Neville L. Johnson, Partner (bio)

Neville L. Johnson


Neville L. Johnson is a founding partner of Johnson & Johnson, LLP. He specializes in media, entertainment, class action, privacy, and complex business litigation matters. Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law, graduating near the top of his class. Some of his significant experiences include:

  • Selected as one of the top 100 Power Lawyers in entertainment law by the Hollywood Reporter 2008-present.
  • Variety named him one of the top 50 lawyers in entertainment in 2013.
  • Nominated for 2005 California Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”
  • Deemed a “SuperLawyer” (Peer review recognizing the top 5% of attorneys in Southern California).
  • Gained substantial trial experience with over 24 civil jury trials, dozens of bench trials, many arbitrations, and over 100 criminal cases.
  • Professor David A. Elder, the leading expert in the United States on the law of privacy, published this special dedication in his treatise, Privacy Torts: “To Neville L. Johnson … who has led the charge, often successfully (and always creatively and with great passion) in exposing some of the worst outrages of media newsgathering. Neville ranks with Brandeis and Warren as the great defenders of privacy. All America is in his debt.”
  • Chaired three jury verdicts in excess of seven figures, including obtaining a 2004 award for nearly $15 million in a business fraud case.
  • Effectuated a variety of settlements, including numerous settlements in excess of $1 million and two in excess of $10 million
  • Obtained unanimous California Supreme Court decision in landmark ruling enhancing the right of privacy for all Americans. This case is in three casebooks studied in law schools across America. Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., 20 Cal.4th 907(Cal. 1999).
  • Taught many courses and appeared on panels relating to entertainment law, copyright law, media law, and litigation and on numerous national television and radio shows to discuss the right of privacy and other media matters.
  • Adjunct Professor at Southwestern Law School 2012-present teaching Entertainment and Media Litigation.
  • Subject of a law review article – Richards & Calvert, Suing the Media, Supporting the First Amendment: the Paradox of Neville Johnson and the Battle for Privacy, 67 Albany Law Review 1097 (2004).
  • Currently counsel in numerous class action and individual cases for recording artists and songwriters relating to improper accounting issues by record companies and music publishers.
  • Lead counsel for plaintiffs in Gerbosi v. Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein LLP (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 435, where appellate court partially affirmed the granting of $220,000 in sanctions to the prevailing plaintiffs on an anti-SLAPP motion in case involving allegations of wiretapping by a law firm. We represented many of the victims of notorious wiretapper Anthony Pellicano.
  • Lead counsel in class action on behalf of writers, actors and directors against unions for failure to pay over $200 Million in “foreign levies” due them. We caused the monies to be paid and reforms preventing this conduct in the future. Richert v Writers Guild of America west, Inc.; Osmond v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc.; Webb v. Directors Guild of America, Inc.
  • Plaintiff’s counsel in Parsons v. Tickner, 31 Cal. App.4th 1513 (1995), heir of songwriter Gram Parsons defeated statute of limitations defense and established fiduciary duty claim against music publisher.
  • Filed and settled numerous, substantial “theft of idea” claims against production companies, networks and studios.
  • Filed and settled numerous net profits cases for actors, producers, writers, and directors for motion pictures and television shows. Currently prosecuting many net profits cases as lead counsel in class actions against six major studios for under-payment of home video profits due talent.
  • Filed and settled numerous “right of publicity” and unauthorized use of image cases.
  • Filed and settled class actions for consumers against American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, and other consumer matters.
  • Co-counsel in class actions successfully resolved on behalf of models alleging price fixing against the major modeling agencies in New York.


  • “To Find Employment as a Lawyer, You Must Market Yourself,” 36 Los Angeles Lawyer 12 (June 2013).
  • “Remedies for Web Defamation,” California Lawyer 36 (May 2013).
  •  “Talent Agency Act Survives Suit, Clarity Remains Elusive,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 2013).
  • Douglas L. Johnson & Neville L. Johnson, What Happened to Unjust Enrichment in California? The Deterioration of Equity in the California Courts, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review Vol. 44:277, Fall 2010
  •  Elder, Johnson & Rishwain, Establishing Constitutional Malice for Defamation and Privacy/False Light Claims When Hidden Cameras and Deception Are Used by the Newsgatherer, 22 Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review 327 (2002) (a major article on journalist ethics and the law of libel and privacy).
  • Chapter, “Defamatory Tweeting and Other Name and Likeness Violations” in Building Your Artist’s Brand as a Business, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (2012).
  • Chapter, Neville Johnson and John Fowler, “Litigation: How to Draft Defensively Without Killing the Deal” in Licensing of Music from BC to AD (Before the Change/After Digital), International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (2014).
  • Privacy and the First Amendment,” California Litigation (2006)
  • In The Musician’s Business & Legal Guide, revised fourth edition (2007), co-author of the chapters, “Music Publishing,” ”Practical Aspects of Securing a Record Deal with a Major Label,” “Analysis of a Personal Management Agreement,” and “Analysis of a Single Song Agreement.”
  • “Ten Rules of Success for the Practice of Law,” Los Angeles Lawyer (2008).
  •  Johnson, Walsh and Tweed, “The Danger of “Anti-Libel Tourism” Legislation in America,” Los Angeles Lawyer (2009).
  •  Johnson, Rishwain & Elder, Caught in the Act, Los Angeles Lawyer, 33 (April 1998) (an analysis of current trends in the right of privacy).
  •  Johnson & Lang, 1979, The Personal Manager in the California Entertainment Industry, 52 Southern California Law Review 375 (a definitive article on the regulation of talent agents, personal managers, and the interplay of entertainment unions and guilds in that nexus).
  •  Authored the best-selling, authorized biography of legendary basketball coach, John Wooden: The John Wooden Pyramid of Success, Second Revised Edition, subtitled The Biography, Oral History, Philosophy and Ultimate Guide to Life, Leadership Friendship and Love by the Greatest Coach in the History of Sports (2004) and Woodenisms (2011).

Bar Admissions:

  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court for the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California and District Court of Arizona
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Third Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court


  • American Board of Trial Advocates (invitation only)
  • American Association for Justice
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association (Co-Chair Entertainment Section 2009-2011; Board of Governors 2012-present)
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (Board of Governors 2006-present)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy Organization) (voting member as a professional musician and producer)
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (Board of Governors 2011-present)
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association (only 2% of attorneys are invited)
  • Loyola Productions (Co-Chair of the Board 2009-present) (International filmmaking arm of the Jesuits)