Steven L. Mierl, J.D.





Steven L. Mierl is a partner with Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, 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 courtroom 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 is valuable when advising on issues involving employment practices liability insurance, a topic upon which he is often 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 Burton.

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 & 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

In 2017, Mr. Mierl received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating, the highest rating possible in both legal ability and ethical standards, based on a peer review process reflecting the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary.  Mr. Mierl has been AV rated for over five years.

Mr. Mierl has been recognized four times by The Best Lawyers in America© and Woodward/White, Inc. as Austin’s “Lawyer of the Year” in 2015 and 2019 for Employment Law – Management and in 2016 and 2018 for Labor & Employment Litigation. He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© listing since 2014 in four categories:  Employment Law – Management; Employment Law – Individuals; Labor Law – Management; and Labor & Employment Law Litigation.

Since 2006, Mr. Mierl has been listed as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in the category of Employment Litigation Defense, as published annually in Super Lawyers Magazine and Texas Monthly by Thomson Reuters.  Since 2009, Mr. Mierl has also been selected to be listed as an outstanding lawyer for Employment Litigation Defense as part of the Texas “Super Lawyers” listing published in its prestigious Corporate Counsel Edition.

Lectures & Presentations

“The Trump Effect:  What Effect Will the Trump Administration Have on My Workforce?”  Association of Corporate Counsel, Austin Chapter, Small Law Roundtable Presentation – Austin – July 20, 2017.

“Employment Law Update for Public Employers,” County and District Clerks Legal Education Program, University of Texas Law CLE – San Marcos – May 17, 2017.

“The TRO Process Explained,” Essential Non-Compete and Trade Secret Law: A Practical Guide to Talent Management, University of Texas CLE – Houston and Dallas – Fall 2016.

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

“Employee Handbooks,” Advanced Labor and Employment Law Conference, University of Texas Law CLE – Austin – May 17, 2016.

Member of two person faculty for one day seminar, Essential Employment Law, University of Texas Law CLE – Austin and Dallas – 2014.

“Current Trends and Issues Concerning Social Media and Employees,” Texas Association of Counties – Austin – 2014.

“Social Media in the Workplace,” Austin Labor and Employment Bar Association – Austin – 2012.

“Social Media in the Workplace,” Austin Bar CLE Conference – Austin – 2011.


Co-Author, Texas Human Resources Manual, published by the Texas Association of Business, 2003 through 2011 editions.

Co-Author, Model Employee Policies and Forms for Texas Employers, published by the Texas Association of Business, 2003 through 2011 editions.