346 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90004
tel: (323) 993-0198
fax: (323) 993-9509
Tel: 323.993.0198 | E-mail:

Donald Ornelas Jr. is a partner and a member of the firmís General Liability and Medical Malpractice Defense Groups. Donís practice focuses on sports and recreation, general and premises liability, government entity liability, business litigation and medical malpractice, including elder abuse. Don also regularly works on transactional projects for businesses in several industries.

Recently, in Molacek v. Builders Trim and Door, Inc., Don obtained a complete dismissal of all claims against his client, a local machine shop, via summary judgment. Plaintiff is an electrician who was hired by the shop to perform electrical work in its building. He was injured while working on the project and sued the shop on negligence-based claims. Don argued that plaintiff could not sue the client in connection with the work he was hired to perform, per California law. The court agreed and granted the summary judgment motion.

Don obtained a similar result in Evans v. Dirt Dawg School of Baseball. In that case, plaintiff was injured while participating in baseball practice for his schoolís club team and sued the firmís client (the club team and its operators) for negligence, claiming that the club negligently supervised him while he was practicing and failed to protect him from injury. Don argued plaintiffís claim was barred in accordance with the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk. The court agreed and granted the motion.

Donís previous successes include Cardoza v. USC University Hospital (Summary judgment on behalf of a prominent local hospital wherein plaintiff claimed that the hospital had failed to honor her motherís right to die with dignity), Dermenjyan v. Quantum Rock, (A case against reality TV guru Mark Burnett Productions and others dismissed via summary judgment) and Oh v. Aroma Spa & Sports (Summary judgment in favor of a health club facility for injuries arising out of a shooting and ensuing altercation that occurred in the clubís building).

Don is very active in the sports, recreation and leisure industries, regularly appearing at industry trade shows and conferences in the motorsports, roller skating, waterpark, and other amusement industries. Don has also published numerous articles and columns in various industry trade publications.


Southwestern University, J.D.
Recipient, CALI Excellence Award, Comparative Law
George A. Kraft Memorial Writing Award
Article of the Year, The Commentator
Nominee, National Law School Newspaper Writing Award, Feature Article Category

University of California at Los Angeles, B.A. History

Professional Activities

Admitted to Practice:
State Bar of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Board of Directors:
West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, Inc., 2009-present

Los Angeles County Bar Association
International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association (IALDA)
Roller Skating Association (RSA)

California SuperLawyers Ė Rising Star 2013, 2014


“Off-site Demonstrations- Fun, revenue generator, possdible insurance liability?” Roller Skating Business Nov/Dec 2010: 20-21.

"Safety First: Making Internet Marketing Safe for Children and Skating Center Operators." Roller Skating Business July/Aug 2010.

“Maintenance Toolbox: Tools for keeping skating centers and skaters safe.” Roller Skating Business Nov/Dec 2009: 13-15.

“Taking Stock: The dos and don’ts of downloading images from the Web.” Roller Skating Business July/Aug 2009: 12-14.

“Equipment Maintenance." Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro 10 August 2009. Online at:

“Putting Together Incident Reports." Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro 11 May 2009. Online at:

“Bruises, Breaks & Other Incidents." World Waterpark April 2009: 42-45. "Conducting Incident Investigations." Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro 10 April 2009. Online at:

"Conducting Incident Investigations." Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro 10 April 2009. Online at:

“Proper Use of Audiovisual Media: Protect yourself and your skaters while promoting with videos and photographs.” Roller Skating Business March/April 2009: 21-23.

“Conducting Efficient Incident Investigations: When the worst happens it's important that skating centers have a plan in place.” Roller Skating Business Jan/Feb 2009: 17-19.

“Always Be Prepared: Incident reports benefit skating center operators, insurance companies, and attorneys.” Roller Skating Business Nov/Dec 2008: 10-12.

“Incident Reports: How and why to do them right.” IHRSA’s Club Business for Entrepreneurs Nov. 2008: 18-19.


RPM Racing Promotion Monthly Workshop Series Annual Legal Update Seminar: Reno, Nev., and Daytona Beach, Fla., 2008-Present.

Roller Skating Association Annual Convention & Trade Show, IALDA Risk Management Seminar various locations, 2009-Present.

"Legal and Legislative Roundtable". IAAPA Attractions Expo, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Fla., Nov. 2010.

"IALDA Legal and Legislative Roundtable". IAAPA Attractions Expo, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 2009.

"IALDA's Most Popular Theories of Liability & How to Defeat Them". World Waterpark Association 29th Annual Symposium and Trade Show, Orlando, Fla., Oct. 2009.

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