O’Melveny Worldwide

Molly M. Lens is Co-Head of O'Melveny's Entertainment, Sports, and Media Industry Group and the Lead Director of the firm’s Policy Committee. 

Molly is a versatile and accomplished lawyer with a broad litigation practice that spans a variety of areas, including entertainment, employment, intellectual property, business torts, and unfair competition. Clients routinely turn to Molly to represent them not only in high-profile litigation but also to advise them on sensitive internal matters, including allegations of misconduct and discrimination. Molly also devotes her time to pro bono matters.

Molly has been recognized as a leading entertainment litigator by The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Law360, and The Legal 500. She has also been named to the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” list by Benchmark Litigation and among the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” in Los Angeles by The Los Angeles Business Journal.

Entertainment and Media

  • Helped Fox overturn a $128.5 million punitive damages arbitration award to the stars and two producers of Fox’s longtime hit television show Bones
  • Obtained dismissal for Fox Broadcasting, FremantleMedia, CORE Media Group, and others of a putative class action complaint brought by former African-American male contestants who had been disqualified from American Idol
  • Represented Warner Bros. and The CW Network in a “vertical integration claim” relating to Smallville
  • Representation of studios in connection with various in profit participation matters

Employment

  • Represented Fox in litigation arising from Netflix's tortious interference with Fox's fixed-term employment contracts
  • Represented Activision in executive poaching litigation against Netflix
  • Represented FremantleMedia regarding Gabrielle Union's discrimination and harassment claims concerning her work as a judge on the hit television show America's Got Talent
  • Represented Fox in litigation involving claims of discrimination on the set of the primetime comedy television series The Grinder
  • Obtained dismissal for FremantleMedia in litigation involving claims of sexual harassment against a voice coach on American Idol

Intellectual Property

  • Represents Marvel is a series of copyright termination litigations involving some of Marvel’s most iconic characters
  • Represents Paramount Pictures in copyright infringement lawsuit over Top Gun: Maverick
  • Represented Fox in copyright infringement lawsuit over The Shape of Water, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2018
  • Represented 20th Century in copyright litigation over The Predator franchise
  • Obtained dismissal for Fox in copyright litigation over the breakout hit Empire
  • Obtained summary judgment for Fox in a trademark dispute concerning the breakout hit Empire
  • Represented Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema in copyright and contract action over merchandising, service, and theme park rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
  • Represented a regional bank against allegations of trademark infringement over new name resulting from rebranding due to multiple mergers
  • Successfully defended Warner Bros. in copyright termination matter

Business Torts and Unfair Competition

  • Representing 50 percent owner in litigation relating to one of the Southern California’s largest outdoor advertising companies
  • Successfully secured summary-judgment-stage permanent injunction against Netflix in tortious interference and Section 17200 litigation
  • Represented FremantleMedia in tort and breach-of-contract case concerning the hit reality show The X-Factor
  • Secured dismissal for Fox of Section 17200 claims in employment dispute
  • Represented Citibank in litigation arising out of one of the largest foreign currency trading frauds
  • Defended Sundance Institute against tortious interference claims

Pro Bono

  • Helped lead O’Melveny pro bono team representing a coalition of Wisconsin voters and organizations in a federal lawsuit brought to ensure that all voters in this key battleground state could safely and equitably cast ballots during the November 2020 general election
  • Represented an individual alleging Eighth Amendment violations after he was housed with a known member of a rival gang in his appeal before the Ninth Circuit
  • Represented several not-for-profit associations of lawyers in filing of amicus brief before Second Circuit in support of district court's ruling in United States v. Stein 
  • Represented a single mother and her two minor children living in New York City Public Housing in housing court 
  • Obtained asylum for a young man from Chad in asylum court in New Jersey who fled his home country due to persecution resulting from his political beliefs 

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California
  • US District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • US District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • US Court of Appeals, Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits

Education

  • The University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2003: cum laude; Article Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law
  • Macalester College, B.A., 2000: cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA in the category of Media & Entertainment: Litigation (2023-2024)
  • Named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2019-2023)
  • Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers list (2020, 2022, 2023)
  • Named to the “Top 250 Women in Litigation" list by Benchmark Litigation (2022-2024)
  • Recognized as a "California - Litigation Star” and a “Local Litigation Star” in Commercial by Benchmark Litigation (2022-2024)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Media & Entertainment: Litigation (2020-2024)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Intellectual Property: Copyright (2022-2024)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Sport (2023-2024)
  • Selected to the National Law Journal’s “Trailblazers - Employment Law” list (2021)
  • Recognized as a Law360 Media & Entertainment MVP (2019)
  • Named to The Legal 500 US “Next Generation Lawyer” list in the “Media and Entertainment” category (2017-2019)
  • Named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles list (2017)
  • Named a “Rising Star” and one of “the top five media and entertainment attorneys under age 40” by Law360 (2015, 2016)
  • Named one of “Hollywood's New Leaders” by Variety (2015)

Professional Activities

Clerkships

  • Honorable Harriet O’Neill, Texas Supreme Court

Board Member

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation; Vice-Chair, Nominating Committee

Member

  • Los Angeles Copyright Society

Co-Author

  • “Selective Waiver and Privilege in the Southern District of New York,” 79 U.S.L.W. 1835, co-authored with Jeffrey A. Rosenthal (Jan. 4, 2011)