Heather E. Ross

Attorney

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30 Main Street, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 66
Burlington, VT 05402-0066

Tel: 802-864-9891
Fax: 802-864-6815

Email Heather

Practice Areas:

Education

  • J.D., William & Mary Law School, 1995
  • A.B., Smith College, 1991 (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Harvard University, 1989-1990, Visiting Undergraduate Student

Prior Experience:

  • 2002-2016, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Vermont
  • 1996-2002, Associate Attorney, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
  • 1995-1996, Law Clerk to the Honorable William K. Sessions III, United States District Court Judge for the District of Vermont

Professional and Community Activities:

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Vermont Bar Association
  • Treasurer, Federal Bar Association,  Vermont Chapter (September 2017-Present)
  • Vice-President, Chittenden County Bar Association (June 2015-Present)
  • Board Member, Give Way to Freedom (February 2018-Present)
  • Board Member, KidSafe Collaborative (January 2015-Present)
  • Co-Chair, Vermont Human Trafficking Task Force (2013-2016)

Admissions:

  • Vermont
  • United States District Court for the District of Vermont
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Biography:

Heather Ross is a principal of the firm, which she joined in December 2016. Heather has extensive experience in complex civil and criminal litigation, as well as investigations, with a particular focus on commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and employment disputes. She regularly appears before state and federal trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, and the Vermont Human Rights Commission. In addition to her litigation practice, Heather frequently counsels employers on complying with state and federal anti-discrimination laws, family and medical leave laws, wage and hour laws, and other employment matters. She also provides trainings on using a trauma-informed approach when interviewing victims of sex trafficking and sexual assault.

Prior to joining the firm, Heather was an Assistant United States Attorney for fourteen years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont where she prosecuted numerous fraud and financial crimes, multi-state drug trafficking cases, and human trafficking cases from the investigation stage through trial or plea resolution, sentencing and appeal. Heather served as lead counsel in the only Vermont prosecution involving members of a Mexican drug cartel, successfully obtained the State’s first sex trafficking conviction, and prosecuted the then-largest public sector fraud case in the Office. She oversaw the Asset Forfeiture Unit for five years and served as the Co-Chair of Vermont’s statewide Human Trafficking Task Force.

Earlier in her tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Heather was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division where she was responsible for a wide range of complex civil litigation, including employment disputes, environmental claims, the defense of medical malpractice actions, and the prosecution of enforcement actions under the False Claims Act.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Heather was an associate attorney at a leading Vermont law firm where her practice focused on labor and employment law.  She began her career as the judicial clerk to the Honorable William K. Sessions III, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Vermont.

Heather has co-authored an article entitled, The Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Part I,  9 Journal of Pension Benefits 3 (Spring 2002).

Notable representations include:

  • Led independent investigation of racial discrimination complaint made against police officers
  • Successfully defended federally qualified health care center in obtaining dismissal of medical malpractice and wrongful death action
  • Represented state and federal transportation agencies in obtaining dismissal of significant attorneys’ fees lawsuit
  • Successfully defended health care entities, banks, and other businesses in obtaining summary judgment or other dismissal of employment lawsuits involving ERISA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Vermont’s Fair Employment Practices Act and other anti-discrimination laws

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