Michael Sullivan has over 30 years of experience representing employers. He regularly advises his clients on wage and hour issues, leaves of absence, discipline and discharges, layoffs, conducting internal investigations, dealing with union activity, workplace safety issues, and regulatory compliance. His clients include Qualcomm Incorporated; AT&T; University of San Diego; Thomas Jefferson School of Law; San Diego Blood Bank; San Diego Unified School District; Concordia University Irvine; Point Loma Nazarene University; Claremont McKenna College; California Western School of Law; Scripps Clinic Medical Group; Biotheranostics, Inc.; Leidos, Inc. and SAIC.
Mike also has extensive experience litigating employment cases. He has handled over 500 employment cases, including claims for wrongful termination, wage and hour violations, trade secrets violations, discrimination, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, and defamation. He has litigated class action lawsuits and claims brought by governmental agencies. He has tried over 40 employment cases before juries, judges, and arbitrators.
Mike also provides management training to clients on the full spectrum of employment issues. He has recently trained clients on conducting internal investigations, managing employees, sexual harassment, and proper classification of employees.
Mike served as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law for 12 years, teaching Employment Law and Employment Discrimination. He is also a frequent lecturer on employment law issues for industry and human resources groups.
Mike has been selected annually by his peers since 2006 to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and was the Editor-in-Chief of Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin from 2003 to 2019. In 2005, The Daily Transcript named Mike as one of San Diego County's Top Attorneys in Labor and Employment. In April 2006, he was listed by The Recorder as one of the best employment lawyers in California not working at a "mega-firm.” Most recently, Mike was ranked by Martindale-Hubbell as a Top Lawyer for 2016 and 2017 in the Labor & Employment category as published in San Diego Magazine.
In 2021, Mike was inducted as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Mike was selected by Best Lawyers as the 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" for Labor Law – Management in the San Diego area. Mike was previously awarded "Lawyer of the Year" for Labor Law – Management in 2019 and 2016, and also for Employment Law - Management in 2014. He has also been listed annually in Southern California Super Lawyers listing since 2007.
Mike is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California. He has received an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating provided, based on the confidential opinions of members of the bar and judiciary.
- University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law J.D. 1987
- University of California, Riverside B.A. 1984, magna cum laude
- Judson Baptist College A.S. 1981, Highest Honors
- Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, Partner, August 1998 – Present
- Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, Partner, September 1987 – February 1996, June 1997 – July 1998
- Graham & James, Principal, February 1996 – June 1997
- All California state courts
- All United States District Courts in California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit