Teri Merrick

Teri Merrick 2017-01-11T22:56:38+00:00

Project Description

Teri Merrick

Prior In-house Experience

  • Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association


  • University of Wisconsin – Madison, B.A. in Journalism, 1997
  • Marquette Law School, J.D., 2000
  • Pepperdine School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, LLM 2006


  • Admitted to practice law in Texas, California and Wisconsin (TX and CA – active; WI – inactive)
  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Practice Areas

Teri Merrick


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Teri is the former General Counsel to an 8,000-member labor group within the country’s largest domestic airline. She has a Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution from the top-ranked program in the United States and is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is admitted to practice law in Texas, California, and Wisconsin (currently inactive in Wisconsin).  Teri is the go-to for companies who desire sound, judicious, and prudent counsel for their labor and employment issues, and for those who seek better insight into the inner workings of their employment groups.

Teri joined Grable Martin Fulton PLLC after serving as General Counsel for Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (“SWAPA”).  During her ten years with SWAPA, Teri helped shepherd the group into and through a remarkable period of sustained prosperity. Thanks to Teri’s legal management, SWAPA’s exposure to litigation was minimal, and the few cases that progressed were all resolved in the SWAPA’s favor well short of trial. Some of the successes during Teri’s tenure include:

Negotiation of an industry-leading collective bargaining agreement and subsequent updates and modifications of its terms;

Integration of 2,000+ pilots into the existing membership following Southwest Airlines’ acquisition of AirTran Airways, without the need for arbitration or litigation; and

Management of the daily legal needs of a membership of 8,000+ aviators, 23-member Board of Directors and staff of nearly 40 employees.

Most of these successes did not happen overnight. Rather, they resulted from open, respectful, and continued dialogues between management and labor and their counsel.  These dialogues created relationships that fostered familiarity, credibility, and then trust.  This familiarity, credibility, and trust made success possible.  Teri credits the intensive training she received in dispute resolution as giving her the confidence and capability to negotiate through some highly challenging issues while preserving professionalism and maintaining positive relationships between labor and management.

In many respects, though, Teri began learning the art of negotiation and dispute resolution at a young age.  Born into a large Sicilian family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Teri spent much of her time negotiating with four older brothers, sometimes over pasta and meatballs at the dinner table, and sometimes over her father’s much-prized Green Bay Packers season tickets.  She came out of it relatively unscathed to graduate from the University of Wisconsin—Madison with her journalism degree, and from Marquette Law School with her juris doctor. After working in Chicago for a few years, Teri made a conscious decision to leave the “frozen tundra” behind, and attended Pepperdine University to obtain her master of laws degree in dispute resolution. Shortly thereafter, Teri moved to Dallas to consult on negotiations and serve in-house with SWAPA.  Though she never expected to become a Texan, Texas has been good to Teri. She met her husband, Michael, another Midwestern transplant, a few years after arriving in Dallas. Teri and Michael’s lives were forever changed (for the better!) when daughter Madeleine arrived in 2012, and again when son Finley arrived in 2015.

Teri and Michael are avid travelers. Their favorite trip to date, a safari in Tanzania, afforded them the opportunity to see some of the world’s most magnificent animals in their natural habitats. Teri and Michael look forward to showing their kids the world and introducing them to different cultures and experiences. But until the kids respond a bit better to jetlag, trips to the Midwest to visit family and friends will have to do!

Teri is excited to continue her career with Grable Martin Fulton PLLC, offering corporate clients her labor and employment and dispute resolution expertise, as well as offering them the opportunity to better understand the perspective of employment groups through long-term and challenging negotiations.

Teri is licensed to practice in Texas, California, and Wisconsin (currently inactive in Wisconsin), and is a certified Mediator.