Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Daniel Petrocelli '80

Daniel Petrocelli

Partner, O'Melveny & Myers

B.S., Music, University of California, Los Angeles

The gratifying challenge of effective lawyering

A leading trial attorney in O'Melveny & Myers, one of the nation's best known law firms, Daniel Petrocelli specializes in complex litigation and trial work in a broad array of fields, including entertainment, intellectual property, unfair competition, business torts, securities, employment law, and in selected criminal cases. His clients include The Walt Disney Company, Barnes & Noble, Unocal, Guess, and many other U.S. companies, as well as numerous celebrities and other well-known individuals. "Working for a law firm with such depth and breadth of resources, in offices across the country and throughout the world, allows me to represent clients and try cases all over the place, and to accept the most challenging cases," Petrocelli said.


View the Insider Exclusives video interview with Daniel Petrocelli from the "America's Finest Trial Lawyer" series


He began his career with the firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (MSK), joining a class of first-year attorneys from the best law schools in the country. "I soon realized that my law school education had prepared me better than most of my colleagues," he said. "I was therefore able to accelerate in my career more quickly and be considered for important, high profile, high impact cases."

It was as a partner with MSK that Petrocelli gained fame, winning a wrongful death verdict in the civil trial against O.J. Simpson. "I was an improbable lawyer to represent the Goldman family," Petrocelli said. "I had done no work in the criminal area or personal injury field, let alone wrongful death. But I agreed to meet with the family. When I did, I realized that I had to take their case. For me, it was a life-changing experience, personally and as a lawyer.

"But then, I feel privileged every time a client comes to me for help, whether it's Fred Goldman or a large corporation," he went on to say. "You are representing people and companies in times of great need. They want your help, they are paying a lot of money for it, and you have to do everything in your power to deliver the best result. I find that infinitely gratifying."