Stephen B. Rotter

Of Counsel Denver

Stephen B. Rotter serves national and local clients in workplace law matters, including employment actions involving investigations and charges, discrimination laws, wage and hour compliance, and unfair competition and trade secret violations. 

Mr. Rotter leverages his employment law and prosecutorial knowledge and experience to advise, defend, and litigate on behalf of clients in the following areas:
  • Conducting internal investigations related to employee claims or wrongdoing
  • Defending against state and federal agency investigations and charges
  • Prosecuting restrictive covenant cases, including trade secrets
  • Ensuring compliance with ethical and legal obligations
  • Pursuing claims of fraud, theft, and embezzlement
  • Providing advice and counsel during grand jury investigations and in relation to subpoenas for documents and testimony
  • Assisting Ogletree Deakins’ Workplace Safety & Health and Immigration practices with Department of Labor investigations related to criminal sanctions against employers


    Human Resources Consultant and Executive Recruiter

  • After graduating from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychological Services, Stephen Rotter began his career as a Human Resources Consultant and Executive Recruiter for private employers across various industries.  He co-founded a recruiting and consulting firm to assist companies with workplace issues, talent development, and hiring practices.  Mr. Rotter’s background and experience in working with human resource personnel to confidentially identify and evaluate internal resources and needs directly translates to his ability to work with employers on improving and enriching their workplaces – ranging from process improvements to harassment prevention to defending unfair employment practice claims.  Moreover, Mr. Rotter’s experience in screening individuals for highly-specialized positions, negotiating deals, drafting and preparing employment contracts, and identifying problem areas lends itself well to his current practice and assisting clients with workplace issues and disputes.
  • Law School

  • During his time at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Mr. Rotter leveraged his consulting and recruiting experience to focus on legal areas critical to understanding and serving employers deal with and prevent personnel and staffing issues, including discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, compliance, criminal violations, and litigation.  Mr. Rotter also founded the Sports and Entertainment Law Journal because these industries incorporate and touch upon many facets of employment law – the journal continues to provide an outlet for students to learn and write about workplace issues in the context of some of the most fascinating, newsworthy, and impactful businesses.
  • Postal Service Litigator

  • Mr. Rotter joined the United States Postal Service Employment Law Department where he investigated, litigated, and mediated numerous discrimination and retaliation charges by employees in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Merit Systems Protection Board forums.  Mr. Rotter immediately began appearing in court and mediations on behalf of the Postal Service – the second largest employer in the United States.  He successfully won hearings involving allegations of race, age, gender, and disability discrimination, among other protected categories, in addition to several cases against employees for misconduct.
  • Federal Prosecutor

  • In 2008, Mr. Rotter was appointed as a Federal Prosecutor in Chicago to investigate and charge white-collar crimes on behalf of the Postal Service and worked closely with Federal agents to investigate, indict, and sentence employees, and federal contractors, engaged in fraud, waste, and abuse.  As a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Rotter charged over 75 defendants between 2008-2013 in crimes involving employee theft, fraud, bribery, and embezzlement, in addition to defendants guilty of mortgage fraud, gun and drug violations, counterfeiting, and robbery. 
  • Employment Law – Litigator

  • In 2013, Mr. Rotter returned to focusing on the workplace and assists clients with prosecuting employees involved in wrongdoing in addition to defending against claims, charges, and external investigations.  His clients appreciate his practical advice, leading to efficient and successful results whether involving litigation, investigations, or settlement.  Mr. Rotter provides advice and counsel to companies on everyday employment issues in addition to complex problems affecting his clients’ ability to operate as effectively as possible.  Mr. Rotter also conducts human resources and management training in an effort to assist clients with creating and developing positive workplaces and litigation avoidance.


Mr. Rotter regularly first-chairs a variety of litigation matters on behalf of his clients, and his experience includes the following: 

    Significant Trials and Hearings

  • Obtained complete defense verdict in U.S. District Court jury trial on behalf of Fortune 500 client against former employee’s discrimination and harassment claims.  Drafted and argued jury instructions and pre-trial motions to court in addition to directing several client witnesses during trial and presenting documentary evidence to jury.
  • Defended municipality against employees’ claims of disparate impact based on age and gender, including presentation of evidence to court over a seven-day bench trial.  Direct examination of expert witnesses and cross-examination of plaintiffs, in addition to related discovery and motion practice.
  • Successfully first-chaired appellee defense and argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the United States after appeal of trial verdict involving bribery of city workers.  Drafted appellee brief based on relevant case law and trial evidence and presented case to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully defended clients against allegations of trade secret violations and tortious interference of contract, leading to defeat of restraining order and eventual case resolution with zero damages.
  • Successfully convicted defendants engaged in mortgage fraud after three-day trial.
  • Regularly appeared in U.S. District Court on behalf of the United States to argue motions and pre-trial matters, in addition to hearings involving initial charges, probationary violations, and sentencing.
  • Employment Litigation

  • Defended national residential and hospitality property owner and operator against former employee’s claims of Title VII sex and race discrimination and retaliation.  Achieved dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint resulting in judgment for client.
  • Defended local energy company against employee’s claims of state and federal age discrimination and wrongful discharge, resulting in summary judgment in favor of client.  Conducted and managed litigation involving contentious discovery process, detailed investigation, and taking and defending depositions, in addition to motion practice.
  • Successfully negotiated favorable settlement for national manufacturer after ADEA discrimination lawsuit filed by former employee.  Presented persuasive testimonial and documentary evidence to mediator prior to mediation, facilitating mediator’s ability to achieve reasonable range of positive settlement options.
  • Defended national restaurant chain against wage and hour claims, resulting in de-certification of class and eventual dismissal of lawsuit.
  • Assisted client with national reduction-in-force, including proper federal and state notifications, drafting numerous enforceable separation agreements, and resolving several one-off discrimination claims resulting from RIF without need for prolonged litigation.
  • Defended numerous clients against employee charges of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, leave, wage and hour, and other employment claims before the EEOC, DOL, NLRB, and Colorado, Illinois, and Massachusetts state agencies. 
  • White-Collar Investigations and Defense

  • Successfully defended Colorado-based company against grand jury investigation and potential charges for alleged EPA/OSHA violations.  Conducted internal investigation, met with federal agents, and prepared documents for disclosure demonstrating lack of client wrongdoing.
  • Obtained Restraining Order against client’s former employee after threats of workplace violence.  Conducted investigation, prepared evidence for hearing, and presented argument to Court.  
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of ADA Title II violations brought by restaurant patron.  Conducted detailed investigation and coordinated presentation of proof to demonstrate proper compliance by restaurant. 
  • Provided advice and counsel related to grand jury subpoena and investigation of client’s management and board members.
  • Investigated reports of workplace harassment, provided advice to human resources, and subsequently provided training to management-level employees to help preclude future claims.
  • First-chaired litigation asserting civil theft charges against employee engaged in fraud and embezzlement.
  • Defended dairy company against false allegations of animal mistreatment, including criminal investigation by law enforcement and civil claims by plaintiffs, resulting in dismissal of lawsuit.
  • Restrictive Covenant Litigation

  • Successfully defended national media company and its newly hired employee against allegations by competitor for trade secret violations, breach of non-compete, and tortious interference with contract in highly-contentious action.
  • First-chaired litigation against former employee in breach of restrictive covenant agreement, resulting in amended agreement providing for liquidated damages for any subsequent violations and restitution payment related to contact with client’s customers.
  • Effectuated resolution of tortious interference claims brought by competitor against national part manufacturer after client unknowingly hired employee having non-competition agreement with former employer, resulting in zero damages paid by client.
  • Prosecuted former employee of client after breach of non-solicitation and non-competition agreement, resulting in issuance of permanent injunction. 
  • Successfully lodged counterclaims against plaintiff involving breach of contract, including non-compete violations, resulting in dismissal of plaintiff’s claims by court and favorable resolution of countersuit.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • American Bar Association


  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Thieves, Bullies, and Fraudsters: How To Protect Your Workplace From Evildoers'' - Denver - November 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace'' - Denver - August 2017
  • MHSHRM Briefing - ''Recognizing and Responding to Threats of Workplace Violence: A Practical Guide'' - Denver - May 2017
  • MHSHRM Webinar - ''Workplace Investigations: Intersection of Employment Issues and White Collar Defense'' - April 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Workplace Investigations'' - Denver - March 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em? A Panel on Dispute Resolution'' - Denver - September 2016
  • National Management Meeting - ''Hostile Work Environment: When Enough is Enough'' - Chicago - June 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Strategic Approaches to Leave Issues'' - Denver - April 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Drug-Testing in the Workplace'' - Denver - February 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Breaking Up is Hard To Do: Drafting Effective and Enforceable Separation Agreements'' - Denver - October 2015
  • National Annual Managers Meeting - ''Panel on Recruiting and Interviewing Practices'' - Chicago - May 21, 2015
  • Employment Law Briefing - ''A Nightmare Employee: The Drug-smoking, Leave-abusing, Social Media-Posting Bully'' - Chicago - October 2014
  • National Postal Service OIG Conference - ''Workplace Issues with Federal Employees'' - Potomac - November 2012