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Musick Peeler PROFESSIONALS INNOVATIVE EXPERIENCED ACCESSIBLE
DANIEL J. WOODS
PARTNER

Experience

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.

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.

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.

Among the publications that have recognized him, Mr. Woods has been recognized  as a leading litigator by Chambers USA for 2006-2014 and as a California "Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation for 2010, 2011, and 2014.  He has also been named a "Super Lawyer" in the Southern California Super Lawyers Edition each year since 2004.

Mr. Woods' trials include the following:

  • 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).
  • A seven-day jury trial in San Diego County Superior Court in an employment case.
  • A five-day court trial in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in a real estate purchase and sale agreement dispute.
  • 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.
  • A lengthy trial in bankruptcy court in Fort Worth, Texas involving an alleged breach of a 15-year firm transportation  service agreement for the transportation of natural gas.
  • Defending Bimbo Bakeries USA, a subsidiary of the largest commercial bakery in Mexico, in an action filed by 27 delivery drivers claiming status as employees and not independent contractors. Plaintiffs sought more than $70 million in damages for breach of contract and unfair competition. Upon winning two key motions, the majority of plaintiffs settled for modest sums. The trial involving the remaining plaintiffs lasted just two hours and ended with the court granting a motion for non suit.

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.

Mr. Woods' current and recent cases include:

  • Successfully represented Wells Fargo Bank in a real estate lease dispute in the famed "Golden Triangle" area of Beverly Hills. Originally hired to handle the appeal from the adverse trial court decision entered against the bank, Mr. Woods briefed, argued, and won the appeal in 2009, successfully reversing the trial court decision. The case returned to Superior Court, and in 2011, the Court ruled in favor of Wells Fargo on all issues and also awarded Wells Fargo more than $400,000 in attorneys' fees. Camden Properties then appealed the order confirming the award and the judgment. In February 2012, the Court of Appeal ruled in our client’s favor, and affirmed the judgment and the attorneys' fees award.
  • Defending 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.
  • Defending a religious organization against claims of clergy misconduct.

 Mr. Woods' publications include:

Author, Annual Updates to California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial,  Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998 - 2013.

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.

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.

Education

  • University of Southern California, B.A., cum laude, 1974
  • University of Southern California School of Law, J.D., 1977

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
Daniel J. Woods
Office: Los Angeles
Phone: (213) 629-7622
Fax: (213) 624-1376
Email: Daniel J. Woods
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