. For more than 85 years, TAB has been on the front lines of the legislative, regulatory, and judicial battlefields, fighting for every issue that impacts business to ensure that employers' opinions are being heard. Among State Legislators and their staff, TAB is one of the best known statewide organizations and considered by a majority as the voice of business in Texas. Over 90 percent of legislators and their staff rated TAB as better than other organizations in communicating their position on issues. Mr. Rutherford served as the Statewide Chair of this prestigious organization in 2007 and as Chairman of the Tarrant County Chapter in 1999.

Community Involvement

Mr. Rutherford served as Chairman of the Texas Lyceum in 2010. The Texas Lyceum (www.texaslyceum.org) is Texas' premier leadership organization that brings together diverse opinions and expertise to focus on national and state issues. He previously served as President in 2009, Vice President of Finance and has served on its Executive and Nominating committees.

Since 1996, Mr. Rutherford has served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, and he is a Past–Chairman of the Board. He was formerly on the Executive Committee and the Vice President of Administration of the organization after serving as Secretary/Treasurer. He is a former Chair, Board Member, and Vice Chairman of Administration of the First Texas Council of Campfire USA. He was also a member of the Leadership Fort Worth Class of 2000.

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Peer Recognition

Mr. Rutherford was named a BTI Client Service All Star for 2010. This elite group of attorneys is nominated solely and exclusively by their clients for delivering the absolute best in client service. Mr. Rutherford is AV Preeminent rated in Labor and Employment law by Martindale-Hubbell and was recognized in the October 2013 edition of Texas Lawyer for this honor. In 2011, he was named a "Power Attorney" by the Fort Worth Business Press. Mr. Rutherford is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Labor Law and Employment Law (2010-2016). He was named a "Super Lawyer" (2003–2015) by Thomson Reuters. He was also named one of Tarrant County's "Top Attorneys" by Fort Worth, Texas magazine in the 2001–2015 issues. He was honored as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2002, its inaugural year. He was the recipient of the "John Collier Award" by Camp Fire USA First Texas Council in 2002 and received the "President's Award" in 2003 from Camp Fire USA First Texas Council. Mr. Rutherford was also named in the Who's Who in American Law in 2002.

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Speeches / Publications

Mr. Rutherford has appeared as a lecturer at numerous seminars and workshops for clients and for entities such as the Texas Association of Business and Lorman Business Institute.

Effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on Employment Law
Basic Sexual Harassment Training and Guidelines
Employee Privacy: Monitoring and Controlling Employee Conduct
Employment At Will
Employment Issues for the Cattle Raiser
Employment Law
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fair Labor Standard Act
Harassment is a Form of Discrimination
Headline News: The Latest in Law Developments
Hiring the Right Employee Legally
Interplay Among the ADA, FMLA and Worker's Compensation Statute
Joint Employment Relationship and the EEOC
Keeping Your Company Out of the Courthouse
Managing Your Employee Issues for Your Business
Performance Evaluation
Performance Evaluations: Documenting Employee Discharge
Reductions In Force: Here We Go Again
Responding to EEOC and TWCCRD Charges of Discrimination
Sarbanes Oxley - If they Whistle While They Work
Sexual Harassment - A Refresher and Developments
Texas Headline News
The Alphabet Soup of Employment Law
The Hiring Process: Hiring Do's and Don'ts
The Latest Employment Developments
Things To Know About the Hiring Process, Documenting Employee Performance & Participating in the Disciplinary Process
Top Ten Things to Know Before You Fire an Employee
Understanding the Law and the Status of the At-Will Employee
Update On Recent Employment Changes and Trends
Update on Recent Employment Law Changes and Trends
Worst Things to See on Your Performance Evaluation

Links to Publications

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Latest News

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  • Jay K. Rutherford
Fort Worth Office
T: 817.334.7246
F: 817.870.5146

Labor and Employment Law
Practice Areas

B.S. Agricultural Economics, magna cum laude, Texas Tech University

J.D., The University of Texas School of Law
Bar Admissions

  • 1988, Texas
Court Admissions

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