R. Lance Witcher

Shareholder || St. Louis

Lance Witcher has represented employers in a wide range of employment-related litigation in both state and federal court. In addition to representing companies against private litigants in class and single plaintiff cases, Lance regularly litigates against the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor. While Lance concentrates his practice primarily in litigation, he regularly provides proactive HR counseling to avoid or reduce the risks associated with employment-related litigation. Additionally, Lance regularly handles matters before OSHA and the Mine Safety Health Administration, and has tried numerous cases before the Occupational and Mine Safety and Health Review Commissions. Lance has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Missouri Court of Appeals, and has obtained favorable results for numerous employers before the EEOC, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, other state and local Fair Employment Practice agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board.

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Lance’s broad litigation experience includes:

  • Unanimous decision in favor of client in U.S. Supreme Court in Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 135 S. Ct. 1645 (2015)
  • Summary judgment affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for employer under the Missouri Human Rights Act
  • Directed verdict affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for employer under FMLA where employee was terminated shortly after returning from FMLA leave
  • Summary judgment affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for employer under USERRA where employee was terminated shortly after returning from military reserve duty
  • Defended a national telecommunications provider in a nationwide collective action in Federal court for alleged off-the-clock work by thousands of employees
  • Obtained dismissal of noncompete action in federal court on basis prior employer failed to assign agreement to buyer
  • Successfully defeated preliminary injunction sought against employee who solicited customers of former employer while still employed in violation of his non-competition agreement and then obtained favorable settlement
  • Obtained dismissal of race, age and retaliatory discharge suit on basis of Plaintiff’s failure to disclose her bankruptcy in her in forma pauperis motion
  • Obtained defense verdict before Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for two unwarrantable failure citations
  • Obtained defense verdict before Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for national construction company in near fatality
  • Obtained defense verdict before Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for electric company in electrocution
  • Obtained summary judgment in sexual harassment case, which was affirmed on appeal, where there were allegations of sexual advances and inappropriate touching
  • Obtained defense verdict in race discrimination case in Federal court for Fortune 5 company


  • J.D., Washington University, 1996
  • B.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 1993

Admittance to Practice

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • The Missouri Bar
  • The Illinois Bar
  • The Illinois State Bar Association
  • BAMSL’s Project Angel Tree Committee (2001-2008)
  • Kansas City’s Promise (1998-1999)
  • Volunteer Attorney Project (1997-1999)
  • Washington University Young Alumni Founders’ Day Committee (1999-2001)
  • Webster Child Care Center, Board of Directors and Past President (2004-2011)
  • Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens (Board of Directors, 2011-present)


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Dealing With—and Recovering From—Embezzlement, Kickbacks, and Theft at Work" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Preparing Useful and Legally Compliant Job Descriptions" - San Diego - May 5, 2017
  • OSHA Workplace Safety Symposium - "OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements" - St. Louis - October 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Eye on Pay Equity: Keeping Up with Recent Developments" - St. Louis - September 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "OSHA's New Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements: Ramifications for Employers" - St. Louis - September 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Managing Your Company Through Crisis – What your Company Can Learn From Today’s Headlines" - St. Louis - January 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - "OSHA Primer" - Dana Point - August 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Regulating Self-Expression, In and Out of the Workplace" - Las Vegas - May 2014
  • Missouri Hospital Association - "Legal Update" - Lake of the Ozarks - April 2014
  • Annual Institute - Association of Corporate Counsel/BAMSL - "When Employees Snap: Recognizing and Preventing Violence in the Workplace" - St. Louis - May 2012
  • 2011 SHRM Missouri State Conference - "Balancing Employee Privacy Rights with an Employer’s Right to Know" - Lake of the Ozarks - August 2011
  • HRA of Central Missouri - "Lessons from the Judge: Recent Employment Verdicts" - Lake of the Ozarks - March 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Balancing Employee Privacy Rights with Employer’s Right to Know" - St. Louis - November 2010
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter - "The New Attorney-Client Privilege and Representation of Corporate Representatives . . . How Litigation Will Impact These Issues in 2010 and Beyond" - Clayton - March 2010

Best Lawyers Award Badge

  • Managing Editor, Washington University Law Review
  • AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers (2005-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2011, 2014-present)

Insights by R. Lance Witcher