D. Faye Caldwell Partner 

Ms. Caldwell is an AV-rated lawyer and is the majority owner and managing partner of the Firm. She focuses a majority of her practice on testing for drugs of abuse. She serves as national counsel for some of the largest drug-testing laboratories in the United States. Besides representing laboratories, employers, medical review officers, third party administrators and collectors in litigation nationwide, she provides consultation services and advice to all types of drug testing entities regarding compliance with Department of Transportation requirements, National Laboratory Certification Program guidelines, state law requirements as well as industry standards for testing for drugs of abuse.

Ms. Caldwell also practices civil litigation and management employment advice work, typically as first-chair trial counsel for clients nationwide. She is national and regional trial counsel for a number of Fortune 500 clients and has handled various types of civil litigation, including matters of first impression, at both the trial and appellate level, in both state and federal courts. She frequently presents on drug testing laws and practices throughout the United States and internationally.

Relevant Reported Cases: 

Ms. Caldwell briefed and argued the Motion for Summary Judgment granted by Judge Melinda Harmon in Willis v. Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc., 1992 WL 532638 (S.D. Tex. 1992).

Ms. Caldwell was lead appellate counsel in Willis v. Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc., 61 F.3d 313 (5th Cir. 1995) in which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Harmon’s opinion and held that urine drug testing laboratories do not owe a duty of care to individual donors when performing occupational drug testing in Texas.

Ms. Caldwell defended a grant of summary judgment in a federal drug testing case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that no private right of action exists to enforce federal drug testing regulations. Parry v. Mohawk Motors of Michigan, Inc., 236 F.3d 299 (6th Cir. 2000).

Ms. Caldwell was lead trial counsel in Compton v. Laboratory Corp. of America in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas and obtained a defense verdict in the first trial of that matter. After the matter was retried, Ms. Caldwell assisted in the appeal of the second jury’s adverse verdict and obtained reverse and rendered for her client in the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals. Laboratory Corp. of America v. Compton, 126 S.W.3d 196 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2003, pet. denied).

Ms. Caldwell obtained dismissal of a lawsuit filed in Illinois state court alleging negligent HIV laboratory testing performed as part of plaintiff’s application for life insurance policy. Doe v. State Farm Life Insurance Company et al, in the Circuit Court of the Fourteenth Judicial District Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois (2004).

Ms. Caldwell obtained summary judgment in Billingsley v. LabCorp, Inc., 2006 WL 2559819, (M.D. Ala. 2006), in which a drug testing laboratory was sued for allegedly inaccurate test results.  

Ms. Caldwell obtained summary judgment in Smeltzer v. Medtox Laboratories, 2006 WL 2095468 (D. Minn. 2006), in which a federally-certified laboratory was sued for alleged violations of federal drug testing regulations.

Ms. Caldwell obtained summary judgment in Chapman v. LabOne, Inc., 2006 WL 3196926 (S.D. Ohio 2006) after the case was remanded for further proceedings upon plaintiff’s appeal from the federal district court’s initial dismissal for failure to state a claim arising from a federally-regulated drug test.

Ms. Caldwell assisted in an interlocutory appeal from denial of a motion to dismiss and obtained the ruling that state law regulating conduct specifically addressed by federal drug testing regulations is preempted; as are claims that federally-regulated laboratories “violated state common-law drug-testing standards that are independent of federal law.” Drake v. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 458 F.3d 48 (2d Cir. 2006).

Relevant Expertise: 

  • Comprehensive experience with current drug testing law and practice.
  • Conducted numerous pre-inspections of laboratories in preparation for SAMHSA inspections of HHS-certified laboratories.
  • Drafting and evaluating SOPS for regulated and non-regulated FUDT laboratories.
  • Evaluation of good laboratory practice and compliance with applicable regulatory or licensing requirements.
  • Worked extensively with technical experts in crafting defense of laboratory defendants and in evaluations of laboratory practices.


University of Houston, J.D. 1990 cum laude
Associate Editor, Houston Law Review
University of Washington, M.B.A. 1981
University of Washington, B.A. Slavic Languages & Literature 1978 magna cum laude
University of Washington, B.A. French Language & Literature magna cum laude

Bar Memberships:

State of Texas
State of Texas
United States Supreme Court
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Admitted pro hac vice in numerous jurisdictions for specific cases.  

Professional Memberships:

Houston Bar Association
Texas Bar Association
American Bar Association
Labor & Employment Section, Texas Bar Association
Civil Litigation, Texas Bar Association
Labor & Employment Section, American Bar Association
Litigation, American Bar Association
Tort & Insurance Practice, American Bar Association
Defense Research Institute

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(713) 654-3000