Melanie V. Pate

Melanie V. Pate

Partner
mpate@lrrc.com vCard
602.262.5318 office
602.734.3785 fax
201 East Washington Street
Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Melanie Pate, a partner in the firm's Litigation practice group, focuses primarily on Labor and Employment issues. She spent 15 years working in the Arizona Attorney General's Office, including nearly five years as Chief Counsel of the Arizona Civil Rights Division, almost two years as Chief Counsel for the Compliance Section of the Arizona Civil Rights Division, and nine years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Employment Law Section. She brings a true insider’s perspective into how state and federal civil rights agencies function, and she has strong relationships with key stakeholders within these agencies.

Employment Law Advice and Representation. Melanie provides emergency advice, preventative counseling, training, and ongoing employment guidance to HR Directors and in-house counsel. She prepares, reviews, negotiates and enforces employment contracts and severance agreements, including non-disclosure, non-compete and non-solicitation provisions, and executive compensation agreements. She also helps her clients prepare and up-date employee handbooks, create social media usage policies, and implement effective performance management policies.

Administrative Proceedings Before EEOC and ACRD. Melanie routinely represents clients in proceedings before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD), including mediation and conciliation efforts.

By leveraging her past experience as the ACRD’s Chief Counsel, she helps her clients develop defense strategies that take into account how state and federal civil rights agencies make administrative rulings on employment law matters.

Employment Litigation and Arbitration.  Melanie has significant experience representing employers in cases in state and federal court involving discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, FMLA, FLSA, OSHA, whistleblower and immigration issues.

Recently, she:

  • Obtained summary judgment for a large national employer in a retaliation case
  • Successfully negotiated the favorable resolution of a lawsuit filed against a large Tucson employer by a former executive
  • Conducted several complex internal investigations for large public and private  employers

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility. Melanie helps public and private organizations navigate and interpret complex federal rules and regulations regarding ADA Title II and Title III accommodation and accessibility issues. Recently, she assisted a major airline with an ADA accessibility issue and represented multiple entities in accessibility litigation matters.

Fair Housing Laws. In addition to her employment law practice, Melanie helps housing providers, state agencies, property managers and real estate companies comply with state and federal Fair Housing laws. She most recently represented the Arizona Department of Housing in a dispute with HUD regarding appropriate housing for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals.

Related News

07/15/2016
Pate named one of Arizona's most influential women in business
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie labor and employment attorney recognized by Az Business magazine
03/22/2016
Pro bono service awards presented by Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Annual awards honor memory of lawyer dedicated to equal justice and professionalism

Related Events

Presentations

Ms. Pate gives frequent presentations to clients and trade organizations on employment law, ADA accessibility, and fair housing. Some of her recent presentations include: 

  • Co-Presenter, “Breaking Impasse in Mediation”, ABA Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute, October 2016
  • Presenter, “FLSA White Collar Exemptions Update”, CLE by the Sea, July 2016
  • Co-Presenter, “What Does the Future Hold for the EEOC’s Enforcement Activities?”, CLE by the Sea, July 2016
  • Presenter, “EEOC/ACRD Charges:  Charge Prevention and the Investigation Process”, SHRM-GT Conference, April 2016
  • Presenter, “What’s New at the EEOC:  2016 Update”, SHRM-GT Conference, April 2016
  • Presenter, “Title III of the ADA:  What You Need to Know,” Client Training, April 2016
  • Presenter, "MythBusters 2.0: Debunking the Myths and Urban Legends about FLSA Worker Classifications," SHRM-GT, 2015
  • Presenter, “Preventing Employment Discrimination During the Verification Process and Beyond,” SHRM-GT, 2014
  • Presenter, "What's New: Emerging Trends in Labor and Employment Law," Arizona State Bar Convention, 2013
  • Presenter, “All Things EEOC: 2013 Update,” SHRM-GT Employment Law Update, 2013
  • Co-Presenter, "Responding to the EEOC," ASU College of Law CLE: Established and Emerging Trends in Employment Litigation, 2012
  • Co-Presenter, "Responding to EEOC Charges - Position Statements 101," ACC Arizona Chapter Dinner, 2012
  • Co-Presenter, "The ACRA and ACRD Procedures: A Former Insider's Perspective," SHRM-GT Employment Law Update, 2012
  • Presenter, “The Arizona Civil Rights Act and the Procedures of the Arizona Civil Rights Division,” Arizona State Bar Convention, 2011
  • Presenter, “Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Arizona State Bar Convention, 2011
  • Presenter, “Employment Discrimination and the Procedures of the Arizona Civil Rights Division,” Arizona State Bar CLE by the Sea, 2011

Alert

Article

Book/Guide

  • Author, "Attorneys' Fees in Civil Rights and Employment Disputes," Arizona Attorneys' Fees Manual, November 2014
  • Co-Author, "Procedures of the Arizona Civil Rights Division," Arizona Employment Law Handbook, November 2007

Other Publications

Distinctions

  • Arizona Business Magazine - “Most Influential Women in Arizona”, 2016
  • John P. Frank Pro Bono Awards Luncheon - "Pro Bono Attorney of the Year", 2016
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association College of Trial Advocacy - Graduate
  • Arizona Attorney General's Office - "Emerging Star" Award - Civil Division, 2005

Other Info

Education

J.D., University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 1996
B.S., magna cum laude, University of Arizona, 1992, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi

Bar Admissions

Arizona, 1996

Court Admissions

Arizona Superior Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

  • State Bar of Arizona Labor and Employment Section, Executive Council Member, 2015-2018; CLE Committee Chair, 2015-2016
  • American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Board Member, 2014-2015
  • Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Steering Committee Member, 2013-2014
  • Arizona Attorney, Editorial Board, Past Member