Media & Entertainment: Litigation: California
THE FIRM Davis Wright Tremaine remains the go-to firm for First Amendment issues. This group of attorneys is recognized across the board in media and entertainment, offering clients a full service on a range of issues, from trademark and copyright to financing and distribution. It is praised for its expeditious and practical approach, with clients that include CNN, Comedy Central and Condé Nast.
Sources say: "The team is smart, knowledgeable, dependable and diligent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kelli Sager has a varied practice in this field and has been occupied with copyright, privacy and defamation matters in recent times. Her broad client base includes broadcasters, film distributors and newspapers. Sources continue to applaud her First Amendment expertise.
Alonzo Wickers is commended for his vast experience handling production and IP issues for a wide selection of entertainment organizations. One source said: "He's able to come up with creative solutions to problems, communicates well and consistently produces extremely well-written briefs."
Thomas Burke represented Rolling Stone Magazine in securing the dismissal of right of publicity claims brought by a class of musicians. He is deemed "very diligent and knowledgeable."
Duffy Carolan has a depth of experience representing news entities; her work with these groups includes access to documents, libel and daily counsel.
THE FIRM The media and entertainment group at this firm is known for both its litigation and transactional work. The team has a wealth of experience in the securing of rights for motion picture, recording and technology clients. Clients include, Warner Bros., Fox and EMI Music and, as such, the firm is particularly well-versed in issues concerning combating music and film piracy.
Sources say: "The practice is very broad and full of a lot of respected, top-notch lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Glenn Pomerantz is an established name as counsel to major record companies and studios. He recently secured an injunction for the Motion Picture Association of America against an unlicensed video-on-demand service. One onlooker stated: "He is a great litigator that you call when you need a big brain on an important matter."
Mark Helm is an "excellent litigator" whose practice frequently touches on media and entertainment law. He represents clients at trail and on appeals.
Ronald Olson is a highly esteemed name in the entertainment space, bringing his considerable commercial prowess to matters. He is highly skilled on the pleading side of litigation.
THE FIRM Gibson's media and entertainment group offers a full service in the space and it receives most recognition for its litigation work, which comes as no surprise. The team covers a wide spectrum, including profit participation issues, enforcing distribution agreements and contract disputes. The team is representing CBS in a suit brought by a former showrunner of the television show 'NCIS:LA' regarding profit participation. The firm remains a prominent First Amendment practice.
Sources say: "The firm offers a superior client service, I have a lot of respect for it."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Scott Edelman has been involved in a range of entertainment work recently, particularly with motion picture studios, from film financing to litigating rights. One interviewee said: "He is fantastic in the courtroom; he has a way of dealing with judges, clients and lawyers." He represented CBS in the above matter and on several other cases.
Theodore Boutrous acts for a variety of clients, which includes reporters, authors and media companies. He receives enthusiastic praise for his appellate and First Amendment practice. He is deemed "very intelligent, well respected and an incredibly effective advocate."
THE FIRM This firm has its biggest concentration of lawyers in its Los Angeles office. The media and entertainment group has a reputable plaintiff practice with a broad client base, which includes producers, authors, recording artists and songwriters. The team offers assistance in a range of industries, including music, film and television.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patricia Glaser is head of the litigation group at the firm. Known as "a very tough advocate," she represents high-profile clients, including entertainers and entertainment companies.
THE FIRM This Californian firm houses a breadth and depth of expertise across the media and entertainment space. It offers both transactional and litigation assistance to an assortment of clients, from directors and screenwriters to financiers and major entertainment studios. The team advises clients like Marvel Entertainment, Fifty-Six Hope Road Music and Tom Cruise. The team is involved in an ongoing dispute on behalf of Fifty-Six and the family of Bob Marley involving alleged unpaid royalties.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bonnie Eskenazi is leading the team on the Fifty-Six royalties case. She is widely known and respected in the market, with one source hailing her "tough litigation skills."
The "fantastic" Bertram Fields works with an array of leaders in entertainment, such as performers, studios and publishers. He assisted in representing Warren Beatty in litigation regarding the ownership of the film and television rights to the film 'Dick Tracy.'
THE FIRM This niche Californian entertainment practice has earned a reputation for containing some of the toughest advocates in the field. It has gained a name as a go-to firm for the talent side and the team has litigated on a vast array of issues before state and federal courts, and tribunals like the arbitration boards of the Hollywood talent guilds.
Sources say: "It has excellent litigators, broad experience and the best reputation to intimidate defendants."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Martin Singer remains a notable heavyweight in the area, with an unsurpassed reputation for his talent representation. One interviewee said "he is a superb, mostly talent lawyer," adding "he is a formidable opponent."
John Lavely has built up a substantial practice and has lately taken to representing clients who are having issues with tabloid newspapers.
THE FIRM O'Melveny & Myers has a strong presence in California with five offices statewide. The media and entertainment team has obtained a reputation as a top-notch service for big media companies. It works in a wide field, which includes IP, First Amendment, and film financing. Clients include studio and television networks, performers, video game companies and trade associations.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Petrocelli is a litigation expert who works from the firm's Century City office. His broad practice includes business, employment, IP and entertainment law. He remains a prominent name for his work related to the rights associated with Superman. Sources describe him as "a great trial lawyer."
Sources have nothing but "very positive" things to say about Robert Schwartz, who heads the entertainment and media litigation practice at the firm. He has acted for a slew of clients ranging from Fortune 500s to huge entertainment entities. He receives considerable praise for his work on internet-related matters.
THE FIRM This renowned litigation powerhouse offers representation across the board in media and entertainment. The team gains increasing praise in the IP space, covering rights of publicity, copyrights and trademark issues and idea theft. Clients include talent, studios and production companies. The group represented DLT Entertainment in a profit participation arbitration regarding a sitcom DLT produced for the BBC.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Quinn is an established "great trial lawyer," with an emphasis on litigating media, entertainment and IP matters.
THE FIRM The media and entertainment practice at this firm has an ever-increasing presence in California. Lauded for its work on the talent side, the team deals with an array of disputes, including IP, profit participation, contracts, and copyright issues. The group's roster of clients includes actors, directors, writers and production companies.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Yakub Hazzard is co-chair of the entertainment and media litigation group. His practice has an emphasis on IP issues, such as trademark, copyright and idea theft.
Marcia Harris has a wealth of experience litigating entertainment matters before state and federal courts. She has a focus on the television and motion picture industries.
THE FIRM Sheppard Mullin has an impressive coast-to-coast reach. The team has maintained its notable reputation as a provider across the spectrum in media and entertainment. Its inventory of clients includes motion picture studios, television networks and communications companies.
Sources say: "The work is of a very high quality, the team responds to all our needs and the turn around is extremely fast."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marty Katz has had a surge in arbitration work in the past year. One source commented on his "big-picture strategy; meticulous planning; superior drafting and negotiating skills." He has been involved in a dispute over the production and distribution of the Golden Globes Awards show, representing Dick Clark Productions.
Based in San Diego, Guylyn Cummins receives wide praise for her First Amendment practice, which often finds her representing leading names in the media space. She advises on both initial trials and appeals.
James Chadwick is an esteemed practitioner both at litigating and counseling on a variety of media and technology matters. Clients like his "creativity and ability to deliver results."
THE FIRM This firm recently merged with Holme Roberts & Owen and the team covers a wide spectrum in the media and entertainment field, with particular recognition for its First Amendment work. The team works with a range of clients from industries such as publishing, music and news groups. In recent times they have litigated on numerous media issues relating to IP.
Sources say: "The team offers professionalism, availability, knowledge, thoroughness, organization and the ability to see ahead."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rachel Matteo-Boehm has an ever-increasing profile in the media and entertainment space. Her expertise in IP adds a valuable complement to her strong First Amendment litigation practice. Clients say she is "extremely thoughtful, responsive and knowledgeable."
Roger Myers is co-chair of the firm’s IP, technology and media department. His client base works in a range of industries, including publishing, broadcast media and internet. He is said to be "particularly well versed in the publishing field and an overall good generalist."
THE FIRM This team is recognized for working across the gamut of media and entertainment. The group represents an array of clients, including film studios, publishers, television networks and internet companies. The firm represented Sony Pictures in a trademark and unfair competition suit concerning the distribution of Academy Award-nominated animated film 'The Illusionist.'
KEY INDIVIDUALS Anthony Basich has been busy dealing with a variety of disputes between studios and talent with respect to TV shows. He is an accomplished commercial, entertainment and general business litigator.
THE FIRM Irell & Manella remains a prominent name in the IP arena, covering the media aspects associated with it. The team also has experience in a range of entertainment matters, such as profit participation, distribution issues and talent contracts. This full-service firm offers reputable litigation, counseling and arbitration expertise. Clients appreciate the group's cross-departmental approach.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Steven Marenberg heads the entertainment litigation practice at the firm and is deemed a "cream of the crop" litigator. His clients range from motion picture studios and television networks, to game companies and hi-tech firms.
THE FIRM This Los Angeles litigation boutique continues to put a great deal of emphasis on its media and entertainment practice. The group works in a range of industries, including film, video gaming, advertising, music and publishing. The team litigates on a variety of issues from IP and licensing to distribution and regulatory matters.
Sources say: "They are handling some very significant litigation for us, they are the smartest lawyers I've ever worked with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Kendall is an experienced litigator with over 30 years' under his belt. He is highly adept in First Amendment issues and is currently doing a lot of litigation between studios and investment banks.
THE FIRM Liner Grode is a Californian firm, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The media and entertainment group litigates for clients in the film, television, music and multimedia industries. They have dealt with a range of disputes, including talent contracts, IP rights and film distribution.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Taylor focuses the majority of his practice on representing actors and directors in disputes on a range of issues, including contracts, rights, profits and distribution. He has been involved in a collection of arbitrations in the motion picture industry recently.
Larry Stein has gained a name for his work representing talent. An interviewee noted, "he is great and consistently at the top;" with another adding "he is a very good guy to deal with, he is able to resolve matters easily."
THE FIRM The media and entertainment group at Mitchell Silberburg has represented some major heavyweights in a range of industries, such as motion picture, television, game development, and finance. It counts among its clients NBC Universal, Capitol Records Motion and Take-Two Interactive Software.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Russell Frackman is deemed "awesome" by clients and continues to practice as the go-to guy for copyright disputes in the music space. With 40 years' experience behind him, he represents record companies, music publishers and the Recording Industry Association of America.
John Schulman has the unique advantage of having worked for a major studio. He is well versed in the financing, production and distribution of motion pictures and television.
of Bostwick & Jassy LLP is a business and constitutional law litigator, focusing particularly on First Amendment issues.
of Bingham McCutchen LLP is a widely recognized trial lawyer. Highlights include representing FriendFinder Networks in a breach of contract case.
recently joined the San Francisco office of King & Spalding after leaving Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He is an established name in the music industry space, where he receives particular praise for his copyright expertise.
of Law Office of Judy Alexander is a First Amendment attorney, with a depth of experience representing investigative reporters.
of Leopold, Petrich & Smith PA is admired for his flair in litigating idea theft, copyright and publicity cases. One source said: "He is a consummate lawyer, and is able to cover all the areas of concern."
is chair of the entertainment and media litigation practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. She has earned a reputation as a
go-to lawyer for contract disputes. An interviewee commented: "The service is great, she understands the business and gets involved."
of Lathrop & Gage LLP is well versed in media litigation; he works in a range of industries, including motion picture, television, publishing, broadcasting, and internet. "He is very smart, diligent and very industry savvy,"
said one source.
of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP litigates in all aspects of media and entertainment, with a particular emphasis in defamation and copyright. He is applauded for being "knowledgeable and effective."
of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP is a reputable trial attorney, with experience in a range of disputes, including copyright, trademark infringement, antitrust and other IP and entertainment matters.
of Jenner & Block LLP gains a substantial amount of praise for his work in the trademark arena. He is considered "a thoughtful adviser, with a strong work ethic,"
with sources adding: "He is dedicated, knowledgeable and understands the business ramifications of legal issues."
joins Thomas at Jenner & Block LLP. He has had a surge in privacy and false advertising disputes in recent times, and interviewees have remark on his "effective litigation skills."
of Ram & Olson LLP is esteemed for his work defending defamation suits. He has vast experience in access to public records cases.
of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley has 35-plus years in practice and is deemed "an experienced, seasoned trial attorney."
With expertise in IP, entertainment and business law, one source noted: "He has an incredible gift of communication and insight."
of Sidley Austin LLP is appreciated for his depth and experience in the field. His practice has a particular emphasis on libel, privacy, copyright and trademark. Clients include newspapers, publishers and television stations.
of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP focuses on defamation, complex business litigation and class actions. He assisted Cayman Film Holdings in a contentious issue regarding entertainment tax refunds and motion picture financing.
Since publication, Kenneth Steinthal has joined King & Spalding LLP