Leah Godesky


Thank you for your interest. Before you communicate with one of our attorneys, please note: Any comments our attorneys share with you are general information and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will exist between you or your business and O’Melveny or any of its attorneys unless conflicts have been cleared, our management has given its approval, and an engagement letter has been signed. Meanwhile, you agree: we have no duty to advise you or provide you with legal assistance; you will not divulge any confidences or send any confidential or sensitive information to our attorneys (we are not in a position to keep it confidential and might be required to convey it to our clients); and, you may not use this contact to attempt to disqualify O’Melveny from representing other clients adverse to you or your business. By clicking "accept" you acknowledge receipt and agree to all of the terms of this paragraph and our Disclaimer.


Leah Godesky is a trial lawyer who represents clients across an array of industries, including insurance, entertainment, securities, and pharmaceuticals. Her litigation experience spans a variety of forums, including federal and state-court proceedings, arbitrations, and regulatory investigations. Leah works diligently to provide clients with favorable results in challenging and time-sensitive circumstances.

Leah also maintains an active pro bono docket. She is currently serving as co-counsel with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project for Kentucky physicians asserting a constitutional challenge to a state statute.

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Sports/Gaming/Entertainment Trailblazer by The National Law Journal (2021)
  • Recognized by The American Lawyer as "Young Lawyer of the Year" (2021)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2020-2021)
  • 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)
  • Named to Top Music Lawyers List by Billboard (2019-2021)
  • 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 (2018-2021)
  • Shortlisted by Chambers Women in Law Awards: Future Leader –– Gender Diversity (2018)


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


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

Professional Activities


  • “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)


  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity


  • New York Women's Bar Association
  • 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 abuse claims.
  • 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.
  • Obtained dismissal of a fraud complaint against a global financial institution relating to the creation, sale, and management of a collateralized-debt obligation. Aozora Bank Ltd. v. Barclays Bank PLC, et al.
  • 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.
  • Represented the former employee of a major financial institution in a criminal investigation of the municipal-bond industry.

Press Releases

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

O’Melveny Helps Secure Key Win in Wisconsin Voting Rights Case

September 22, 2020

Petrocelli and Godesky Named to Billboard’s “2020 Top Music Lawyers”

July 28, 2020

Twelve O’Melveny Partners Named To Variety’s “Legal Impact Report”

July 14, 2020

O’Melveny Helps ACLU Achieve Sixth Circuit Victory Protecting Kentucky Abortion Rights

June 2, 2020

ABA Honors Godesky with Pro Bono Publico Award

May 26, 2020

In the News

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

New York Law Journal: Rising Star - Leah Godesky

October 21, 2020

New York Law Journal: New York Trailblazers - Leah Godesky

September 29, 2020

VIDEO: Leah Godesky Receives the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award

July 29, 2020

Variety: 2020 Legal Impact Report

July 14, 2020

New York Law Journal: New York Law Journal Announces Its 2020 Rising Stars

June 26, 2020

American Bar Association: Five Top Volunteers Receive Honors at ABA Annual Meeting

June 8, 2020

American Bar Association: ABA to Honor Three Individuals, Two Law Entities for Their Pro Bono Efforts

May 20, 2020

Law360: 5 New COVID-19 Abortion Developments You Should Know

April 14, 2020