Debra L. Roth


Debra L. Roth is the managing partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth, where she has practiced since 1989. Ms. Roth’s law practice concentrates on representing federal officials and employees in all aspects of federal personnel employment law. Her practice focuses on representing federal executives and managers, and on representation of federal employees and law enforcement officers in Inspector General, internal, and congressional investigations. Ms. Roth’s practice also includes representing federal employees, applicants, and contractors in security clearance and suitability proceedings. In addition, Ms. Roth and the law firm attorneys also provide legal advice to and representation of small and medium sized  agencies on a multitude of federal personnel law and employment discrimination matters by assisting agencies with employee relations, EEO, and labor relations issues on sensitive or complex personnel matters for which a conflict of interest exists in the agency’s internal office of general counsel. This has included representation of agencies during appeals at the Merit Systems Protection Board, defense of EEO complaints, including litigating before the EEOC, and conducting misconduct or other management investigations, into integrity issues, violations of the agency’s rules of conduct and sexual harassment (Faragher and Ellerth) investigations.

Ms. Roth also provides legal services to small private sector employers on an array of employment matters including: federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws; employment contracts; EEO training; civil rights investigations; and human resources policies and procedures.

Ms. Roth has been retained at the expense of the U.S. Department of Justice to act as private defense counsel to federal officials sued individually in Bivens and common law tort lawsuits in cases where the Justice Department has determined a conflict exists with direct DOJ representation.

Ms. Roth currently serves as General Counsel to the Senior Executives Association.

Ms. Roth is also a frequent lecturer, sharing her specialized knowledge and experience on federal employment law at conferences and seminars designed for federal supervisors, executives, and employee relations professionals. In addition to being a frequent lecturer, she serves as an Advisory Board member on the Federal Dispute Resolution training conference which is a premiere annual conference on federal personnel law. Ms. Roth also appears on a variety of radio shows and regularly hosts the law firm’s radio show FEDtalk on Federal News Radio.

In addition to her practice of law, Ms. Roth is member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA). FEEA is the only independent, nonprofit 501c3 organization devoted solely to providing emergency financial assistance and scholarships to our dedicated civilian federal and postal public servants and
their families.


 Areas of Practice

  • Federal Personnel and Employment Law

  • Private Sector Employers

  • GSA Schedule Legal Services

  • Federal Agency Legal Services

  • Security Clearances

  • Bivens Representation

  • FOIA and Privacy Act

  • Employment Law Training

  • Association Law

 Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • B.A, Boston University

  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law

 Associations & Memberships

  • D.C. Bar

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law

  • Federal Circuit Bar Association (Board of Governors, 2004-2005, Chair, Merit Systems Protection Board Appeals Committee, 2002-2003)


Speeches and Presentations

  • Presentation, National Council of Social Security Management Associations 49th Annual Meeting, September 25, 2018: State of the Federal Civil Service Personnel System 40 years later.

  • Panelist, Heritage Foundation on the Hill, June 4, 2018: Rightsizing Government – How congress can give federal agencies the authority they need, Session One: Excessive Obstacles to Firing Federal employees.

  • Panelist, Judicial Conference of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, March 16, 2018, Civil Service Reform: Glimpses of a Path Forward?

  • Panelist, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Federal Sector Labor and Employment Law Committee, midyear meeting February 2018, Merit Systems Protection Board Update session.

  • Panelist, National Employment Lawyers Association, Representing Federal Employees: Navigating a Complex Landscape, October 18, 2014, A View from the Bench and Bar panel.