Leah Godesky


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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 to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2020)
  • Recognized by New York Law Journal as a “New York Trailblazer” (2020)
  • Named to Crain’s New York Business “Notable Women in Law” (2019)
  • Named to Top Music Lawyers List by Billboard (2019, 2020)
  • 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 (2018-2020)
  • Shortlisted by Chambers Women in Law Awards: Future Leader –– Gender Diversity (2018)


Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, First, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits
  • US District Court, 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.

In the News

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

The National Law Journal: 2019 Litigation Law Trailblazers

September 1, 2019

The National Law Journal: Winning Litigators—Leah Godesky, O’Melveny & Myers

August 26, 2019

Bloomberg Law: Big Law Pro Bono Takes on ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Restrictions

June 17, 2019

Bloomberg Law: Big Law Pro Bono Takes on ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Restrictions

June 17, 2019

CBS This Morning: Outreach Program Exposes Underserved Youth to High-Powered Industries

May 30, 2019

AmLaw Litigation Daily: O’Melveny and Hogan Rack Up Pro Bono Wins With Landmark Rulings

May 9, 2019

New York Law Journal: Kesha Can Compel Records From Sony in Ongoing Battle with Ex-Producer, Appeals Court Confirms

May 9, 2019

Press Releases

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

Crain’s New York Business Recognizes Godesky and Rudzin as “Notable Women in Law”

December 16, 2019

Billboard Features Godesky in 2019 “Top Music Lawyers List”

August 27, 2019

Godesky Named One of National Law Journal’s 2019 “Winning Litigators”

August 26, 2019

Eleven O’Melveny Lawyers Named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List 2019”

August 9, 2019