Steven L. Mierl, JD



Steven L. Mierl is a partner with Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP. Mr. Mierl represents employers throughout the United States, providing thoughtful and strategic representation. His practice includes all areas of employment litigation, and employer consulting on issues arising from hiring through termination, investigations, administrative proceedings, dispute resolution, contract and document drafting, and management trainings. He is a frequent speaker on all aspects of management-side employment issues, with over one hundred and fifty public engagements in the past several years. He also has extensive experience with EEOC, DOL, TWC, and OSHA agency actions. Mr. Mierl represents executives on non-competes, contract, bonus and severance matters. His practice also includes business owner-employee, partnership and corporate management disputes, buyouts and conflicts.

Mr. Mierl has represented clients in over 100 mediations, arbitrations and numerous bench and jury trials. Successes include a complete defense verdict in a multi-million dollar Title VII employment discrimination case in federal court in Detroit that resulted in a unanimous jury verdict for his client, a mid-six figure award in for his client in arbitration over an executive contract in Texas, a complete defense verdict in a trial over race and age claims held in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona, summary judgment in favor of the defense in a federal court ADA action, and summary judgment for an employer in a multi-million dollar FLSA class action matter in Austin that was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013. Mr. Mierl has extensive court room experience in the enforcement and defense of non-compete and non-solicitation matters. He also frequently handles OSHA agency administrative contests.

Prior to his legal studies, Mr. Mierl spent seven years in commercial insurance in the United States and Caribbean. This experience ultimately lead to his recognition as an expert in advising on issues involving employment practices liability insurance, a topic upon which he is frequently invited to speak.

Mr. Mierl began his law practice with Briggs, Knoepfel and Ronca of St. Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands, and spent over seven years with Haynes and Boone, in Austin, Texas. In 2003, Mr. Mierl co-founded the law firm of Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao.

Representative matters include:

Rogers vs. Government of the Virgin Islands, 70 F.3d 270 (3d Cir. 1995) (power to transfer case between territory and federal courts)

Bettcher vs. The Brown Schools, 262 F.3d 292 (5th Cir. 2001) (age discrimination and EEOC piggyback rule)

Tomhave v. The Oaks, 82 S.W.3d 381 (Tex. App. Austin 2002, pet. denied) (whistleblower)

Martin v. The Brown Schools Educational Corp., 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 3942 (N.D. Tex) (ADA disability discrimination)

Griffin v. Birkman, 266 S.W.3d 189 (Tex.App.–Austin 2008, review denied) (county authority to transfer employees)

Tabenske v. NSO, Inc., 2009 WL 36482 (E.D.Mich.) (sex and disability discrimination)

Vasquez v. PMB Enterprises West, Inc., 2010 WL 3419451 (D.Ariz.) (national origin and age discrimination)

Clark v. Williamson County, 2012 WL 1222950 (W.D.Tex.), affirmed 2013 WL 4400890 C.A.5 (Tex.) (FLSA overtime class action)

Education and Certificates

J.D., Texas Tech School of Law, magna cum laude, 1994

Order of the Barristers
Research Assistant for Professor Emeritus J. Hadley Edgar 1992-1994
ABA National Negotiation Team 1993-1994
Lawrence F. Green Memorial Scholarship and Alvin R. Allison Endowed Scholarship

BBA, University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business,  1984

Honors & Awards

Austin’s 2015 and 2016  “Lawyer of the Year” for Labor and Employment Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America. Named a Best Lawyer in Austin for Employment Law for Individuals and Management, and Labor Law for Management in 2016 and 2017. Also recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for both Management and Individual employment representation for over five years.

Named a Super Lawyer from 2006-2016 by Thomson Reuters. In 2009-2016, Mr. Mierl has also been named by Super Lawyers to its prestigious Corporate Counsel Edition, as an outstanding lawyer for defense of employment litigation.

Martindale-Hubbell AV rating for over 5 years, as judged by his peers through his consistent demonstration of professional skills and high ethical standards through his advocacy and work product.

Lectures & Presentations

“Important Updates in Labor Law,” presented at the Medical Group Management Association – Capital City,  Austin, Texas, August 4, 2016.

Employee Handbooks, UT Advanced Labor and Employment Law Conference, Austin, Texas, May 17, 2016

University of Texas, Essential Employment Law 2014, Instructor, Austin and Dallas

Current Trends and Issues Concerning Social Media and Employees, Texas Association of Counties, 2014, Austin

Social Media in the Workplace, Austin Labor and Employment Bar Association, 2012, Austin

Social Media in the Workplace, Austin Bar CLE Conference, 2011, Austin


Co-author of annual The Texas Human Resources Manual, from 2006 to 2011, broadly dealing with Texas employment law and commercially available through Amazon.