Clara (C.B.) Burns

Firm: Kemp Smith LLP
Location: El Paso - TX

  • 221 N. Kansas Suite 1700
    El Paso, TX 79901
  • Tel : 915.533.4424
  • Fax : 915.546.5360

Clara (C.B.) Burns is a Partner in the Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is also licensed in New Mexico. C.B. represents employers in all aspects of workplace law, including advice and counseling, workplace investigations, handbook and policy reviews, and litigation defense of discrimination, discharge, and other employment matters in the federal and state courts of Texas and New Mexico and before numerous governmental agencies.

In addition to her practice, C.B. is the editor of the Family and Medical Leave Act chapter in the Texas Association of Business’ Texas Employment Law Handbook, and the author of the Texas Human Resources Manual, published by the American Chamber of Commerce Resources. She also speaks frequently at national, state and local employment law seminars, including the annual Labor and Employment Advanced Practices Symposium and the University of Texas Labor and Employment Law Conference.

C.B. is a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is ranked in the top tier of Labor and Employment Lawyers in Texas by Chambers USA. Chambers USA has recognized her as an “indefatigable litigator who is very thorough, tenacious, and effective in jury and bench trials” and as a “phenomenal employment attorney.” She has been recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” and listed in Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers in America has selected her as a Lawyer of the Year for El Paso on several occasions, including as its Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year” for 2018 and 2020.

C.B. also has been quoted on employment law matters by a number of media outlets, including the PolitiFact Texas, the Waco Tribune, and El Paso Inc.

Processional Affiliations

State Bar of Texas
State Bar of New Mexico
El Paso Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Texas Association of Business
El Paso Society for Human Resources Management


Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Bars and Courts

Texas, 1990
New Mexico, 1994
S. District Court, Western District of Texas
S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit


McMurry College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1987
Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1990, Order of the Coif

Kemp Smith LLP

Kemp Smith has one of the largest and most experienced groups of labor and employment law attorneys in the Southwest. Our labor and employment department exclusively represents employers, both private and public, in a wide variety of labor and employment matters. We litigate before arbitrators, State and Federal Courts throughout Texas and New Mexico, as well as the NLRB, OSHRC, FMSHRC.


  • Wrongful discharge and discrimination claims, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA and other federal and state discrimination laws
  • Retaliation claims under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Whistleblower claims
  • Defamation, assault and battery and other employment-related torts
  • Wage and Hour Violations
  • Texas Payday Law claims
  • Employee Benefit Issues under ERISA
  • OSHA and MSHA claims

Management and Employee Relations

  • Sexual Harassment Training/Investigation
  • EEOC Charges
  • Training to Reduce Litigation Risks
  • Employee Handbooks and Arbitration Agreements
  • Affirmative Action Plans
  • OSHA and MSHA Compliance and Citations
  • Employment Contracts and Non-Compete Agreements
  • Preventive Counseling
  • FMLA and FLSA Guidance

Labor Relations

  • Union Prevention, Negotiations, and Campaigns
  • Labor Arbitrations