“Everyone loves a comeback” is one of the most enduring maxims in showbiz, and if there’s ever been an attorney who embodies both that saying and the industry, it’s Variety’s Billion Dollar Litigator, Pierce O’Donnell.Fresh from his role at the center of the stunning 2014 success-from-shame story of Donald and Shelly Sterling’s sale of the Los Angeles Clippers sports franchise for $2 billion, O’Donnell exhibits a bigger-than-life color and zeal for litigation that has characterized his four-decades in the courtroom.The...
Pierce O’Donnell is one of the most accomplished attorneys in California, recognized in 2016 as the California Attorney of the Year in the litigation category. His recent high-profile cases include the precedent-setting Sterling v. Stiviano, in which he forced Donald Sterling’s mistress to return $2.6 million in property and cash to the Sterling Family Trust. He recently joined the litigation team representing Angelina Jolie in her divorce from Brad Pitt.
O’Donnell represented MGM Studios against Sony Corp., winning the case to keep Sony from launching its own competing James Bond movie franchise. He also won MGM’s case against American Honda Motor Co., Inc., a landmark win that recognized federal copyright protection of the fictional character James Bond. Other major cases include a $21.5 million win against Walt Disney Company in a trademark infringement suit, and Academy Award-winning actor Faye Dunaway’s lawsuit against Andrew Lloyd Weber in her wrongful termination from the Los Angeles production of Sunset Boulevard.
O’Donnell may be best known for his successful representation of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Art Buchwald against Paramount. The court found that Paramount had misappropriated Buchwald’s treatment for the movie “Coming to America,” which the studio claimed star Eddie Murphy had written. The court awarded Buchwald and his producer Alan Bernheim $1 million in damages. O’Donnell and Los Angeles Times reporter Dennis McDougal wrote the book Fatal Subtraction: The Inside Story of Buchwald v. Paramount (Doubleday 1992) about the case.