Celeste M. Brecht

Partner
Brecht Celeste
Celeste Brecht is an experienced litigator focused on complex civil disputes for clients in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, consumer products, and media and entertainment industries. Celeste has been a member of multiple trial teams in state and federal courts, has successfully argued before the California Courts of Appeal, and has obtained favorable jury verdicts and results in a variety of administrative forums. She has won numerous dispositive motions in advance of trial, and has managed cases from inception through appeal in commercial business disputes, employment matters, and products and premises liability cases for clients ranging in size from regional business entities to Fortune 50 companies. 

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical company in the first California bellwether trial in a judicially coordinated complex proceeding
  • Won dismissal, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of a production company that was producing promotional content for a major motion picture, in a highly publicized wrongful death action 
  • Won motion to dismiss with prejudice in a putative class action alleging that a national pet food company failed to disclose toxic lead and other disease-causing heavy metals in its dog food
  • Defeated class certification in a California consumer protection and unfair competition case on behalf of a local pet business
  • Obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of a leading media company in a defamation trial
  • Won an anti-SLAPP motion, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of a high-profile actor, producer, and comedian, defeating allegations of harassment, discrimination, and defamation
  • Obtained a favorable verdict for a leading manufacturer of fiberglass-reinforced plastics in a case where the jury unanimously held that the client was not liable for $28 million in compensatory damages sought by plaintiff
  • Obtained a defense verdict, affirmed on appeal, for a premises owner in a case involving a large publicly traded international oil and gas company; the case was selected by a widely read publication as one of the top defense verdicts in 2012
  • Obtained a seven-figure jury verdict for the former general counsel of a national mortgage lender in a breach of employment contract action
  • On behalf of a pharmaceutical company, obtained dismissal in a high-profile personal injury case involving a college athlete
  • On behalf of a national media and entertainment company, defeated a former executive’s wrongful termination and related tort claims, through a series of dispositive and exclusionary motions
  • On behalf of a chemical company, obtained summary judgment in a products liability case by showing that plaintiff’s theory of exposure was “speculative”
  • On behalf of a gasket manufacturer, obtained summary judgment in a products liability case by demonstrating plaintiff could not show specific causation
  • Won a Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) appellate hearing, knocking down a “serious” citation on behalf of a national construction company
  • Resolved numerous disputes arising from California’s Prop 65 environmental regulation on behalf of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and premises
     

Insights

Credentials
+

Education

  • J.D. cum laude Southwestern University School of Law 2005
    • First Place Team Award, J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Moot Court Competition, February, 2005
    • First Place Brief Award, J. Braxton Craven, Jr. Moot Court Competition, February, 2005
    • Extern – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administrative Law Judge Diane Arkow-Gross
  • B.A. with honors University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 2002

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Board member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Los Angeles Chapter
  • Member, American Bar Association, Products Liability Section
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Co-founding member, RISE — an organization of women lawyers committed to supporting each other’s professional growth and advancement to equity partner, general counsel, or high-ranking public official. RISE is dedicated to developing the tools necessary to shatter the glass ceiling in public service and corporate America
  • Graduate of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy, an intensive, week-long program designed to develop defense trial advocacy skills.
     

Recognition
+

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.), 2019
  • Included in Los Angeles Business Journal "Most Influential Women Attorneys," 2018
  • Included in Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2018 - 2019
  • Included in Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition, Southern California Business Litigation, Personal Injury – Products, 2009 - 2017
  • Included in Super Lawyers, Southern California Up-and-Coming 50: Women Rising Stars, 2015 - 2017 
  • Included in Super Lawyers,  Southern California Up-and-Coming 100: Rising Stars, 2015 - 2017
     

Community
+

Pro Bono

  • Assists survivors of domestic violence in obtaining temporary restraining orders as part of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Project
  • Provides legal services for the Inner City Law Center, a nonprofit law firm fighting for justice for low-income tenants, working poor families, immigrants, people who are living with HIV/AIDS or are disabled, and veterans

Volunteerism

  • Actively involved with Los Angeles Women’s Circle, an organization dedicated to researching and funding programs that benefit the development and well-being of young women in the Los Angeles area

Personal Activities

  • Yoga and co-ed softball