Daniel M. Petrocelli


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Daniel Petrocelli is the Chair of the Firm’s Trial Practice Committee. Dan has a national trial practice representing clients in major litigation in a wide variety of areas, including sports, entertainment, intellectual property, unfair competition, business torts, securities, employment law, and criminal defense.

The American Lawyer has named Dan among the top litigators in the nation, noting that he “is a lawyer clients call in the toughest situations.” Legal 500 ranks Dan Petrocelli as one of the country’s top 10 trial lawyers and selected him as the winner of its inaugural “Leading Trial Lawyer of the Year,” describing him as an “excellent, excellent trial lawyer” in a “whirlwind year which saw him try a slew of different matters back-to-back across various industries.” Chambers USA ranks Dan as a leading lawyer and quotes sources who say he is “a first-rate trial lawyer” and “a fantastic force,” “the one you hire for bet-the-company cases” who is “highly in demand.” Clients compliment him for being “very strategic, very good in court and very client-focused.” Dan has also been recently recognized by Billboard Magazine as a “Top Music Lawyer,” Variety as one of the industry’s “50 Game-Changing Entertainment Attorneys,” The Hollywood Reporter as a “Power Lawyer,” Benchmark Litigation as a “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” The National Law Journal as a “Winning Litigator,” and by Law360 as a “Media & Entertainment MVP.” Dan is a frequent national commentator on trials and other legal issues, as well as a featured speaker on legal issues at business groups, bar and judges associations, and citizens groups.

Honors & Awards

  • Named "Trial Lawyers of the Year," (2019) "Top 100 Trial Lawyers," (2018-2020) "Top 20 Trial Lawyers in California," (2020) and "Local and National Practice Area Star" (2020) for Energy and Natural Resources by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named among the "Attorneys of the Year" by California Lawyer (2019)
  • Received the National Impact Case Award for AT&T/Time Warner trial from Benchmark Litigation (2019)
  • Recognized by Variety magazine in its Legal Impact Report (2012-2019)
  • Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s "Power Lawyers" list (2010-2019)
  • Recognized for Litigation by Best Lawyers® (2020)
  • Named one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon (2019)
  • Recognized by Managing Intellectual Property as an “IP Star” (2019)
  • Named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal (2010, 2013-2019)
  • “Life Sciences Star” for Product Liability by LMG Life Sciences (2018 & 2019)
  • Named Leading Trial Lawyer (2010-2019), Leading Lawyer for Media and Entertainment (2017-2019), and Trial Lawyer of the Year (2014) by Legal 500  
  • Recognized by The American Lawyer as a Litigator of the Year (2017, 2018)
  • Selected to the National Law Journal’s "Winning Litigators" list (2018)
  • Consistently ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA in Nationwide: Trial Lawyers, Media & Entertainment Litigation and California: General Commercial Litigation 
  • Named to the Legal 500 Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame and Media and Entertainment Lawyers Hall of Fame (2017-2018)
  • Named to Billboard’s Top Music Lawyers List (2017)
  • Recognized as a Game Changer by The Recorder in its Litigation Department of the Year feature (2017)
  • Received the CPR Corporate Leadership Award (2017)
  • Named a Media & Entertainment MVP by Law360 (2012, 2015, 2017)
  • Selected to the National Law Journal’s Litigation Trailblazers list (2016)
  • Recognized by Law360 as a national Trial Pro (2016)
  • Named a leading entertainment lawyer in California by Daily Journal (2015)
  • Named a Trial Ace by Law360 (2015)
  • Named Lawyer of the Month by Attorney at Law magazine (2015)
  • Recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus in Entertainment & Media by Southwestern Law School (2014)
  • Lead counsel in Lennar Corporation et al. v. Briarwood Capital LLC, named one of the Top 5 Verdicts, Intentional Torts, Daily Business Review (2014)
  • Received the Century City Bar Association Litigator of the Year Award (2002-2003)
  • Received the Columbus Citizens Foundation Achievement Award In Law (2001)
  • Honored by Judicial Watch, Inc. for Legal Excellence and Service to Community (2000)
  • Recognized as Southwestern Law School Alumnus of the Year (1998)
  • Named the Malibu Bar Association Trial Lawyer of the Year (1998)
  • Named the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year (1997)
  • Received the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association Champion of Justice Award (1997)
  • Named one of Los Angeles’ Top 50 Litigators by the Los Angeles Business Journal


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of California, and the District of Colorado
  • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, Federal Circuit, Ninth and the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • US Supreme Court


  • Southwestern University, J.D., 1980: magna cum laude; Editor-in-Chief, Southwestern University Law Review
  • University of California at Los Angeles,  B.S., 1976: cum laude

Professional Activities


  • Trial Advocacy Board, ABA Litigation Section
  • Board of Trustees, Southwestern University School of Law
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Sections
  • ABA’s Litigation Section and Corporate Counsel Committee
  • California Bar Association, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Sections
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers


  • “Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the O.J. Simpson Saga,” The Hollywood Reporter (2014)
  • “Outside the Courtroom,” Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Larry King, Phoenix Books (2006)
  • “Effective Witness Preparation,” California Litigation (Spring 1999)
  • “Triumph of Justice: The Final Judgment on the Simpson Saga,” Random House (1998)
  • “Opening Statements under California Law,” Los Angeles Lawyer (March 1989)

Press Releases

Seven O’Melveny Lawyers Named LMG Life Sciences 2019 “Stars”

September 25, 2019

Petrocelli Named to Daily Journal “Top 100”

September 18, 2019

The Legal 500 US 2019 Recognizes O’Melveny Practices, Lawyers

June 6, 2019

O’Melveny Takes Top Honors in National Law Journal’s “DC Litigation Departments of the Year”

May 31, 2019

O’Melveny Honored as Leading Law Firm; Earns Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2019

April 25, 2019

O’Melveny Makes Strong Showing at American Lawyer Industry Awards

December 6, 2018

O’Melveny’s Daniel Petrocelli Named Leading Entertainment Lawyer by Daily Journal

November 18, 2015

O'Melveny's Chopra, Petrocelli Named to Daily Journal’s Top 100 California Lawyers

September 9, 2015

O’Melveny Partners Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s 2015 Power Lawyers List

May 20, 2015

O’Melveny Wins Appeal Affirming US$1 Billion Judgment for Lennar Corp.

April 2, 2015

O’Melveny Named an Entertainment and Media Group of the Year by Law360

January 28, 2015

In the News

AmLaw Litigation Daily: O’Melveny’s Petrocelli Strikes Again, Repping Ariana Grande in Suit Against Forever 21

September 4, 2019

Los Angeles Times: Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 Over Failed Deal and Lookalike Model

September 3, 2019

Law360: Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for Using Look-Alike Model

September 3, 2019

Law.com: You Don’t Need a Crime-Solving Dog to Figure Out This Movie Isn’t Like Disney’s Zootopia

August 21, 2019

Law360: Disney Beats Latest ’Zootopia’ Copyright Case

August 20, 2019

Corporate Counsel: Big Year, Big Results—AT&T's Team Approach Leads to Banner Year

June 28, 2019

Law360: ‘Empire’ Copyright Case Against Fox Rejected For Third Time

June 17, 2019

Deadline: Netflix Takes Near TKO In Exec Poaching Suit With Fox & Disney

June 5, 2019

Law360: HBO Slams Jackson Estate’s Push for ‘Neverland’ Arbitration

May 3, 2019

Deadline Hollywood: ‘Bones’ Stars & EPs Vow to Appeal Cleaving of $179M Profit Award by Judge

May 3, 2019

Deadline: ‘Bones’ Stars & EPs Vow To Appeal Cleaving Of $179M Profit Award by Judge – Update

May 2, 2019

Law360: US$128M of Award Chopped From Fox-‘Bones’ Profit Feud

May 2, 2019

Variety: 2019 Legal Impact Report

April 11, 2019

Lawdragon Names Three O’Melveny Lawyers to 2019 Leading Lawyer List

February 28, 2019

Historic AT&T-Time Warner Merger Can Proceed, Federal Judge Rules

June 13, 2018

O’Melveny’s Work for Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank Detailed in The American Lawyer

April 22, 2015