Lionel M. Schooler
Lionel M. (Lonnie) Schooler is a management-side employment lawyer and recognized authority in the areas of employment law, litigation, and arbitration. He has more than 45 years of experience in handling workplace matters. Primarily, he concentrates on restaurant industry FLSA collective actions, wage and hour issues, employment discrimination claims, covenants not to compete, arbitration of complex domestic and international commercial disputes, and federal civil trials and appeals.
Lonnie tries cases in federal and state courts and represents clients before federal and state agencies around the country. To date, he has tried over 50 jury and non-jury cases, and he has argued numerous appeals in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the Texas Courts of Appeals.
Since 1992, Lonnie has been certified as a commercial and employment arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and other arbitration credentialing groups, both domestic and international. As an arbitrator, he has served as a neutral in cases dealing with both domestic and international issues. He regularly shares his expertise in this area in the Dispute Resolution Magazine of the American Bar Association.
B.A., University of Pennsylvania
J.D., University of Texas School of Law
- National Order of Barristers
- Intramural Mock Trial Competition, Winner
- Hildebrand Moot Court Competition, Best Advocate
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Tax Court
United States District Court for the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
Lonnie litigates, on a nationwide basis, claims under all employment laws, wage and hour claims (such as minimum wages, exemptions and overtime, particularly in the restaurant industry). He also counsels clients dealing with investigations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division and the Occupational Safety & Health Division, and the Texas Workforce Commission. In addition, Lonnie advises clients on compliance with employment laws and employment contractual obligations.
In addition to general employment disputes, Lonnie has handled ERISA litigation, trade secret and intellectual property litigation, enforcing/challenging covenants not to compete, bankruptcy litigation, banking litigation, construction litigation/arbitration, and real estate and title insurance litigation.
Lonnie is an arbitrator on the Commercial and Employment Panels of the American Arbitration Association, having served as an arbitrator on these panels and others since 1992. He has experience as an arbitrator in both domestic and international disputes. He is certified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) for international arbitration matters, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North American Branch of the CIArb, as well as serving as Chair of the Texas Chapter of the North American Branch of the CIArb. He additionally serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, the Houston International Arbitration Club, and the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Council. He has served as an arbitrator in business, employment, healthcare, construction, energy and intellectual property disputes, both for domestic and international disputes, as well as serving as a consultant to parties on arbitration matters.
- “Top Lawyer” in Best of Houstonia, Houstonia Magazine, 2018
- Justice Frank Evans Award, State Bar of Texas – Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, 2012
- Annual President’s Award, Houston Bar Association, 2011
- Outstanding Legal Article – The Houston Lawyer, Houston Bar Foundation, 1997, 2001
- The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White Inc.), 2015-2023
- Arbitration, 2015-2023
- Labor Law – Management, 2015-2023
- Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2023
- Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2012-2020
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2010
- “Arbitration at the Supreme Court: A Record-Setting Term,” American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Magazine (September 2022)
- “Employer Lessons From 5th Circ. Hostile Workplace Ruling,” Law360 (April 2022)
- “Avoiding “Single Event” Hostile Work Environment Claims,” Jackson Walker Insights (March 2022)
- “Arbitrability: The Ultimate Threshold Issue in Litigation,” State Bar of Texas Litigation Section’s The Advocate (February 2022)
- “The New York Convention and Its Interpretation by the Supreme Court,” American Bar Association’s GPSolo Magazine (September 2021)
- “5th Circ. Rulings Guide On Avoiding FMLA Retaliation Claims,” Law360‘s Employment Authority (September 2021)
- “Supreme Court Restricts Use of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” Jackson Walker Insights (September 2021)
- “Avoiding Retaliation Claims Under the Family Medical Leave Act,” Jackson Walker Insights (August 2021)
- “Private Juries Within the Arbitration Framework: A Third Path In Dispute Resolution,” Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 457 (2021)
- “Crisis in the Courts: Arbitration to the Rescue,” LinkedIn Publication (February 2021)
- “Best Practices for Maintaining Confidentiality of Trade Secrets in Virtual Arbitration Proceedings,” Jackson Walker Insights (January 2021)
- “The Fifth Circuit Reminds Practitioners of the Importance of Consistent and Thorough Documentation in Handling Personnel Matters,” LinkedIn Publication (December 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Upholds Waiver of Plaintiff’s Right to Arbitrate,” LinkedIn Publication (October 2020)
- “Rules Are Rules: The Fifth Circuit Reminds Practitioners of the Strictures of Appellate Jurisdiction,” LinkedIn Publication (October 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Decides Question of Personal Jurisdiction in the Arbitration Context,” LinkedIn Publication (October 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Decides Question of Removal Jurisdiction,” LinkedIn Publication (October 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Decides Question of First Impression on Arbitrability of Whistleblower Claims,” LinkedIn Publication (October 2020)
- “In Dispute Involving New York Convention, US Supreme Court Considers Whether Domestic Contract Law Rules Can Be Applied in International Cases,” ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine (October 2020)
- “Proper Payment for Hours Worked by Remote Workers in the Age of COVID-19: U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Guidance to Employers on Tracking Hours “Actually Worked”,” Jackson Walker Insights & Resources (September 2020)
- Co-Author, “Frequently Asked Questions: Labor & Employment for Nonprofit Organizations,” Jackson Walker Insights & Resources (August 2020)
- “Road(Map) to Preservation: Fifth Circuit Reminds Practitioners of Critical Path to Appellate Error Preservation,” LinkedIn Publication (July 2020)
- “Supreme Court Addresses ‘Defense Preclusion’ as a Component of Res Judicata in New Trademark Decision,” Jackson Walker Insights (May 2020)
- “The Fifth Circuit Returns Common Sense to the Law of Appellate Jurisdiction,” Jackson Walker Insights (May 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Returns to the New York Convention to Address a Protracted Saga in International Arbitration,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Comprehensively Analyzes the Exemption for Highly Compensated Employees,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2020)
- “Snap Removal in a Non-Removable Setting,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2020)
- “Independent Contractors Redux: Fifth Circuit Returns to Oil Patch to Address Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Jackson Walker Insights (January 2020)
- “Fifth Circuit Issues Significant Decision on Jurisdiction under the N.Y. Convention,” LinkedIn Publication (January 2020)
- “How we got here: Tracing the origins of the New York Convention and its interpretation by the US Supreme Court,” ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine (September 2019)
- “Fifth Circuit Reminds Practitioners: Comply with the Strictures of the Federal Rules,” The Houston Lawyer (September 2019)
- “Fifth Circuit Gets Out of the Implied Findings Business,” Jackson Walker Insights (April 2019)
- “INSIGHT: Fifth Circuit Gives Employers Blueprint on Independent Contractors,” Bloomberg Law (March 2019)
- “New Fifth Circuit Decision Upholds Independent Contractor Status for Directional Driller Consultants Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Jackson Walker Insights (March 2019)
- “Fifth Circuit Reminds Practitioners of the Importance of Compliance With the Strictures of Rule 50 When Submitting Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law,” Jackson Walker Insights (February 2019)
- “Preview of Employment Cases Pending Before the Supreme Court,” Jackson Walker Labor & Employment Dispatch (October 2018)
- “Latest Developments in Arbitration,” Annual State Bar ADR Section All-Day Seminar (January 2020; January 2021; January 2022; January 2023)
- “Latest Developments in Arbitration,” Houston Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Seminar (May 2019; May 2021; May 2022)
- Guest, “While Courts Are Backlogged, Arbitration May Be an Ideal Alternative,” Jackson Walker Fast Takes Podcast (February 2021)
- Moderator, “Best Practices for Virtual ADR Proceedings,” Texas Chapter of the North American Branch Webinar (July 2020)
- “Panel: Supreme Court Term,” Houston Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section (July 2019)
- “Ethics for Arbitrators,” Houston International Arbitration Club (September 2018)
- “Hear No Evil? Addressing allegations of corruption and use of allegedly illegally obtained evidence in arbitration,” Houston Bar Association – Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (March 2018)
- “Arbitration Vacatur,” 30th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2017)
- “Ethics for Arbitrators,” State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section – Road Show, San Antonio (September 2016)
- “Substantive and Ethical Impact of the Texas Supreme Court decision in Hoskins v. Hoskins,” Houston Bar Association – Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (September 2016)
- “Error Preservation in Federal Court, State Bar of Texas Advanced Appellate Course, Austin (September 2016)
- “Supreme Court Employment Law Update: 2015-16 Term,” Houston Bar Association: Labor & Employment Section, Houston (July 2016)
- Member, Houston International Arbitration Club
- Advisory Board Member, Institute for Transnational Arbitration
- Panel Member, American Arbitration Association (Commercial and Employment Panels)
- Chair of Tribunal, International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Panel
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) North American Branch
- Board Member, 2022-2023
- Texas Chapter Chair, 2018-2020
- Houston Bar Association
- Board of Directors, 2017 – 2019
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Chair, 2016-2017
- Labor and Employment Section, Chair, 2015-2016
- Federal Practice Section, Chair, 2014-2015
- Litigation Section, Council
- Construction Law Section, Council
- Historical Committee, Past Co-Chair
- State Bar of Texas
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Chair, 2016-2017
- Appellate Section, Program Planning Committee
- Dispute Resolution Magazine, Editorial Board, 2018-2021
- Publication of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution
- The Houston Lawyer, Past Editor-In-Chief
- Journal of the Houston Bar Association
- Texas Bar Foundation, Supporting Life Fellow
- Houston Bar Foundation, Supporting Life Fellow
September 26, 2022Insights
By Lionel M. Schooler | For the first time in its history, during its 2021-22 Term, the U.S. Supreme Court decided five cases directly addressing arbitration issues. Learn about how these rulings will affect the role of federal courts in the arbitration process.
August 22, 2022Attorney News
Lionel “Lonnie” Schooler was elected as a council member of the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section. His three-year term will end on the last day of the 2025 ABA Annual Meeting.
August 18, 2022Attorney News
‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 214 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2023 Edition, Including 11 “Lawyers of the Year” and 41 “Ones to Watch”
The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 214 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 79 specialty practice areas in its 2023 edition, including 11 Lawyers of the Year and 41 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.
July 7, 2022Newsletters
View the July 2022 edition of the Labor & Employment Dispatch.
June 9, 2022Insights
Supreme Court Addresses Federal Arbitration Act’s Residual Clause, But Circuit Split Remains Regarding Personal Jurisdiction in FLSA Cases
By Lionel Schooler, David Schlottman, & Michael Drab | On June 6, 2022, the Supreme Court addressed two cases involving employment law issues.
March 30, 2022Newsletters
View the April 2022 edition of the Labor & Employment Dispatch.
March 30, 2022Insights
By Lionel M. Schooler | In Woods v. Cantrell, the Fifth Circuit recently approved a rare “single event” claim of hostile work environment situation which portends potential hazards for employers.
February 17, 2022Attorney News
Lionel M. Schooler has been selected to serve on the board of the North America Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), an international arbitration credentialing group.
November 12, 2021Insights
By Lionel Schooler
As the recent Helgason decision demonstrates, in the new age of FLSA certification after Swales, employers in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who have to confront lawsuits by workers seeking to pursue wage claims, will now have the opportunity at the outset of a lawsuit to participate in focused discovery by which to challenge claims of “similar situations,” before a costly notice and opt-in process occurs.