Meet the lead lawyers handling Disney’s lawsuit against Florida Gov. DeSantis

Lawyers have experience to handle Supreme Court cases

Disney100 at Walt Disney World (Landon McReynolds, WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The four lawyers listed on the Walt Disney Company’s lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis include a legendary lawyer who handled cases for Disney and former President Trump, lawyers who focus on contract and constitutional law, and all of them are qualified in some form or fashion to work on the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Disney filed a suit against DeSantis and the members of his Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which replaced the Reedy Creek Improvement District that used to manage Disney property, on Wednesday.

Disney alleges DeSantis and his board violated several of the company’s constitutional rights in their campaign to take over the governing board for Disney’s property, including violations of the contract clause, the takings clause, the First Amendment and the due process clause in the U.S. Constitution.

[RELATED: READ Disney’s lawsuit against DeSantis]

To argue the case, four attorneys have signed onto the suit.

Daniel Petrocelli

Petrocelli is a vice chair at O’Melveny and Myers. His expertise is in sports, entertainment, intellectual property, unfair competition, securities and other areas of law. Most famously, he represented the family of Ronald Goldman in a civil lawsuit against OJ Simpson in 1997. Ultimately, a jury awarded Goldman over $8 million in damages.

He also was one of the attorneys representing Disney in the lawsuit regarding royalties and rights over Winnie the Pooh. Other cases under his belt include the lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and Trump University in 2016, and a suit against the federal government to allow the merger between Time Warner and AT&T.

Petrocelli most recently represented Disney in a lawsuit brought on by actress Scarlett Johannsen. She had argued her contract was breached by Disney because bonuses were tied to box office returns for the film “Black Widow,” but the film then aired on Disney+. The suit ended in settlement.

Jonathan Hacker

Jonathan Hacker chairs the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice for O’Melveny and Myers.

Among the lawsuits he’s worked on recently are several involving insurance companies during the pandemic, as well as work in favor of the merger between Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster publishing companies.

Hacker has argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alan Schoenfeld

Alan Schoenfeld is an attorney with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in New York. Schoenfeld’s work focuses on commercial disputes, with experience working in contract and tort claims. He has experience with litigation at the federal appeals court level and at the U.S. Supreme Court level. He also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Schoenfeld also does pro bono work for LGBTQ causes and groups.

Adam Losey

Adam Losey runs his own law firm in Orlando, where he has represented top corporations in court cases, and also represented Florida against Georgia in the water wars lawsuit. His practice handles various aspects of business law and he is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not to be outdone, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board intends to lawyer up to combat Disney’s attorneys as it seeks to reassert control and oversight over Disney property, and would raise taxes if necessary to fund the effort.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.