David D. Powell

Shareholder || Denver

Mr. Powell is an Equity Shareholder in the firm’s Denver, Colorado office. Since he entered private practice in 1990 he has gained significant experience litigating employment cases on behalf of employers in a variety of industries and has tried to verdict significant employment-related cases in both state and federal courts. He also frequently trains and advises employers on a variety of matters arising from the employer-employee relationship. Before entering private practice, he worked as a prosecutor in the Denver District Attorney’s Office and served as a law clerk for the Honorable John L. Kane Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Learn more about David D. Powell


  • J.D., University of California School of Law, Los Angeles, 1983
  • B.A., Santa Clara University, 1980

Admittance to Practice

  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American Law Institute (2015-present)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (2014-present)
  • Magistrate Judge Selection Panel for the United States District Court, District of Colorado (2014-Present)
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section, 1992-present; Management Co-Chair, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee for the Labor and Employment Section)
  • Committee on Conduct for the United States District Court, District of Colorado (2002-2008)
  • Management Co-Chair, Colorado Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment (late 1990s)
  • President, Sam Cary Bar Association (1996-1997)
  • National Bar Association (1986-present)
  • Colorado Bar Association (1986-present)
  • Board Member, International Society of Barristers (2013-present)
  • Board Member, Colorado Lawyer’s Committee (2013-present)
  • Board Member, Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2008-2010)
  • Board Member, Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado (2006-2011)
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates (1998-present)
  • Independent Investigative Commission (appointed by the University of Colorado Board of Regents (2004); tasked with investigating the University of Colorado football recruiting practices)
  • National Employment Law Council (1996-present); member of Coordinating Committee (2000-2014)
  • Board Member, Children’s Museum of Denver (2002-2003)
  • Board of Trustees, Colorado School of Mines (1997-2001)
  • Board Member, National Kidney Society – Colorado Chapter (mid 1990s)
  • Colorado Lawyer Editorial Board (1993-1997)


  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Say What? The Intersection of Social and Political Expression and the Workplace" - La Quinta - November 8, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Hey! Give Back My Clients and Trade Secrets . . . and that Stapler!" - San Diego - May 4, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Personality Assessments: Indispensable Data or Legal Liability?" - Chicago - May 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Exclusive - "Ethical Challenges for In-House Counsel: Evaluating Advance Conflict Waivers, Dealing With Whistleblowers, and Looking for True Value in Alternative Fee Arrangements" - Phoenix - November 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Making the Right Choice: How Effective Onboarding Can Minimize Employer Liability and Maximize Employee Retention" - Englewood - October 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "When Immigration and Employment Law Collide: The Good, The Bad, The Terrible" - Englewood - October 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Exclusive - "A Seat at the Table: Achieving In House Success" - Dana Point - September 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Where Immigration and Employment Law Meet" - Englewood - September 2014
  • National Employment Law Council 19th Annual Employment Law Conference - "Whistleblower Claims—Changing the Legal Landscape for Employers" - San Francisco - April 2014
  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference - "Ethics of Social Media for Lawyers: It’s Not Just Clients Who Need to Worry" - New Orleans - November 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Enforcing Colorado Restrictive Covenants: The Employer’s Conundrum" - Englewood - October 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Employment Litigation—New Claims, Trends and Tips" - New Orleans - May 2013
  • Colorado Bar Association Employment Law Program - "Stereotype Discrimination" - Denver - April 2013
  • National Employment Law Council Conference - "Ethical Minefields and eDiscovery: A Perfect Match" - Houston - April 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Effectively Managing the Departing Employee" - Denver - October 2012
  • American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) - "Avoiding FLSA Liability Through a Culture of Work-Life Balance" - Denver - September 2012
  • Colorado Bar Association Employment Law Program - "Using Daubert to Challenge Expert Testimony in Employment Litigation" - Denver - May 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "All Hell Breaks Loose: Anatomy of a Workplace Crisis—Is Your Company Prepared?" - Phoenix - May 2012
  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Annual CLE Conference - "The Effective Management of Client Expectations or How Not to Take Your Clients for Granted" - Seattle - November 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Supreme Court Update: Association Retaliation and Cat’s Paw Liability–New Risk for Employers" - Denver - July 2011
  • 25th Annual Carl A. Warns, Jr. Labor and Employment Law Institute, University of Louisville, Bradeis School of Law - "Ethical Considerations and the Employer’s Response to the New Wave of Whistleblower Litigation" - Louisville - June 2011
  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Mid-Winter Meeting - "The Whistleblower Litigant’s Dilemma: Making Sure Not to Cross Ethical Lines in the Name of Advocacy" - San Juan - March 2011
  • National Employment Law Council - "Recent Decisions Applying Twombly/Iqbal to Employment Claims" - Las Vegas - April 2010
  • American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Mid-Winter Meeting - "Multijurisdictional Practice, Its Prevalence, Risks and the Unfair Exception for Federal Lawyers" - Coronado - March 2010
  • Spring 2001 - Tulsa Law Journal - "Complying with the Mandate of Kolstad: Are Your Good Faith Efforts Enough?"
  • June 2, 2015 - Law360 - "5 Lessons From The Abercrombie and Fitch 'Hijab' Case"
  • June 1, 2015 - Law360 - "Attorneys React To High Court's EEOC v. Abercrombie Ruling"
  • June 2015 - Law360 - "Attorneys React To High Court’s EEOC v. Abercrombie Ruling"
  • June 1, 2015 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Supreme Court Rules Employer’s Motive (Not Knowledge) Decides Disparate-Treatment Claims"
  • May 14, 2013 - SHRM.org - "Wage and Hour, Applicant Discrimination Cases Increasing"
  • July 14, 2011 - Law360 - "Q&A With Ogletree Deakins' David Powell"


  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Logo
  • Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers (since, 2005, “Band One” Rating 2014 & 2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America Denver Litigation – Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year (2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America Denver Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2006 to present)
  • Colorado Super Lawyers (2006 – present)
  • Lawdragon 500, Leading Lawyers in America (2006, 2007)
  • Richard Marden Davis Award, given annually by the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs (1997) (“recognizing a young lawyer who so combines professional excellence with leadership in Denver’s civic, cultural, educational and charitable activities as to best exemplify the character and promise of Richard Davis at that stage in his career”)

Insights by David D. Powell