Sabrina H. Strong
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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.
Sabrina is the Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Product Liability & Mass Torts Practice, and she represents clients in bet-the-company litigation in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, consumer products, healthcare, media and entertainment, energy, and financial services. Benchmark Litigation recently ranked Sabrina as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation, and Chambers USA and Legal 500 both recognize Sabrina for her work in Product Liability & Mass Torts. Sabrina has handled numerous state and federal appeals, including 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.
A community leader, Sabrina has served as President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles and frequently speaks on complex litigation trends and procedures. She also helped found the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic at the UCLA School of Law, where she served as an Adjunct Professor. The Los Angeles Business Journal named Sabrina one of the region’s Most Influential Women Lawyers, and the Daily Journal identified Sabrina in its list of “Top Women Lawyers” in 2020.
Honors & Awards
- Named a California - Litigation Star and a Local Litigation Star in Product Liability and Commercial Litigation by Benchmark Litigation (2021-2023)
- Named to the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” list by Benchmark Litigation (2022-2023)
- Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a California - Litigation Star and a Local Litigation Star in Appellate and Class Action (2023)
- Recognized in Lawdragon's list of “500 Leading Litigators in America” (2022)
- Recognized by Chambers USA for Product Liability & Mass Torts (2021-2022)
- Named to the Daily Journal’s list of 2020 Top Women Lawyers. The list recognizes the top women lawyers practicing in California. (2020)
- Recommended by The Legal 500 US for Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action - Defense: Automotive/Transport (2020-2022) and Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action - Defense: Consumer Products (2020-2022); Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices - Defense (2019-2022); 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
- US District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
- US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- 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
- Honorable William J. Rea, US District Court, Central District of California
- UCLA School of Law, Ninth Circuit Appellate Practice Clinic (2008-2012)
Board of Directors
- The Center on Civil Justice at New York University School of Law
- 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 (2010-Present)
- Western Center on Law and Poverty (former board member)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section (2018-2019)
- ABA’s Annual Institute on Class Actions (2013-present)
- The Chancery Club of Los Angeles
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- American Bar Foundation (Fellow)
- Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Class-Action Lawyers (or at Least Make Sure They Look Before They Leap into the Saddle!), Panelist, ABA Class Action Institute (Austin, TX), (Apr. 2022)
- Public Nuisance - New Mass-Litigation Sheriff in Town?, Moderator, ABA Class Action Institute (Austin, TX), (Apr. 2022)
- Class-Action Trials, Lecturer, The Ohio State University - Moritz Collegeof Law (Apr. 2022)
- “The Mansfield Rule and More: Tips on How All Law Firms Can Adopt Strategies To Hire, Promote and Retain More Diverse Attorneys,” Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (Jan. 2022)
- “Tort Law,” Guest Lecturer, Harvard Law School, Torts 7 (Apr. 2021)
- “Is the Tail Wagging the Dog? The Interplay Between Litigation and the Media,” International Association of Defense Counsel, 2021 Corporate Counsel College (Apr. 2021)
- “Cases of a Lifetime,” International Association of Defense Counsel (Feb. 2021)
- “The Decision to File - MDL strategic decisions re timing, venue, and choice of law,” Bolch Judicial Institute, Duke Law School, Mass-Tort MDL Certificate & Advanced Certificate Program (Nov. 2020)
- “Case Management: Strategy and management of MDLs from General Counsel and outside defense counsel perspectives,” Bolch Judicial Institute, Duke Law School, Mass-Tort MDL Certificate & Advanced Certificate Program (Nov. 2020)
- “The Future of Consumer Class Actions: The Pendulum Swing in the Courts, Congress, Executive Agencies, and the States?,” Guest Lecturer, University of Michigan Law School, Consumer Class Action & Complex Litigation (Nov. 2020)
- “The Cloud of Bristol-Myers Squibb Over Class Actions—What’s Next?” ABA National Institute on Class Actions (Oct. 2020)
- “‘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)
- “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)
- Represents Travis Scott in Texas MDL involving more than 3000 plaintiffs seeking damages related to the 2021 Astroworld Festival.
- Defended Sempra Energy and Southern California Gas Company against more than 36,000 claimants alleging damages from the Aliso Canyon gas leak in Porter Ranch, 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 of the Daily Journal’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.
- Developed and implemented appellate strategies for dozens of high-exposure wrongful death personal injury matters—including excessive force, construction, transportation, premises liability, and general liability matters—and appeared at many of the trials as embedded appellate counsel.
- Argued before the California Supreme Court about the proper reach of California’s apportionment statute governing tort liability.
- Appellate strategist on trial teams defending products liability and personal injury claims on behalf of major pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, focusing on identifying and preserving issues for appeal.
- Defended national managed care organizations in qui tam actions asserting claims under the False Claims Act, including allegations of inflated Medicare Advantage premiums resulting from inaccurate risk-adjustment submissions.
- Defended Ninth Circuit appeal after district court dismissed claims against national managed care organization stemming from allegations that in-home assessment provider generated false data for submissions to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Defended a leading manufacturer of household goods against three related consumer fraud class actions in state and federal courts involving claims that a cleaning product harmed plumbing.
- Defeated a purported class action against a multinational food manufacturer based on allegations that the product’s package made false and misleading representations.
- Coordinated the defense of a well-publicized class action brought against a large municipality premised on Section 1983 (free speech and due process) and employment discrimination and retaliation claims.
- Defended a large public entity against class action asserting constitutional claims relating to the appropriate system of oversight and management for public education.
- Recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign companies in a dispute stemming from a fraudulent acquisition.
- Developed and implemented—in coordination with the client and other national counsel—the core legal strategies for the defense and direction of a major, nationwide multidistrict product liability litigation.
- Defended a petroleum company against a multimillion-dollar claim by municipalities resulting from an oil spill (including significant involvement in a four-week jury trial in Anchorage leading to a defense verdict).
- Led successful criminal prosecution before a jury on behalf of the Hermosa Beach Prosecutor’s Office, a pro bono service provided by O’Melveny under its Trial Advocacy Prosecution Program.