O'Melveny & Myers

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O’Melveny & Myers LLP
O'Melveny & Myers
Headquarters 400 South Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
No. of offices 15 Internationally
No. of attorneys approx. 740
Major practice areas Litigation and transactions
Key people Bradley J. Butwin, Firm Chairman
Revenue $665.0 million (2014)
Date founded 1885
Founder Henry O’Melveny and Jackson Graves

O’Melveny & Myers LLP is an international law firm founded in Los Angeles, California. The firm is the 48th largest law firm in the world.[citation needed] It employs around 800 lawyers in 16[1] offices worldwide. The firm has represented clients, such as Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, the District of Columbia, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and other law firms. They represented former Enron Corporation chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling during his four-month fraud and conspiracy trial.[2]

The firm was founded in 1885 as "Graves & O'Melveny" by Henry O'Melveny and Jackson Graves.[3] The firm became "O'Melveny & Myers" when Chief Justice of California Louis Wescott Myers joined the firm after retiring from the Supreme Court. The former Chair of the firm, Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., who serves at the firm's Washington, D.C. office, is the former White House Counsel during the Reagan Administration. Former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher (1925-2011), who served as the firm's Chairman from 1981-1991, was a Senior Partner at the firm's Century City, CA office. Litigation partner Bradley J. Butwin is the current Chair of the firm.

O’Melveny & Myers attorneys represent clients in many areas, including antitrust and competitiveness issues, appellate work, aviation law, capital markets, class-action defense, corporate law, entertainment and media law, finance and restructuring, white collar defense and corporate investigations, healthcare law, insurance and mass torts, intellectual property and technology, labor and employment law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, project development and real estate, SEC, securities litigation, strategic counseling, tax law, and trial and litigation work.

Notable partners and alumni[edit]

Notable cases[edit]

In January 2008, the Interim Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Peter Nickles, selected O’Melveny & Myers partner Walter E. Dellinger III to defend the constitutionality of the District's handgun ban before the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller.[5] In March 2008, Dellinger argued that the city's ban on the possession of handguns and its trigger lock requirement is not implicated by the Second Amendment.[6] However, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's "right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."[7]

In February 2008, Dellinger argued before the Supreme Court in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, on behalf of Exxon regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision (Justice Alito had recused himself), reduced the $2.5 billion punitive damages award against Exxon to $507.5 million, holding that in maritime cases there should be a 1:1 ratio between punitive and compensatory (actual) damages.[8]

In September 1991 the firm represented, pro bono, community gang abatement specialist Ronald Lazar, StreetPeace, and nine other plaintiffs in a precedent-setting consolidated small claims action on appeal, Rawlings, et al. v. Crumpton, establishing an important, powerful tool in crime prevention.[citation needed]


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