• Bio

Brian Olney


Brian Olney is a partner at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP specializing in employment and civil rights law. He represents plaintiffs in state court, federal court, and arbitration proceedings, and at all stages of litigation, from pre-litigation negotiations through discovery, trial, and appeal.

Mr. Olney’s cases include:

  • Lead counsel and lead trial counsel representing a senior global sales executive for a Fortune 500 company in a confidential employment retaliation arbitration obtaining a total award of $3.1 million including $1,000,000 in punitive damages;
  • Lead trial counsel in two eviction defense trials, one resulting in a successful verdict and another resulting in a successful dismissal;
  • Obtained a $4.5 million settlement on behalf of a senior entertainment executive in a wrongful termination;
  • Obtained a $1.4 million settlement in Lee v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a wrongful death case involving the preventable suicide of an inmate suffering from mental illness;
  • Obtained a $845,000 pre-litigation settlement in a sexual harassment case;
  • Trial counsel in Zion v. County of Orange, a fatal police shooting case, that obtained $360,000 for pain and suffering from excessive force following a lawful shooting— one of the Top 40 California Civil Rights Verdicts in 2019;
  • Represented a high school student with disabilities in Meares v. Rim of the World Unified School District, 269 F. Supp. 3d 1041 (C.D. Cal. 2016), resulting in a $1 million settlement, the creation of a Parent Advisory Board for parents of special needs students who attend the district’s schools, and the first federal court decision recognizing an equal right under the IDEA for students with disabilities to participate in extracurricular activities;
  • Represented a community non-profit organization in Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development v. City of Garden Grove, obtaining a preliminary injunction stopping the illegal sale of a 100-acre greenfield to for-profit developers; and
  • Pre-litigation settlement with Amazon.com ending Amazon’s discriminatory practice of prohibiting sellers from using its website based only upon their country-of-origin.

Mr. Olney was named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list as a Rising Star in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers national list in 2021 and 2022. Mr. Olney and his cases have been featured in the Washington Post, LA Times, Orange County Register, Inside Edition, CBS, ABC, NBC, OC Weekly, and Voice of OC.

Prior to joining Hadsell Stormer, Mr. Olney clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Olney graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in 2013. At UCI Irvine, Mr. Olney represented hotel workers and day laborers in wage-and-hour cases and immigration proceedings through the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic. He received awards for the highest performance in seven courses and was awarded Best Oral Argument in the UC Irvine Moot Court Competition. While in Law School, Brian completed externships with the ACLU of Southern California and International Human Rights attorney Paul Hoffman.

From 2001 through 2010, Mr. Olney worked for the Service Employees International Union and its affiliates, leading campaigns to help healthcare workers win a voice on the job. While at SEIU, Mr. Olney also served as a Research Director and led lobbying efforts to pass legislation strengthening nursing home transparency and oversight.


  • California


  • National Lawyers Guild
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • American Constitution Society, Next Generation Leader


  • J.D., University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • B.A., Wesleyan University

Notable Work

  • Paycheck Protection or Paycheck Deception? When Government “Subsidies” Silence Political Speech, in 4 UC IRVINE L. REV. 881 (2014)
  • Collective Bargaining is Not the Cause of State Budget Problems, in WHEN STATES GO BROKE: ORIGINS, CONTEXT AND SOLUTIONS FOR THE AMERICAN STATES IN FISCAL CRISIS (Peter Conti-Brown & David Skeel eds., Cambridge University Press) (2012) (with Catherine Fisk)
  • Nurse Staffing and Deficiencies in the Largest For-Profit Nursing Home Chains and Chains Owned by Private Equity Companies, HEALTH SERVICES RES. (2011) (with Charlene Harrington, Helen Carrillo, and Taewoo Kang)
  • Ownership, Financing, and Management Strategies of the Ten Largest For-Profit Nursing Home Chains in the United States, INT’L J. HEALTH SERVICES (2011) (with Charlene Harrington, Clarilee Hauser, and Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau)

Classes & Seminars

  • Panelist, “When the Workplace Investigator is Deposed, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law section Retreat (April 29, 2023)
  • Panelist, “Discrimination through the Health and Safety Lens and Vice Versa,” American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Workplace and Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee 2023 Midwinter Meeting (March 9, 2023)
  • Guest lecturer at UCI School of Law and UCLA School of Law courses on oral advocacy, lawyering skills, and civil rights litigation
  • Featured speaker on Pre-Litigation Discovery & the CPRA (Jan. 2020) at the National Police Accountability Project CLE sponsored by the National Lawyers’ Guild and the ACLU

Awards & Accolades

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star – 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers – 2021 and 2022

Rising StarsLawdragon 2021 badge National Lawyers Guild