Neville L. Johnson


Neville L. Johnson is Senior Partner at Johnson & Johnson

Professional Experience

 Mr. Johnson has spent decades defending the rights of individuals in the entertainment industry. The Los Angeles Times has referred to him as “one of the most feared litigators in Hollywood” who “has wrangled more than $350 million for actors, writers and other clients he contends were shortchanged their fair share of royalties and profits.” With dozens of civil jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, mediations, and criminal cases under his belt, Mr. Johnson is routinely recognized as the “go-to” attorney for wronged talent and is a mainstay on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the top 100 “Power Lawyers” in entertainment. Mr. Johnson’s clients include some of the most legendary names in music, film, and television, who regularly turn to him for counsel in protecting their legacies, assets, and income streams from unscrupulous individuals.

Mr. Johnson has litigated and settled countless cases against a wide array of defendants concerning royalty accounting, profit participation, publicity rights, idea theft, copyright infringement, and many other entertainment law matters. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School since 2012, where he teaches Entertainment and Media Litigation. However, his greatest pride has been in defending the privacy rights of all citizens against the worst malefactors in the media. His work in this field was perhaps best summarized by Professor David A. Elder, a leading expert on the law of privacy, who published the following 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.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a unanimous landmark privacy ruling from the California Supreme Court in Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (1999) 20 Cal.4th 907, a decision that is included in multiple leading casebooks and taught in law schools across the country.
  • Represented numerous victims of notorious wiretapper
  • Represented numerous victims of notorious wiretapper Anthony Pellicano and obtained a favorable partial affirmance of a significant sanctions award by the California Court of Appeal in Gerbosi v. Gaims, Weil, West & Epstein LLP (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 435, which concerned a law firm’s use of Pellicano’s services.
  • Pioneered the use of class actions against studios and record labels for improperly accounting to artists regarding royalties and profit participation, obtaining multiple eight-figure settlements therefrom.
  • Represented the heir of songwriter Gram Parsons in Parsons v. Tickner (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 1513, defeating a statute of limitations defense and establishing a fiduciary duty claim against a music publisher.
  • Represented numerous legendary musicians and/or their estates on a variety of contractual, accounting, and intellectual property matters, including Buddy Holly, Michelle Phillips, Rick Nelson, P.F. Sloan, and others.
  • Obtained a $15 million award in a business fraud case.


One of the top 100 Power Lawyers in Entertainment Law by The Hollywood Reporter every year since, 2008. He has also been designated one of the top 50 Lawyers in Entertainment by both Variety and The Daily Journal, Trial Lawyer of the Year by the California Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles. He is a fellow at the American Bar Association and has been repeatedly selected by Super Lawyers as one of the top entertainment attorneys in Southern California.

Sample Publications

  • Johnson, Johnson, Smolla and Tweed, “Defamation and Invasion of Privacy in the Internet Age,” 25 Southwestern Journal of International Law 9 (2019)
  • My Big Mouth, Los Angeles Daily Journal (Mar. 29, 2019)
  • Entertainment Contracts with Minors in New York and California, 30 New York State Bar Assn, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal 75 (2019)
  • Co-author of “Analysis of a Personal Management Agreement” and “Music Publishing” in The Musician’s Business & Legal Guide, revised fifth edition (2016),
  • A New Way to Revive a Corporation?,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 18, 2016)
  • Hollywood Docket: One Sided World, 27 New York State Bar Assn, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal 32 (2016)
  • Maybe America Needs More Peter Thiels, Los Angeles Daily Journal (Aug. 8, 2016)
  • We’ve Lost Control, Los Angeles Daily Journal (June 16, 2016)
  • Studios Keep Tight Grip on Talent Pay,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (July 13, 2015)

Chapter, Johnson and 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)

  • The Man Who Seduced Hollywood, 36 Los Angeles Lawyer 41 (Sept. 2013)
  • Remedies for Web Defamation,”California Lawyer (May 2013)
  • Talent Agency Act Survives Suit, Clarity Remains Elusive, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 2013)
  • Chapter, Johnson and Aradi, “Defamatory Tweeting and Other Name and Likeness Violations” in Building Your Artist’s Brand as a Business, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (2012)
  • 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)
  • The Danger of “Anti-Libel Tourism Legislation in America, Los Angeles Lawyer (2009)
  • Privacy and the First Amendment, California Litigation (2006)
  • 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) Caught in the Act, Los Angeles Lawyer (April 1998)
  • The Personal Manager in the CA Entertainment Industry Southern California Law Review, Vol 52 (1979)

Professional Associations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates

                       Fellow (distinction granted to only 2% of attorneys)

  • American Association for Justice
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association

                       Co-Chair Entertainment Section, 2009-2011

                       Board of Governors, 2012-2015

  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

                        Board of Governors, 2006-Present

  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Loyola Productions

                        Co-Chair of the Board, 2009-Present

  • National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences

                        Voting Member (p/k/a Trevor McShane)

  • Public Justice

                        Board of Governors, 2011-Present

  • USC Entertainment Law Institute

                        Planning Board, 2011-Present

Neville Johnson

Senior Partner


  • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, 1975
  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, 1971

Practice Areas:

  • Media Law
  • Entertainment Law
  • Entertainment Class Actions
  • Privacy Law
  • Complex Business Litigation Matters


  • California

                     Call the attorney:

                         (310) 975-1080