O’Melveny Worldwide

Daily Journal: Diverse Young O’Melveny Team Helps LA Artist Reclaim His Work

March 9, 2021

A team of California-based O’Melveny attorneys was profiled by Daily Journal for its success in helping Los Angeles artist Roberto Chavez reclaim his valuable creations, and the diverse cohort that worked behind the scenes to support the City of Angels’ art culture and one of its stars.

“The future of Big Law is not forcing the next generation to fit into certain boxes or sit on the sidelines and wait their turn to put their legal training to the test,” associate Racquel Martin said. “The future is about providing growth opportunities to young and diverse attorneys that truly allow them to learn, ask questions, strategize, and even make mistakes with the support of their colleagues.”

When presented with such an opportunity, the team leveraged their collective skills to secure a settlement in which US$500,000 worth of art swept up in a family feud was returned to Chavez in November of last year. Counsel Joseph Guzman cited tenaciousness among the qualities that the team brought to the effort: “I think the other side knew that Roberto’s ... O’Melveny team was ready and willing to litigate this case with tenacity through a jury trial,” he said.

Martin also noted that the cultural significance of Chavez's work was an important facet of the case. “We made clear to the court early on that the works involved were significant not only to the parties, but to the art world and Los Angeles culture more broadly,” she said. “In response to this, the court played a critical role in pushing the parties towards a resolution.”

“Roberto is an important figure in both the Los Angeles art community and the Chicano art movement in this country,” Guzman added. “He deserves to have his affairs in order and to know that his legacy will be protected by his entire family. We were proud to fight for him.”

Daily Journal went on to highlight O’Melveny as “one of the leaders among firms making diversity efforts,” listing statistics that show women comprise over a quarter of the firm’s partners and that half of the recently inaugurated partner class were women or people of color.

“In many ways, the team is representative of where the firm is today, and where it’s heading,” counsel Patrick McNally said. “In hiring, we have placed a tremendous emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and I think that’s increasingly reflected across each of the firm’s offices. In my office, Century City, our incoming summer class is entirely made up of people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and/or women.”

The full Chavez team included partner Matt Kline, counsel Joseph Guzman and Patrick McNally, and associates Racquel Martin, Ashley Menzies, and Jordyn Ostroff.

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.