Sabrina H. Strong

Partner

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Sabrina Strong is an accomplished trial lawyer and appellate advocate who has litigated some of the most complex and highest profile trials of the past decade. Her courtroom results have earned annual “Top Defense Verdict” honors from the National Law Journal and Daily Journal in multiple years. She also defends clients in the court of public opinion, protecting their interests and reputations on camera and in national publications.

As co-chair of O’Melveny’s Consumer Class Actions Practice, Sabrina represents clients in bet-the-company litigation in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, consumer products, healthcare, media and entertainment, and financial services, mounting defenses against claims ranging from wrongful death to false labeling to fiduciary breach. The Legal 500 recommends Sabrina for her work in General Commercial Disputes and Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Actions. Sabrina has handled numerous state and federal appeals, most recently arguing before the California Supreme Court on an issue critical to tort liability apportionment. Recognizing her unique combination of high-profile trial experience and sophisticated appellate work, clients regularly call on Sabrina to actively litigate sensitive cases as appellate counsel throughout trial.

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Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action - Defense: Automotive/Transport (2020) and Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action - Defense: Consumer Products (Including Tobacco) (2020); Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices - Defense (2020 and 2019); and General Commercial Disputes (2018)
  • Named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential Women Lawyers list (2017)
  • Multiple recognitions for the year’s “Ten Best” defense verdicts by the National Law Journal and Daily Journal
  • Named a “Rising Star” in the product liability field by Law360 (2012)
  • Recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and published in Los Angeles magazine

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit 

Education

  • New York University, J.D., 1998: Moot Court Board
  • University of California at San Diego, B.A., Political Science, 1994: summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Research Scholar; Dean’s List

Professional Activities

Clerkships

  • Honorable William J. Rea, US District Court, Central District of California 

Adjunct Professor

  • UCLA School of Law, Ninth Circuit Appellate Practice Clinic (2008-2012)

Board of Directors

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Los Angeles Chapter
  • President (2018-2019)
  • Vice President (2017-2018)
  • Treasurer (2016-2017)
  • Secretary (2015-2016)
  • I Have a Dream Foundation (2018-2019)
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty (former board member)

Executive Committee

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section (2018-2019)

Planning Committee

  • ABA’s Annual Institute on Class Actions  (2013-present)

Professional Memberships

  • The Chancery Club of Los Angeles
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • American Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Speaker

  • “‘A Ticket into the Friendly Confines’ Class-Action Insights from In-House Counsel,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Chicago, Oct. 2018)
  • “Inside the Beltway: Class-Action Insights from In-House Counsel,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Washington, D.C., Oct. 2017)
  • “Rethinking Insurance and Liability in the Transformative Age of Autonomous Vehicles,” RAND Institute for Civil Justice (San Francisco, July 2017)
  • “‘Behind the Curtain.’ Examining Class Actions from the In-House Perspective,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Las Vegas, Oct. 2016)
  • “‘Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Plaintiffs?’ The Supreme Court’s Consideration of Rule 68 Offers of Judgment and Whether These Offers Parade Plaintiffs Out of Court,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (New Orleans, Oct. 2015)
  • “Complex Case Management,” 2014 Complex Court Symposium, Los Angeles County Bar Association (Nov. 2014)
  • “How Juries Decide and How We Help Them Decide,” ABTL 41st Annual Seminar (Oahu, Oct. 2014)
  • “‘Playing in the Not-So-Friendly Confines.’ Offensive and Defensive Strategies for Litigating Privacy and Data-Breach Class Actions in the Season’s High-Tech e-Commerce Game,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Chicago, Oct. 2014)
  • “What the POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola Decision Does—and Doesn’t—Tell Us About the Future of False Advertising Claims Against Food and Beverage Companies,” Los Angeles County Bar Association (Apr. 2014)
  • “19th Annual Litigators Forum: Cases of a Lifetime,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Litigation Section (Apr. 2014)
  • “Moldy or Not—The Impact of Comcast on the Future of Class Action Litigation, Standing, and Issue Classes,” ABA Section of Litigation Annual Seminar (Scottsdale, Apr. 2014) 
  • “‘Look Younger, Thinner, and Sexier! Um . . . We Promise?’ Plaintiffs’ Growing Appetite for Food and Health-Labeling Class Actions—Do They Deserve a Seat at the Table or Do They Needlessly Fill the Courts’ Plate?,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Boston, Oct. 2013) 
  • “‘The Class Definition That Works . . . or Does It?’ Strategies for Pleading and Attacking Class Definitions,” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Chicago, Oct. 2012)
  • “Up and Over:  Effective Ways to Climb the Maternal Wall,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (March 2011) 
  • “Nuts & Bolts: Basic Litigation Skills—Essential Tools for Lawyers,” Los Angeles County Bar Association (2003–2012)

Publications

  • “SCOTUS Approaches Review of Question:  Does the Violation of a Statutorily Created Right Create Article III Standing?,” ABA’s Class Action & Derivative Suits Fall 2014 Newsletter (co-authored with Randall Edwards and Mia Vu) (Nov. 2014)
  • “Cyberattacks Create Unique Risks for Healthcare Providers,” Data Security and Privacy Newsletter, O’Melveny & Myers (co-authored with Jen Cardelús) (Sept. 2014)
  • “The Battle Over ‘Standing’ in Class Actions,” ABA Section of Litigation (co-authored with Sevana Babooian) (2014)
  • “Amended Rules for Multidistrict Litigation Take Effect,” Verdict and CADS Report (co-authored with Matt Powers and Justin Mates) (2011)
  • “Drug Manufacturers’ Interactions with the FDA About Drug-Label Content Are Entitled to Protection Under the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine,” Andrews Drug Recall Litigation Reporter (co-authored with Rich Goetz) (2008)
  • Review of Unfair Competition Law for the 2003 California Litigation Review (published by the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California) 
  • National coordinating counsel for major pharmaceutical company in 3000+ opioid-related lawsuits pending in a federal multidistrict litigation and state courts throughout the country.
  • Defended Johnson & Johnson against the State of Oklahoma’s unprecedented demand for $17.7 billion under its public nuisance statute in the first of the nation’s opioid-related cases to go to trial. After a seven-week televised trial, the court awarded less than 3% of what the state sought—a judgment currently on appeal.
  • Earned a highly publicized win for a concert promoter in a five-month jury trial over the $2 billion wrongful death claim brought by Michael Jackson’s mother and children. The Daily Journal named it one of the “Top Defense Verdicts of 2013, ” and the Los Angeles Times highlighted Sabrina’s “sharply” focused cross-examination of plaintiffs’ damages expert under the headline “AEG Lawyer Attacks Projection of Michael Jackson Tour Earnings.”
  • Second-chaired an eleven-day trial in Los Angeles Superior Court that resulted in a complete victory against breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims for top executives of a dental products company—one the DailyJournal’s “Top Defense Verdicts of 2009”. Taking over for another firm, Sabrina’s team had just eight weeks to digest 20 years of allegations, which the DJ praised as a “last minute save” for the client.
  • Defended a major financial institution in a month-long ERISA class action trial over services it provided to a billion-dollar 401(k) plan.
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