Ed Sullivan is a labor and employment trial lawyer. Based in Houston, he is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Ed represents major companies, executives, and employees in all types of employment litigation. He is a frequent commentator on employment law issues in The Houston Chronicle.
Ed has many professional accolades. For the years 2015-17, the publication The Best Lawyers In America recognized him for Employment Law-Management. In 2012 and for each succeeding year, he has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer," a Thompson Reuters Service printed in Texas Monthly. In 2013, the same publication recognized him as a "Top 100 Houston Super Lawyer," and in 2015, recognized him as an elite "Top 100 Texas Super Lawyer" and a "Top 100 Houston Super Lawyer."
Ed has proven positive trial results in both state and federal court. He has handled numerous single and multi-Plaintiff cases for both employers and employees all the way through a trial and beyond, including discrimination and retaliation cases, as well as a large (and rare) trial for unpaid overtime brought by eight Plaintiffs. He obtained one of the largest verdicts ever recorded in a retaliation trial in the Southern District of Texas.
He routinely handles race discrimination, race retaliation, sex discrimination, sex harassment, age discrimination, age harassment, disability discrimination (ADA), disability (reasonable accommodation), whistelblower, FLSA (unpaid overtime), and many other employment law cases. For an overview of Ed's employment law experience click here.
Ed was born in Alice, Texas. He went to high school in San Antonio, graduating second in his class from Antonian College Preparatory in 1989. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, he graduated ahead of schedule from UT, earning enough credits to satisfy a double major in Government and History with a minor in English. After college, he moved to Washington D.C. to work for U.S. Congressman Dick Armey as a Legislative Analyst. He decided, however, that he wanted to make his life in Texas. He then attended and graduated from the University of Houston Law Center. Upon his graduation in 1997, he was admitted into the Order of the Barristers.
After graduation, Ed joined the Texas Attorney General's office in Austin, and represented the State of Texas before every federal district judge in the state. He also handled numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He returned to Houston in 2000 to work for The Honorable Marcia Crone, who currently serves as a United States District Judge in Beaumont, Texas. In 2002, he joined Seyfarth Shaw LLP, one of the largest and most respected labor and employment law firms in the United States, where he represented major companies in a wide range of employment-related disputes. In 2005, the firm named him a partner. At the time of his promotion, he was the youngest partner in the then 600+ attorney firm. In 2010, Ed left Seyfarth Shaw LLP to pursue a vision to build and run a law firm that sets the standard for excellence in labor and employment law.
From 2001-2011, Ed served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he taught trial advocacy skills to a number of law students. From 2011-2014, Ed served as a Mock Trial Coach for Thurgood Marshall School of Law - Texas Southern University.
Ed enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife and two children. His wife Stephanie -- herself a lawyer -- resigned her practice to help raise their family. His daughter Kate is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and first chair for flute at Hogg Middle School, while his son James is a straight A student and eager athlete at The Regis School.
"Top Ten Fifth Circuit Employment Law Cases of 2016," State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (February 2017)
"Ten ADA Issues That Continue to Confound and Confuse Employers, and Give Hope To Even Slightly Impaired Plaintiffs and their Lawyers,"
State Bar of Texas, Austin TX (November 2016)
“Top 10 Ways Plaintiffs Try to Prove Pretext in Discrimination and Retaliation Cases,” State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (August 2016)
"ADA Issues That Continue to Confound and Confuse Employers, and Give Hope To Even Slightly Impaired Plaintiffs and their Lawyers," Houston Bar Association's Labor & Employment Section, Houston, Texas (August 2016)
"Top 5 Fifth CIrcuit Cases of the Past 12 Months," Oberti Sullivan CLE, Houston, TX (May 2016)
"Top 10 Fifth Circuit Cases Of the Past Twelve Months," Houston Bar Association, Houston, TX (April 2016)
"In House Counsel Employment Law Primer: 10 Tips For Identifying Risk, Minimizing Liability, and Creating Clarity and Calm out of Confusion and Chaos," State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (March 2016)
"Top 10 Recent Fifth Circuit Cases," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (November 2015)
"Voir Dire: Finding Your Enemies," UT Law CLE, Houston, TX (October 2015)
"Labor and Employment Seminar," Jackson Walker LLP Presentation, Houston, TX (October 2015)
“The Fifth Circuit and Employment Law Cases 2014-2015: What You Need To Know,” Houston Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, Houston, TX (October 2015)
"Hot Topics In Employment Law," Annual Judicial Education Conference, Dallas, TX (September 2015)
"The FLSA: Ask the 800lb Gorillas," Oberti Sullivan LLP CLE, Houston, TX (April 2015)
"Top 10 Employment Law Issues In The Oil Patch," State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (April 2015)
"Recent Developments in Causation Standards in Employment Cases," 2015 Advanced Employment Law CLE in Dallas, Texas (January 2015)
"Four Examples of Modern Constitutional Interpretation," Garland Walker American Inn of Court, Houston, TX (January 2015)
"Top 10 Fifth Circuit Employment Law Cases Every Lawyer Must Know," State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (October 2014)
"Voir Dire Tactics," State Bar of Texas, Austin, TX (October 2014).
"FLSA Litigation: Views from the Tips of the Spears," Houston Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, Houston, TX (August 2014)
"ADA and FMLA: Solving Their Most Complex Challenges," Top Trial Lawyer CLE, Houston, Texas (May 2014)
"Sex, Words, and 50 Shades of Causation," Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, San Antonio, Texas (May 2014)
"ADA: Direct Threat and Enforcing Conduct Rules," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (April 2014)
“Department of Labor Practice & Procedure,” Houston Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, Houston, Texas (January 2014)
“Supreme Court Review,” Houston Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, Houston, Texas (August 2013)
“Punitive Damages: How Employers Avoid Them, How Employees Obtain Them,” South Texas College of Law’s In House Counsel Conference and 26th Annual Employment Law Conference, Houston, Texas (July 2013)
“2013 Update: Texas Noncompete Law; Trade Secrets Litigation; Texas Adopts The Uniform Trade Secrets Act; Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine; and Fiduciary Duties,” State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (June 2013)
“15 Things You Need To Know About The New Wave of Retaliation, Dodd-Frank, and SOX Whistleblower Claims,” State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (March 2013)
“Top 10 Ethical Traps for Employment Lawyers (And How To Avoid Them),” State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (November 2012)
"Employment Law Ethics - Surreptitiously Recording Conversations," American Petroleum Labor Lawyers' Association, Houston, Texas (October 2012)
"Employment Law 2012 - 10 Hot New Developments All Lawyers Need to Know," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (July 2012)
"FLSA: How to Prosecute and Defend Texas Overtime Claims," State Bar of Texas (December 2011)
"Rumbles in the 'C' Suite – Representing Texas Executives in Employment Disputes," State Bar of Texas (October 2011)
"Retaliation Claims: Welcome to the Danger Zone," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (July 2011)
"Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make, and How to Prevent Them."
"Analysis of the Supreme Court's Decision in Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes," Oberti Sullivan LLP website (June 2011)
"A Day in the Life Of An Employment Lawyer," University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas (February 2011)
"Family and Medical Leave Act – How to Comply," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (February 2011)
"Texas Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Update," State Bar of Texas, Austin, Texas (December 2010)
"Alternative Fee Arrangements In The New Economy" Garland Walker American Inn of Court, Houston, Texas (November 2010)
"Ethical Issues In The Employment Context," Houston Bar Association, Houston, Texas (November 2010)
"Disability Law Update 2010," Houston Bar Association, Houston, Texas, (October 2010)
"FLSA Litigation – Including Collective Actions"
"Disability Law Update 2009"
"Courtroom Advocacy," Illinois Bar Association, Chicago Illinois (November 2008)
"Handling Reductions In Force in This Economy," Seyfarth Shaw LLP Breakfast Briefing in Houston, Texas (November 2008)
"Five Ways to Reduce Employment Litigation Costs," Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Houston, Texas (May 2008)
"Litigation Hold Letters & Document Preservation Obligations in FLSA Cases," Seyfarth Shaw LLP National Videoconference, Houston, Texas (May 2007)
"FLSA Litigation Strategies"
"Justice Scalia On The Establishment Clause," Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, Houston, Texas (March 2006)
"Federal Court Practice In The Southern District of Texas – Typical Traps For The Unwary," Houston Bar Association, Houston, Texas (December 2005)
"Interviewing and Hiring Basics," National Law Enforcement Recruiters' Association, Washington, D.C. (September 2005)
"Is Big Brother Watching? Privacy In The Workplace," Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., Houston, Texas (June 2005)
"Overtime Litigation-Defendant's Perspective; Avoiding and Defending Claims," UHLC Advanced Employment Law CLE, Dallas, Texas (April 2005)
"Limitations on the At-Will Employment Doctrine," Lorman Education Services, McAllen, Texas (November 2004)
"The Importance of Effective Documentation," Lorman Education Services, McAllen, Texas (November 2004)
"Navigating the New Overtime Regulations"
"Historical Origins of the Freedom of Press Clause to the U.S. Constitution," Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, Houston, Texas (February 2004)
"Managing the Most Difficult FMLA Dilemmas," Council on Education in Management, Houston, Texas (May 2003)
"What Federal Judges Expect From Judicial Interns," University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas (May 2003)
"Differences Between District Judges and Magistrate Judges," University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas (May 2002)
"Expectations Placed Upon Federal Law Clerks," University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas (April 2001)