Art of the Comeback: Pierce O’Donnell and Jackson Pollock

Oct. 12, 2016, 6:50 PM

Has famed Los Angeles’ power attorney Pierce O’Donnell officially made a comeback?

In the past decade, O’Donnell battled a felony criminal indictment for illegal campaign contributions to John Edwards’ presidential campaign, spent nearly 60 days in prison and yet still managed to keep his law license by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. All the while, he handled some of the biggest cases in the country including one against the federal government over Hurricane Katrina’s damage to New Orleans, and more recently advising media mogul Sumner Redstone’s ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer.

Now, about a year after filing for bankruptcy in Los Angeles, O’Donnell is back in Los Angeles Superior Court — representing himself — in a dispute over a purported $100 million Jackson Pollack painting, which he claims to co-own.

[caption id="attachment_31556" align="alignnone” width="398"][Image “Pierce O’Donnell, attorney for Shelly Sterling, speaks to reporters as he arrives to Los Angeles Superior Court on June 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)” (src=https://bol.bna.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/GettyImages-450435824.jpg)]Pierce O’Donnell speaks to reporters as he arrives to Los Angeles Superior Court on June 11, 2014. At the time, he represented client Shelly Sterling. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)[/caption]

Per the Los Angeles Times :

O’Donnell said he is a co-owner of the painting, titled “Pink Spring,” with a business partner he entered into an agreement with to acquire the canvas in 2011 with the intention of selling it for a profit.

He said the partner, Maitreya Kadre, a former client who works as an art adviser and New Age spiritualist, has obstructed efforts to bring the painting to market, including attempts to have it authenticated as a work by the famed American Abstract Expressionist.

As a result, the painting, which O’Donnell said he paid $200,000 for and is entitled to 30 percent of any proceeds from its sale, is collecting dust in a storage locker in Southern California, according to the article. The suit accuses Kadre of breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Currently at Greenberg Glusker, a boutique Los Angeles firm of about 80 attorneys with clients that have included Tom Cruise, George Lucas and other entertainment icons, O’Donnell also recently joined Angelina Jolie’s divorce team. His plum client list puts him on the A-list of lawyers, even if he served two months in but if he obtains the $100 million value for the painting, it could elevate him to another class altogether — that of a deep-pocketed, and theoretically coveted client for some other lawyer.

Write to us at BigLawBusiness@bna.com.

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