In his more than 35 years of labor and employment law experience, Alan B. Carlson has represented clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts and before administrative agencies. He has litigated hundreds of cases and routinely advises employers on a wide variety of employment matters, touching upon nearly all the diverse areas Littler Mendelson handles.

Alan works to develop both proactive and defensive strategies to accomplish an employer's objectives, through early resolution, motion practice, or prevailing at trial. By developing and implementing such litigation strategies, he has not only achieved successful results but also has obtained significant court-ordered awards of attorneys fees and costs for employers he has represented.

Representing employers from diverse industries, Alan has handled single and multiple plaintiff lawsuits, class actions, and other complex litigation involving:

  • Claimed wrongful termination
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act
  • Employee benefit and compensation claims
  • Wage and hour violations
  • Employment discrimination
  • Harassment

Alan has tried cases to jury verdicts throughout the State of California and has represented employers before state and federal governmental agencies regulating diverse employer-employee relationships, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. He also has handled:

  • Wage and hour claims before the Department of Labor and California Labor Commissioner
  • Occupational safety and health claims before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Issues pertaining to employer compliance with affirmative action executive orders before the Office of Federal Contract Compliance and Programs

Additionally, Alan also has represented employers in:

  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Issues of contract administration and interpretation
  • Labor arbitrations involving contractual disputes and employee discipline
  • Unfair labor practice cases and representation proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board

Drawing upon his vast experience representing employers in varied areas of labor and employment law, Alan actively advises clients with respect to business decisions and planning to develop the best course of action for achieving their business objectives. Additionally, he has advised employers with respect to union-related issues, including union organizing, picketing, and work stoppages.

A founder of Littler Mendelson's San Jose office, Alan served as the office-managing shareholder for 22 years. In law school, he was a staff writer and editor-in-chief of the University of California, Davis Law Review.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Labor and Employment and Litigation sections

State Bar of California


Santa Clara County Bar Association

Elected Member

City Council

Town of Atherton

1998, 2002 and 2006


Town of Atherton


Town of Atherton

Member, Board of Directors

Carmel Bach Festival


Order of the Coif

Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating



  • J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, 1972
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California