Steve is a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Class Action Litigation Practice Group. Steve is a national litigator and devotes his practice exclusively to the representation of employers in a wide range of labor and employment disputes, including discrimination and wage and hour cases. Steve has represented clients, both domestic and international, in the healthcare, accounting, transportation, media, energy, technology, electronics, hospitality, retail and financial services industries.
His experience includes representing employers against nationwide class actions involving allegations of systemic discrimination and other civil rights violations. He has also defended employers against nationwide collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state wage and hour laws. He is also noted for his defense of employers against pattern or practice cases filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He regularly represents employers against large-scale, systemic investigations being conducted by the EEOC in response to Commissioner's Charges and other class- based charges of discrimination.
As a result of Steve’s litigation experience, companies often call upon him for his advice and counsel with respect to strategic planning and human resources issues, including executive terminations, wage and hour compliance, and the development of personnel policies, employment contracts, and non-compete agreements. Steve also advises companies regarding labor and employment issues relating to mergers and acquisitions. Steve has also represented companies in significant litigation against departing executives, including for violations of non-compete agreements and trade secret theft.
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Lawyers in America® (2014-2018)
- Chambers USA Guide®
- Colorado Super Lawyers®(2006-2009, 2011-2017)
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (2015-present)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent®
Professional & Civic Associations
- American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law, Co-Editor (2006-2013)
- Government Fellowship Task Force, Co-Chair (2013-2015)
- Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, Co-Chair (2003-2006)
- Colorado Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Denver Bar Association
University of Denver Law Stars Committee
Steve is an avid skier, fly-fisher, and hunter. He also enjoys hiking the Rocky Mountain and Sierra Nevada ranges. His goal is to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.
- Representing a tax, audit, and advisory firm in a nationwide class and collective action filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, and New York law alleging systemic discriminatory pay and promotion practices.
- Representing healthcare company in representative action filed under California’s Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA) regarding allegations of missed meal and rest periods.
- Representing trucking company in nationwide EEOC pattern and practice civil action alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Represented transportation-based company in 26-plaintiff national discrimination trial including subsequent appeal.
- Represented healthcare company in nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act collective action involving over 1000 opt-in plaintiffs who allege they were misclassified as exempt and were owed overtime.
- Represented large chain of convenience stores in a multi-state hybrid collective and class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related state claims regarding allegations of overtime and other wage and hour violations.
- Represented one of the nation’s largest financial institutions in a class investigation being conducted by the Denver Field Office of the EEOC regarding allegations of age discrimination resulting from a merger and related reductions in force.
- Represented a large restaurant chain in a nationwide pattern and practice civil action filed by the EEOC involving allegations of systemic discrimination against female employees regarding promotion and pay practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Represented a large hospital system against a class action filed by the Service Employees International Union SEIU and approximately 4000 putative plaintiff nurses alleging retaliation and constitutional claims related to a union organizing drive.
- Represented an international airport in a class action involving allegations of racial discrimination against African-American and Hispanic employees with respect to the airport’s zero tolerance policy regarding drug and alcohol use.
News & Analysis
Client Presentations & Firm Publications
Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications
- “The Intersection of Attorney-Client Privilege, In-House Counsel, and Employment Disputes,” presented to Practical Law/Thompson Reuters webinar, December 14, 2017
- “Establishing and Maintaining the Privilege for In-House Communications,” ABA Section of Litigation, Employment & Labor Relations Law newsletter, October 18, 2017
- "Pre-Certification Communications with Putative Class Members," presented to American Bar Association - Puerto Vallarta, MX, March 25, 2017
- “Mediation in the Employment Context” (Chapter Author), ADR in Employment Law (Bloomberg BNA), 2015
- "The Hybrid Action: Combining FLSA Collective Actions with State Wage and Hour Class Actions," presented to American Bar Association - Los Angeles, November 7, 2014
- "Who Said Attorneys Can’t Do Math? Statistical Analysis in Employment Advice and Litigation," presented at Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting - New Orleans, October 29, 2014
- "Ethical Traps: Communicating with Absent Class Members," ABA Labor and Employment Law, Winter 2013
- "Harassment: Prevention + Investigation," presented at EEOC San Jose Seminar, June 14, 2012 - June 15, 2012
- "The EEOC's Renewed Focus on Systemic and Class Litigation," presented to Association of Corporate Counsel, Colorado Chapter – Denver, May 16, 2012
- "Labor: Using Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements," Inside Counsel, September 26, 2011
- "Labor: What You Need to Know About FLSA Collective Actions," Inside Counsel, August 1, 2011
- "Labor: Avoiding Discrimination Class Actions," Inside Counsel, July 18, 2011
- "Labor: Courts Keep Sanctioning EEOC in Class Litigation," Inside Counsel, July 6, 2011
- "EEOC Focusing On Class Actions," Executive Counsel Magazine, February/March 2011
- "A Primer on Employment Class Actions," presented to Colorado Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law – Denver, November 22, 2010
- "Supreme Court: No Class Arbitration if Contract Silent," ABA Labor and Employment Law, Spring 2010
- "Equal Protection Class-of-One Claims Rejected in Public Employment," ABA Labor and Employment Law, Summer 2008
- "Ethics for the Employment Lawyer," presented at American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law – Tucson, March 29, 2008
- "Nine Justices Say ‘Me Too’ on Coworker Evidence Remand," ABA Labor and Employment Law, Spring 2008
- "Ethical Issues in Employment Class Actions," presented at American Bar Association Annual Meeting - San Francisco, August 11, 2007
- "Naomi Earp: EEOC Addresses New Forms of Discrimination," ABA Labor and Employment Law, Summer 2007
- "Strategies for Avoiding FLSA Collective Actions," Municipal Lawyer, March/April 2007
- "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Class and Collective Actions
- EEOC Systemic Litigation
- FLSA and State Wage and Hour Laws
- Complex Employment Litigation
University of Denver College of Law
- J.D., 1993
- American Jurisprudence Award (Corporations)
Old Dominion University
- B.A., 1989
Bar & Court Admissions
- Colorado, 1993
- California, 1997
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio