David Marroso

Partner

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David Marroso is a first-chair trial lawyer and head of O’Melveny’s 75-lawyer General Litigation Practice, which spans nine U.S. and overseas offices. A go-to litigator for clients in the entertainment industry and beyond, including technology titans, banks, movie studios, superstar musicians, champion athletes, fashion brands, private equity companies, and Fortune 500 land developers, David has earned victories on behalf of clients in virtually every kind of legal dispute in courts from coast to coast. As lead counsel on high-exposure antitrust matters, intellectual property claims, royalty demands, and defamation suits, among others, he develops creative theories and winning defenses in cases that raise cutting-edge issues about media, technology, and performance rights in the streaming age.

Clients from across industries describe David as a “brilliant litigator,” “one of the smartest lawyers” they know, and among “the best legal minds” in the country, according to The Legal 500, Chambers USA, and Billboard. Beyond his prowess in the courtroom, David sees the big picture and understands the intersection of litigation and business, making the attorney-client relationship “feel far more like a partnership than a work-for-hire endeavor.” David has been honored as a “Litigation Star” (Benchmark), one of music’s top litigators (Billboard), and an impact entertainment litigator three years in a row (Variety). Chambers USA recognizes David in Band 4 of Media & Entertainment: Litigation in California and a Recognized Practitioner in General Litigation. He writes and lectures regularly about a range legal issues, from fair use of photographic images to music copyright law to the boundaries of zealous advocacy. 

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Local Litigation Star for General Commercial, and Media & Entertainment by Benchmark Litigation (2019-2023)
  • Named to Top Music Lawyers List by Billboard (2022)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 US for his work in the Sports Industry (2017 & 2020-2021); and in Media and Entertainment: Litigation (2022)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2019, 2020)
  • Ranked by Chambers USA for Media & Entertainment: Litigation (2021) and named a “Recognized Practitioner” for Litigation: General Commercial in California (2017-2018)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California 

Court Admissions

  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • US District Court, Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2000: magna cum laude
  • University of Nevada at Reno, B.S., Criminal Justice, 1996: magna cum laude

Professional Activities

Recent Thought Leadership

  • "Does Remote Testimony Eliminate the 100-Mile Rule?," Law.com (October 13, 2022) (with Tim Heafner and Talia Alsalam)
  • “Advocacy or Extortion? It Depends on the Court,” The Recorder (March 22, 2022) (with Emma Lux)
  • Stars, Paparazzi, and the Puzzling Law of Copyrights,” IPWatchdog (November 22, 2021) (with Megan Smith)
  • “Music Modernization Act Gets New Year Update,” Daily Journal (December 24, 2020) (with Daniel Cooper)
  • "Winner's Playbook: Behind The Scenes Of The Pacquiao Case," Law360 (May 13, 2020)
  • “Caution, Preclusion Ahead: The New TTAB Landscape,” Law360 (September 21, 2018) (with Megan Smith) 
  • “Top Rank’s Victory Helps Firms Protect Exclusivity Provisions,” SportsBusiness Journal (August 24-30, 2009)

Clerkship

  • Honorable Stephen S. Trott, US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Internship

  • US Department of Defense (1998)

Lead Counsel Experience

  • Lead counsel for real estate consultant The Townsend Group in a billion-dollar fiduciary duty lawsuit brought by Dallas Police and Fire Pension System 
  • Lead counsel for Lennar Corp., the largest homebuilder in the U.S., in a sprawling environmental case alleging cleanup fraud by a Navy contractor at the former Hunters Point shipyard in San Francisco
  • Co-lead counsel in a precedent-setting music antitrust lawsuit on behalf of Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights organization—which represents songwriters from Drake to Bruce Springsteen—against the Radio Music Licensing Committee
  • Lead counsel for ThreeSixty Brands Group in trademark and contract lawsuits over licensing rights to the iconic Sharper Image brand
  • Lead trial counsel on behalf of championship boxers Tyson Fury and Manny Pacquiao and boxing promotion giant Top Rank in a variety of contractual matters, including a precedent-setting knockout victory against claims that the 2015 “Fight of the Century” fell short of expectations 
  • Lead trial counsel for Lennar Corp. in $500 million trademark lawsuit brought by media company 
  • Lead counsel for Madison Square Garden in its successful defense against a highly publicized lawsuit brought by a boxer severely injured while participating in a match at “The Garden”
  • Lead counsel for hospitality whiz Sam Nazarian and his company sbe entertainment in $50 million trademark lawsuit over the rights to the mark “Luxe”
  • Lead counsel for Lee Yong-dae, South Korean badminton gold medalist, in a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport reversing a doping suspension
  • Lead counsel for movie theater giant AMC Entertainment in a $200 million lawsuit concerning the technology behind buying movie tickets online
  • Trial counsel for global apparel brand Guess? Inc. in trademark dispute with Gucci
  • Lead counsel for global agricultural giant Agrium, Inc. (now Nutrien) in a $100+ million breach of contract and interference lawsuit involving “organic” fertilizer; and co-lead counsel for Agrium in a $500 million antitrust conspiracy lawsuit involving the fertilizer component potash
  • Trial counsel for Hollywood Foreign Press Association in dispute over rights to the Golden Globes against dick clark production
  • Lead counsel for TOKYOPOP, Inc., one of the world’s top producers of anime, in successful arbitration against primary distributor for breach of contract and fraud
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In the News

The National Law Journal: Does Remote Testimony Eliminate the 100-Mile Rule?

October 13, 2022

The Texas Lawbook: Litigation Roundup: Nike Ghosts Patent Lawsuit, Tennis Star Double Faults in Court of Law, Energy Transfer Sued

July 18, 2022

Law360: Texas Jury Clears Investment Firm In US$1.2B Pension Suit

July 11, 2022

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

April 20, 2022

Billboard: Revealed: Billboard’s 2022 Top Music Lawyers

March 28, 2022

The Recorder: Advocacy or Extortion? It Depends on the Court

March 22, 2022

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

January 10, 2022

IP Watchdog: Stars, Paparazzi, and the Puzzling Law of Copyrights

November 22, 2021

Reuters: How an O’Melveny discovery sleuth saved the day

July 20, 2021

Variety: Variety’s Legal Impact Report 2021: O’Melveny’s Entertainment Litigation Group

April 8, 2021

Daily Journal: Music Modernization Act Gets New Year Update

December 24, 2020

Press Releases