Also they're still a decent sized firm (over 2x Hueston and like 10x Susman). When someone thinks of the best litigation places in LA they're not thinking about Dovel or Susman because the question almost always means "biglaw-sized office" and not "hyper prestigious boutique with <20 attorneys." (Yes, Susman has more outside of LA, but that's not relevant). Hueston is somewhat in the same boat - they're bigger than Dovel, but they're still more comparable to Bird Marella and, formerly, Caldwell Leslie, than they are to a GIbson Dunn. Not that they don't have elite talent, but they're still more on the boutique-y side than the full service side.
As an LA-based litigator, I honestly think some of the distinctions ITT are overblown. I think Munger and maybe Gibson are considered a notch above, but after that, you have a mess of firms like Quinn, Irell, Latham, and O'Melveny - big firms that have been here for a while and are reasonably all-around prestigious. Depending on the type of lit you want different ones will be "best." For entertainment lit it might be O'Melveny CC, for patent, Irell, etc... and yes, boutiques and tiny biglaw offices fit into the equation as well, e.g. Hueston for white collar-ish lit or Sullivan for giant securities / financial work.
Figuring out the sub-specialty of lit you want is going to be pretty determinative of what your rankings look like. If you can't decide or for some reason you just want general commercial, I'd probably advise going to one of the bigger firms (so Latham/Gibson/Quinn/OMM) and just hoping for the best.
Any thoughts on appellate lit, just for fun? Gibson and Munger obviously still being at the top of the pack.
I agree mostly with the above, by the way. My impression here though is that there are some big firms that are healthier than others. Irell is still prestigious in name, but I feel it's gone a little downhill from, let's say 8 years ago. KBK and HH departures weren't just a couple people leaving to do their own thing, they're pretty significant departures in terms of both quality and number of partners/associates and I think even staff. And the fact Irell made an exception to their mandatory retirement age for Morgan Chu, I think, shows how much they rely on him for their patent litigation business. I think they'd survive without him, but they'd take a huge hit, so for somebody looking at whether to join Irell I think that has to be a consideration. Quinn Emanuel, as terrible as their culture and hours are (at least in reputation), seems pretty healthy as a firm here. And LA is where John Quinn is, I think.
Some asides: Susman's LA office has doubled in size from a few years ago, I think. And Caldwell Leslie got absorbed by Boies Schiller, so I'm not sure if we now consider that "biglaw" or if it's still a boutique-y place.