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Experience

Jessica Morrison counsels public, private, and non-profit employers and fiduciaries on employee benefits, executive compensation, and taxation matters.

Jessica assists clients with tax and ERISA issues relating to the design and administration of 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and defined benefit pension plans. Experience includes:

  • Advising employers on changes to retirement plan design
  • Drafting retirement plan documents, amendments, summary plan descriptions, and other participant communications
  • Negotiating terms of service provider agreements, including cybersecurity provisions
  • Identifying and correcting qualified retirement plan failures in accordance with IRS and DOL correction programs
  • Managing defined benefit plan terminations with the PBGC

Jessica advises clients regarding the design and administration of health and welfare benefit plans. Experience includes:

  • Drafting health and welfare benefit wrap plans, cafeteria plans, summary plan descriptions, and other participant communications
  • Advising employers on issues arising under ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, and the Affordable Care Act
  • Negotiating terms of service provider agreements and HIPAA business associate agreements
  • Drafting HIPAA policies and conducting in-house trainings regarding HIPAA compliance

Jessica assists clients with tax and ERISA issues relating to the design and administration of equity incentive plans, nonqualified deferred compensation programs, employment agreements, and other executive compensation arrangements. Experience includes:

  • Preparing and advising on the implementation of long-term incentive, stock option, restricted stock, and other equity incentive plans
  • Drafting employment agreements, consulting agreements, and severance arrangements
  • Representing employers with respect to nonqualified deferred compensation plans, including advising on compliance with Section 409A
  • Advising public companies on shareholder approval of incentive plans and assisting with related SEC filings

Jessica advises plan fiduciaries (such as retirement plan committees) regarding their fiduciary obligations under ERISA.  Her experience includes:

  • Conducting in-house trainings regarding fiduciary best practices
  • Offering guidance on prohibited transaction issues under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code
  • Providing advice regarding the “plan asset” status of private equity funds and real estate investment funds

Jessica counsels clients on employee benefit and executive compensation issues in mergers and acquisitions and investment transactions. Experience includes:

  • Negotiating employee benefit representations and covenants in credit agreements and purchase agreements
  • Computing and providing advice on Section 280G golden parachute compensation payouts in connection with merger and acquisition transactions

Jessica advises employers regarding worker classification issues and the proper withholding and reporting of wages.  She also represents taxpayers in IRS audits, appeals and federal income tax litigation. Experience includes:

  • Providing guidance to taxpayers in employment tax and self-employment tax audits
  • Advising on FOIA requests to the IRS

Prior Employment

  • Judicial Intern for the Honorable Laura Higley, Texas First Court of Appeals, Houston, Texas, 2007

Honors & Affiliations

Distinctions/Honors

  • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Employee Benefits), 2017-2019
  • Women of Distinction Award, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, 2019
  • “Top Attorneys” (Tax) by Fort Worth, Texas magazine, 2014, 2016-2018

Memberships/Affiliations

Civic
  • President of the Board of Directors, The Parenting Center
  • Member, Fort Worth City Council Community Development Council
  • Member, American Heart Association Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team, 2018-2019
  • Member, The WARM Place’s “A Cool Night” Event Committee, 2013-2018
  • Participant, SteerFW Keyholders Program, 2018
Professional
  • Member, American Bar Association; Tax Section and Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
  • Member, State Bar of Texas; Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee
  • Member, Tarrant County Bar Association; Women Attorneys Section
  • Member, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
  • Member, WEB, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network
  • Member, Fort Worth Human Resource Management Association
  • Member, SouthWest Benefits Association

Education & Admissions

Education

  • J.D., 2009, with honors, The University of Texas School of Law, Texas Law Review; Legal Research Board; Order of the Coif; Dean’s Achievement Award; Best Memorandum Award
  • B.S., 2006, cum laude, Texas A&M University, President’s Endowed Scholarship; Buck Weirus Spirit Award

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Tax Ct.
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas

Related Team

Jason Patrick Loden

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Employee Benefits

Neely P. Munnerlyn

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Employee Benefits