Representative Experience

  • Obtained complete defense in three related proceedings on behalf of writer-director Rian Johnson (Knives Out, Star Wars: Episode VIII–The Last Jedi) in a commission dispute with a former agent arising under California’s Talent Agencies Act.
  • Successfully defended Discovery Communications, LLC against a lawsuit seeking to prevent the network from broadcasting The Lost Lincoln, a documentary concerning a previously undiscovered photograph taken of the president after he was shot in 1866. After Discovery demonstrated that enjoining the documentary would constitute an unconstitutional “prior restraint” in violation of the First Amendment, the court denied the plaintiffs’ application for a temporary restraining order, allowing the program to be aired.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of client Barstool Sports, Inc. in a high-profile defamation and fraud lawsuit in the Southern District of New York brought by actor Michael Rapaport arising out of a failed business relationship between the parties.
  • Successfully defended Univision Communications Inc. in a case brought by Jenni Rivera Enterprises, owner of Jenni Rivera’s intellectual property rights, arising out of Univision’s publication of allegedly confidential information in a 26-episode series about the late singer. Univision appealed following the trial court’s denial of its anti-SLAPP motion. In a published opinion, the California Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the First Amendment provided a complete defense.
  • Representing the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and HarperCollins, owners of the copyrights in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novels, The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings, in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and The Saul Zaentz Company related to improper merchandising exploitation of Tolkien’s works, including the use of the novels in connection with online slot machines, casino slot machines and downloadable video games.
  • Successfully represented Toho-Towa Co. Ltd in a four year dispute with motion picture producer Morgan Creek concerning millions of dollars owed to Toho-Towa from its distribution in Japan of the motion picture "The Good Shepherd."  In a published opinion, the California Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment of $5.7 million in our client’s favor.
  • Represented the heirs of Bob Marley in a claim for unpaid royalties against Universal Music Group.
  • Successfully represented Marvel Entertainment in various profit participation matters as well as other general litigation.
  • Successfully represented the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in a profit participation action against New Line Cinema arising from the tremendously successful "Lord of the Rings" film franchise. The Estate was seeking a damage award of at least $150 million and had also requested that the court declare New Line’s rights terminated.
  • Obtained a rare cover apology for actress Katie Holmes after bringing a defamation lawsuit against the publisher of Star Magazine.
  • Represented Classic Media, one of the world’s largest owners and distributors of class children’s and family content, in dispute concerning rights to a classic television series; obtained reversal on appeal of an adverse arbitration ruling, with client ultimately receiving $6,000,000.
  • Obtained $13.2 million arbitration award for Ubisoft Entertainment, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, in a dispute against MGA Entertainment, licensor of the Bratz doll property, for wrongful termination of the license.
  • Represented Warren Beatty in dispute with Tribune Media concerning motion picture rights to Dick Tracy.  We brought and prevailed on a summary judgment motion and thereby confirmed that the rights reside with Mr. Beatty.
  • Represented Jeffrey Katzenberg, a founding principal of DreamWorks SKG and the former head of Walt Disney Studios, in his lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company. The litigation arose out of Disney’s failure to pay Mr. Katzenberg the employment bonus owed to him upon his leaving the company. The bonus included a participation in all of the films produced during his tenure.