Jonni Walls
Of Counsel

Just as I delight in teaching law students at Southern Methodist University, I enjoy educating clients and using my years of traditional labor experience to help them navigate labor management relations issues.

Jonni Walls focuses on employment litigation for management, as well as supervisor training and counseling with respect to human resource issues. Jonni's areas of practice include litigation of statutory and common law claims arising in the employment context; practice before administrative agencies; arbitration of disputes arising under employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements; contract negotiation; drafting of employment policies and handbooks; management training seminars; enforcement of confidentiality and non-competition agreements; and alternative dispute resolution. Currently, Jonni is a full-time professor at SMU Dedman School of Law and faculty sponsor of the SMU Board of Advocates.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained a favorable opinion from the Texas Supreme Court in In re AutoNation, Inc., 228 S.W.3d 663 (2007), which held that a forum selection clause in a covenant not to compete, designating another state as the appropriate forum, is enforceable in Texas.
  • Obtained favorable court rulings or arbitration awards, completely vindicating her clients, in DuPont-Lauren v. Schneider (USA),Inc., 994 F.Supp. 802 (S.D. Tex. 1998) (sex discrimination); Farone v. Bag'N Baggage, Ltd., 165 S.W.3d 795 (Tex. App.-Eastland 2005) (breach of contract); Davis v. AutoNation U.S.A. Corp., et al, 226 S.W.3d 487 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2006) (race and sex discrimination); Brenda A. Ricketts v. Champion Chevrolet, et al, C.A. No. C-04-242, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (sex discrimination); Campanello v. Anthony & Sylvan Pools Corp.; C.A. No. 3-03-CV-1884-G, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (sex discrimination); Eric Greene v. Charlie Thomas Courtesy Ford, Inc., Cause No. 02-2998-G, 319th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas (race discrimination); Melvin Pierce v. AutoNation USA Corp., et al, Cause No. 2002-59956, 157th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (race discrimination); Gene Richardson v. AutoNation USA Corporation, et al, Cause No. 2002-59954, 270th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (race discrimination); Olivier Zitoun v. AutoNation, et al, Cause No. 05-04568-D, 95th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas (wrongful discharge); Carter Burress vs. Fred Oakley Motors, Inc. et al (Matter in Arbitration 2006) (age and disability discrimination); Victor H. Smith v. AutoNation USA Corporation, et al (Matter in Arbitration 2007) (age discrimination).
Thought Leadership / News
Organizational Involvement
  • Professor for the Southern Methodist University School of Law, 2011-Present
  • Adjunct Professor for the Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1992 to 2010
  • Admitted to practice in the State of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • State Bar of Texas, Labor and Employment Section
  • J.D., cum laude, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Order of the Coif (1991)
  • B.A., with high honors, University of Tennessee (1968)
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas