Leah Godesky

Partner

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Leah Godesky is a trial lawyer who represents clients across an array of industries, including insurance, entertainment, securities, and pharmaceuticals. The National Law Journal included Leah on it “Winning Litigators” list, which honors trial lawyers for their victories in high-stake cases. She was also recognized as an “agent of change” with her inclusion on the National Law Journal’s list of Sports, Gaming, and Entertainment Trailblazers.

Leah maintains an active pro bono docket. She is currently serving as co-counsel with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and Planned Parenthood in asserting constitutional challenges to Arkansas and Kentucky statutes that restrict access to women’s healthcare.

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Media and Entertainment: Litigation (2022)
  • ACLU Pro Bono Attorney of the Year (2022)
  • Named to Top Music Lawyers List by Billboard (2019-2022)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2020-2022)
  • Named a Sports/Gaming/Entertainment Trailblazer by The National Law Journal (2021)
  • Recognized by The American Lawyer as "Young Lawyer of the Year" (2021)
  • Recognized by New York Law Journal as a “Rising Star” and “New York Trailblazer” (2020)
  • Received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award (2020)
  • Named to Crain’s New York Business “Notable Women in Law” (2019)
  • Selected as a “Winning Litigator” by The National Law Journal (2019)
  • Named to the 40 & Under Hot List in General Commercial & Securities by Benchmark Litigation (2018-2022)
  • Shortlisted by Chambers Women in Law Awards: Future Leader –– Gender Diversity (2018)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, First, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits
  • US District Court, Central District of California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Southern District of New York, and Western District of Wisconsin

Education

  • Columbia University, J.D.: James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Colgate University, B.A., Political Science, Religion: magna cum laude

Professional Activities

Author

  • “State Attorneys General and Contingency Fee Arrangements: An Affront to the Neutrality Doctrine? The Underlying Legal Theories and a Novel Proposal for Reform,” Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems (May 2009)

Fellow

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
  • Representing leading insurer in coverage litigation arising from COVID-19 pandemic business-interruption claims.
  • Representing an insurance company in coverage disputes relating to environmental-pollution investigation and remediation costs. KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Century Indemnity Company (NY); Brooklyn Union Gas Co. v. Am. Home Assurance Co., et al.
    • Obtained important and broad-reaching New York Court of Appeals ruling rejecting policyholder’s argument that damages from long-term environmental contamination cannot be allocated “pro rata” during years insurance was unavailable.
  • Representing pop-music star Kesha in litigation involving defamation and breach-of-contract claims.
  • Representing Warner Bros. in litigation with co-financer regarding distribution of The Matrix Resurrections and other films.
  • Representing Klarna Inc. in consumer-fraud litigation relating to Klarna’s point-of-sale financing service.
  • Defending underwriter syndicate in Section 11 litigation alleging misrepresentations relating to clinical trials. Kuhne v. Gossamer Bio, et al.
  • Defended The Walt Disney Company in actress Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit regarding distribution of the film The Black Widow.
  • Obtained summary-judgment-stage injunction for Twentieth Century Fox in employee-poaching dispute with Netflix regarding the enforceability of California fixed-term employment contracts.
  • Defended biopharmaceutical company CTI Biopharma in securities-fraud class action and derivative litigation alleging misrepresentations regarding the regulatory-approval process. In re CTI Biopharma Corp. Securities Litigation.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of a securities class-action complaint against a former Pfizer officer alleging misrepresentations regarding the safety profile of the company's pain medications. In Re: Pfizer Securities Litigation.
  • National coordinating counsel for a global financial institution in federal-court litigation, FINRA arbitrations, and regulatory proceedings arising from the marketing, sale, and underwriting of auction-rate securities. 
    • Obtained summary judgment on investor's federal and state securities-fraud claims. Tutor Perini Corp. v. Banc of Am. Sec.
    • Obtained summary judgment that investor waived its right to arbitrate claims by first pursuing them in federal court. Merrill Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. N.R. Hamm Quarry.
  • Represented biopharmaceutical company Nektar Therapeutics in a breach-of-contract dispute regarding a licensed product.
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In the News

Law360: CVS, Aetna 401(k) Stock Inflation Suit Axed For Filing Error

October 3, 2022

Law360: Chubb Unit Lands Win In Superstorm Sandy Damage Fight

August 1, 2022

The Washington Post: Kentucky Judge Extends Block of State’s Abortion Ban

July 22, 2022

The American Lawyer: More Than 2,000 Women Partners Issue Call to Action Post-‘Dobbs’

June 27, 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

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

December 3, 2021

The American Lawyer: Cause for Celebration: The 2021 American Lawyer Industry Awards Winners

December 3, 2021

The American Lawyer: The American Lawyer Announces 2021 Industry Awards Finalists

September 30, 2021

The American Lawyer: Litigators of the Week - A SCOTUS-Heavy Edition of Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

July 2, 2021

Law360: Kesha Wins Key Ruling In Dr. Luke Libel Case

June 30, 2021

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

April 8, 2021

Law360: Kesha Says New NY Free Speech Law Could Cost Dr. Luke

April 7, 2021

Law360: 8th Circ. Affirms Injunction Blocking 2 Ark. Abortion Laws

January 5, 2021

Alerts and Publications

Press Releases

O’Melveny Partner Leah Godesky Named 2022 “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” by the ACLU

April 20, 2022

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

April 20, 2022

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

March 29, 2022

O’Melveny Lauded at The American Lawyer Industry Awards

December 6, 2021

Jared Bartie and Leah Godesky Named 2021 Sports, Gaming & Entertainment Trailblazers by The National Law Journal

November 2, 2021

The American Lawyer Recognizes Leah Godesky as a “Young Lawyer of the Year”

October 4, 2021

Variety Names Twelve O’Melveny Partners to its “2021 Legal Impact Report”

April 9, 2021

Billboard Features Petrocelli, Godesky, Marroso in 2021 “Top Music Lawyers List”

April 5, 2021

O’Melveny Helps Achieve Eighth Circuit Victory Blocking Arkansas Abortion Bans

January 5, 2021