William A. Rogers, III
Bill Rogers is an accomplished trial lawyer specializing in the defense of employment and civil rights cases, as well as general commercial matters and personal injury actions, primarily claims related to transportation and premises liability. Bill regularly litigates on behalf of private, governmental and non-profit entities as well as individuals in a variety of complex civil matters. Bill joined Dietze and Davis as a shareholder in January 2016 after 23 years at Wood, Ris and Hames in Denver and two years as a judicial law clerk for D. Brock Hornby, in the United States District Court for the District of Maine and Alfred A. Arraj, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
Bill’s employment law practice is diverse, focusing primarily on counseling clients and litigating on their behalf in a variety of employment related contexts. Bill has successfully tried cases in state and federal court involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation, as well as claims for breach of contract and wrongful discharge. He also regularly represents clients before administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Bill routinely advises employers regarding compliance with state and federal employment laws as well as ways to avoid potential litigation and stay out of court. Bill provides assistance with drafting employee handbooks and policies, enforcing non-competition agreements, reductions in force and disciplining or terminating problem employees. Bill also presents seminars to employees and managers about the hiring, firing, and discipline of employees as well as other ways to manage and reduce the risk of employment related claims. Bill’s experience in civil rights matters is extensive. He represents the State of Colorado and its employees, as well as other public entities, defending a variety of claims including those brought pursuant to 42 U.S. C. §1983.
Bill has defended and prosecuted countless serious personal injury claims and specializes in cases brought against national and local transportation companies including the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and its private contractors. Bill represents a number of national restaurant chains, property owners, landscape companies, retailers, and national fitness clubs defending premises liability and general liability claims. Bill also has substantial experience defending licensed liquor vendors and establishments from dram shop claims and has successfully tried all of these types of cases before juries throughout Colorado. Bill also regularly represents individuals pursing personal injury claims arising out of serious motor vehicle accidents, including wrongful death claims.
Since his legal career began, Bill has amassed an impressive courtroom track record, having tried dozens of cases to verdict. Examples of successful trials handled by Bill include:
· Obtaining a defense verdict following a two week trial in Douglas County on behalf of a national entity which owns and manages apartment complexes. The Plaintiff claimed that potholes on the property constituted a dangerous condition, and sought in excess of $3 million.
· Obtaining a defense verdict in El Paso County on behalf of a large Colorado Springs automobile dealership from claims by a former general manager for breach of contract and violations of the Colorado Wage Act. The court awarded the dealership over $130,000 in attorney’s fees against the former employee.
· Obtaining a $1.9 million judgment in Park County against several partnerships and the individual partners for claims involving fraudulent conveyance, civil conspiracy and successor liability. The jury found in favor of Bill’s clients on all claims for relief. After two appeals to the Colorado Court of Appeals and one to the Colorado Supreme Court, Bill’s clients collected almost $3 million.
· Successfully defending a large employer in Jefferson County from claims by a former employee for defamation, intentional interference with contract, civil conspiracy and promissory estoppel. The jury returned a verdict for the employer on all claims.
· Successfully defending a homeowners association and its board members in a lawsuit brought in Jefferson County by former television newscaster Ward Lucas asserting claims for slander, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, and outrageous conduct. After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendants on all claims. After trial, the association recovered over $235,000 in attorney’s fees from Mr. Lucas personally.
· Obtaining a defense verdict in United States District Court against a well known civil rights attorney in a First Amendment Retaliation lawsuit brought against a supervisor who terminated one of his subordinates. The jury entered a verdict in favor of the supervisor.
· Successfully defending RTD and one of its contractors in Denver District Court in a lawsuit brought by a bus passenger who claimed to have been injured when his seat broke. The jury returned a verdict in favor of RTD and the bus driver on all claims.
· Obtaining a defense verdict in a liquor liability case tried in Adams County in which a tavern admitted that it had served alcohol to a patron later involved in an automobile accident. The jury found that the tavern was not responsible for the accident victim’s injuries.
· Obtaining a defense verdict in Denver District Court for RTD and one of its contractors in a lawsuit brought by a pedestrian who claimed to have been struck and injured while crossing a cross walk. The jury found in favor of RTD and the bus driver on all claims.
In addition to his successful trial practice, Bill also has substantial experience avoiding the necessity for trial by obtaining favorable pre-trial rulings. Relevant examples include:
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a correctional guard on an Eighth Amendment claim based on a failure to help obtain necessary and timely medical treatment. All claims against Bill’s client were dismissed.
· Obtaining dismissal of a First Amendment claim religious discrimination brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against a former supervisor at the Colorado Department of Education by an employee who claimed she was forced to attend mandatory Bible study sessions at work. All claims against Bill’s client were dismissed based on Qualified Immunity.
· Obtaining dismissal of two separate lawsuits brought in federal court against the former principal of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. Plaintiffs brought claims under the 14th Amendment arising out of allegations they were sexually assaulted by another student. The Court dismissed all claims against Bill’s client.
· Obtaining dismissal of claims against a former Department of Corrections Director of Adult Parole arising out of a murder committed by a parolee who had disabled his ankle monitoring bracelet. The Court dismissed most the claims based on the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act and Qualified Immunity as well as Plaintiffs’ failure to state a cognizable claim.
· Obtaining summary judgment for one of the nation’s leading medical practice groups in a case brought by a former receptionist claiming racial discrimination and retaliation. The employee filed four charges of discrimination with the EEOC and three complaints with the NLRB prior to filing her lawsuit in federal court.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a national restaurant chain in a claim of food poisoning. The Court ruled that concessions made by Plaintiff’s retained expert witness during his deposition precluded Plaintiff from establishing any liability or otherwise proving her claims.
· Obtaining dismissal of portions of several lawsuits against a national transportation company in cases where the plaintiffs asserted claims for direct negligence against the company, specifically negligent hiring, training and supervision. The courts ruled that these claims lacked factual support and were redundant.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a Colorado non-profit corporation in a wrongful discharge case brought by a former office manager claiming disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This ruling was recently upheld by the 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.
· Obtaining dismissal of a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of a Colorado corporation in a case brought by a former retail clerk alleging wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. The dismissal was affirmed by the Colorado Court of Appeals and the employer was awarded its attorneys fees.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Colorado Library District, its Board of Directors and its Executive Director in a case brought by seven employees claiming that the Library had violated their First Amendment rights. The employees claimed that the Library retaliated against them because of a letter they published in a local newspaper critical of the Library and its management. The federal judge dismissed the employees’ claims and awarded the Library its costs of defense.
· Obtaining dismissal of multiple personal injury cases against a national fitness Club based on the release language contained in the Club’s membership agreement.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of the local chapter of a national association of former service men and women in a case brought by a former office manager claiming wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a Colorado car dealer on a claim of age discrimination.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a national restaurant chain in a premises liability claim based on a french fry left on the floor. The court ruled that the restaurant did not have sufficient notice of the potato on its floor prior to the patron’s fall.
· Obtaining summary judgment in a case brought against a national organization by a former employee alleging wrongful discharge.
· Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a national non-profit corporation for claims by a former employee claiming race and national origin discrimination and harassment.
· Obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit by a former employee against a pre-school for claims including breach of contract, promissory estoppel and outrageous conduct.
· Obtaining summary judgment in a case brought against a public entity by an employee alleging race discrimination and harassment.
AREA OF PRACTICE
- Appellate Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Employment Counseling
- Employment Litigation
- Public Entity/Governmental Entity Defense
- Homeowners Association Litigation
- Liquor Liability/Dram Shop
- Personal Injury
- Professional Liability Defense
- Premises Liability
- Mass Transit/Regional Transit Defense
- Motor Vehicle Accident
- Wrongful Death
B.A., Biology, Colby College, Waterville, Maine
J.D., University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado
State of Colorado
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
State of Maine
U.S. District Court, District of Maine
- Peer review rated AV by Martindale Hubbell , the preeminent and highest rating achievable. This rating is based on evaluations by other lawyers and judges.
- Selection for membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation only national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of civil jury trials.
- Selected for inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers© for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2017, a peer review based system recognizing no more than 5 percent of all lawyers in Colorado.
- Colorado Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
- Boulder Bar Association
- Denver Bar Association
- Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
- Defense Research Institute (DRI), Employment Law Section
- Faculty of Federal Advocates