Mark W. Robertson


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Mark W. Robertson is a partner in the labor/employment and aviation groups, with a specific focus on litigation and arbitration involving the Railway Labor Act. Legal 500 has repeatedly recognized Mark for both his labor and employment and aviation work, Benchmark Litigation has recognized him as a Labor & Employment Star, BTI named him a 2022 Client Service All-Star, and Law360 recognized Mark as one of the top transportation attorneys in the nation, naming him a Transportation MVP in 2017 and 2021. Representative current and past airline clients include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Envoy Air, Horizon Air, Piedmont Airlines, PSA Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. In addition to representing airlines in labor/employment matters, Mark also regularly represents airlines in consumer class actions, general commercial litigation matters, and in collective bargaining negotiations.

In addition to Mark’s extensive experience in the airline industry, he has represented employers in sectors such as entertainment, private equity, financial services, professional services, education, gaming, construction, technology, and manufacturing. Mark serves as the pro bono partner for O’Melveny’s New York Office and is a senior editor of The Railway Labor Act.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star (2022)
  • Recognized as a Labor & Employment Star by Benchmark Litigation (2020-2022)
  • Law360, Transportation MVP (2021, 2017)
  • The Legal 500 US, Aviation and Air Travel - Litigation (2018-2019); Labor and Employment Disputes: Defense (2016-2021); Labor-Management Relations (2013-2021); Labor and Employment Litigation (2012-2015)


Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of California, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of New York 
  • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, First, Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits


  • Pepperdine University, J.D.: summa cum laude; Pepperdine Law Review
  • Pepperdine University, M.B.A.
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe, B.B.A.: summa cum laude

Professional Activities


  • “Fifth Circuit Issues Its Decision in D.R. Horton Holding That Mandatory Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements Do Not Violate the NLRA,” O’Melveny & Myers Client Alert, co-authored with Apalla Chopra, Adam Karr, and Ryan Rutledge (December 4, 2013)
  • “Are Internship Programs Worth the Risk?” Corporate Counsel, co-authored with Ryan Rutledge (November 25, 2013)
  • “New York City Human Rights Claims are Still Tricky for Employers,” Employment Law360 and New York Law360, co-authored with Matthew Damm (June 4, 2013)
  • “New York State Raises Minimum Wage,” O’Melveny & Myers Client Alert, co-authored with Jeffrey Kohn and Matthew Damm  (April 26, 2013)
  • “New York City Council Enacts Law Prohibiting Unemployment Discrimination,” O’Melveny & Myers Client Alert, co-authored with Jeffrey Kohn and Matthew Damm (April 5, 2013)
  • "The Law of the Lawyer -- Considerations for Drafting Social Media Policies," The Practical Lawyer, co-authored with Ryan Rutledge and Lauren Elkerson (August 2011)
  • "Defusing Workplace Time-Bombs -- Considerations for Drafting Social Media Policies," ALI-ABA, co-authored with Ryan Rutledge and Lauren Elkerson (June 2011)
  • "Trendsetting: NYC's Human Rights Law," New York Law360 and Employment Law360, co-authored with Sloane Giddon (March 17, 2011)
  • "A Helpful Decision Regarding the CFAA," Appellate Law360 and Employment Law360 (January 26, 2011)
  • "Dual Views of CFAA in NY," Technology Law360 and Employment Law360, co-authored with Natasha Waglow (January 10, 2011)
  • "The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the Employment Context and Its Interpretation by New York Courts," New York State Bar Association Trade Secrets Law Committee, Trade Secrets and Departing Employees, co-authored with Natasha Waglow (December 14, 2010)
  • “Avoiding Liability For Unpaid Interns,” Employment Law360, co-authored with Charles Nerko (June 2010)
  • “New York Court of Appeals Holds Faragher-Ellerth Affirmative Defense Not Applicable to Harassment Claims Brought Under New York City Human Rights Law,” O’Melveny & Myers Client Alert, co-authored with Jeffrey Kohn and Anthony DiLello (May 7, 2009)
  • “Use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the Employment Context,” Executive View Media 2009 Labour & Employment Digital Guide, co-authored with Ryan W. Rutledge (December 2009)
  • “Enforceability of Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Covenants in New York and California,” Executive View Media 2009 Labour & Employment Digital Guide, co-authored with Sloane Giddon (December 2009)
  • “New York Courts May Have Jurisdiction over Foreign Defendants that Trade on the New York Stock Exchange in Employment and other Disputes,” O’Melveny & Myers Client Alert, co-authored with Jeffrey Kohn and Sloane Giddon (November 5, 2009)
  • “Protecting Trade Secrets When Employees Depart,” Employment Law360, co-authored with Eric Amdursky (September 18, 2009)
  • “State By State Employee Monitoring Laws,” Employment Law360, co-authored with Anthony DiLello (April 20, 2009)
  • “Practical Tips for Avoiding SOX Whistle-Blower Liability,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Employment & Labor Relations Law Committee (co-authored with Ryan Rutledge)
  • “Leveling the Playing Field When A Civil Litigant Asserts The Fifth In California State Court,” Business Law News, The State Bar of California, Issue 2, co-authored with Ryan Rutledge (2008)
  • “The Trouble with Establishing ‘Protected Activity’ in a Prima Facie SOX Whistle-blowing Claim,” Employment & Labor Relations Law, co-authored with Ryan Rutledge (Spring 2008)
  • “Office Watch: The Law Governing Workplace Surveillance,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, co-authored with Mark A. Kanaga (April 2008)
  • “Computer Use Policies Can Impact Litigation Outcome,” Employment Law360, co-authored with Mark A. Kanaga (March 13, 2008)
  • “A Key Decision For SOX Practitioners,” Employment Law360 and Securities Law360, co-authored with Ryan W. Rutledge (January 29, 2008)
  • “Tips for Avoiding Trade Secret Claims When Hiring,” Employment Law360 and IP Law360 (December 3, 2007)
  • “Differing Theories Emerge on Counsel Use of Privileged Information in Suits Against Employers,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Litigation Update (May 2007) 

Contributing Author

  • “Electronic Spoliation Sanctions: Delete at Your Own Risk,” Paper Prepared by the Non-Competition, Trade Secrets, Proprietary Information, and Duty of Loyalty Subcommittee of the ERR Committee of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Employment Discrimination Law, BNA Books (2000 Supplement)


  • Advisory Board, NYU Center for Labor and Employment Law
  • American Employment Law Council
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in an action brought against an airline by the union representing its pilots who claimed the airline violated the Railway Labor Act’s status quo provisions by unilaterally making changes to its pilot training program.  Allied Pilots Association v. American Airlines, Inc.,  2022 WL 1608636 (N.D. Tex. May 20, 2022). 
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss in collective action brought by 600 flight attendants against an airline alleging that a voluntary early out program offered by the airline in response to Covid violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Kincheloe v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 21-CV-00515-BLF, 2022 WL 1409235 (N.D. Cal. May 4, 2022).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in litigation challenging an airline’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate on the grounds that it presented a minor dispute preempted by the Railway Labor Act. See Stephens v. Am. Airlines, Inc., No. 17, 21-cv-06934, 2022 WL 1115048 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2022).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss in a proposed class action brought against an airline under the Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act on the grounds that the claims were preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act. See Kislov v. Am. Airlines, Inc., No. 17 C 9080, 2022 WL 846840 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 22, 2022).
  • Prevailed on summary judgment in nationwide class action on behalf of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air alleging the airlines violated USERRA by not paying their pilots while on short-term military leaves, and also prevailed on summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s individual claims alleging a pilot-scheduling policy at Horizon violated USERRA. Clarkson v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 2021 WL 2080199 (E.D. Wash. May 24, 2021).
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss based on Railway Labor Act preemption on behalf of an airline in a proposed class action brought by a retired flight attendant alleging the airline impermissibly changed her travel privileges. See Wynn v. American Airlines, Inc., 2020 WL 1934994 (E.D. Missouri, April 22, 2020).
  • Obtained summary judgment on all claims in purported class action filed by a pilot against an airline alleging the airline violated USERRA in the manner it provided sick time, vacation time, and operations-based bonuses to pilots who took military leaves of absence from American.  Hoefert v. American Airlines, No. 4-18-cv-00466-P, (2020 WL 109653) (N.D. Tex. Jan 9, 2020).
  • Represented an airline in litigation against the union representing its mechanics to stop a work slowdown causing flight delays and cancellations and prevailed in obtaining a temporary restraining order, a modified temporary restraining order, and a permanent injunction following a trial on the merits. See Am. Airlines, Inc. v. Transp. Workers Union of Am., AFL-CIO, No. 4:19-CV-414-A, 2019 WL 3774501 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 12, 2019).
  • Prevailed on summary judgment motion in USERRA litigation brought against airline by a pilot. See Patterson v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60533-JEM (S.D. Fl. March 29, 2019).
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss in action brought against airline by three pilots seeking to vacate an interest arbitration award that established certain contractual rights.  See Krakowski v. Am. Airlines, Inc. (In re AMR Corp.), 2019 WL 112336 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. March 8, 2019) aff’d, 834 Fed. App’x 660 (2d Cir. 2021).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss based on Railway Labor Act preemption and failure to state a claim in litigation for wrongful termination brought against an airline by a former union chairman. See Bryan v. Allied Pilots Association, et al., 2018 WL 6697691 (D. Mass. December 19, 2018) aff’d, 988 F.3d 68 (1st Cir. 2021).
  • Obtained summary judgment in a class action brought against American Airlines by a group of former TWA pilots asserting a collusion claim related to an arbitration involving the airline’s pilot seniority list. See Krakowski v. Am. Airlines, Inc. (In re AMR Corp.), 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 1726 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. June 12, 2018) aff’d, 834 Fed. App’x 660 (2d Cir. 2021).