Mr. Ricotta practices in the areas of business law, commercial transactions, litigation, and employment law.
Mr. Ricotta obtained his B.S. degree with high honors in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining from the Colorado School of Mines in 1987. A Boettcher Foundation Scholar, he received the William D. Waltman ’99 Award upon graduation, presented to “the student whose conduct and scholarship have been most nearly perfect and who has most nearly approached the recognized characteristics of an American gentleman.” Mr. Ricotta obtained his J.D. degree cum laude from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 1990, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, earned a spot on the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Team and a top oralist award at regionals, received the Wigmore Prize for Excellence in Publication, and was selected by the Dean as an Edwin C. Austin Scholar based on scholarship and conduct in and out of class. Mr. Ricotta has served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Law, of a Fortune 500 energy company with global operations, and as a partner of a large Rocky Mountain law firm.
In the areas of business law and commercial transactions, Mr. Ricotta has experience as an executive officer of a publicly-traded company and as senior counsel for private, public, and regulated entities. He has negotiated and engaged in legal review of complex contracts concerning business operations and major transactions, including significant asset acquisitions and sales. He has reported to governing boards, served as counsel for an international energy company, a large school district, and other entities, supervised a corporate compliance function, delivered training programs, drafted corporate policies, managed due diligence, assessed business risks, connected with community partners, and authored public filings.
In the area of litigation, Mr. Ricotta has directed case strategy in high profile and high stakes matters from case inception to final orders. He achieved successful outcomes defending and directing trial strategy in three multibillion-dollar international matters, each involving litigation and evidence in multiple jurisdictions and groundbreaking court decisions. One case concerned a gas pipeline explosion, another a long term gas supply contract, and the third protection of trade secrets. He has served as litigation department head of an in-house corporate team that achieved a 90% overall win rate in dispositive proceedings while protecting more than 95 cents of every disputed dollar in a broad range of domestic and international disputes.
In the area of employment law and practice, Mr. Ricotta has served as head of human resources for a publicly-traded energy company, where he advocated for new family-friendly benefits and oversaw their implementation, including: elder care paid leave; significantly enhanced parental, adoptive, and surrogacy paid leave; telemedicine; evidence-based mental health services; a retirement matrix; and consumer-driven health programs. He conceived and oversaw the development of a proprietary virtual academy to deliver in time and on demand enterprise-wide learning resources and management training tools, and he drove the implementation of mobile capable tools to facilitate planning succession and compensation, delivering real-time feedback, setting goals, recruiting, and onboarding. His efforts contributed to substantially lower costs, elevated employee engagement, greater diversity among the officer team, the technical leadership, and the overall workforce, and the company being recognized as a “Top Workplace” based on an independent employee survey during each year that he led the HR function.
Mr. Ricotta co-founded and served as the inaugural chair of the Colorado Springs Teen Court, for which he received the El Paso County (Colorado) Auxiliary community service award. Mr. Ricotta is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the El Paso County Bar Association, and the State Bar of Texas.