Elisabeth Moriarty





Elisabeth Moriarty has represented plaintiffs and defendants in some of Hollywood’s most significant, high-stakes entertainment disputes.  She specializes in litigating high-profile matters involving copyright, trademark and trade dress infringement, motion picture production and distribution, defamation, unfair competition, the licensing of intellectual property rights, contractual disputes across a wide range of industries and other entertainment-related conflicts.

Ms. Moriarty has particularly extensive experience litigating major profit participation matters on behalf of talent, artists and rights holders, including the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Marvel Entertainment and the rights holders to the Winnie the Pooh property.  She has close, long-standing relationships with the top entertainment auditors/accountants in the field, and has unique experience navigating and interpreting complex contractual royalty provisions and convoluted participation statements. 

Ms. Moriarty has also handled matters involving online and digital media, television and music rights and idea submission disputes.

Entertainment Experience

  • Represented Marvel, owner of the copyrights in Spider-Man, Iron Man and numerous other iconic characters in various matters involving intellectual property disputes, profit participation rights and general litigation
  • Represented the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in a landmark profit participation case against New Line Cinema for the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy
  • Currently represents the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and Harper Collins in connection with various rights issues and other intellectual property matters
  • Represents best-selling author Clive Cussler in his dispute regarding the motion picture version of the novel, “Sahara”
  • Represented a Grammy-award winning musician and artist in a copyright infringement dispute involving a graphic novel
  • Represents a motion picture producer in a contractual dispute over the foreign distribution of its film
  • Represented Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer in a multi-faceted dispute with his long-time business partner
  • Represented the owners of merchandising and other rights in the Winnie the Pooh characters, in their breach of contract and fraud dispute against a major entertainment company for failure to pay royalties
  • Member of the team that successfully represented Jeffrey Katzenberg in his suit to obtain profit participation against The Walt Disney Company
  • Represented an international film and television producer and distributor in a dispute involving a purported finders’ fee to be paid in connection with a well-known television miniseries; a very favorable arbitration award was achieved for the Firm’s client in an arbitration before the United States District Court
  • Represented an international superstar recording artist and his various entities in claims and counterclaims concerning endorsement contracts and the use of his name, likeness and identity
  • Represented a leading video post production house in a matter involving the use of our client’s post production equipment and services
  • Represented a well-known Broadway composer in litigation concerning rights and royalties to songs composed for Broadway production
  • Represented Roland Corporation, a leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and accessories, in various litigation to protect its copyright, trademark and trade dress rights in various products, and in a case of first impression involving copyright and trademark infringement; the case established the validity of the manufacturer’s copyrights in sound recordings contained in various Roland musical instruments

Published Articles


  • Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars (Arts/Entertainment) 2005, 2006