Lisa A. Brown
Lisa A. Brown is a partner in the Houston office of Thompson & Horton LLP. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced law at Bracewell & Giuliani for 19 years and was a Bracewell partner from 1997 to 2008. Ms. Brown represents school districts, public and private institutions of higher education, governmental entities, and private employers. She regularly handles lawsuits and appeals involving employment law and discrimination law; state and federal constitutional issues; civil rights law; education law, including student discipline and student rights; child abuse law; and local government law, including issues relating to public information and open meetings laws. Ms. Brown’s particular areas of interest and expertise include the First Amendment; harassment law; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Family Medical Leave Act; Americans with Disabilities Act; legal issues pertaining to campus law enforcement; and trustee rights and responsibilities. She represents entities in grievance and termination hearings and in proceedings before the EEOC, Office for Civil Rights, and other agencies.
In addition to her litigation and appellate practice, Ms. Brown assists clients with policy manual development, preparation and review of business contracts and employment contracts, and compliance with ethics and conflict of interest laws. She also regularly provides training on employment law and legal issues affecting students.
A.W. v. Humble Indep. Sch. Dist., 803 F.3d 754 (5th Cir. 2015). Affirming dismissal of child sex abuse claims under Title IX and Section 1983.
Estate of Lance v, Lewisville Indep. Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 982 (5th Cir. 2014). Lead author of amicus brief addressing youth suicide claims under Section 1983 and Section 504.
Doe v. Covington County Sch. Dist., 675 F.3d 849 (5th Cir. 2012). Lead author of amicus brief addressing child sex abuse claims under Section 1983.
Carlton v. Houston Community College, 2012 WL 3628890 (Tex.App. -- Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.). Affirming summary judgment in favor of College in harassment/retaliation lawsuit.
8100 North Freeway Ltd. v. City of Houston, 329 S.W.3d 858 (Tex.App. -- Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.). Affirming injunction against adult-arcade operator and rejecting claims that injunction was an unlawful prior restraint.
Aspenwood Apt. Corp. v. Link, 129 S.Ct. 997 (2009). Successful opposition to petition for writ of certiorari involving application of collateral estopped to lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Obtained summary judgments in a pregnancy discrimination case (2009),two sexual harassment cases (2008, 2011), FMLA/termination case (2008), a whistleblower action (2007), two First Amendment actions (2006, 2010), and an age discrimination/procedural due process case (2006)
Lead author of three amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National School Boards Association in three Title IX sexual harassment cases: Gebser v. Lago Vista Indep. Sch. Dist., 118 S.Ct. 1989 (1998); Davis v. Monroe County Board of Educ., 119 S.Ct. 1661 (1999); Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee, 555 U.S. 246 (2008)
Lead author of amicus brief on behalf of the National School Boards Association in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance: Elk Grove Unified School Dist. v. Newdow, 524 U.S. 1 (2004)
Argued two federal appeals involving religious speech by students: Ward v. Santa Fe Independent School District, 393 F.3d 599 (5th Cir. 2004); Doe v. Santa Fe Independent School District, 168 F.3d 806 (5th Cir. 1999), aff’d, 530 U.S. 290 (2000)
Obtained injunctions barring an allegedly disruptive employee and allegedly disruptive student from returning to campus (2004 and 2010)
Successfully defended an institution of higher education in an injunction proceeding in which an employee sought to prevent a reassignment (2005)
Gant v. South Texas College of Law et al, 2006 WL 1951398 (N.D. Tex. 2006). Granting summary judgment in discrimination/law school admissions case.
Becerra v. Asher, 105 F.3d 1042 (5th Cir. 1997). Affirming summary judgment in favor of school district in civil rights case involving alleged abuse of a student
Zolbrod v. Texas Dept of Protective & Regulatory Services et al, 137 Fed.Appx. 625 (5th Cir. 2005). Affirming summary judgment of claims brought by parents who claimed that their children were unlawfully placed in foster care.
Morriss v. Concordia University at Austin, 2006 WL 1347918 (W.D. Tex., May 11, 2006). Granting summary judgment in age discrimination case.
Neely v. Houston Community College Sys., 2006 WL 23655555 (S.D. Tex., Aug. 14, 2006). Granting summary judgment of claims based on non-renewal of instructor.
Ross v. Houston Community College Sys., 2005 WL 2656372 (S.D. Tex. 2005), aff'd, 213 Fed. Appx. 297 (5th Cir., Jan. 9, 2007), cert. denied, 550 U.S. 960 (2007). Dismissing civil rights claims filed by student who was dismissed from health professions program.
Nickerson v. Texas, 35 F.Supp.23 512 (E.D.Tex. 1988), aff'd, 209 F.3d 718 (5th Cir. 2000). Granting immunity to state prosecutors.
Fowler v. Szostek, 905 S.W.2d 336 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no writ). Interlocutory appeal reversing denial of educators' motion for summary judgment in student suicide case.
Massey v. Houston Baptist Univ., 902 S.W.2d 81 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, writ denied). Affirming summary judgment in breach of employment contract case.
representative publications and Speeches
Speaker/Panelist, "Religion and Public Schools: Finding Common Ground or Preparing the Battleground?", National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys Seminar (2015)
Speaker, "Home School or Sham School? An Overview of Legal Issues Pertaining to High School Diploma Mills," University of Texas School Law Conference (2015)
Speaker, "Taxation of Employee Settlement Agreements and Employee Benefits," Texas Association of School Board Council of School Attorneys Seminar (2014)
Speaker, "Bullying and Harassment: Strategies for Protecting Students and Reducing Legal Claims," Texas Association of School Boards, Risk Management Fund Members' Conference (2014)
Speaker, "Ethical Considerations During Settlement," State Bar of Texas Suing and Defending Governmental Entities Conference (2014)
Speaker, "Employment Law 101: Employee Classification and Employment Contracts," Texas Association of Community College Attorneys Seminar (2014)
Speaker, "Accommodating Employees' Religious Practices and Beliefs," Region IV Education Service Center Seminar (2014)
Author, "Avoiding Liability Under the Fair Labor Standards Act," TEXAS LEGAL DIGEST (February 2014)
Speaker, "Working with Expert Witnesses in School Cases: Procedure, Strategy & Ethics," National School Boards Association COSA Seminar (2013)
Speaker/Panelist, "Litigation Lessons from the Courthouse," National School Boards Association COSA Seminar (2013)
Speaker, "The Texas Whistleblower Act," University of Texas School Law Conference (2013)
Author, "Accommodating School Employees with Disabilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act," Texas Legal Digest (2012)
Speaker, "Employment Investigations," Texas Legal Digest Conference (2012)
Speaker, "Update of Ethics for School Attorneys," National School Boards Association Legal Conference (2012)
Speaker, "Employment Law Issues in a Down Economy," Texas Association of Community College Attorneys, 2011
Co-Author, "Searching the Matrix: Investigating the Use and Misuse of Electronic Communication Devices by Public Employees," Texas Legal Digest (2010)
Speaker, "Legal Issues Pertaining to the Use and Misuse of Communication Devices," State Bar of Texas School Law Seminar (July 2010)
Speaker, “Ethical Considerations During Settlement,” National School Boards Association Legal Conference, 2009
Speaker, “Ethical Considerations During Settlement,” Texas Council of School Attorneys Legal Conference, 2009
Contributing author, "Prayer on Campus: Forty-Five Years of Litigation and Counting," religion & public cchools: striking a constitutional balance, National School Boards Association, 3d. ed., 2008
Speaker, “Sexual Harassment Law: Beyond the Basics,” University of Texas School Law Conference, 2009
Speaker, "Ethical Considerations in Dealing with Pro Se Plaintiffs and Other Unrepresented Persons," National School Boards Association Conference (2007)
Speaker, "Legal Issues Regarding Grading Practices," University of Texas School Law Conference, 2007
Speaker, "Employment Law Issues Affecting Higher Education," Texas Association of Community College Attorneys, 2008 and 2006
Co-Author, "Recent Developments in Employee Privacy Law and the Fourth Amendment," inquiry & analysis, National School Boards Association, December 2005
Speaker, "Attorneys' Fees in Civil Rights Cases: Issues, Ethics, and Strategy," National School Boards Association Advocacy Seminar 2005
Author, "Student Privacy on Trial: Complying with FERPA During Litigation and Other Adversarial Contexts," inquiry & analysis, NSBA, May 2005
Speaker, "Ethics for Government Lawyers," State Bar of Texas Government Lawyers Section, 2005
Speaker. "Employment Law Issues Affecting Higher Education," University of Texas Advanced Employment Law Conference, 2005
Speaker, "Sexual Harassment Prevention," National School Boards Association Convention, 2004
Speaker, Update on Ethics for School Lawyers, University of Texas School Law Conference, 2003
Author, "Schools, God, and the Pledge of Allegiance," TEXAS LAWYER, August 19, 2002
Speaker, Update on Ethics, University of Texas School Law Conference, 2003
Speaker, “Ethics for School Attorneys,” University of Texas School Law Conference, 2002
Speaker, “Religion on Campus: A Year 2000 Update,” University of Texas School Law Conference, 2000
Author, "New harassment ruling can work," THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, June 14, 1999
Speaker, “Retaliation Claims under the First Amendment and Title VII,” South Texas College of Law Employment Law Conference, 1999
Author, "Employer Liability Lessons," TEXAS LAWYER, July 20, 1998
Co-author, "The State Action Requirement Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983," WEST'S EDUCATION LAW REPORTER, Vol. 121, p. 875 (Dec. 1997).