Donald V. Smiley, Jr.

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Entertainment & Sports Attorney in Marina del Rey, CA

Law Offices of Donald V. Smiley, APC
4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 500
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: 310-220-0724
Fax: 310-915-9993
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2022
Licensed Since: 1986
Practice Areas: Entertainment & Sports (90%), Business/Corporate (10%)
Attorney Profile

Donald V. Smiley Jr. is the principal attorney at the Law Offices Of Donald V. Smiley, APC. Located in Los Angeles, California, he focuses his practice primarily on entertainment litigation and transactions, providing representation to individuals and companies around the world. The types of clients that Mr. Smiley has assisted have included motion picture and television production companies and distributors, writers, actors, directors, personal managers and sales agents. Representative clients include FaZe Clan, Archstone Distribution, Slowhand Cinema Releasing, Open/Shut Productions and many well-known performers.

In addition to conducting trials in state and federal courts on behalf of his clients, Mr. Smiley has appeared in numerous arbitrations before the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), JAMS (formerly known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Inc.), the California Department of Industrial Relations and the American Arbitration Association. Admitted to practice before all California state courts, he is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California.

After studying theater and film at Goddard College in Vermont, Mr. Smiley subsequently enrolled at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1982 with an emphasis in film. His legal education was obtained at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, and he served as an associate editor of the Pepperdine Law Review and participated in the National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition before being awarded his Juris Doctor cum laude in 1986. After graduation, Mr. Smiley spent several years working in insurance defense, where he handled errors and omissions, professional liability as well as business litigation. He founded his own firm in July 2002.

Practice Areas
  • 90%Entertainment & Sports
  • 10%Business/Corporate
Focus Areas

Entertainment, Sports & Leisure Law, Contracts


5 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2022

About Donald V. Smiley, Jr.

Admitted: 1986, California

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Arbitrator for the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA)
  • California State Bar Association; Beverly Hills Bar Association

Educational Background

  • Gallatin Division, New York University, 1982


  • Selected as  one of the 100 most influential attorneys in entertainment. , Power Lawyer, The Hollywood Reporter, 2008


  • Lead Counsel in Marathon v. Blasi (2008) 42 Cal.4th 974, where in the first interpretation of the Talent Agencies Act, (Labor Code Sec. 1700 et. cet) since 1978, the California Supreme Court mandated consideration of severance to contracts reviewed under the Act instead of a finding that they were void ab initio., 2008

Industry Groups

  • Entertainment


  • “ Don is a thoughtful planner. He achieves excellent results for his clients, both transactional entertainment matters and in litigation by well conceived plans. He does creative work representing creative people. He also successfully represented the appellant in Marathon Entertainment v. Blasi, at the California State Supreme Court making an important contribution to the law concerning personal managers”
  • “ Don is the leading attorney for personal managers after his appellate victory in the Marathon case. He is also a thoughtful strategist and good negotiator for his entertainment clients. He has a strong litigation background, and still does some litigation, but increasingly, he is a transactional lawyer. His entertainment practice also includes art and events/exhibits.”
  • “ Don is a knowledgable and well-connected entertainment lawyer, with expertise in independent distribution. He also has a high degree of expertise in civil litigation, including international matters.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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Office Location for Donald V. Smiley, Jr.

4640 Admiralty Way
Suite 500
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Phone: 310-220-0724

Fax: 310-915-9993

Last Updated: 6/25/2021

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