Cooper, Matthew C.

    Matthew C. Cooper

    Senior Associate

    Matthew Cooper utilizes his unique experience as a federal government trial lawyer and boutique employment firm litigator to provide pointed advice to employers dealing with environmental, safety and health (ESH) issues and general employment matters.

    Matt’s ESH practice consists of helping employers navigate regulatory inspections, investigations, accidents and other crises management, as well as litigating a wide array of government enforcement actions, including both Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As an employment lawyer, he also litigates and counsels employers on a comprehensive range of workplace matters, including wage and hour compliance, agency audits and investigations, employment agreements, policy drafting and implementation, and discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower claims. 

    Prior to joining the firm, Matt served as a judicial clerk for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a trial lawyer for the US Department of Labor and a litigator for one of the country’s leading boutique employment law firms. 

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    • Litigating multiple discrimination claims under Section 105(c) of the Mine Act involving novel protected activity issues and defenses.
    • Handling multiple unwarrantable failure and flagrant citations issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
    • Advising clients on appropriate responses to state audits regarding the proper classification of employees vs. independent contractors.
    • Representing major U.S. retailer in response to a Commissioner’s Charge of Discrimination issued by the EEOC under Title VII.
    • Successfully negotiating major settlement with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to avoid potential repeat citations.
    • Obtaining summary judgment on behalf of environmental products company in defense of age, sex and disability discrimination claims.
    • Advising client throughout major accident investigation and related enforcement actions under the Mine Act.


    • University of Denver, J.D., Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 2009
    • University of Kent (UK), Brussels School of International Studies, LL.M., with distinction, 2005
    • Colorado State University, B.S., magna cum laude, 2002


    • Colorado


    • U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Colorado
    • 40 under 40, Denver Business Journal, 2017
    • Super Lawyers Rising Star, Colorado, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
    • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Trial Skills Training
    • National Mine Health and Safety Academy, Technical Mining and Legal Training
    • Order of St. Ives (J.D.), commencement in top 7%
    • Top of class (LL.M.)
    • Articles and Technical Editor, Denver Journal of Int’l Law and Policy
    • Captain, Jessup International Appellate Team
    • Top 5% Oralist, 2009 Jessup International Rounds
    • Written Memorial Award, 2009 Jessup International Rounds
    • V.B. Sutton Writing Award
    • Reece Persuasive Writing Award
    • Harold M. Widney Award
    • Phit Theta Kappa Honor Society
    • Psy Chi Honor Society

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    • “What To Know About EEOC's New Retaliation Guidance,” Law360, September 28, 2016.
    • “The General Duty Clause,” Chapter 4, in Occupational Safety and Health Law Handbook, 2016.
    • “Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation,” Chapter 19, American Bar Association Publication, 2014.
    • “Colorado Human Resources Manual: A Guide to Colorado and Federal Employment Laws and Regulations,” American Chamber of Commerce Resources, 2014.
    • “Colorado Human Resources Manual: A Guide to Colorado and Federal Employment Laws and Regulations,” American Chamber of Commerce Resources, 2013.
    • “Colorado Legislative Wrap-Up,” Ogletree Deakins Publication, 2013.
    • “A Note to States Defending Humanitarian Intervention: Examining Viable Arguments Before the International Court of Justice,” Denver Journal of Int’l Law and Policy, 40th Anniversary Print Edition, 2012.
    • “The War on Terror and International Human Rights: Does Europe Get it Right?”, Denver Journal of Int’l Law and Policy, 2009.
    • “The Case Concerning Operation Provide Shelter,” Jessup Compendium, 2009.

    Speaking Engagements

    • Private Client Seminar, “Employment Law Update: 2017 – A Year in Review,” December 13, 2017.
    • Mine Safety & Health Law Special Institute, “Successorship, Bankruptcy, and Mine Act Enforcement: When the Automatic Stay is Not Automatic,” Las Vegas, NV, September 24, 2016.  
    • 2015 Health and Safety (OSHA) Law Updates Webinar – “Attention Employers: 2015 is Already Off and Running, Are You Keeping Up?”, September, 16 2015.
    • Southeastern Mine Safety and Health Conference – “Safety and Health Enforcement and Litigation: Recapping the Past Year and Reading the Tea Leaves for 2015,” Birmingham, November 2014.
    • Managing a Workforce Employment Law Conference – “Mile High Problems: Drugs in the Workplace,” Denver, October 2013.
    • Western Mining Conference – “Legislative Review of Mining Safety and Health,” Las Vegas, October 2013.
    • Private Client Seminar – “Miner and Employee Rights: Successfully Responding to MSHA and OSHA Discrimination Complaints,” Denver, January 2013.
    • Managing a Workforce Employment Law Conference – “Workplace Safety Regulation: The Effect on Your Business,” Denver, October 2012.
    • Lorman Employment Law Conference – “Promoting Workplace Safety and Preempting Potential Violations: OSHA and MSHA,” Denver, July 2012.
    • IMA-NA 2012 Industrial Mineral Technology Workshop – "A Review of MSHA Legislation, Regulation and Policy," Orlando, March 2012.
    • Brussels Tri-Center Conference on International Affairs – "Ending Darfur Genocide," Brussels, 2005 (awarded Best Panelist).
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