Kerry O’Brien

Texas Board Certified in Representing Employees.

Employment lawyer Kerry O'BrienScreen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.52.41 PM


KERRY V. O’BRIEN is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, litigating work injury cases at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels from El Paso to Amarillo to Houston, and everywhere in-between. Kerry is also a former unemployment hearing officer with the Texas Workforce Commission, and is considered the go-to lawyer for unemployment regulations questions and insight by many employment lawyers around the state. Just prior to starting this law firm, Kerry served as a litigation attorney and city prosecutor through a law firm for many cities around central Texas, including Leander, Kyle, Manor, Jonestown, and Lago Vista.
For the past 10 years, Kerry has been in solo practice with the O’Brien Law Firm, taking great pride and pleasure in representing Texas employees who need to leverage the value of a great lawyer in their employment disputes. He is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
From 2011-2014, Kerry was the featured speaker on Employment Law for the annual People’s Law School, sponsored by the Austin Bar Association. In May 2014, he presented “In the Mind of a TWC Hearing Officer” to the Labor & Employment Section of the Austin Bar. In January 2016, he spoke at an employment law conference in Dallas on “Winning Unemployment Appeals” to attorneys from around the state. In April 2016, he presented at the 2016 Texas Poverty Law Conference in Austin to lawyers from around the state who help low-income Texans, on how to win unemployment appeals. In September 2018, Kerry participated as the “employee’s attorney perspective” on an ethics panel presentation with the Austin Bar Association Labor & Employment Section, about properly identifying and handling client representation issues in the context of employment law matters.
Kerry is a 2002 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where he was active in trial advocacy, competition, and study. He received his undergraduate degree from UT in Music Theory with a concentration on classical guitar performance, studying with Adam Holzman. (Kerry can still play Stairway to Heaven, but will not do so on demand, sorry.)
Kerry is a member of the State Bar of Texas Employment Law Section, the Texas Employment Lawyers Association, and the Austin Bar Association’s Labor & Employment and Solo/Small Firm Sections. He is licensed to practice in all Texas state trial and appeals courts, all four Texas federal court districts, and our local federal appeals circuit court. Kerry volunteers to judge mock trial and debate competitions when he can. For 6 years, he was a youth mentor for children with a parent in prison through the Seedling Foundation, and still continues to support that great organization. Kerry has been married since 2001 and has three boys, and is still active as a musician and songwriter, and is scheduled to release an 8-song album in December 2018.
Portions of great case recoveries in 2017 and 2018 allowed the O’Brien Law Firm to make over $12,000 in donations to Caritas Austin, the Seedling Foundation, the Salvation Army, the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, Austin LifeCare, the North Texas Food Bank, and VNA Meals on Wheels, with clients choosing those charities. The firm is also a regular financial supporter of CRU, the Navy-Marines Relief Society, the Semper Fi Fund, Refugee Services of Central Texas, and WorldVision. Using the firm’s successes to help great organizations in the community and the world is one way to make good things come from bad situations. That’s the goal with every client that Kerry helps.

From our blog

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Kerry O’Brien represents the employee lawyer’s perspective on ethics panel

On September 5, 2018, board-certified employment attorney Kerry O’Brien participated as the “employee lawyer’s perspective” for the “Who is the client?” presentation to the Austin Bar Association Labor & Employment Section. The panel discussion with Kerry and three employer-side attorneys discussed the ethical considerations involved in determining when someone is, and is not, a “client.” […]

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O’Brien Law Firm sues Compass Datacenters, LLC over $200K in unpaid commissions

On June 21, 2018, the O’Brien Law Firm sued Compass Datacenters, LLC on behalf of the firm’s client, a former sales director who, as the lawsuit alleges, was denied $200,000 in earned commissions from his work on the Tierpoint Tulsa Datacenter lease and a project for American Electric Power. In June 2017, Compass Datacenters’s CEO, Chris […]

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