Daniel J. Woods

Partner, Los Angeles Office

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

A partner in the Firm's Los Angeles office, Daniel J. Woods is one of the most accomplished and decorated litigators in Los Angeles, indeed, the entire country. The American Bar Association, California Bar Association, Inner City Law Center, Chambers USA and Los Angeles Daily Journal are just some of the publications and peer organizations which have honored Mr. Woods for his work.

Two recent cases highlight Mr. Woods’ ability to obtain significant results on behalf of clients. He defeated a $300 million antitrust claim brought by a prominent litigation firm and obtained a judgment for over $2 million in defense fees and costs. The case involved an Indian yarn spinner filing a $300 million Sherman Act Section 1 antitrust lawsuit against Mr. Woods' client, cotton-grower J.G. Boswell Company.  In May 2018, Mr. Woods won the arbitration with the three-judge panel ruling in J.G Boswell’s favor on every point and also awarded it over $2 million in fees and costs.

In Dexter Street Limited Partnership v. Wells Fargo Bank, Mr. Woods represented Wells Fargo in a commercial lease dispute. Dexter sought approximately $8 million in this long-running case. Mr. Woods secured a unanimous jury verdict for Wells Fargo on three of Dexter’s four specific claims and while it found in favor of Dexter on the fourth claim, awarded it only $1 in nominal damages, based on the suggestion to do so in Mr. Woods’ closing argument. 

His greatest and most well-known case came when he represented the Log Cabin Republicans in the well-publicized “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” trial which ended the United States Military’s discriminatory policy towards the LGBTQ community. The trial took place in the Central District of California in July 2010 and Mr. Woods, on behalf of his client, won a judgment declaring the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy to be unconstitutional and an injunction against further enforcement of the policy on due process and First Amendment grounds. Mr. Woods litigated the case over the course of seven years on a pro bono basis, and it was his truly tenacious efforts that even got the case to trial in the first place. Mr. Woods was in attendance when the President signed the official repeal of the policy.  For this work, he won high praise from peers, military leaders, members of the LGBTQ community and a score of others. 

Mr. Woods has been interviewed by and quoted in several publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Law360, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the San Jose Mercury News, Benchmark Litigation, the BBC, several national radio stations and more. Over the course of Mr. Woods’ career, he’s been recognized by The American Lawyer, National Law Journal, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Recorder, The Guardian, the Washington Post, NPR, CNN, USA Today and several other publications for his work.

Mr. Woods’ recent cases include:

  • In City of Los Angeles v. Charter Holdings, The City of Los Angeles sued Charter Holdings, an affiliate of Wells Fargo Bank, for breach of a lease, in Los Angeles Superior Court.The dispute involved the City’s claimed right to terminate its lease as to several floors in an office building several years early.The dispute had an estimated value of $7.5 million.Following the completion of discovery and on the eve of trial in March 2016, after Mr. Woods filed a very persuasive trial brief, the City decided to abandon its claims.The City not only dismissed the case, it paid Wells Fargo Bank $98,000 in attorneys’ fees.
  • Representing HdL Software, two other entities, and two individuals in a trade secret case brought by Portfolio Recovery Associates and MuniServices LLC. After winning several motions and even obtaining sanctions against opposing counsel, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the remainder of the case as the trial date approached.
  • Winning an arbitration involving the purchase and sale of a $30 million home in Beverly Hills, against Nile Niami, who is reportedly building a $500 million spec home, with a 20,000-square foot master bedroom. In October of 2015, Mr. Woods won a judgment of $4million plus attorney’s fees and costs in an arbitration in Los Angeles.

In his spare time, Mr. Woods has authored many articles and has, for 20 years, authored the annual update to the California Continuing Education of the Bar’s three-volume treatise, California Civil Procedure During Trial.  Mr. Woods' publications include:

  • Author, Annual Updates to California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998 - 2016.
  • Co-author, "Understanding the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, "Aspatore Special Report, 2011.
  • "Easy Cases Can Make Bad Law – Belaire-West Landscape and Discovery in California Wage and Hour Class Actions," California Litigation Report, July 2008.
  • "Employers Prevail in Class Actions Challenging Overtime Pay Exemption Status," California Litigation Report, February 2007.
  • “Enforceability of Covenants Not To Complete in California,” December 2004.
  • He has also been a community leader; a past President of the boards of directors of the Inner City Law Center, Uncommon Good, and the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.  He also volunteered as a judge pro tem in California state courts for 15 years.

RECOGNITION

Mr. Woods has received almost every honor in the legal industry, and has received some of these honors multiple times. The American Bar Association, California Bar Association, The Salvation Army and Inner City Law Center have all recognized and honored Mr. Woods for his work, his achievements and his ability to deliver one-of-a-kind results.

Among the awards he has received, Mr. Woods was named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal in 2011.  In 2011, Mr. Woods was awarded the ABA's John Minor Wisdom Public Interest and Professionalism Award.  He received a 2011 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award, and was named a 2010 Attorney of the Year by the Recorder.  Mr. Woods was presented with the 2011 "Partner in Mission" award by The Salvation Army.  The Log Cabin Republicans presented him with the "President Ronald Reagan Award" for 2011.  Mr. Woods received the Katherine Krause Award presented by the Inner City Law Center for outstanding leadership and service to its clients, tenants in slum housing buildings, (2000), and was a recipient of the California State Bar President's Award for Pro Bono Service the same year.  Most recently, Mr. Woods has been selected to the 2016 Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of the top 100 lawyers in the United States of Irish descent.

Among the publications that have recognized him, Mr. Woods has been recognized as a leading litigator by Chambers USA each year from 2006-2018.  In 2006, for example, Chambers USA reported that “clients admire his confident trial skills and knack for ‘always being right.’’  In 2012, Chambers USA noted that clients “appreciate his ability to ‘predict what will happen in a case.’”  Mr. Woods has also been recognized as a California "Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation for 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018.  He has also been named a "Super Lawyer" in the Southern California Super Lawyers Edition each year since 2004.

NEWS

ADMISSIONS & PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Federal Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow (2014)
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Inner City Law Center, Board Member (1999-present) and Board President (2006-2012)
  • Uncommon Good (2000 to present), Board Member 
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member