Meshach Y. Rhoades

Partner
Denver
mrhoades@crowell.com
Phone: +1 303.524.8617
Denver Place
999 18th Street
Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202

Meshach Y. Rhoades is the managing partner of the Denver office and a member of the firm’s Litigation practice group. She is an experienced litigator and trusted advisor to senior management in all facets of complex commercial and regulatory litigation. Meshach has litigated a variety of cases regarding contracts, intellectual property, business torts, real estate, false advertising and defense of government enforcement proceedings, class actions and products liability, finance and banking litigation, and labor and employment in state and federal courts nationwide. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, municipalities, and closely held businesses.

In addition to her active practice, Meshach ongoing commitment to diversity is demonstrated through her own involvement with local and national organizations including the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, Colorado Legal Services, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. In a previous role, Meshach served as Chief Diversity Officer, working alongside firm leaders to drive inclusion programming and initiatives, and support various affinity organizations firmwide.

Agribusiness and Food

Meshach assists businesses in enforcement actions to ensure compliance with the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Department of Agriculture and other regulatory bodies. Meshach also has extensive experience with food and drug regulations in the European Union. She has successfully counseled on product safety and recalls, advertising, marketing and consumer protection, such as false advertising litigation and international trade. She counsels clients on sourcing, product distribution, safety and risk management, labeling and general supply chain issues. Meshach serves as lead counsel for a multinational client on dairy regulation compliance in all 50 states and has extensive experience with federal and state dairy, energy drink and beverage regulations in the United States and the EU.

Regulatory Litigation

Meshach represents corporate clients in class action, single-plaintiff, regulatory proceedings and complex regulatory litigation. She is currently class action counsel defending litigation for a financial services entity involving challenges to contract terms compliance, RESPA and TILA. She is also class action counsel defending antitrust claims. She has also defended clients in administrative enforcement proceedings and investigations.

Meshach has significant regulatory experience with administrative agencies and public utility commissions throughout the country. She has represented telecommunications and energy companies before federal and state courts and administrative bodies regarding rates, right-of-way, cable landing licenses, VoIP and cloud computing.

Employment and Labor Litigation

Meshach represents large corporate employers in class action and single-plaintiff litigation involving internal investigations, employee terminations, ADA accommodation, FLSA, discrimination and harassment issues and wage and hour matters. She has tried employment cases in federal and state courts and handled complex arbitrations.



Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America®; Food and Beverage Law (2017 – present) 
  • Shortlisted: Outstanding Contribution, Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America (2021) 
  • 5280 Magazine, Denver's Top Lawyers, Commercial Litigation (2021) 
  • Law Week Colorado, Barrister's Best, People's Choice for Agricultural Law (2020) 
  • 2020 Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer Award, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association 
  • Top Lawyer Under 40, Hispanic National Bar Association (2019) 
  • University of Colorado Law School Dean Edward C. King "Making a Difference" (2019)
  • Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business Winner (2018) 
  • Colorado Women's Bar Association Raising the Bar Award (2018) 
  • Girl Scouts Colorado Women of Distinction Award (2018) 
  • Latino Leaders Magazine "Top Latino Lawyers" (2017) 
  • Law Week Colorado "Top Women Lawyers" (2017) 
  • Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Woman Honoree (2017) 
  • 2015 University of Colorado Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Alumni Award 
  • 2015 German Marshall Memorial Foundation Fellowship 
  • Denver Business Journal "Forty Under 40" (2012) 
  • Law Week Colorado "Compleat Lawyer" (2012) 
  • Colorado Hispanic Bar Association New Lawyer of the Year (2007) 
  • Colorado Bar Association Foundation Bar Fellow 
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Selected Fellow 
  • Qwest Legal Department Diversity Committee Leadership Award (2009) 
  • Bernbaum, Weinshienk & Eason Scholarship Recipient
  • Board Member and Associate Editor, Colorado Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 
  • Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference/Phillips 66 Academic All-American 
  • Rocky Mountain Athletic All-Conference 
  • Phillips 66 Student Athlete of the Year
  • Regis University Student Athlete of the Year 
  • Regis University Female Athlete of the Year 
  • Regis University Crest Club Alumni Female Student Athlete of the Year
  • Full Athletic Scholarship (Women's Basketball) 
  • USA Today Academic All-American 
  • Basketball Congress International All-American


Affiliations

Admissions

Admitted to practice: Colorado and the U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • National Parks Trust, Board Member 
  • Denver Metro Chamber Foundation, Board Member 
  • Center for Legal Inclusiveness, Former Chair
  • Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Former President 
  • Denver Bar Association Board of Directors, Former Member 
  • Colorado Legal Services, Board Member 
  • Colorado American Civil Liberties Union, Member 
  • Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Colorado and Denver Bar Association, Former Chair 
  • Colorado General Counsel Group Advisor Program, Former Member (2015 – 2017) 
  • Colorado Center on Law & Policy, Former Board Member 
  • University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board, Former Member 
  • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Former Board Member and Volunteer Attorney 
  • Florence Crittenton Services Hispanic Advisory Council 
  • Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez “Dream Team,” Chair 
  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color 
  • Alfred J. Arraj Inn of Court

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • Latinas First Foundation, Co-Founder 
  • American Heart Association, Board of Directors 
  • Go Red for Women! Campaign, Chair 
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Former National Finance Director 
  • 2014 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, Co-Chair 
  • Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Denver and Impact Denver Graduate 
  • Colorado Counts! Committee, Gubernatorial Appointee 
  • Colorado Department of Corrections, Gubernatorial Appointee 
  • Denver Latino Commission, Mayoral Appointee


Representative Engagements

  • Secured dismissal from a putative class action in the Eastern District of New York for the client, an au pair organization. The plaintiff asserted minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New York Labor Law, and the wage and hour laws of all other states; and sought to represent a nationwide FLSA collective action and a nationwide state wage-and-hour law class action. After moving to compel arbitration or dismiss, the plaintiff dismissed the client from the lawsuit. 
  • Secured dismissal from a class action in the Northern District of California for the client regarding alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Private Attorneys General Act. 
  • Secured significant settlement for U.S.-based agricultural company in complex multi-party product liability and regulatory dispute. Oversaw multiple experts and multi-party counsel team to reach favorable resolution.
  • Successfully represented U.S.-based agricultural company in complex international trademark dispute. Oversaw international counsel, case development, and strategy for favorable resolution of claims. 
  • Represented animal product manufacturer in investigation of regulatory defects in business acquired by client and litigation for breaches of acquisition agreement. Successfully prosecuted federal court litigation alleging more than $7 million in damages, resulting in highly favorable settlement for client. 
  • Secured several releases for employment and tax-related claims against a client. Inaccurate tax advice had led the company’s board of directors to issue options that did not comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. We were able to avoid tax liabilities for the client and option holders without triggering IRS action and obtained release agreements from all option holders.
  • Served as regulatory counsel for nationwide chip brand, focusing on compliance with California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). Defended both filed and threatened Proposition 65 claims. 
  • Won complete dismissal of claims against former government employee in Colorado state district court case challenging public bidding process. 
  • Provided counsel to a multinational ice cream company on an ongoing basis with regard to regulatory compliance and product labeling issues. 
  • Provided counsel to national grocery store chain on ongoing regulatory and food-related matters, including food safety standards.
  • Successfully prosecuted claim for declaratory relief in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of business owner regarding a multimillion-dollar loan contract, resulting in favorable settlement for client and resolution of disputed loan terms. 
  • Served as nationwide dairy counsel for a global beverage company, specifically focusing on distribution regulations and agreements. On an ongoing basis, Crowell & Moring attorneys regularly support product launches, including product analysis, label review, distribution guidance, and dairy regulation compliance for various product lines including juices, sodas and carbonated beverages, flavored waters, and energy drinks. 
  • Served as outside general counsel to a regional food delivery service, handling matters from the company’s inception on an ongoing basis, including trademark and marketing needs. Provided counsel regarding the establishment of a brick-and-mortar restaurant location. 
  • Assisted a major dairy brand on an ongoing basis in nationwide promotional and advertising matters, including couponing and associated regulations and requirements. 
  • Provided counsel to a manufacturer of animal feed and other health and nutrition products regarding label compliance and regulation domestically and abroad. 
  • Handled regulatory compliance and product labeling matters on an ongoing basis for a global beverage company’s bottled mineral water brands. 
  • Represented an officer and owner of several marijuana cultivation and dispensary businesses in successfully resolving a wide-ranging business dispute with the co-owners, negotiating favorable buy-out terms for the client’s ownership interests in the companies. 
  • Assisted a regional microbrewery client with trademark, marketing, and regulatory issues. 
  • Resolved an employee complaint for a client with the Office of the Nevada Labor Commissioner in which an employee alleged violations of multiple crucial state employee statutes. The office closed the file on the complaint in less than 48 hours after receiving our response. 
  • Provided counsel to a global beverage company in its launch of a white-label iced coffee product for a multinational quick serve chain. This included ensuring regulatory compliance of its product formula with FDA, USDA, and various state regulatory structures. 
  • Hired to support the launch of a flavored, ultra-filtered, lower sugar milk aimed at tweens and young adults. Supported the nationwide launch, which happened in two phases, and provided counsel related to compliance, product distribution, market and research analysis, safety and risk management, labeling, and advertising. 
  • Served as lead counsel to a global beverage company in advance of their first-ever endeavor in the dairy market. Less than four months before the nationwide launch of the dairy brand, an administrative agency delivered distressing news indicating that the new brand had violated regulations and faced both civil and criminal charges. After just one month of discussions and negotiations, the department agreed to drop all charges.


Media Mentions



Firm News & Announcements

Oct.14.2021 Crowell & Moring Opens in Denver