Mark S. Pulliam

Retired Partner

Mark S. Pulliam retired from the partnership in December 2010. Mr. Pulliam graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with honors in 1980. He was Articles Editor of the Texas Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Walter R. Ely on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles from 1980-1981.

Mr. Pulliam joined Latham & Watkins in 1981 and practiced primarily in the areas of employment law and employment litigation since then. He was a partner with the firm's San Diego office, where he headed the Employment Law Group in that office.

Mr. Pulliam handled numerous wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, trade secret, and employee benefit disputes for corporate clients, in state court, federal court, and before administrative agencies such as the Fair Employment and Housing Commission. In addition to substantial experience litigating cases, both individual actions and class actions, at trial and on appeal, Mr. Pulliam has considerable experience in alternative dispute resolution. He successfully mediated or resolved by negotiation literally hundreds of threatened or pending employment lawsuits.

Mr. Pulliam's practice encompassed all regulatory compliance issues faced by employers: wage and hour matters, prevailing wage issues for public works, intellectual property, covenants not to compete, employment taxes, the Americans With Disabilities Act, FMLA, WARN, and similar state and federal laws and regulations. He represented employers in state and federal court, and before virtually every state and federal agency having jurisdiction over the employment relationship. Mr. Pulliam also advised his clients on union contracts, collective bargaining, and contract administration, and represents management generally in labor matters.

Mr. Pulliam specialized in “litigation avoidance,” meaning the type of prophylactic counseling and advice designed to allow employers to recruit, hire and supervise employees, impose discipline, terminate employees, implement reductions in force, and buy and sell businesses without litigation by the affected employees. He drafted and reviewed employee handbooks, personnel policies, and other documentation used in the employment relationship. Mr. Pulliam frequently assisted in the employment law aspects of corporate transactions. He negotiated and drafted employment agreements for executives and, when necessary, severance arrangements for departing employees.

At the time of his retirement, Mr. Pulliam was a member of the California Bar, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California. Mr. Pulliam is a prolific writer, having written over 25 articles primarily on labor and employment law in numerous law reviews, legal periodicals and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He has presented papers at seminars sponsored by Pepperdine University and George Mason University, and has appeared as a panelist at the Second and Third Annual Labor Law Conferences (sponsored, in part, by the NLRB) and at the Massachusetts Bar Association's Conference on “National Labor Relations Act: Directions for the Next 50 Years.”


  • JD, The University of Texas School of Law, 1980
  • BS, American University, 1977