The Trusted Leaders in Entertainment Law (310) 975-1080

Neville L. Johnson

Neville L. Johnson

Senior Partner


[email protected]

(310) 975-1080
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Professional Experience
Representative Matters Class Action Cases
Speaking Engagements Professional Associations
Sample Publications Education
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Neville L. Johnson is the Senior Partner and co-founder of Johnson & Johnson LLP. He has spent nearly 50 years as a talent-side litigator in the entertainment industry, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for artists and strengthening privacy law for all Californians.

Professional Experience

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Neville Johnson in the Los Angeles Times

A Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of UC Berkeley, Mr. Johnson received his law degree from Southwestern Law School in 1975, graduating near the top of his class. He started his career working for Yoko Ono on matters related to the Beatles' catalog and quickly made a name for himself as (per The Los Angeles Times) "one of the most feared litigators in Hollywood" who "wrangled more than $350 million for actors, writers and other clients he contends were shortchanged their fair share of royalties and profits." Now designated a "Legal Legend" by The Hollywood Reporter and a Top 100 attorney by Super Lawyers, Mr. Johnson continues to oversee all matters at Johnson & Johnson in service of his career-long mission to protect and champion artists in the entertainment industry.

Neville Johnson in the Los Angeles Business Journal

As a writer and musician himself, Mr. Johnson litigates with unrivaled passion for the rights of creators, whether he is pursuing a copyright infringement case against reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny or a profit participation case on behalf of Sylvester Stallone. He additionally specializes in the realm of defamation and privacy torts, being one of the only attorneys to ever successfully litigate an invasion of privacy claim in the entertainment industry all the way to the California Supreme Court. Mr. Johnson has collectively resolved hundreds of disputes in the field and obtained numerous published court decisions protecting the rights of individuals against unscrupulous investigatory tactics by media defendants, leading privacy torts scholar David A. Elder to inscribe the following dedication in his seminal Privacy Torts treatise:

"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."

Neville Johnson in Attorney At Law Magazine

At the intersection of Mr. Johnson's zeal for protecting both entertainers and privacy rights is Johnson & Johnson's robust right of publicity practice, which safeguards individuals from having their personas (including name, image, likeness, voice, and signature) misappropriated for third party purposes. Mr. Johnson has litigated numerous such cases to seven-figure jury vedicts and otherwise collected tens of millions of dollars in confidential settlement of such claims.

In addition to his courthouse success, Mr. Johnson's legal prowess has been repeatedly recognized by his peers in a variety of capacities:

  • Mr. Johnson was nominated by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles for Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2005 and simultaneously elevated to the organization's Board of Governors, the only entertainment attorney to attain such a distinction.
  • Mr. Johnson sits on the Board of Governors for Public Justice and Planning Committee for USC's Entertainment Law Institute, twice sat on the Board of Governors for the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and maintains active membership in the invitation-only American Board of Trial Advocates and Los Angeles Copyright Society.
  • Mr. Johnson serves as an adjunct professor of entertainment and media litigation at Southwestern Law School, where he teaches an annual intersession course with his litigation partner Douglas L. Johnson.
  • Mr. Johnson regularly speaks on educational panels concerning a wide range of legal topics affecting the entertainment industry, and pens quarterly articles for the New York State Bar Association's Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal (amongst many other publications).

Mr. Johnson has appeared in courts in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He is a member of the California Bar and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Representative Matters

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  • Obtained a unanimous landmark privacy ruling from the California Supreme Court in Sanders v. ABC, which is now routinely included in casebooks and taught in law schools across the country.
  • Represented numerous victims of notorious wiretapper Anthony Pellicano and obtained sanctions against a law firm that utilized his services, which were affirmed in in Gerbosi v. Gaims.
  • Represented many celebrities and/or their estates in a variety of contractual, accounting, and intellectual property disputes, including Sylvester Stallone, John Lennon, Buddy Holly, Michelle Phillips, Jack Klugman, Richard Dreyfuss, Mike Connors, Rick Nelson, P.F. Sloan, members of Earth, Wind and Fire, Mitch Ryder, Lloyd Price and others.


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 Legend Legend

Top 100: Southern California
(2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
Legal Impact Report
(2020, 2013)
Alumnus of the Year 

Media Coverage

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“Lawyer Up”
(Sept. 9, 2019)

Speaking Engagements

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Beverly Hills Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Los Angeles Copyright Society
USC Entertainment Law Institute
Berklee School of Music
Stanford University
UC Berkeley
Loyola Law School
Southwestern Law School
California Western School of Law
California State University, Northridge
Arizona State University


Since 2012, Mr. Johnson has co-instructed a course on entertainment and media litigation as Adjunct Professors at Southwestern School of Law.

From 2011-2014, Mr. Johnson was one of the panelists teaching the Los Angeles County Bar Association new admittees course on class actions.

Since 2011, Mr. Johnson has moderated the panel on ethical issues for the annual Year in Review for the Entertainment Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. 

Professional Associations

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American Board of Trial Advocates
Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Los Angeles County Bar Association
USC Entertainment Law Institute
(Planning Board, 2011-Present)
Los Angeles Copyright Society
Consumer Attorneys Association of America
(Board of Governors, 2005-Present)
Public Justice
(Board of Governors, 2011-Present)
Loyola Productions
(Co-Chair of the Board, 2009-Present)
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
(Voting Member)
Consumer Attorneys of California
Beverly Hills Bar Association
(Fmr. Entertainment Section Co-Chair, 2009-2011)
(Fmr. Board of Governors, 2012-2015, 2020-222)

Sample Publications

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“Defamation and Invasion of Privacy in the Internet Age"
Southwestern Journal of International Law

April 23, 2019

“Trouble in Tinseltown"
Los Angeles Daily Journal 

March 29, 2019

“My Big Mouth"
Los Angeles Daily Journal


“Entertainment Contracts with Minors in New York and California"

October 18, 2016

“A New Way to Revive a Corporation?”
Los Angeles Daily Journal


“Hollywood Docket: One Sided World"

August 8, 2016

“Maybe America Needs More Peter Thiels"
Los Angeles Daily Journal

June 16, 2016

“We've Lost Control”
Los Angeles Daily Journal

May 10, 2013

“Talent Agency Act Survives Suit, Clarity Remains Elusive"
Los Angeles Daily Journal 

September 2013

“The Man Who Seduced Hollywood”
Los Angeles Lawyer

May 2013

“Remedies for Web Defamation"
California Lawyer

June 2013

“To Find Employment as a Lawyer, You Must Market Yourself"
Los Angeles Lawyer


“Litigation: How to Draft Defensively Without Killing the Deal”
Licensing of Music from BC to AD (Before the Change/After Digital)
International Association of Entertainment Lawyers


“Defamatory Tweeting and Other Name and Likeness Violations”
Building Your Artist's Brand as a Business
International Association of Entertainment Lawyers 

 June 2008

“Ten Rules for Success in the Practice of Law"
Los Angeles Lawyer



“Establishing Constitutional Malice for Defamation and Privacy/False Light Claims When Hidden Cameras and Deception Are Used by the Newsgatherer"
Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review


“New Developments in California Privacy and Defamation Law"
California Litigation


“What Happened to Unjust Enrichment in California? The Deterioration of Equity in the California Courts"
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

December 2009

“The Danger of ‘Anti-Libel Tourism' Litigation in the United States"
Los Angeles Lawyer


“Privacy and the First Amendment"
California Litigation


“Caught in the Act"
Los Angeles Lawyer 


"The Personal Manager in the California Entertainment Industry"
Southern California Law Review


The Musician's Business & Legal Guide (5th Edition)


The John Wooden Pyramid of Success (2nd Edition)


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Southwestern Law School, 1975
UC Berkeley, 1971

Practice Areas

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Entertainment Law

Class Action Litigation

Privacy Law

Business Litigation

Right of Publicity

Defamation Law

Copyright Infringement

Theft of Idea

Guild Disputes


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United States Supreme Court
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