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Vanessa L. Pierce



Ms. Pierce assists clients in a variety of civil disputes involving labor, employment, and OSHA matters, commercial litigation, governmental and administrative law, maritime matters, and insurance defense. Ms. Pierce has considerable experience in pre-trial procedure and routinely performs research, drafts dispositive motions, engages in discovery, and argues hearings in court and before administrative agencies.

Before joining Royston Rayzor in September 2014, Ms. Pierce graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law. While in law school, Ms. Pierce served as a judicial intern for multiple Texas district judges, as well as the Honorable Barbara Houser and the Honorable Marialyn Barnard. She also served as the NAFTA Reporter for the SMU International Law Review Association and has published notable work in the Law and Business Review of the Americas.


2014 – assisted U.S. Coast Guard and OSHA in investigation of death of crewmember during repair work on vessel’s cranes while maintaining and preserving vessel’s and crewmembers’ rights

2014-2015 – assisting local cities in challenge against legality of annexations performed by City of Brownsville; successfully challenged City’s request for Attorney General opinion regarding release of records under the Open Records Request

2014 – assist local client in determining the application of Executive Order 13658 to a research cooperative agreement between client and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Honors & Distinctions

International Law Review Association, NAFTA Reporter

International Law Review Association, Finalist for Best Comment, Spring 2013

Publication: Vanessa Humm, American Trade News Highlights for Summer, 2013: The Rise of the Investor-State Suit and the Call for Reform, 19 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 3 (2013).

Publication: Vanessa Humm, American Trade News Highlights for Fall, 2013: The Chilling Effect of COOL on the Livestock Trade of Mexico, Canada, and the United States, 19 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 569 (2013).

Publication: Vanessa Humm, American Trade News Highlights for Winter, 2013: Costco Cashews – How much Roasting Makes them American for Purposes of NAFTA Preferential Tariff Treatment by Canada?, 20 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 149 (2014).

Publication: Vanessa Humm, American Trade News Highlights for Spring, 2014: Promises Kept and Promises Broken – NAFTA at Twenty, 20 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 363 (2014).


  • SMU Dedman School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2014
  • Texas Christian University, B.A. in Philosophy and Ad/PR, magna cum laude, 2011; John V. Roach Honors College; Phi Beta Kappa

Texas, 2014

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Cameron County Bar Association
  • Cameron County Young Lawyers Association
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
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