- J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1971
- B.S., International Economics, with additional emphasis in accounting, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, 1968
- State of California
Donald Woods is a Principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith Hennigan and has been a first-chair litigator for over 30 years. He began his career defending a high volume of personal injury cases and progressed into trying business cases involving contractual disputes, dealer terminations and numerous forms of business torts. His practice has been focused on jury trials running the gamut of civil litigation from contractual disputes including real estate and oil and gas agreements, statutory violations including antitrust, securities, environmental, intellectual property including patent infringement, unfair competition, and franchising laws, tort litigation including fraud, unfair competition, and wrongful termination, and class and derivative litigation.
Mr. Woods’s representations demonstrate the breadth of his trial experience, including:
- Obtaining a defense verdict for Texaco in federal court in Fresno for the trial of a dispute regarding the drilling of a deep exploratory well and the rights to the associated oil field in Kings County, California;
- Obtaining a defense verdict for the same oil company in San Diego Superior Court in the trial of antitrust and unfair competition claims by nineteen service station retailers regarding pricing;
- Representing Mobil Oil Company in the Supreme Court of Louisiana successfully defeating class certification for air pollution claims involving the residents of two parishes in the New Orleans area;
- Representing members of the royal family of a foreign government successfully asserting foreign sovereign immunity defenses in federal court in Los Angeles;
- Defeating class certification and obtained a voluntary dismissal for a vehicle manufacturer in defense of a nationwide class action for unfair competition in Superior Court in Los Angeles; and
- Obtaining summary judgment in defense of a regional medical center and its individual directors in a breach of charitable trust action involving a not-for-profit corporation and the managed health care revolution which case was featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Woods also has been representing the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in civil and criminal matters pertaining to clergy misconduct since 2002.
Professional & Community Activities
- Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association, 1990’s
- Executive Committee of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1998-present; Chairman, 2004-2005
Awards & Recognition
- AV Peer Review Rated
- Southern California Super Lawyers 2005-2011
- Editor, Columbia Law Review
- Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
- Charles Bathgate Beck Award in Real Property