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Michael Putetti

Michael Putetti

Michael (Mike) Putetti is a Bates Testifying Expert and a senior labor and employment attorney with 35 years of legal experience: 20 years in private practice at a major law firm and 15 years in-house at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. Mr. Putetti has a proven track record representing and advising senior and executive management and Human Resources on important employment and labor law risks designing practical solutions to difficult and complex issues; representing employers in employment disputes, including litigating and mediating cases; and advising management and Human Resources in developing policies and practices.

As Associate General Counsel at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Mr. Putetti led a legal team delivering employment law services to the full range of Wealth Management businesses of Bank of America, (Merrill Lynch, Global Wealth, and Retirement Solutions (GWRS), and US Trust). He directly handled senior-level matters for these businesses, including all employment law matters for the Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investments Group, and the US Trust and the GWRS businesses. Prior to this role, as Assistant General Counsel, Mr. Putetti was the principal senior employment lawyer providing advice and representation to the Global Investment Banking, Global Corporate Banking and Global Commercial Banking businesses. 

Mr. Putetti also served as the bank’s acting head of the Europe, Middle East, and Asia (‘EMEA”) Employment Law Group from November 2010 to August 2011. During this time, Mr. Putetti was based in London and was responsible for managing the EMEA employment law team, supervising 3 UK-based lawyers, covering 23 jurisdictions. He also oversaw activities of employment lawyers in Canada and Hong Kong. Mr. Putetti was the principal employment law advisor to senior Human Resources executives, including the Head of Human Resources for EMEA. These EMEA businesses included Global Markets, Investment Banking, Wealth and Investment Management, Research, Credit Cards, as well as the Technology, Operations, and other support functions.  

Following the merger of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Mr. Putetti was the principal employment lawyer for the combined Investment Banking organization (including Corporate Banking), responsible for both counseling and new litigation. Additionally, he was the lead attorney from the former Merrill Lynch Employment Law Group for integration-related employment issues in the full Global Markets, Investment Banking and Global Research businesses and for all legacy-Merrill Lynch employment policy matters. He also became responsible for all existing pre-merger Merrill Lynch Global Markets, Investment Banking and Global Research employment litigation.  
Prior to the merger of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Mr. Putetti was the employment lawyer for Merrill Lynch’s Global Markets & Investment Banking and its Global Research businesses. Before this role, he was the senior employment lawyer for Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management and Asset Management businesses and its Corporate and Enterprise functions. Mr. Putetti supervised the employment law advice (non-litigation) function from 2002 to 2005.

In these Employment Law roles, Mr. Putetti and his teams provided legal and risk management counseling on all employment matters, including policy and program development, major strategic initiatives such as restructuring activities, acquisitions, and divestitures, as well as individual employee issues, performance management, employee relations and terminations. Activities also included negotiating and drafting employment agreements and severance agreements for senior executives and providing legal counsel and advice on discrimination, harassment and other employment-related investigations, employee complaints, compensation programs, restrictive covenants, and other employment policies. He and his team created and delivered training programs, managed litigation and outside counsel in all substantive areas of employment litigation and provided counsel to senior Human Resource executives and senior management in the businesses.

Before joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Putetti was a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. His practice was devoted to representing employers in all aspects of employment and labor matters, focusing on employment counseling and litigation in the financial services industry. Mr. Putetti has tried discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, and other employment cases as lead counsel in court and in arbitration forums.  The practice included not only trial litigation, but also settlement negotiations and mediating numerous employment cases to successful resolution. In addition, it involved preparing and delivering management and supervisory training on sexual harassment risk avoidance, downsizing processes, union organizing activities and strike conduct. Mr. Putetti also advised on union organizing campaigns, litigated bargaining unit determinations and unfair labor practice cases, negotiated collective bargaining agreements, and advised on strikes and strike preparations.  His practice also included providing employment and labor law advice in connection with acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations, and significant downsizings. 

Mr. Putetti retired from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and the active practice of law in March 2017. 

Michael is a consultant and subject matter expert in these Practice Areas and Services:



Bates Group, Testifying Expert, 2017 – Present
Bank of America Corp. / Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., 2002 – 2017; Associate General Counsel, 2016 – 2017; Assistant General Counsel, 2011 – 2016; Assistant General Counsel – Acting Head of EMEA Employment Law Group, 2010 – 2011; First Vice President – Senior Counsel / Assistant General Counsel, 2009 – 2010; First Vice President – Senior Counsel at Merrill Lynch, 2002 – 2009
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP – Labor and Employment Law Group, 1982 – 2002; Partner, New York Office, 1993 – 2002; Associate, New York Office, 1992 – 1993; Associate, Washington D.C. Office, 1982 – 1992
Albany International Corp., 1973 – 1979; Personnel Director, Plastics Products Division, 1978 – 1979; Corporate Industrial Relations, Employee/Labor Relations, 1973 - 1978


Juris Doctor (JD), Magna cum Laude, Georgetown University Law School, Washington D.C.,

  • Senior Editor – Law and Policy in International Business

Master of Science (MS), Management Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

  • Teaching Fellowship

Bachelor of Science (BS), Management Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY


New York (inactive)
District of Columbia (inactive)