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I enjoy solving problems, particularly complicated problems involving employment law and employee benefits. I have been working with employers and executives for more than 30 years to strategize and problem solve.

JoAnne Ray is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law.  She handles a wide range of employment matters, including ERISA litigation, non-compete and trade secret litigation, breach of fiduciary duty cases, wage and hour cases, and discrimination cases of all kinds. A significant part of her practice involves representing executives in negotiating employment contracts and severance arrangements. She is knowledgeable about fidelity bond claims and often advises clients concerning insurance coverage for employment-related claims. She also has extensive experience with employee benefits, providing counsel to plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries concerning plan administration and internal appeals. JoAnne designs, drafts, and amends pension plans, health and welfare plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, executive compensation plans, and equity incentive plans.


JoAnne is the author of numerous legal articles, including two articles published in The Texas Bar Journal.

  • New COBRA Subsidy May “Stimulate” Medical Plan Costs for Employers, Adams and Reese Client Alert, March 2009
  • A Message from the Storms: Employers Need Disaster-Related Absence Policies, Corporate Counsel Review (South Texas College of Law), November 2005


  • South Texas College of Law, J.D., 1979, summa cum laude
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, M.A., 1973, English
  • Louisiana State University, B.A., 1971, Journalism

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Areas of Practice


  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Worked with plan sponsor of defined benefit pension plan to devise strategy that resulted in closing agreement with the IRS permitting replacement of insolvent plan sponsor with a solvent member of its former controlled group, thereby allowing pension plan to remain in operation.
  • Represented service provider to the energy industry in non-compete and trade secret lawsuit against former executive and co-workers who departed together to work for competitor.
  • Represented incoming C.E.O. of privately held global tech company in prolonged negotiations concerning his employment contract and equity agreements, with such negotiations resulting in significant revision of the company’s equity-related documents.
  • Successfully defended energy company in SOX proceeding brought by one of its former executives.