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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)
- New York
- 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
- “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
- 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.
- Serving as co-counsel with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and Planned Parenthood in challenging several Arkansas and Kentucky statutes that infringe on women’s ability to access critical healthcare services.
- Served as co-counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood in successfully challenging the constitutionality of a Virginia statute that restricts women’s access to healthcare services.
- Obtaining asylum for an eastern European refugee of Roma descent.
- Representing a domestic-violence victim in trial-court litigation and appeals relating to malicious-prosecution and abuse-of-process claims filed by her ex-spouse.