Jessica Brown is a partner in the Denver office of Gibson Dunn and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment, White Collar Defense and Investigations, and Class Action Practice Groups. Ms. Brown has been ranked by Chambers USA for sixteen consecutive years as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Labor and Employment. She was also recognized for Labor & Employment (Litigation) in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Corporate Employment Lawyers 2022 guide, which features “the nation’s top advisors to businesses, universities, nonprofits and other organizations dealing with the mind-bending matrix of today’s global workforce.” Ms. Brown has been listed consistently in The Best Lawyers in America® in the practice areas of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor & Employment and was named a 2021 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law – Management, Denver.
In addition, Benchmark Litigation US 2021 named Jessica a Labor & Employment Star – West. The Denver Business Journal named Ms. Brown one of Denver’s “Forty Under 40.” Subsequently it awarded her the 2015 “Outstanding Women in Business Award” for the Law category. In 2017, the Ms. JD organization honored her in Chicago with its national “Sharing Her Passion” award for her work in relation to workplace investigations, gender equity, and mentoring.
Ms. Brown advises corporate clients regarding COVID-19 liability risks, workplace vaccination policies, return-to-work protocols, Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Transparency Rules, anti-harassment, whistleblower complaints, reductions in force, mandatory arbitration programs, and matters that intersect with intellectual property law, such as noncompete agreements and trade secrecy programs. She has assisted clients to conduct audits of their pay practices for purposes of compliance with state and federal equal pay and wage and hour laws. She also has successfully represented clients in connection with claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, trademark and trade dress infringement, breach of restrictive covenants, and unfair competition.
Ms. Brown has conducted workplace investigations throughout her career as well, including a number more recently resulting from the #MeToo movement. She also has defended nationwide and state-wide class and collective action lawsuits, alleging gender discrimination under Title VII, failure to permit facility access under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). She participated as a member of the trial team in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which redefined the legal standard for class certification as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s watershed decision.
In connection with Dukes, as well as three large global, white collar government investigations for two different Swiss entities, Ms. Brown has managed complex and cross-border document collection, review, and production issues, overseeing large teams of lawyers to comply with civil requests, foreign data privacy laws and blocking statutes, and regulator demands, frequently on an expedited basis.
Before joining Gibson Dunn in January 1995, Ms. Brown clerked for the Honorable Jim R. Carrigan, United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Since joining the firm, Ms. Brown has been a frequent author and lecturer on employment, investigation, privacy, gender, diversity, and leadership issues. Ms. Brown is one of the managing editors and contributing authors for The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law and contributing authors to the Media Libel Resource Centers 50-State Survey on employment privacy law. She is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, and she served on the firmwide Professional Development Committee for 13 years. She was the Denver Office Hiring Partner for seven years, and prior to that she was co-chair of the firm-wide Associates Committee.
In addition, Ms. Brown is President of the Colorado Bar Association until July 1, 2021. She has served as a Board member at Stanley British Primary School and Chair of the Joint Management Committee of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. She also chaired the Board of the Legal Aid Foundation from 2013-2015, was co-chair of the Denver Law Firm Campaign for Legal Aid in 2013, and served on the LAF Board for 11 years. Access to justice has been a consistent focus for her: She also co-chaired the Barristers Benefit Ball twice previously, helping to raise funds for Metro Volunteer Lawyers. In addition, Ms. Brown has been very active with the Mile High United Way, as a member of the Tocqueville Society and a founding member of the Pinstripe PJ Club, helping to raise money for then-Mayor Hickenlooper’s homelessness initiative, Denver’s Road Home.
Ms. Brown also has been very focused on issues relating to diversity and gender equity: She is a past President of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She also served on the Board of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations for two years, from 2016-2018. She was a member of the Colorado Bar Association’s Committee for Balanced Legal Careers and has worked closely with the Center for Legal Inclusiveness on various initiatives, including serving as moderator and panelist for several CLI Summit programs. Ms. Brown also served as Co-Chair of the Programs Subcommittee of the Planning Committee of the National Association of Women’s Lawyers for its 2019 spring conference in Denver.
Finally, Ms. Brown is actively involved in pro bono work in the local community and nationally, and has given time to organizations including Know Your IX, the National Association of Counsel for Children, the National Women’s Law Center, the Cornell Law School Global Gender Justice Clinic, Ten Thousand Villages, the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, and Denver’s Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives Program. And she helped establish a long-term relationship between Gibson Dunn and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.
Ms. Brown received her law degree in 1993 from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor for the Texas Law Review, was Clerk of the Chancellors, a member of the Order of the Coif, and graduated with High Honors (top 2%). Ms. Brown received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with honors as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
- Assisting an online retailer with charges of discrimination and litigation relating to COVID-19.
- Representing an international gold mining company in a dispute with a departing executive.
- Counseling an oil and gas company, a technology and data management company, and an international alternative investment manager regarding layoffs and furloughs.
- Assisting a home services company and a biopharmaceutical company to enforce noncompete and non-solicitation covenants.
- Defended a leading e-cigarette company in multiple investigations by state Attorneys General regarding sales and marketing practices.
- Represented an oil and gas company in connection with a misclassification collective action under the FLSA.
- Represented a video game company in connection with a gender discrimination class action with a focus on pay equity claims and defenses.
- Represented a global healthcare and global medical company in connection with a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation relating to sales and accounting practices.
- Representing a large international financial institution in connection with ongoing work related to international cartel investigations and resulting civil litigation.
- Representing a hospital chain in connection with class claims asserted on a nation-wide basis under Title III of the ADA.
- Regularly represents employers in connection with workplace investigations as well as noncompete and nonsolicitation disputes with competitors and former employees.
- Recently conducted workplace investigations involving a Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance Officer in relation to alleged Code of Conduct violations as well as a Senior Vice President alleged to have violated the company’s sexual harassment policy.
- Represented a keg solutions provider in connection with charges of race discrimination and retaliation.
- Represented a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials in connection with a nationwide wage-and-hour compliance audit.
- Represented a national entertainment company in connection with multi-district class action litigation.
- Conducted a confidential workplace investigation concerning a chief executive officer for a national company that acquires and grows heavy-side building materials companies.
- Represented a U.S.-based financial institution in connection with a misclassification case under the FLSA.
- Represented a New York hedge fund in connection with a trade secret misappropriation case.
- Represented a health care data analytics company in connection with a contract dispute.
- Represented a large national employer in connection with class claims for alleged gender discrimination in pay and promotion practices on a nation-wide basis.
- Represented an IRA custodial trustee in connection with class claims for aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme and defrauding customers in breach of alleged contractual and fiduciary duties.
- Represented a well-known restaurant chain in connection with ongoing trademark, trade dress, and copyright infringement issues.
- Represented a national car dealership in a collective action for alleged failure to pay overtime/misclassification under the FLSA.
- Represented a large retailer in connection with state-wide allegations of overtime violations under the FLSA and state law.
Representative Presentations and Publications
- “COVID-19 Hot Topics for Employers in 2021”, Presenter, University of Colorado, February 19, 2021.
- “COVID-19 Vaccines: Employer Strategies and Considerations”, Presenter, Gibson Dunn Webcast, February 10, 2021.
- “An Employer Playbook for the COVID “Vaccine Wars”: Strategies and Considerations for Workplace Vaccination Policies”, PLI Article, Author with Lauren Elliot and Daniel Rauch, February 4, 2021.
- “Charting a New Course: 2021 Employment Law Changes and COVID-19 Considerations”, Presenter with Amanda Machin, January 14, 2021.
- “COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace: An Employer ‘Playbook’ ”, Presenter, National Federation of Independent Business , January 13, 2021.
- “COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace: An Employer ‘Playbook’ ”, Presenter, Oklahoma Museums Association, January 8, 2021.
- “Civility in the Practice of Employment Law”, Presenter, 2020 Colorado Bar Association Employment Law Conference, October 2020.
- Are Your Slack Communications Primed for E-Discovery”, co-author with Collin Vierra, Law 360 Article, July 2020.
- “Returning to Work: Health, Employment and Privacy Considerations and Constraints as Businesses Resume Post-Quarantine Operations, Presenter, ACEC, July 2020.
- “COVID-19 Litigation and Ways for Firms to Reduce Risk”, Presenter, ACEC, July 2020.
- “Preparing For A Surge In Whistleblower Claims: From Developing A Compliance Plan To Best Practices When Investigating And Litigating Claims” Gibson Dunn Webcast, June 2020.
- “Returning to Work: Health, Employment, and Privacy Considerations and Constraints as Businesses Resume Post-Quarantine Operations”, Presenter, ACEC Arizona, May 2020.
- “Preparing for a Surge in Virus-Related Whistleblower Claims”, Law 360 Article, April 2020.
- “COVID-19 Ask the Legal Experts” Panelist, HR Policy Association Webinar, April 2020.
- “When Whistleblowers Call: Planning Today for Employee Complaints During and After the COVID-19 Crisis”, Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University School of Law, April 2020.
- “Alternative Work Arrangements: How to Allow Employees to Work Remotely (or Not) Without Liability”, Panelist, Clear Law Institute, July 2019.
- “Is #MeToo Becoming #NotHer,” Panelist, Women in E-Discovery national conference, Austin, Texas, May 2019.
- “Real World Implications of #MeToo – Transforming the Legal Ecosystem Series” Roundtable, Participant, December 2018 (Denver, Colorado) and March 2019 (San Francisco, California).
- “Work‐From‐Home Policies: Avoiding Employment Claims Under the ADA, FMLA, FLSA and More,” Presenter, Strafford Publications Webcast, February 2019.
- “Managing an Investigation ‐ Trade Secret, Misappropriation, Social Media and other Investigations”, Panelist, Master’s Conference for Legal Professionals, June 2018.
- “Data Volumes and Cost Control Mean Analytics”, Panelist, Master’s Conference for Legal Professionals, June 2018.
- “Women in the White House” Moderator, with Kimberley Harris and Kathryn Ruemmler, National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations Leadership Summit, New York City, August 2017.
- “2017 Mid-Year Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update,” Gibson Dunn Client Alert, Summer 2017.
- “Women in the Workplace” Presenter, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, June 2017.
- “Antitrust Agencies Issue Guidance for Human Resource Professionals on Employee Hiring and Compensation,” Panelist, Gibson Dunn webcast for clients, January 2017.
- “2016 Year-End Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update,” Gibson Dunn Client Alert, January 2017.
- “In-House Operations: How Companies Are Handling Their Labor & Employment Matters,” Moderator and Presenter, California Employment Law Council Annual Meeting, November 2016.
- “Employee Mobility, Restrictive Covenants, and Trade Secrets,” chapter update, ABA Annual Review, Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation 2017, November 2016.
- “Social Media Evidence: Real World How To’s” Presenter, National Business Institute CLE, Email, Smartphone and Social Media Evidence: A Practical How-To Guide, November 2016.
- Impact of December 2015 Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Panelist, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, Business Leadership Network/Law Firm Counsel – Joint Meeting, October 2016.
- Discussed technology assisted review (“TAR”)/predictive coding with Driven, Inc.’s Phil Favro in a live CLE presentation for lawyers and e-discovery personnel, October 2016.
- “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016,” Panelist, Strafford Publications Webinar, June 2016.
- “Bridging the Confidence Gap,” Panelist, moderated by Dean Phil Weiser, Gibson Dunn, April 2016.
- “CWBA Symposium on Reduced Hours Programs,” Panelist, Holland & Hart, March 2016.
- “Trade Secrets: 10 Keys to Successful Litigation,” co-authored with Tafari Lumumba, The Colorado Lawyer, Vol. 45, No. 1, January 2016.
- “Workplace Privacy,” co-presented with John Culver at the Colorado Bar Association Fall Employment Law Conference, October 2015.
- “Private Practice Law, Public Interest Heart,” Panelist, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, October 2014.
- “Women, Leadership, and the Law,” Presentation for the National Women Law Students’ Organization, March 2014.
- “2014 Mid-Year Electronic Discovery Update,” Gibson Dunn Client Alert, July 2014.
- “2012 Year-End Electronic Discovery and Information Law Update,” Gibson Dunn Client Alert, January 2013.
- “Dispelling Myths & Addressing Bias,” Presentation for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness CLE Expo, November 2012.
- “Hiring a Competitor’s Employees: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls,” Panelist, Strafford Publications Webinar, July 2012.
- “Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections and Incentives,” Co-presented with Diane King at the Colorado Employment Law Conference, May 2012.
- “Reduced Hours Policies,” Presentation for the Colorado Bar Association, March 2012.
- “2011 Mid-Year Electronic Discovery Update” Gibson Dunn Client Alert, July 2011.
- “Colorado Supreme Court Decides Case Affecting Noncompetition Agreements,” Co-authored with Brian Baak, Colorado Law Weekly, June 2011.
- “Balanced Hours: From Theory to Practice,” Panelist, Presentation for the CLI Legal Inclusiveness and Diversity Summit, March 2011.
- “Social Media Marketing Worth The Risk?,” Co-authored with Scott Campbell, Law Partnership & Benefits Report, November 2010.
- “Social Media Policies in the Workplace,” Co-presented with Chris Leh of Littler Mendelson at the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Institute, June 2010.
- “Top Ten Mistakes in Conducting Workplace Investigations,” Co-presented with Todd McNamara at the 2010 Colorado Employment Law Conference, May 2010.