Luis Li is a trial lawyer whose practice includes complex business litigation, corporate crisis management, internal investigations, international enforcement matters and white-collar criminal defense.

Mr. Li has led and played an instrumental role in numerous high-stakes trials for a range of clients.

Mr. Li is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He also has been named a “Top 100” lawyer in California by the Daily Journal, a “Top Litigator in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and a “Criminal Law Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal. He has received two California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Awards for his successful defense of the Norton Simon Museum in a closely watched ownership challenge and for his role in defending Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, in litigation stemming from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before rejoining the firm as a partner in 2005, Mr. Li served for three years as Chief of the Criminal Branch of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, where he directed one of the largest prosecutorial agencies in California.

From 1995-2002, Mr. Li served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, where he concentrated on complex, large-scale racketeering and organized crime matters. From 2000-2002, as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section, Mr. Li was responsible for overseeing the investigation and prosecution of organized crime and terrorism, including the successful prosecution of numerous violent, international criminal organizations. As a federal prosecutor, he tried nearly 20 cases to verdict.

Mr. Li is on the board of the Norton Simon Foundation, and was previously a board member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the John Thomas Dye School, and Bet Tzedek.

In 1997, Mr. Li reached the summit of Denali (also known as Mount McKinley). He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and daughter.

Experience

Key Representations

Recent Trials

  • Mr. Li served as co-lead trial counsel in a four-month criminal trial defending Plains All American Pipeline from a 46-count indictment brought by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney and the California Attorney General stemming from an oil release from a pipeline near Santa Barbara.
  • Mr. Li served as trial counsel for the NCAA in a highly publicized case brought by a class of Division I college football and men’s basketball players who asserted antitrust claims relating to NCAA rules.
  • Mr. Li was trial counsel for Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon, in civil litigation arising from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After a months-long trial, the court delivered a complete defense verdict.
  • Mr. Li was lead trial counsel for James Ray, a self-help author, in the Arizona manslaughter prosecution against him for three deaths at a sweat lodge ceremony. A jury acquitted Mr. Ray of reckless manslaughter. The trial was nationally televised in daily broadcasts.
  • Mr. Li was trial counsel for Rhonda Byrne in a copyright suit challenging the Australian author's copyrights to “The Secret,” Simon & Schuster’s all-time best-seller.

High Stakes Litigation and Investigations

  • For Vanessa Bryant, Mr. Li leads the invasion of privacy and federal civil rights suit against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department  for the Department’s illegal taking and sharing photos of the victims of the tragic helicopter crash that killed nine people including Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Mr. Li also represents the Kobe Bryant Estate and co-leads the wrongful death suit against Island Express, the helicopter company that transported the passengers who perished in the crash.
  • For a major public university system, lead counsel in conducting review of admissions practices for student athletes.
  • For a major Los Angeles hospital in investigation by Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office into patient discharge practices. Amicable resolution.
  • For the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in highly publicized federal criminal investigation into tax issues relating to donations. No charges brought.
  • For a major railroad company in manslaughter investigation relating to workplace death. No charges brought.
  • For a major studio in investigation into piracy and distribution of blockbuster film. Investigation caught the culprit and he was referred to federal authorities for prosecution.
  • For a major aeronautics company in NTSB investigation into fatal mishap involving a sub-orbital spacecraft.
  • For Norton Simon: Successfully resolved claims involving two paintings that were subject to Nazi-coerced sales during World War II. The verdict was named among the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2016.
  • For the J. Paul Getty Trust : As co-lead counsel in an internal investigation relating to its antiquities collection, Mr. Li’s representation culminated in successful and widely-reported settlements with Italy and Greece.
  • For the Santa Anita Racetrack: Obtained a full declination from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in a highly publicized investigation by that office into equine fatalities at the track.
  • For a major movie producer: Obtained dismissal of major criminal charges related to the Zaca Fire, then the second-largest wildfire in California history. A court dismissed all felonies after a preliminary hearing.