Vance O. Knapp


Phone: 303.299.8162

Fax: 303.298.0940

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Legal Secretary

Lynn Howell

Areas of Emphasis

Labor and Employment


  • Juris Doctor, University of Colorado School of Law, 1994
    • Associate Editor, University of Colorado Law Review
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Colorado State University, 1991

Vance Knapp is a Member in the Labor & Employment Department at Sherman & Howard and is also co-chair of the firm’s Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Group. Vance has extensive experience representing employers in internal investigations, employee terminations, responding to discrimination and harassment claims, ADA accommodation issues, and defending employers in wage and hour matters. He has litigated employment cases throughout the U.S. in federal and state courts and arbitrations. As a former prosecutor for the Denver City Attorney’s Office, he tried over 300 cases. Vance is a past president of the Sam Cary Bar Association, Colorado affiliate of the National Bar Association. Currently, he is a board member of the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board and The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and The Elderly.

Representative Matters
  • Extensive experience representing employers in internal investigations, employee terminations, responding to discrimination and harassment claims, ADA accommodation issues, and defending employers in wage & hour matters.
  • Extensive experience advising employers on ADA, FMLA and employee leave issues.
  • Extensive experience advising  employers on drug testing and substance abuse policies.
  • Regularly conducts anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training for employer.
  • Represents employers in FLSA Collective Actions and Class Action Litigation.
  • Has litigated numerous non-competition and trade secret cases throughout the United States.
  • Successfully tried a NLRA procedural arbitration for an employer concerning timeliness of selecting an arbitrator per a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Successfully tried a FINRA wrongful termination and breach of contract arbitration.  Defended the broker-dealer client in a three-day arbitration and obtained a complete dismissal of the former employee’s claims.
  • Represented NYSE/NASD broker-dealer in multi-state, multi-jurisdictional hiring dispute with a competitor. The competitor filed motions for temporary restraining orders in Illinois, New York and Texas against the client. Supervised local counsel and ultimately negotiated a settlement that resulted in the dissolution of the temporary restraining orders.
  • Has tried 300 cases as a criminal prosecutor, 30 of those cases were tried to a jury.
Professional Activities
  • Admitted to practice before all Colorado and Arizona state courts, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Member, Colorado, American and National Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, National Employment Law Council, and Sam Cary Bar Association (local affiliate of the National Bar Association)
  • Co-Chair of Sherman & Howard Restaurant and Hospitality Practice Group.
  • Member and resource provider, Colorado Society for Human Resource Management
  • President, Sam Cary Bar Association, 2009-2010
  • Board of Trustees, Denver Bar Association, 2010-2013
  • Member, University of Colorado School of Law Alumni Board, 2006-Present
  • Member, Defense Research Institute, Labor & Employment Committee and Diversity Committee
  • Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Colorado School of Law, “The Practice of Labor & Employment Law,” Fall 2011
Publications and Presentations
  • Author, How Will Marijuana Legalization In Colorado & Washington Affect Employers?, JD Supra Business Advisor Law Matters Section, January 15, 2014
  • Speaker, Tenth Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar, “How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Employers,” October 3, 2013
  • Speaker, Rocky Mountain Accounting Council, “How The Legalization of Marijuana Affects Employers,” September 27, 2013
  • Speaker, Colorado Hospitality Human Resources Association, 2013 Employment Law Update, September 12,2013
  • Speaker, Pinnacle Assurance, “Legal Implications of An Ageing Workforce,” August 6, 2013
  • Speaker, Colorado Human Resources Association, “How To Deal With The Employee Who You Know Is Going To Sue You,” January 18, 2013
  • Speaker, Financial Executives International, Medical Marijuana: Do Colorado Employees Have a License to Toke?, November 17, 2011
  • Speaker, Colorado Livestock Association, The Agricultural Exemption Under the FLSA, March 23, 2011
  • Speaker, View Points Seminar Pinnacle Assurance, The Anatomy of an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit, March 2, 2011
  • Speaker, Gunnison Inns of Court, Do Colorado Employees Have a License to Toke? July 29, 2010
  • Speaker, Broomfield Chamber of Commerce, Medical Marijuana Implications for Employers, June 24, 2010
  • Speaker, Hellman & Associates, Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, June 22, 2010
  • Speaker, IMA  University, Medical Marijuana Workplace & Workforce Issues, February 17, 2010
  • Author, “The Significant Changes to the Americans With Disabilities Act,” Texas Reporter, Vol. 8, Issue 166, December 1-14, 2008
  • Program chair, “Terminations, Reductions in Force, Mergers and Acquisitions: The Impact Upon Employees From One Organization to Another,” September 6, 2007, Chicago, Illinois, Fall Minority Counsel Program, American Bar Association