Stefanie Scott Shah graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. While in law school, Stefanie was an avid participant in intermural/intramural mock trial and was inducted into the Order of the Barristers—a national organization that recognizes the top ten mock trial/moot court advocates at each law school each year. She was also an editor of both The Review of Litigation and the American Journal of Criminal Law. Prior to law school, Stefanie graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas with a B.A. in political science and a minor in mathematics.

Prior to joining Vela Wood, Stefanie practiced employment litigation, patent litigation, and complex commercial litigation at a boutique litigation firm in Austin, Texas. She then started her own practice, where she continued her litigation practice and acted as outside general counsel to growing companies.

Stefanie is also active in the Austin legal community. She is a member of the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, where she has been team lead and a Membership Committee representative. She is an active member of the Austin Bar Association / Austin Young Lawyers Association, serving for many years on the Bench Bar Committee and the Runway for Justice Committee. She has also served on the Texas Bar Foundation’s District 9 nominating committee. Nationally, Stefanie is a member of the Federal Bar Association, where she serves on the Young Lawyers Division’s Publications Committee and the National Convention Committee.

Stefanie grew up in a small-ish West Texas town, known primarily for George W. Bush and Friday Night Lights. She’s lived in the Austin area for over twenty years (with the exception of a semester in Sweden, a semester in London, a few months in California and the PNW, and a one year stint in Dallas). When she’s not zealously representing clients, Stefanie can be found exploring Austin, Texas, the United States, and the world with her husband and two young kids.

Services

  • Advising clients on state and federal employment laws, including compensation laws, disability-related laws, termination laws, discrimination laws, and worker classification laws
  • Advising on and drafting various employment documents, including employment handbooks, employment contracts, separation agreements, and contractor agreements
  • Advising clients on intellectual property and licensing strategy
  • Drafting and responding to cease-and-desist letters
  • Drafting and negotiating license agreements

Select Representations

  • Acted as trial counsel to over 300 plaintiffs in mass action employment litigation filed in federal court; obtained $4.03 million jury verdict on behalf of two plaintiffs in a bellwether jury trial—second largest employment litigation verdict in Texas in 2012; ranked among top 5 employment litigation verdicts in Texas in 2010-2013.
  • Represented assistant store managers and store managers in a wage-and-hour class action against a national retailer; parties and then-counsel reached a public settlement of $31.5 million.
  • Represented store managers in wage-and-hour class action against national pharmacy; obtained class certification; parties and then-counsel reached a public settlement of $5.5 million.
  • Represented Fortune 500 companies named as defendants in patent infringement litigation suit; reached early and favorable settlement.
  • Represented British client in complex commercial litigation filed in New York state court and in Declaratory Judgment filed by defendant’s insurer in federal court; drafted winning response to Motion to Dismiss; drafted winning response to Motion for Summary Judgment. When defendant filed an interlocutory appeal regarding Order on MSJ, drafted winning Respondent Brief. When defendant filed Motion for Reargument/Reconsideration in appellate court, drafted winning response. When defendant filed its Motion for Leave to Appeal in the Court of Appeals for the State of New York, drafted winning response.
  • Represented coaches in breach of contract matters involving professional sports league.
  • Represented patent owner in appeal heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; drafted appellate briefing and argued appeal before a panel of the Court.
  • Represented veteran pro bono in an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

PUBLICATIONS

SPEECHES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Team Leader, The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court, “How to Be Friends with a Judge,” November 2023.
  • Team Leader and Presenter, The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court, “Policing in America,” December 2020.
  • Moderator, Austin Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, “A View from the Bench: War Stories, Personal Preferences, and Practical Advice,” September 2020.
  • Panelist, TexasBarCLE Webinar, “Trade Secrets Law: Texas Litigation and Legislation Update 2019,” November 2019.
  • Team Presenter, The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court, “Jury Selection: Science, Art, Both (or Neither),” October 2019.
  • Moderator, Austin Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, “May It Please the Court: Oral and Written Advocacy Tips from the Bench,” May 2019.
  • Team Presenter, The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court, “Artificial Intelligence & the Future of the Practice of Law,” March 2019.
  • Panelist, Ultimate Trial Notebook, “Real Trial Experience in the Age of the Vanishing Jury Trial: Mentors and Opportunities,” October 2018.
  • Moderator and Panelist, Austin Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, “Pushing the Boundaries on Issues Relevant to Technology Companies and Trade Secrets,” April 2018.
  • Presenter, Essential Trial Advocacy Workshop, “Use of Big Data: Legal Resources for Small/Mid-Sized Firms,” October 2017.
  • Moderator, Austin Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, “Trademark Litigation,” May 2017.
  • Moderator, Austin Bar Association’s Bench Bar Conference, “Civil Litigation: Changes to FRCP and Texas State Rules,” April 2016.

Fun Facts:

  • Stefanie wrote, produced, and starred in a CNN news segment featuring various United States Presidents’ involvement in the NFL (the National Forensics League―not the National Football League). It never aired.
  • Her great-great-great (?) uncle was a president of Mexico who was eventually assassinated.
  • She loves planning kids birthday parties.  It’s impossible to choose a favorite, but―if she were forced―she’d likely say her daughter’s “coronation.”  It was held on the same weekend as King Charles’, and Stefanie wrote and illustrated a book for the occasion.  During the event, the guests successfully completed a “quest” (solving a riddle, “slaying” a dragon, finding dragon eggs) and celebrated with a royal tea party and “champagne” served in silver goblets.
  • Stefanie and her husband have traveled to Park City nine times to watch independent films at the Sundance Film Festival.  A few of her favorite Sundance movies include: Whiplash, Beasts of a Southern Wild, The Devil’s Double, Fruitvale Station, Crown Heights, and Birth of a Nation.

Education:

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • Southwestern University, B.A. in Political Science, Minor in Mathematics