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About Fred

Veteran trial counsel and trusted advisor for employment matters

Fred Plevin is an experienced trial lawyer with decades of experience advising and defending a wide variety of public and private sector California employers, including the California judicial branch, institutions of higher education, banks and technology companies. A fellow of the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and with an excellent record in jury trials, Fred focuses on:

  • Employment disputes, including class actions
  • Employment-related counseling and risk management

Fred delivers practical guidance and solutions in his litigation and counseling roles, partnering with his clients to help them achieve their business objectives while minimizing risk and expense.

Fred was a co-founder of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, a management-side labor and employment law boutique, which combined with Quarles in 2023.

Experience in Action

  • Serving as lead trial counsel and representing employers in litigation involving allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; fraud, wage and hour class actions; and employee mobility disputes.
  • Providing employers with advice and counsel on a broad range of employment and workplace issues, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), reductions in force, employee discipline and termination, leaves and accommodation, wage and hour compliance, and workplace investigations.


  • Lead counsel in the trial court and on appeal for Orange County Superior Court in Wills v. Superior Court, 195 Cal.App.4th 143 (2011), a highly publicized opinion that affirmed summary judgment for our client and established that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act does not prohibit an employer from discharging an employee for making threats, even if the employee’s conduct is caused by a disability (bipolar disorder).
  • Defense verdicts in jury trial of claims by two laid off employees of a public entity who claimed age discrimination and retaliation (San Diego Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of court interpreter’s claim of age discrimination and fraud; upheld on appeal (Orange County Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of research scientist’s claim of national origin discrimination (San Diego Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of claims of hostile environment, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination by retail employee (Orange County Superior Court).

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2005-present)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers® (2007-present: Employment Litigation: Defense)
  • Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating (Legal Ability and General-Ethical Standards)
  • Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” (2012, 2018: Litigation - Labor and Employment)
  • San Diego Business Journal “Influential San Diegans" (2023)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, fellow (2017)
  • Management Labor Employment Roundtable, member
  • American Employment Law Council, member
  • Wage & Hour Defense Institute, chair
  • California Western School of Law, adjunct professor (2011-2014)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member, former chair
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, member 
  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Fair Labor Standards Legislation and Employment Rights & Responsibilities sub-sections, member
  • California Legislature Workplace Conduct Panel (appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court), panelist
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, board of visitors, member

News & Insights


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