Douglas W. Sullivan, Partner San Francisco
Phone: +1 415.365.7370
275 Battery Street, 23rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

Douglas Sullivan is a partner in the San Francisco office of Crowell & Moring and is a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Environment & Natural Resources groups. He focuses on complex commercial litigation, including mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, class actions, commercial contract disputes, partnership and employment disputes, construction, real estate, environmental, and insurance litigation.

Mr. Sullivan has significant trial experience in state and federal courts, having acted as lead counsel in approximately 15 trials. He has twice been named to BTI Consulting Group's list of "Client Service All-Stars," an annual list comprised of feedback from corporate counsel which recognizes attorneys who deliver the highest levels of excellent client service. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Mr. Sullivan was a partner with the San Francisco firm of Folger Levin & Kahn LLP.

Representative Matters

Represented companies in the automotive, telecommunications, computer, wood products, and healthcare industries in connection with disputes from mergers and acquisitions, including: Dana Holding Corporation v. Metalsa (ICC Arbitration) in which we successfully represented Dana in disputes over purchase price adjustments and indemnity claims following the sale of Dana's structural products division, recovering millions of dollars for Dana and defeating claims of Metalsa; NorthPoint Communications Group, Inc. v. Verizon Communications, Inc. (San Francisco County Superior Court), in which the client recovered $175 million as part of a settlement; Coram Healthcare Corp. v. Caremark Int'l (San Francisco County Superior Court), in which the client recovered $165 million of the $310 million purchase price; HDX Corporation v. Zonare  Medical Systems, Inc., et al. (AAA International Arbitration) in which we successfully represented Zonare and its former officers in disputes related to international distribution agreements for ultrasound equipment following the sale of Zonare.

Represented companies in connection with intellectual property disputes, including: GigOptix, Inc. v. Optomai, Inc., et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court) in which we obtained a successful settlement for GigOptix against former employees and their companies for misappropriating GigOptix's trade secrets for semiconductor products; Advanced Fibre Communications, Inc. v. Calix Networks, Inc. (District Court, Travis County, Texas), in which we obtained a defense verdict for Calix following a court trial in connection with alleged misappropriation of trade secrets by former employees; Alcatel v. Calix Networks, Inc. (Sonoma County Superior Court), in which Calix successfully defended against claims that approximately 40 former Alcatel employees misappropriated trade secrets in developing a competing telecommunications product; Phase Metrics v. Magnetic Recording Solutions, Inc. (U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal.), in which the client, Phase Metrics, obtained a two year injunction for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, preventing former employees and their new company from competing against Phase Metrics; Liquid Environmental Solutions of Texas v. U.S. Oil Recovery (Harris County, Texas), in which the client successfully pursued claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of confidentiality agreements against former employees and their new company; Sarkissian Mason v. Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y.) in which we obtained summary judgment in favor of Enterprise against claims of misappropriation of confidential and trade secret information, which was upheld following an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Doug has handled dozens of cases involving alleged trade secret misappropriation in industries such as trucking, financial services, wood products, medical device, and computer-aided design.

Represented Dana Holding Corp. in an action brought by Ford Motor Company (Circuit Court, Wayne County, MI) in which Ford sought hundreds of millions of dollars for a recall of vehicles and in which we achieved a successful settlement for the client.

Represented numerous companies (including AT&T, United Airlines, Prudential Financial, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, The Deutsch Company and others) in connection with complex, high-profile environmental matters. The representation has included pursuing and defending actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA"), the Clean Water Act (CWA), analogous and related state laws, and common law nuisance and trespass claims, among others. The representation has involved both governmental litigation and third-party tort litigation, including: Ecological Rights Foundation v. Pacific Bell Telephone (U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal.) in which we successfully moved to dismiss CWA and RCRA claims related to Pacific Bell's maintenance and disposal of wooden utility poles, and then prevailed on an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Forest City v. Prudential Insurance Co. of America (Los Angeles County Superior Court), in which the client, Prudential, obtained a jury verdict following a three-month trial of claims brought by Forest City in excess of $50 million for a failed real estate development stemming from environmental contamination. The representation has also included defending companies in connection with personal injury and property damage claims by residents and homeowners stemming from environmental contamination.

Represented companies, executives, law firms and lawyers in connection with employment disputes, firm break ups, and malpractice claims, including a two month trial in Hirsch Wallerstein, et al. v. Jackoway, Tyerman (Los Angeles County Superior Court), in which we obtained a decision in favor of entertainment lawyers who were sued by their former partners for more than $15 million following their decision to leave the firm.

Represented companies in complex class actions, including Withrow, et al. v. Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (Cir. Court, St. Louis, MO) in which we successfully resolved a nationwide class action related to Enterprises' car sales practices; Cisneros, et al. v. Yahoo! (San Francisco Superior Court) in which we obtained a defense verdict following a trial in which it was alleged that Yahoo! aided and abetted internet gambling; Lemieux, et al. v. AT&T Corp. (U.S. District Court, S.D. Cal) in which we successfully obtained the dismissal of an action in which AT&T was alleged to have violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in processing collect calls; Collins, et al. v. General Electric (U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal.) in which we successfully obtained the dismissal of General Electric which was alleged to have misrepresented the energy consumption of its freezers.

Represented companies (including Prudential Financial and KB Home) in real estate, construction and engineering disputes, including in connection with commercial complexes, office buildings, power plants, manufacturing facilities, housing developments, and hotels.


Admitted to practice: California


Member, American Bar Association, Sections on Litigation, Natural Resources and Environment and Intellectual Property.
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco. 

Arbitration and Mediation

Member, American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals, 1985 to present; Mediator, San Francisco Superior Court, Early Settlement Program.

Speeches & Presentations

  • "How Would Your CEO Do on the Stand?" ACC CLE Program, San Francisco, CA (April 29, 2015). Presenter: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "How Would Your CEO Do on the Stand?" ACC CLE Program, Palo Alto, CA (April 28, 2015). Presenter: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "Trade Secret Protection," Crowell & Moring's USPTO Seminar (January 2013). Presenters: Douglas W. Sullivan, Mark A. Romeo, Terence P. Ross, and Kathleen Balderrama.
  • "Intellectual Property for Successful Exporters and International Businesses," Crowell & Moring's USPTO Seminar (January 2012). Presenters: Douglas W. Sullivan, Mark A. Romeo, Terence P. Ross, and Kathleen Balderrama.
  • "Guide to Value-Based Billing: Improve Results and Reduce Outside Counsel Costs," Association of Corporate Counsel, SF Bay Chapter (March 2011). Lecturer: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "New Traps for the Unwary: What Employers Need to Know About Whistleblower Protection in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act," Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel (December 2010). Presenter: Alyssa S. Parsons and Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "Goals, Strategies and Tactics: Litigation Project Management that Works for Everyone," Association of Corporate Counsel, SF Bay Chapter (November 2010). Speakers: Douglas W. Sullivan and Gregory D. Call.
  • "The Corporate Plaintiff," Bay Area General Counsels (May 2008). Lecturer: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "Expert Litigation Services," Counselors of Real Estate (October 2007). Lecturer: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "Engineering Professional Responsibility," Stanford University Civil Engineering Department (1996-1999, 2005-2006). Lecturer: Douglas W. Sullivan.


  • "Non-Cash Class Action Settlements," San Francisco Recorder: Litigation Quarterly (November 2010). Co-Authors: Gregory D. Call, Douglas W. Sullivan and Trina D. McAlister.
  • "Going on Offense - Tips on Successfully Representing Corporate Plaintiffs," San Francisco Recorder (November 2008). Co-Author: Douglas W. Sullivan.
  • "Techniques of Alternative Dispute Resolution," Contractor’s Handbook of Business and Law (1992). Author: Douglas W. Sullivan.

Client Alerts & Newsletters

In the News

  • A Learned Career: Crowell & Moring Alumni at Universities
    March 2015 — Crowell Connect (Alumni Newsletter)

    At universities across America, more than 30 Crowell & Moring alumni make their careers as in-house counsel or faculty. Among them are Beth Nolan, senior vice president and general counsel at George Washington University, Karen Petrulakis, chief deputy general counsel at University of California, and David Florin, deputy general counsel for health affairs at Yale University. And just this December, alumna Ramona Romero assumed the role of Princeton University's general counsel. All serve in key leadership positions and help their universities tackle issues ranging from cutting-edge research and intellectual property licensing to Title IX concerns and academic freedom." In the March edition of Crowell Connect, they and other C&M alumni discuss their memories of the firm and what it's like to work in higher education. 

  • Q&A With Crowell & Moring's Doug Sullivan
    June 1, 2011 — California Law360 and Corporate Finance Law360

    San Francisco-based Litigation Group partner Douglas W. Sullivan is featured in California Law360 and Corporate Finance Law360 as part of the Law360 “Top Litigators Q&A Series.” Questions ranged from discussing the most challenging lawsuit a particular attorney has worked on to describing their trial preparation routine.

Firm News & Announcements

May.19.2015 Chambers USA Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 20 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Feb.11.2015 Four Crowell & Moring Partners Recognized Among "2015 Client Service All-Stars" By BTI Consulting Group
Oct.17.2014 Deal Note: Crowell & Moring Client Signature Holdings to Acquire World’s Largest Independent Aluminum Recycler
Sep.30.2014 Super Lawyers 2014 Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
May.23.2014 Chambers USA Ranks 51 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Feb.25.2014 Crowell & Moring's Kathy Kirmayer, Doug Sullivan, and Mike Kahn Recognized Among "2014 BTI Client Service All-Stars" by BTI Consulting Group Inc.
Sep.01.2013 Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes 64 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
May.24.2013 Chambers USA Ranks 45 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Mar.06.2013 Crowell & Moring's Kathy Kirmayer and Doug Sullivan Recognized Among "2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars" by BTI Consulting Group Inc.
Sep.01.2012 Super Lawyers 2012 Recognizes 42 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
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