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Ben Cervin represents management in employment and labor law matters. He counsels and advises clients on issues including avoiding unlawful employment discrimination; litigation risk-minimizing methods of handling employment terminations, layoffs, and plant closings; developing separation-payment programs with waivers and releases; developing government contractor affirmative action plans and dealing with compliance reviews; employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions; drafting key executive employment agreements; and dealing with unions, union organizing efforts, and other collective bargaining matters.

Ben was recently honored by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for being Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law continually for 30 years and for being in the first group of Texas attorneys to qualify for such certification.

Received a top national ranking for Employment Law-Management in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" 2020

Representative Matters

  • Represented the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of healthcare products in a defense of class FLSA “donning and doffing”-time claims; assisted in selection of arbitrators for grievance arbitrations and provided counsel to client’s Director of Corporate Labor Relations on various union matters
  • Represented leading charitable pediatric center in a defense of ADA claim and EEOC charges; provided counsel on development of personnel policies and employment separations and consulted with and advised the Board of Trustees’ Legal Committee on important employment matters
  • Counseled a high-tech telecommunications company in general employment and labor matters including defending EEOC charges, developing and implementing merger employment strategies, guiding the company through seven consecutive downsizings involving hundreds of employees worldwide, evaluating employment issues in potential acquisitions, and developing written AAPs and guiding the client through repeated OFCCP compliance reviews without a single adverse finding
  • Counseled a national cardiovascular disease and stroke voluntary health agency in general labor and employment matters including advising and assisting in planning and executing a reorganization of the agency’s structure with attendant employment separations and assisting in resolution of various employee benefits issues
  • Consulted with and advised CEO and other key officers of preeminent worldwide petroleum consulting firm regarding sensitive employment issues, avoidance of unlawful discrimination, and employment terminations
  • Counseled a prominent community historical and heritage preservation nonprofit organization and large nonprofit private foundation on general employment matters including hiring and termination of key personnel and development of personnel policies; also represented organizations in defense of EEOC charges and avoidance of unlawful discrimination
  • Counseled a prominent regional symphony orchestra association in labor and employment matters
  • Labor counsel to international professional engineering organization

Prior Employment

  • Briefing Attorney for the Honorable Chief Justice Robert W. Calvert, Texas Supreme Court, 1969-1970

Military Service

  • Active Duty: Regular officer, U.S. Air Force, 1961-1965 (Second Lieutenant to Captain); principal duties: Nuclear Weapons Officer (B-52H); Missile Launch Officer, Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander, Missile Procedures Trainer-Simulator Instructor/Operator (Titan II)
  • Reserve: Texas Air National Guard, 1966-1989 (Captain to Colonel); principal duties: Munitions Officer, Avionics Officer (F-102); Communications Flight Commander; Wing/Base-level Staff Judge Advocate; Air National Guard Assistant to the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, Military Airlift Command. U.S. Air Force Reserve, 1989-1991 (Colonel); principal duties: Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, Air Reserve Personnel Center
  • Principal Awards and Decorations: Legion of Merit, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Command Missile Badge with Operations Crew Designator, Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal, Texas Medal of Merit, Texas Adjutant General’s Individual Award, 1985 Air National Guard Reserve Judge Advocate of the Year and National Guard Bureau Nominee for Reginald C. Harmon Award

Honors & Affiliations


  • The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management), 1983-2021
  • Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (Employment & Labor), 2003-2004


  • Member, American Bar Association; Labor and Employment Law Section, Committee on Practice and Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act and its Subcommittee on Regional Practice; Administrative Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas; Labor and Employment Law Section, Council Member, 1986-1990; Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Chairman, 1981-1982; Military Law Section
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Frequent speaker at various programs on labor and employment law topics
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Dallas Opera, 1990-1998; Chairman, Inner Circle Committee, 1991-1993; Opera Foundation Committee, 1995
  • Professional, both paid and pro bono, and volunteer support, Dallas Symphony Association
  • Pro bono professional and volunteer support, HP Arts, a nonprofit organization supporting arts enrichment in the Highland Park Independent School District
  • Member (1970-1990) and Chairman (1983-1985), Thompson & Knight Civic Affairs Committee; responsible for allocation of firm charitable contributions and coordination of civic activities by the firm
  • Past Professional Division volunteer leader, United Way campaigns
  • Pro bono professional and volunteer support of numerous fundraising events, Dallas Easter Seal Society for Children, formerly Dallas Society for Crippled Children
  • Class special gifts chairman, Southern Methodist University annual Sustentation Fund, 1989-1990
  • Chairman-Administration, Troop Committee, Boy Scouts of America Troop 80, 1992-1993
  • Member, Troop Committee, Boy Scouts of America Troop 68, 1993-1997
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Education & Admissions


  • J.D., 1969, The University of Texas School of Law; Quizmaster, Phi Delta Phi; Hildebrand Moot Court Competition “Best Brief” award
  • M.B.A., 1966, The University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S., 1961, Southern Methodist University; Kappa Sigma; Phi Eta Sigma
  • B.A., 1961, Southern Methodist University


  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Thompson & Knightis now part of
Holland & Knight

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