Daniel M. Petrocelli


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Daniel Petrocelli is the Chair of O’Melveny’s Trial Practice and a Vice Chair of the firm. Dan has a national trial practice counseling and representing clients in major litigation in a wide variety of areas, including antitrust, competition, business torts, insurance, securities, employment law, entertainment, sports, media, and criminal defense.

The American Lawyer honored Dan as the 2020 “Litigator of the Year,” noting that he “is a lawyer clients call in the toughest situations,” and the Daily Journal selected him among its “Lawyers of the Decade.” Legal 500 ranks Dan 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

  • Consistently ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA in Nationwide: Trial Lawyers, Media & Entertainment: Litigation, and as a Star Individual in California: General Commercial Litigation
  • Ranked by Chambers Global for Litigation: Trial Lawyers (2016-2023)
  • Named a Leading Commercial Litigator by Daily Journal (2023)
  • Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Legal Legends List (2023)
  • Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers List (2010-2023)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2012-2023)
  • Named to Billboard's Top Music Lawyers List (2017, 2020-2023)
  • Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s LA500 (2022-2023)
  • Leading Trial Lawyer (2010-2023), Leading Lawyer for General Commercial Disputes (2021-2023), Hall of Fame for Media and Entertainment: Litigation (2020-2023), Recommended for Copyright Law (2021-2023), Named Hall of Fame for Leading Trial Lawyers (2021-2022), Recommended for Securities Litigation: Defense (2021), Recommended for Sport (2021), Leading Lawyer for Media and Entertainment (2017-2019), and Trial Lawyer of the Year (2014) by The Legal 500 US
  • Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2018-2023), Top 20 Trial Lawyers in California, (2020-2023), Trial Lawyers of the Year (2019), and Local Litigation Star and National Practice Area Star for Energy and Natural Resources (2020) and Product Liability and Recall, Commercial, Energy (2021-2023) by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal (2010, 2013-2022)
  • Recognized by Managing Intellectual Property as an IP Star (2020-2022)
  • Named a Lawyer of the Decade by Daily Journal (2021)
  • Awarded Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer (2017, 2018, 2020)
  • Named a Media & Entertainment MVP by Law360 (2012, 2015, 2017, 2020)
  • Life Sciences Star for Product Liability by LMG Life Sciences (2018-2020)
  • 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)
  • Selected to the National Law Journal’s Winning Litigators List (2018)
  • Recognized as a Game Changer by The Recorder in its Litigation Department of the Year feature (2017)
  • Received the CPR Corporate Leadership Award (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

O’Melveny Partners Daniel Petrocelli and Anna Pletcher Named to Daily Journal’s 2023 “Top 100” List

September 8, 2023

One Hundred O’Melveny Lawyers Recognized by Best Lawyers in America ® 2024

August 17, 2023

O’Melveny Partners Apalla Chopra and Daniel Petrocelli Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s “LA500”

June 26, 2023

O’Melveny Practices, Lawyers Highly Ranked by The Legal 500 US 2023

June 13, 2023

O’Melveny Earns Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2023

June 1, 2023

O’Melveny Partner Daniel Petrocelli Named a “Legal Legend” by The Hollywood Reporter

April 24, 2023

Variety Names Nine O’Melveny Partners to its 2023 “Legal Impact Report”

April 21, 2023

O’Melveny Partners Petrocelli, Godesky, Marroso, and Dugan Named to Billboard’s 2023 List of “Top Music Lawyers”

April 6, 2023

Chambers Global Recognizes 29 O'Melveny Lawyers and 13 Practice Groups

March 2, 2023

O’Melveny Partner Daniel Petrocelli Named a 2023 “Leading Commercial Litigator” by the Daily Journal

January 25, 2023

O’Melveny Highly Ranked in Benchmark Litigation US 2023

October 5, 2022

O'Melveny Partners Daniel Petrocelli and Darin Snyder Named to Daily Journal's 2022 "Top 100 Lawyers" List

September 21, 2022

Eighty Five O’Melveny Lawyers Recognized by Best Lawyers in America ® 2023

August 24, 2022

O’Melveny Partners Apalla Chopra and Daniel Petrocelli Named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s “LA500”

July 7, 2022

O’Melveny Practices, Lawyers Highly Ranked by The Legal 500 US 2022

June 14, 2022

O’Melveny Earns Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2022

June 8, 2022

Variety Names Eight O’Melveny Partners to its 2022 “Legal Impact Report”

April 20, 2022

The Hollywood Reporter Recognizes Four O’Melveny Partners as 2022 “Power Lawyers”

April 4, 2022

O’Melveny Partners Petrocelli, Godesky, and Marroso Honored as 2022 “Top Music Lawyers” by Billboard

March 29, 2022

Chambers Global Recognizes 29 O’Melveny Lawyers and 11 Practice Groups

February 25, 2022

O’Melveny Highly Ranked in Benchmark Litigation US 2022

October 29, 2021

In the News

Daily Journal: Top 100 Lawyers 2023 Daniel Petrocelli

September 6, 2023

Law360: Disney Remains Victorious In Writer’s ‘Zootopia’ Rip-Off Case

July 19, 2023

The American Lawyer: Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

June 30, 2023

Law360: Kesha, Dr. Luke Settle Libel Suit Over Pop Star’s Rape Claim

June 22, 2023

The Hollywood Reporter: Kesha and Dr. Luke Settle Legal Battle Ahead of Trial

June 22, 2023

Reuters: Skechers Sues Steve Madden Over Sneaker Logo Trademarks

June 21, 2023

Law360: Dr. Luke Faces High Bar In Kesha Libel Case, NY Court Says

June 13, 2023

The Hollywood Reporter: Marvel Winds Down Fight Over Avengers Characters

June 12, 2023

Reuters: Marvel Settles with Four Artists in Superhero Copyright Fight

June 9, 2023

Bloomberg Law: JPMorgan Purchase of First Republic

May 1, 2023

Daily Journal: Disney Hires Petrocelli to Lead Fight Against Florida’s DeSantis

April 27, 2023

The New York Times: Disney Sues DeSantis Over Control of Its Florida Resort

April 26, 2023

Bloomberg Law: Disney Goes After DeSantis With O’Melveny, WilmerHale Veterans

April 26, 2023

Law360: Meet The Attys Repping Disney In Its Battle Against DeSantis

April 26, 2023

The Wall Street Journal: Disney Sues Ron DeSantis After Oversight Board Voids Theme-Park Agreements

April 26, 2023

Law.com: Disney Taps O’Melveny, Wilmer In Legal Fight Against Gov. Ron DeSantis

April 26, 2023

Orlando Sentinel: Disney Sues DeSantis, Alleging ‘Government Retaliation’ in Reedy Creek Feud

April 26, 2023

Variety: Variety’s Legal Impact Report 2023: Meet Hollywood’s Top Entertainment Dealmakers and Litigators

April 19, 2023

Law360: Kesha’s Ex-Producer May Be A ‘Public Figure,’ Court Signals

April 18, 2023

The Hollywood Reporter: Power Lawyers 2023: Five of Hollywood’s Legal Legends

April 12, 2023

Law360: NFL Asks To Keep Antitrust Expert In Sunday Ticket Suit

December 19, 2022

Daily Journal: Paramount Accuses ‘Top Gun’ Plaintiffs of Trying to Monopolize Historical Facts

November 30, 2022

Daily Journal: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Facts Not Copyrightable, Studio Counters

September 30, 2022

Daily Journal: Top 100 Lawyers 2022: Daniel M. Petrocelli

September 21, 2022

Law360: Match Can’t Avoid Google’s Breach Claims In Play Store MDL

September 6, 2022

Daily Journal: “Top Gun” Lawsuit Won’t Fly, Paramount Responds

August 30, 2022

Law360: Paramount Wants To Shoot Down ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ IP Suit

August 30, 2022

Deadline: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Copyright Lawsuit Should Be Grounded, Paramount Says

August 27, 2022

Publishers Weekly: DOJ v. PRH: “Ending Where We Started”

August 22, 2022

Global Competition Review: Publishing Duo Label DOJ Market ‘Artificial’ at Close of Trial

August 22, 2022

The Wall Street Journal: Trial Ends in Government Challenge to Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster Merger

August 19, 2022

Reuters: US Asks Judge to Block Book Publisher Merger as Trial Closes

August 19, 2022

Law360: Book Publishers Say DOJ Hasn’t Shown Harm To Authors

August 19, 2022

Law360: Court Questions Penguin’s Bid Policy In Merger Challenge

August 18, 2022

Law360: Publishing Merger Won’t Hurt Competition, Yale Prof Says

August 16, 2022

Law360: Penguin Exec. Says Internal Book Competition Is Strong

August 15, 2022

Law360: Author, Agents Say Advances Only Part Of Puzzle

August 11, 2022

Global Competition Review: DOJ’s Expert: New Publisher Unlikely to Replace Simon & Schuster

August 10, 2022

Law360: Agent Says Authors Want Best Deal, Not Most Upfront Money

August 10, 2022

Financial Times: Celebrity Authors and Pro Golfers Provide a Test Case for the Labour Market

August 8, 2022

Associated Press: CEO of Publishing Giant Defends Deal Challenged by US Gov’t

August 4, 2022

Law360: Penguin CEO Says Simon & Schuster Deal Is For Market Share

August 4, 2022

BBC: Stephen King Testifies Against Merger of Publishing Giants

August 2, 2022

The Hollywood Reporter: Stephen King in Books Merger Trial: “Consolidation Is Bad for Competition”

August 2, 2022

Law360: DOJ Tells Judge Book Merger Would Reduce Author Pay

August 1, 2022

The New York Times: Justice Dept. and Penguin Random House’s Sparring Over Merger has Begun

August 1, 2022

Associated Press: US Begins Court Battle Against Publishing Giants’ Merger

August 1, 2022

Deadline: Penguin Random House-Simon & Schuster Merger Won’t Drive Down Author Advances And They Will “Continue To Go Up,” Publisher’s Attorney Says At Opening Of Antitrust Trial — Update

August 1, 2022

Reuters: Stephen King Going to Bat for US Gov’t in Case Against Book Publishing Mega-Merger

August 1, 2022

The National Law Journal: O’Melveny’s Daniel Petrocelli, DOJ Square Off as Book Publishers’ Antitrust Trial Gets Underway

August 1, 2022

Law360: DOJ Set To Pitch Book Publisher Merger Challenge To Judge

July 29, 2022

The National Law Journal: Justice Department, Pursuing New Chapter in Antitrust Enforcement, Takes Book Publishers to Trial

July 28, 2022

Vanity Fair: The Antitrust Showdown to Determine Simon & Schuster’s Fate is About to Begin

July 28, 2022

Law.com: Book Publishers’ Antitrust Trial Tests DOJ’s Approach

July 27, 2022

Publishers Weekly: In Final Briefs, DOJ, PRH Flesh Out Arguments Ahead of Trial

July 24, 2022

Puck News: Zaslav’s Superlawyer on Biden, Cuomo, & Bryan Freedman

July 18, 2022

Puck: The Billion-Dollar Book Deal of the Century

June 29, 2022

Reuters: Skechers Sues Brooks Running for Trademark Infringement Over ‘5’ Logo

June 29, 2022

The Baltimore Sun: Veterans of Legal Battles Over Michael Jackson Estate and Against O.J. Simpson Jump Into Angelos Fray

June 28, 2022

Law360: Google Fights App Users’ Class Cert. Bid In Antitrust Row

June 27, 2022

Law360: Warner Bros. ‘Matrix’ Release Row Sent To Arbitration

May 27, 2022

Law360: Google Settles Play Store Suit With App Developers

May 27, 2022

Law360: Epic’s Bandcamp Won’t Have To Use Google Billing, For Now

May 20, 2022

Variety: Variety’s Legal Impact Report 2022: Top Attorneys Winning Cases and Making Deals in Hollywood

April 20, 2022

The Hollywood Reporter: Power Lawyers 2022: Hollywood’s Top 100 Attorneys

March 30, 2022

Billboard: Revealed: Billboard’s 2022 Top Music Lawyers

March 28, 2022

The AmLaw Litigation Daily: As Firm Financials for 2021 Start Flowing In, A Couple of Observations on Litigation Micro-Trends

March 1, 2022

Law360: Music Rights, Radio Station Groups Settle Licensing Fee Row

January 10, 2022

Above The Law: O’Melveny’s Dan Petrocelli Weighs In On Publishing Industry Antitrust Suit

January 6, 2022

The New York Times: Penguin Random House Defends Effort to Buy Simon & Schuster

December 13, 2021

Variety: Penguin Random House Pushes Back on DOJ Suit Over Simon & Schuster Acquisition

December 13, 2021

The National Law Journal: ‘Factually and Economically Wrong:’ Book Publishers Criticize DOJ’s Antitrust Legal Theory

December 13, 2021

Law360: DOJ’s Penguin-Simon & Schuster Challenge Eyes August Trial

December 10, 2021

Law360: Netflix Improperly Poached Fox Execs, Calif. Panel Says

December 3, 2021

Variety: Netflix Loses Appeal in Employee Poaching Lawsuit

December 2, 2021

The Hollywood Reporter: Netflix Can’t Recruit Disney’s Fox Executives, Appeals Court Rules

December 2, 2021

Bloomberg Law: Netflix Loses Appeal in Lawsuit Over Poaching of Fox Executives

December 2, 2021

Law360: Meet The Attys Repping Travis Scott In Astroworld Litigation

December 1, 2021

The Hollywood Reporter: In Targeting ViacomCBS’ Simon & Schuster Sale, Biden’s Antitrust Team Makes First Bold Move

November 10, 2021

Law360: Book Publishers Turn To O’Melveny, Shearman In DOJ Action

November 6, 2021

The New York Times: Justice Dept. Sues Penguin Random House Over Simon & Schuster Deal

November 2, 2021

Reuters: O’Melveny, Arnold & Porter Defend Penguin Random House in DOJ Antitrust Case

November 2, 2021

CNBC: Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit to Block $2 Billion Merger of Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster

November 2, 2021

The Hollywood Reporter: US Government Files Antitrust Suit to Block ViacomCBS’ Sale of Simon & Schuster

November 2, 2021

Law360: Takeaways From DOJ’s Challenge To Big 5 Publishing Deal

November 2, 2021

Law360: DOJ Challenging Penguin’s $2.2B Simon & Schuster Deal

November 2, 2021

CNN Business: Justice Department Sues to Stop Penguin Random House’s Purchase of Simon & Schuster

November 2, 2021

The Washington Post: DOJ Sues to Block Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Rival Publisher Simon & Schuster

November 2, 2021

Associated Press: US Files Antitrust Suit to Stop Major Book Publisher Merger

November 2, 2021

Reuters: Bang! Pow! Lawyer Foes Square Off Again in Marvel Copyright Fight

September 28, 2021

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