Michelle Leigh Wodynski
Michelle is recognized as a leading trial lawyer and is an aggressive and successful advocate in a variety of complex commercial, intellectual property and sports/entertainment matters. Additionally, Michelle regularly counsels clients on the transactional side of these matters and serves as outside general counsel for a number of businesses. Her work has earned her a place on the 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers list.
Michelle’s experience includes the counseling and representation of Fortune 500 clients,
Fortune 100 and emerging growth companies in complex commercial cases involving
contracts, entertainment rights, new media, trademark and trade secrets, copyrights,
patents, false advertising claims, antitrust and unfair competition issues, first amendment,
corporate formation and partnership restructuring, employment, professional negligence
and related matters. Michelle has successfully represented a diverse range of clients
in the sports, entertainment (television, film, new media and internet), advertising and
marketing, semiconductor, telecommunications, and consumer products industries.
In the courtroom, Michelle has served as the first and second chair attorney in jury trials
and bench trials, as well as national and international arbitration proceedings. She also
has successfully guided cases through appeals before the Federal Circuit, the Ninth &
Tenth Circuits and the California Court of Appeal.
She also is a Board Member for ReelAngeles, a not-for-profit providing entertainment
and first run films for hospital bound children. She also works with a charitable
organization comprised of former college and professional athletes. Michelle was a
scholarship athlete at Southern Methodist University and played Division One women’s
The Catholic University of America (Law Review; Inns of Court; Law Fellow; J.D. cum laude 1999); Loyola University, Rome, Italy, 1991 (Art History, Italian Politics); Southern Methodist University 1987-1991 (B.A. in Political Science).
Of Counsel, Boesch Law Group (2006 to present); Associate, Jones Day (2001-2006); Associate, McDermott, Will & Emery (1998-2001); Litigation Assistant, Banner & Witcoff (1994-1996); Litigation Assistant, Dallas City Attorney’s Office (1994).
Michelle was named as a Super Lawyer "Rising Star" in the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 issues of Los Angeles Magazine and in a Special Rising Stars Edition of Law and Politics. She was asked to be a recurring guest on The Mendoza Report as the spokesperson for all pro bono lawyers in Los Angeles in 2005-2006. She was a team member awarded Volunteers of the Year in 2005 by Bet Tzdek.
Publications: "Unauthorized Data Harvesting of Internet Database by Automated Search ‘Robot’ Constitutes Trespass to Chattels," McDermott, Will & Emery Intellectual Property Update, March 2001; "Contempt Proceedings and Treble Damages for Post- Injunction Sale of Infringing Product Proper When No "Substantial Open Issues" of Infringement Exist," Intellectual Property Update, January 2001; "Litigants Beware: Sanction of Default Judgment for Egregious Misconduct Held Not an Abuse of Discretion," Intellectual Property Update, January 2001; "DMCA Effective in Obstructing DVD Software Pirates," Intellectual Property Update, February 2000; "Proof of Bad Faith Intent Required for In Rem Action Under the ACPA," Intellectual Property Update, August 2000, co-author.
Former host and producer, "Legally Speaking" television show; Recurring guest appearances on "The Mendoza Report" television show; “Burden of Proof” television show; Host, "Copyright Basics for Artists," Vienna Community Artist's Group; presenter "The Basics of E-Discovery," "Managing Complex Commercial Litigation" and “Deposition Training,” Jones Day.
United States Supreme Court (2006); all courts in California (2003 to date); all courts in Virginia (1999-date; current status: inactive); U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.
- Won substantial litigation cases and settlements involving contract disputes, distribution and production claims, competition and business transactions in a variety of industries.
- Successful representation of clients in various federal trial and appellate courts, and before the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Successful representation of clients in prosecution and defense of name and likeness, privacy, defamation and trade names, involving consumer products and endorsements, restaurant chains, celebrities and musicians.
- Successful representation of clients in enforcing rights related to domain name and trademark use and misuse on the Internet, and litigation of domain name disputes before ICANN and WIPO and cybersquatting issues under the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
- Successful representation of various entertainment production companies, producers, writers and talent as general counsel and in matters relating to rights acquisition and clearance, copyright infringement, film and tv contracts and related matters.
- Successful representation of minor league baseball franchises in naming rights dispute and copyright, trademark and related matters
- Client counseling for international entertainment branding company in contract matters, reality television deals, artist contracts, licensing contracts and negotiations, and film and television negotiations.
- Successful representation of several Fortune 500 companies in trademark prosecution, various litigation matters (contract and intellectual property), client counseling and entertainment branding for their famous trademarks in the sportswear, footwear and apparel industries.
- Successful representation of Fortune 500 company in copyright and trademark infringement matters regarding their famous trademarks and copyrighted works in the alcoholic beverage industry, including developing and implementing entertainment branding programs, trademark and copyright manuals and in- house training programs for protection of their famous marks.
- Successfully managed and resolved $40 million dollar international contract arbitration in Spain, as co-lead counsel, between Spanish shoe retailer and manufacturer and California-based Fortune 500 Company. Successful representation and member of the trial team awarded Best Defense Verdict in 2004. The trial team successfully obtained a unanimous defense verdict for IBM in a California jury trial in the microelectronics industry. This litigation featured prominently not only in the local press in Northern California but also in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine, and even 60 Minutes II.
- Production counsel for Academy Award nominated film.
- Client counseling for numerous businesses related to telecommunications, media, sports, entertainment, production and post-production, in growth opportunities, contracts, debtor/creditor issues, litigation avoidance, strategy, due diligence and employer liability.
- Successfully resolved $10 million dispute regarding allegations of illegal wire-tapping and securities fraud for large new media and marketing conglomerate.
- Achieved a favorable settlement in a partnership dispute relating to $50 million buyout by a major hotel chain of a resort in Mexico.
- Successfully handled and resolved multiple first amendment and fair credit reporting cases on behalf of a Fortune 500 company in the consumer credit reporting industry.
- Achieved additional royalty payments for talent in multiple disputes over royalties and accounting by the studios.
- Achieved a favorable settlement for telecommunications company in a trade secrets misappropriation case involving theft of customer lists by former employees.
- Achieved a favorable settlement for manufacturing company in a trade secrets misappropriation case involving theft of customer lists by former sales manager.