Professional Experience

  • 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)


  • 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


  • All California State Courts
  • United States District Court; Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Michael C. Sullivan


619.744.3655 | | Print PDF version


Michael Sullivan has over 25 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 Scripps Health, Qualcomm Incorporated, AT&T, University of San Diego, HTC, Brand Energy, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Barney & Barney, Frontier Airlines, San Diego Blood Bank, California Western School of Law and SAIC.

Mr. Sullivan also has extensive experience litigating employment cases.  He has handled over 300 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 25 employment cases before juries, judges and arbitrators.

Mr. Sullivan 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.

Mr. Sullivan 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.

Mr. Sullivan has been selected annually by his peers since 2006 to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and is the Editor-in-Chief of Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin. In 2005, The Daily Transcript named Mr. Sullivan as one of San Diego County's Top Attorneys in Labor and Employment.  In April 2006, Mr. Sullivan was listed by The Recorder as one of the best employment lawyers in California not working at a "mega-firm."  Most recently, he was selected by Best Lawyers as the 2016 "Lawyer of the Year" for Labor Law - Management in the San Diego area.  Mike, previously was awarded "Lawyer of the Year" for Employment Law - Management in 2014.  He has also been listed annually in Southern California Super Lawyers listing since 2007.

Mr. Sullivan 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. 


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