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Key Harrington Barnes PC

Key Harrington Barnes PC
3710 Rawlins Street
Suite 950
Dallas, Texas 75219
Phone: (214) 615-7925
Web site:
Firm Size: 5 Lawyers
Primary Contact:
Stephen Key

Firm Description

After spending approximately 18 years with a large and rapidly growing Dallas-based firm (10 years as chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section), Hershell L. Barnes, Jr. founded one of the southwest’s premier boutique law firms. Key Harrington Barnes PC represents employers in all traditional labor and employment law matters as well as defending clients involved in incidents of alleged Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations. The firm has set the highest of standards for client service and satisfaction. Every lawyer and staff member believes this reputation has been and will continue to be earned through the professional pyramid of (1) prompt and superior work product, (2) regular and consistent client communication, problem-avoidance counseling, and, where necessary, aggressive defense, and (3) a client-favorable fee structure.

We believe the business world belongs to companies ready to compete, willing to learn new ways to enhance their productivity, committed to adapting quickly to positive change, and determined to constantly challenge themselves, all the while trying to avoid employee problems, union organizing, OSHA complaints, or other difficulties. Our firm shares that same view and encourages preventative, versus remedial, measures. If a lawsuit can be avoided, if a company can maintain non-union status (or deal with its bargaining agent in a positive relationship), or if an OSHA complaint is not filed, that is a win-win for all concerned. In that regard, the firm believes that constant preventative training of management on how to avoid negative employee relationships is of utmost importance. However, the firm also understands that some opponents will never stop short of actual litigation. When that occurs, Key Harrington Barnes PC will spare no effort to secure the most prompt, cost-effective, and successful conclusion for those it represents.

The firm also recognizes employers in today’s marketplace in order to stay competitive must contain costs without compromising quality. As a business itself, the members of the firm embrace that fact. Consequently, the firm has been structured in way that allows a reduction in overhead with increased efficiency. It also provides the flexibility to allow the lawyers and non-lawyers to continually reexamine how matters are staffed and billed while demonstrating a clear understanding of each client’s unique business needs.

Key Harrington Barnes PC reflects an uncompromising dedication to excellence and client satisfaction that is exhibited in every legal matter it undertakes and in every contact it makes, thereby setting a new standard in the representation of management and employers.

We have the good fortune of representing a varied group of clients in traditional labor, employment law litigation, and OSHA matters. Key Harrington Barnes PC serves clients in the gas utility, transportation, aircraft engine overhaul, food preparation, satellite communications, manufacturing, construction, bottling industries as well as companies in other industries. Additionally, a sizeable number of our clients are American Fortune 500 companies as well as a smaller number based in the UK and Europe.

We bring value to our clients by working with them to accomplish their business objectives. Once again, we achieve those goals through the professional pyramid. We produce a prompt and superb work product, provide regular and consistent problem-solving counseling (if necessary, aggressive but professional litigation), and have a client-favorable fee structure. Our lawyers are trusted counselors and creative thinkers. They always keep the goal of the client the primary focus.

All attorneys and staff members of our firm share the most important commitment of all – excellence for and service to our clients. We strive to make Key Harrington Barnes PC an extraordinary firm where our lawyers and staff enjoy working – a firm you will be pleased and proud to service your needs relative to traditional labor, employment law, and OSHA.

Our dedication to teamwork, our readiness to change to meet the demands of our clients’ situations, and our commitment to be the best are the standards on which Key Harrington Barnes PC was founded and will continue to be built.


Attorney Biographies

Stephen Key
Stephen Key is a partner with Key Harrington Barnes, PC where his practice is divided between litigation of employment disputes, assisting clients with union relations, advising clients on human resources matters and performing management training.

Mr. Key is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in labor & employment law and is recognized as a Texas Superlawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine, a distinction held by less than 5% of Texas labor & employment attorneys. Mr. Key has gained particular recognition for his success in representing employers in union organizing drives, where he has more than 60 campaigns without a single loss.

Mr. Key is a 1994 graduate of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where he served as an editor for the SMU Law Review. He is licensed to practice law in all Texas state courts, the 5th and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas.

Darren Harrington
Darren Harrington is a shareholder with Key Harrington Barnes, PC. His practice is limited to the representation of management in matters involving labor, personnel, and government relations.

Upon being graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1993 with a B.A. in political science and a B.B.A. in general business, Darren earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1997. Darren attended Southern Methodist University on an athletic scholarship where he lettered four years in football. He also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Darren routinely conducts seminars concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act and workplace violence. He is a member of the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations and has been admitted to practice in the Northern, Southern and Western Federal Court Districts of Texas.

During the past six years, Darren has been recognized as one of the premier Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defense counselors in the country. Additionally, he is regularly called on by employers to defend against claims under the various anti-discrimination in employment statutes as well as the minimum wage and overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

John L. Freeman
John Freeman’s primary area of practice is civil litigation, including employment law, contract, commercial, and related areas of business litigation.

John was born in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1945. He received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1967, and served in the United States Navy from 1967 – 1969. He attended law school at Vanderbilt University, where he was an Associate Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review in 1972 and 1973, and received his law degree in 1973. John was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1973 and is currently a member of the State Bar of Texas (Litigation Section) and the Dallas Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in the state courts of Texas and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Kathleen S. Cleaveland
Kathy Cleaveland practices in the areas of ERISA, estate planning, probate, and corporate transactions. Her estate planning practice includes will and trust preparation, asset protection planning, irrevocable insurance trust preparation, charitable giving, and other lifetime planning. Her probate experience includes participation and support in various will contests, as well as representation in guardianships and dependent and independent administration of estates. She has also devoted time to a general corporate practice with particular relevant experience in the areas of business acquisitions, divestitures, financing of acquisitions and restructurings, mergers, partnerships, limited liability companies, and general corporate governance matters.
Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, magna cum laude, in 1974. She received her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978 where she was a member of the legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi and the Legal Research Board. Kathy was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1978 and is currently a member of the State Bar of Texas (Probate, Trusts and Estate Section), the Dallas Bar Association (Probate, Trusts and Estate Section), the Dallas Estate Planning Council, and the Estate Planning Council of North Texas. Kathy was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1952.

Robert N. Aguiluz
Robert Aguiluz’s experience includes representation of clients in governmental matters such as regulatory compliance and interpretation of OSHA, EPA, and Wage and Hour issues, as well as representation of trade and professional associations in matters of association and nonprofit law. His experience encompasses various industries and employers of many sizes, including the world’s largest manufacturer of computer processors and the world’s largest provider of coated steel products, to biotechnology companies, government-owned petrochemical facilities and government-private joint ventures in the Middle East, and small family-owned businesses and small contractors with environmental, OSHA, and labor and employment issues.

Robert received his B.A. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. He attended Tulane Law School, where he was a member of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, and received his J.D. with a Certificate in Environmental Law from Tulane in 1993. Robert has also earned the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. In addition to his background in environmental law and regulatory compliance issues, Robert has extensive practical experience in the development, implementation, and management of safety and health programs and related matters; both as General Counsel and Director of Compliance for a Louisiana based corporation and for outside clients in construction, general industry, shipbuilding and steel erection.

By bringing together both his legal and practical backgrounds in safety, health and environmental matters, Robert is able to provide sound counseling to clients on feasible regulatory compliance strategies that balance economics, technology, and the practical considerations of safely operating an industrial facility or construction project. This combination of legal and practical skills also allows Robert to provide “proactive” representation to reduce the likelihood of a violation, and advice on feasible abatement strategies where an OSHA citation has been issued. His practical and legal background, combined with the existing talent, skill and experience of the rest of The Barnes Law Firm, allows the Barnes Team to approach clients’ occupational safety and health compliance needs with a measure of experience and understanding that is second to none.

Prior to earning his law degree, Robert served as a Paramedic for the City Parish of East Baton Rouge. He was also an instructor for a Louisiana-based corporation, providing training and consulting for employers across the country in the application of standards such as OSHA, NFPA, and ANSI., including the areas of confined space, fall protection, respiratory protection, steel erection, and emergency response and rescue standards. Since that time he has continued to provide training and counseling on regulatory compliance, including guidance and assistance to companies in obtaining Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) status from OSHA. Robert is an active member of several ANSI and NFPA committees drafting voluntary consensus standards addressing fall protection, permit-required confined spaces, technical rescue, and industrial rope access, and serves as the Chairman of the ANSI Z359 Editorial Task Force, which is drafting a new family of fall protection standards.

Robert also provided consultation to OSHA on the promulgation of its permit-required confined spaces standard and played an integral role in the development and drafting Appendix F clarifying the application of that standard. He has also served as adjunct faculty at the OSHA Training Institute in Des Plaines, Illinois, and has been recognized as an expert in several areas for the purpose of testifying as an expert witness in various areas, including standards interpretation and application, permit-required confined spaces, respiratory protection, emergency response, and fall protection. He is a frequent speaker at various local, national, and international conferences, and has authored numerous works published in legal, professional and safety publications. Robert was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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