Ricardo P. Cestero




Ricardo Cestero represents a diverse group of clients in entertainment, real estate and business disputes. Mr. Cestero has particular expertise in First Amendment issues, such as defamation and restraint of speech, as well as extensive experience handling motion picture and television production and distribution disputes and profit participation cases.

Litigation Experience

  • Currently representing the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and Harper Collins Publications in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and The Saul Zaentz Company related to improper merchandising exploitation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novels The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Currently representing Disco Productions, Inc. and its owner "Disco" Donnie Estopinal in a lawsuit against Insomniac, Inc. and its founder Pasquale Rotella arising out of the breach of a joint venture agreement to promote and develop electric dance music festivals such as the widely popular Electric Daisy Carnival festival. 
  • Currently representing music video production company, Riveting Entertainment in connection with a lawsuit brought by three actresses who claim their images were used improperly in a music video of Tyga's song "Make It Nasty." 
  • Recently represented the heirs of Bob Marley in a claim for unpaid royalties against Universal Music Group
  • Recently represented a Spanish jewelry company in connection with a celebrity endorsement agreement
  • Represented the internationally known dancer and entertainer, Michael Flatley, in a defamation and civil extortion lawsuit in which Mr. Flatley was awarded an $11 million judgment against one defendant and obtained a significant monetary settlement against the other
  • Successfully represented Starpoint Properties, LLC, a Los Angeles real estate development and management company, in connection with numerous lawsuits seeking to recover more than $8 million in loans made to Ezri Namvar and his related businesses and family members
  • Represented an independent film distribution company in a two week breach of contract arbitration, in which the distributor was awarded a total of more than $3 million in damages and attorneys fees
  • Represented heirs of J. R. R. Tolkien in lawsuit against New Line Cinema arising out of New Line's failure to pay any profit participation resulting from the three Lord of the Rings films
  • Successfully represented homeowner's association in enforcing CC&Rs against a homeowner who had installed solar panels next to a public sidewalk. The homeowner was ordered to remove the panels in a case with significant implications on green energy measures. The verdict was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 10 impact verdicts of 2009
  • Represented the producers of “Alpha Dog,” a major motion picture starring Justin Timberlake, in defeating a lawsuit which attempted to stop the release of the film less than a month before the scheduled premiere
  • Represented Wind-Up Records in defeating a lawsuit which attempted to prevent Wind-Up from releasing an album by Bob Guiney, one of the original contestants on “The Bachelor”
  • Assisted famous artist in recovering millions of dollars worth of art from gallery that had agreed to sell the work on consignment and then failed to pay for work sold
  • Represented Renan Almendarez Coello, a nationally known Spanish language radio show host, in a defamation suit against a newspaper that accused Mr. Almendarez Coello of defrauding a charitable organization out of donations to hurricane victims in Honduras; the case resulted in a high six-figure judgment for Mr. Almendarez Coello

Speaking & Published Articles

  • Panelist, "When Celebrity and High-Profile Clients Are Accused of Misconduct that Risks Potential Criminal Prosecution," Eastern-European Bar Association, June 26, 2013
  • Co-Author, "Entertainment Disputes Require Efficient, Non-Glamourous Fixes," Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 28, 2008
  • Regular Contributor, Law Law Land blog


  • Listed, Southern California Rising Stars, 2005-2007, 2009
  • Top 10 Impact Verdicts of 2009, Los Angeles Daily Journal

Media & Publications

What does Pay-Per-View mean for bar owners?, Law360, August 6, 2015
Deflategate Hurdles to Overturn Suspension, Law360, July 30, 2015
Antitrust Attack on NFL's LA Moves Faces Long Odds, Law360, July 21, 2015
Cestero discusses L.A. Kings termination of Mike Richards, The Beast 980, July 1, 2015
Boxing Promoter Hits Rival With $300M Antitrust Suit, Law360, May 6, 2015
Wade Robson's Michael Jackson long-shot lawsuit obsession, zap2it, July 9, 2013
Prop 8 Standing Ruling Shakes Up Citizen Lawmaking, Law360, June 26, 2013
It’s ‘Zero’ hour for watchdogs, media, Variety, November 30, 2012
LA Lawyer Analyzes Potential Colorado Shooting Lawsuits, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2012
Bet Tzedek Names Greenberg Glusker 2011 Pro Bono Firm of the Year, Bet Tzedek - House of Justice, October 1, 2011
Jury orders Disney to pay about $270 million to 'Millionaire' Creator, Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2010
Homeowners Lose Solar Panel Battle, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 18, 2009
Entertainment Disputes Require Efficient, Non-Glamourous Fixes, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 27, 2008
Flatley Accuser Ordered to Pay $11 Million, The Associated Press, December 19, 2007
“Lord of the Dance” Star Michael Flatley Obtains $11 Million Judgment, December 14, 2007