Karla Epperson

Attorney

Karla has over 22 years of experience, both as an outside litigator and in-house counsel. Upon graduation from law school, Karla returned to Baker Botts where she had worked as a paralegal. Karla practiced with Baker Botts and another national law firm for over eight years. Thereafter, Karla served as a briefing attorney on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston. She subsequently became a senior attorney at Continental Airlines for four years until its merger with United Airlines, when she joined the legal department of a publicly-traded Houston oilfield services company and was promoted from senior counsel to director. In 2015, Karla formed her own law practice, where she continues to represent her former oilfield services employer, effectively serving as its outsourced employment counsel. Since 2015, private companies, non-profits, other institutional clients, and individuals have retained Karla to advise them on employment law and other issues. Karla also has been retained by companies and law firms to conduct sensitive internal investigations into complaints of officer and employee wrongdoing. In recent years, Karla also has occasionally represented individuals in lawsuits against their current or former employers. Karla joined Hicks Thomas in January 2020 and maintains her separate law practice to allow her to continue as an advisor to her former employer and long-term client.

In private practice, Karla worked on complex commercial, employment, and other types of litigation. While in-house counsel, she effectively managed numerous law firms and developed an exacting eye for quality of services while at the same time monitoring legal expenditures. Karla recognizes the need for value-driven, efficient, client-tailored representation and for early and thorough assessment of the impact of litigation on clients, and their management, executives, and directors.

Karla graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and Tulane University. Karla graduated from high school in the Houston area and spent her younger years in Alexandria, Louisiana. Karla is disabled. She has worn hearing aids since the age of four. She is proud of her ability to overcome her lifelong disability. She relishes today’s technological advancements (e.g., Bluetooth® enabled hearing aids) that assist attorneys who wear hearing aids. Her unique life experiences create empathy fostering relationships with individuals from a wide array of backgrounds.

Some of Karla’s lawsuits representing individuals against institutional clients have garnered her unusual media attention:

  • “Shipley Do-Nuts sprinkled with federal lawsuit,” Houston Chronicle, April 7, 2017; “Lawsuit: Shipley Do-Nuts owner ‘regularly’ groped employees, used racial slurs,” Houston Chronicle, March 4, 2018;
  • “Shipley Do-Nuts serves up a box of scandal, and risks falling from Houston’s culinary pantheon,” Houston Chronicle, March 9, 2018;
  • “Things to know about UT medical student who’s suing UT Health in Houston,” Click2Houston.com (aired and published September 4, 2019), https://www.click2houston.com/education/2019/09/05/things-to-know-about-ut-medical-student-whos-suing-ut-health-in-houston/;
  • “Former Employees Sue Shipley Do-Nuts Owner,” KHOU11.com, aired March 4, 2018, https://youtu.be/xl1yjlTF2kg;
  • “Former employee files wrongful termination lawsuit against Sweeny ISD,” The Facts, March 2, 2018; “Texas Woman Claims Sexual Harassment by Qatar Consul,” Law360.com, June 27, 2017.

Education

  • Tulane University (B.A., cum laude, 1992)
  • University of Texas Law School (J.D., with honors, 1997)

Awards

  • Selected as a “Texas Rising Star” in employment litigation by Texas Monthly in 2005, 2006, 2007

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association

Practice Emphasis

  • Commercial and Business Litigation
  • General Civil Litigation

Publications/Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, Corporate Counsel: A View from the Inside, State Bar of Texas Labor and Employment Law Institute, October 2013
  • Panelist, 2010 Cost Savings in E-Discovery, The Huron Legal Institute, May 2010
  • Author, E-Discovery/In-House – Continental Airlines Experience, State Bar of Texas Litigation Section Report, The Advocate, Vol. 51, Summer 2010

Email
(713) 547-9196