DANIEL J. WOODS
Dan Woods is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. An accomplished litigator and experienced trial lawyer, he has been honored with many prestigious awards and has been recognized by several leading legal publications. Benchmark Litigation recently named him one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.
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 2006-2014. 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, and 2016. He has also been named a "Super Lawyer" in the Southern California Super Lawyers Edition each year since 2004.
Mr. Woods tries jury and non-jury trials, and has considerable experience in appellate proceedings in both state and federal courts. He has litigated and tried many cases for financial institutions and religious organizations. He has considerable recent experience in litigating trade secret and employee mobility issues.
Mr. Woods won a two-week court trial in the Central District of California in July 2010 in a case challenging the constitutionality on due process and First Amendment grounds, of the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America, 716 F.Supp.2d 884 (C.D.Cal. 2010).
He has tried employment, real estate, banking, and complex business cases in courts around the country. He also tried a three-month trial in Kenai, Alaska, including claims of sexual abuse of minors by a minister. The case resulted in a very modest jury verdict of $429,000 for five plaintiffs, reported to be the lowest verdict in a case of this type in the United States.
Mr. Woods has also represented a financial institution in a real estate dispute in the famed “Golden Triangle” area of Beverly Hills, which included two wins at the California Court of Appeal and an award of attorneys’ fees in favor of the client. He has also defended a California employer in a class action lawsuit alleging that the employer failed to pay its 24,000 California employees overtime wages, failed to provide meal breaks, failed to provide rest breaks, and committed other alleged wage and hour violations. He also has considerable experience defending religious organizations against claims of sexual misconduct by ministers and employees.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Woods was a law clerk for the Honorable A. Andrew Hauk, US District Court, Central District of California, 1977-1978. Prior joining Musick, Peeler, Mr. Woods was a partner at a national law firm for many years and then a partner for 16 years at a global law firm, including nine years as the head of its litigation practice in Los Angeles.
Mr. Woods' publications include:
Author, Annual Updates to California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998 - 2014.
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.
Mr. Woods is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, has been a board member (1999-present) and Board President (2006-2012) of the Inner City Law Center, and has been a board member of Uncommon Good (2000 to present). He is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Mr. Woods has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (2014).
Mr. Woods is admitted to practice before all California state courts, all U.S. District Courts in California, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.