Back to United States

Media and entertainment: litigation in United States

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a reputed name within this space and covers the gamut of entertainment and media related disputes, with a caseload consisting of matters involving profit participation, contract breaches, alleged idea theft and First Amendment protection. Scott Edelman co-chairs the practice and works across entertainment and media, with expertise in defamation, contract breaches and profit sharing disputes. Fellow practice head Orin Snyder acted for AMC in one of the biggest profit sharing cases in the industry against comic book writer Robert Kirkman, in relation to The Walking Dead. Theodore Boutrous heads the litigation department and is a highly respected for freedom of speech and First Amendment-related issues, most recently assisting MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on obtaining an Anti-SLAAP motion concerning her coverage of the pro-Trump news network OneAmerica and its alleged links to Russia. Associate Nathaniel Bach, who focuses on music-related disputes, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Scott Edelman; Orin Snyder

Other key lawyers:

Theodore Boutrous; Nathaniel Bach

Work highlights

  • Acted for AMC on a payment dispute with Frank Darabont, the former showrunner of The Walking Dead.
  • Advised UMG Recordings on a dispute which arose out of a fire at a studio where archived recordings were destroyed.
  • Defended Jerry Seinfeld against allegations of idea theft regarding his Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has broad expertise in commercial agreements, IP, reputation management and employment, and has been very active in cases relating to the downfall of Harvey Weinstein. This has included defending Miramax and the deputy CEO of Technicolor, Tim Sarnoff, in high-stakes cases involving alleged criminal behavior, employment issues, bankruptcy and general crisis management. Marvin Putnam has taken the lead on these particular cases. Jessica Stebbins Bina has also been involved in high-stakes litigation including MGM’s lawsuit concerning its potentially damaging tapes of Donald Trump on The Apprentice. She has also been very active in copyright cases and the issues surrounding pre-1972 recordings. Junior partner Robert Ellison is another key name noted for his strengths in disputes concerning commercial and trade secrets issues, as well as matters relating to #MeToo.

Practice head(s):

Marvin Putnam

Other key lawyers:

Jessica Stebbins Bina; Robert Ellison

Key clients

Apple Inc.

Associations of Talent Agents (ATA)

BKG Trademark Holdings

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)

ICM Partners

iHeartMedia

Johnny Mathis

Los Angeles Dodgers (Guggenheim Baseball Management)

Madison Wells Media, LLC

MGM

Miramax

MSG Forum, LLC

Pandora Media

S&R Production Co.

SteelHouse, Inc.

Technicolor/Tim Sarnoff

BGK Trademark Holdings

Blumhouse Productions

Work highlights

  • Advised the Associations of Talent Agents in its dispute against the Writers Guild of America concerning franchising agreements.
  • Advising Pandora in its dispute against 1960’s rock band The Turtles in a putative class action over Pandora’s use of pre-1972 sound recordings.
  • Advising Technicolor and Tim Sarnoff in all cases concerning the downfall of Harvey Weinstein.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP represents entertainment giants such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney Company and HBO, with a diverse range of skills covering antitrust, contractual breaches, First Amendment rights, IP and misconduct investigations. The firm’s Century City office is home to several key team members, including practice head Daniel Petrocelli, a generalist litigator in the entertainment industry; Drew Breuder, who focuses primarily on IP-related disputes; and Matthew Kline, another generalist attorney. Also recommended in the team are Molly Lens and Amy Lucas, both of whom have expertise in IP and commercial contracts. Recent high-stakes disputes from the team included representing Twentieth Century Fox in a lawsuit against Netflix concerning the latter’s alleged poaching of the client’s employees. The team also acted for NBC in a profit sharing dispute with the creators of the TV series Colombo.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Petrocelli

Other key lawyers:

Drew Breuder; Matthew Kline; Molly Lens; Amy Lucas

Testimonials

‘Go to litigation team for any media or technology dispute. O’Melveny has deep experience in the entertainment and media sector and a highly effective litigation team.’

Key clients

Global Music Rights

HBO

Kesha

NBCUniversal

Searchlight Pictures

Walt Disney Company

Warner Bros.

Work highlights

  • Advised Twentieth Century Fox in a lawsuit against Netflix for allegedly poaching its employees.
  • Advised NBCUniversal in a profit sharing dispute with the creators of the TV series Colombo.
  • Advised boxer Manny Pacquiao in a dispute where he allegedly concealed an injury and ticketholders believe in doing so he tainted his  fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has formidable strengths in antitrust and corporate securities litigation, with additional expertise in copyright infringement and contract breach cases. Another differentiator for the practice is the unique experience of its chair Katherine Forrest, who is a former US District Judge for the Southern District of New York and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. She is supported by Kevin Orsini, who is also skilled in antitrust and corporate securities matters, and has handled disputes for clients including The Walt Disney Company. The firm has also been handling cases surrounding the downfall of The Weinstein Company following the scandals surrounding its founder, Harvey Weinstein.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Forrest

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Orsini

Key clients

Boston Red Sox Baseball Club LP

Epic Games, Inc.

Hasbro, Inc.

Home Box Office, Inc.

Quibi Holdings, LLC

Scientific Games Corporation

Starz Entertainment, LLC

Turner Network Sales, Inc.

Independent Directors Of Viacom Inc.

The Weinstein Company

Work highlights

  • Represented Epic Games in antitrust actions against Apple and Google, alleging that they engaged in anti-competitive behavior in the distribution of software applications on mobile devices.
  • Acting for Starz Entertainment in a copyright infringement and breach of contract action against MGM Domestic Television Distribution LLC.
  • Represented Turner Network Sales, Inc. as lead trial counsel in a breach of contract dispute against DISH Network L.L.C. concerning the licensing and distribution of television channel CNN.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP has longstanding expertise in copyright and trademark litigation, spanning the music and motion picture industries. New York-based Andrew Bart jointly leads the practice and is an established named for copyright litigation, with a recent caseload involving music infringement and anti-piracy matters. Also in the practice leadership is Los Angeles-based David Singer, who has recently been very active in matters relating to the copyright of digital images. Other contacts in the New York office include Susan Kohlmann, who has particular strengths in trademark and advertising disputes, and the 'very practical and business-minded' Alison Stein, who focuses on music copyright. In Washington DC, Steven Englund has carved out a niche in issues concerning sound recordings under the US Copyright Act.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Bart; David Singer

Other key lawyers:

Steven Englund; Susan Kohlmann; Alison Stein

Testimonials

‘The Jenner & Block IP team is brilliant, diverse, and client-focused. They are the rare firm that can give business-friendly pre-litigation advice, but also take a case to trial. Their writing is best in class.’

‘The team at Jenner (and Alison in particular) are very practical and business-minded. There is no time wasted on theoretical arguments or emails playing out multiple unlikely scenarios. I find their guidance on point, creative, well-informed, and always practical. It is one of the traits I value most in the team and a true strength.’

‘Alison and the full team are eminently responsive. A level of responsiveness one always hopes for with outside counsel but doesn’t always receive. Even early on, as a smaller client on smaller matters, there was never a doubt that we were her primary focus. I appreciate that level of commitment, communication and service. I will also say that the level of associate support was incredibly impressive.’

Key clients

Universal Music Group (UMG)

Fox Corporation / News Corp

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Motion Picture Association of America (MPA)

Disney

Sony Music Entertainment

NBCUniversal (incl. Universal Studios)

SoundExchange

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Music Group

ViacomCBS

Jay Z (aka Shawn Carter) and related entities, including Roc Nation

Princeton University

Estate of Elaine Steinbeck

Nintendo

Endeavor (incl. IMG Models)

Nielsen

Home Box Office (HBO)

MGM Studios

MRC Studios

Saatchi & Saatchi

Interpublic Group (IPG)

Work highlights

  • Advised the RIAA and its member labels in three of their most significant current cases, including two separate copyright infringement actions against sister cable companies.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for television and movie studios Sony, Amazon, Disney, Warner Bros. and others in a lawsuit against operators of Nitro TV for illegally streaming popular films and television shows.
  • Represented SoundExchange in a Copyright Royalty Board trial to determine royalty payment rates for the music streaming.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has a significant footprint in the music industry, with a strong track record in copyright infringement and commercial contracts. Its standing in the industry is reflected in its enviable client roster of major labels such as Warner Music, Universal Music Group and EMI. Los Angeles-based Robert Jacobs leads the practice and, in addition to music industry expertise, has also represented movie studios and theatrical rights owners. Also in Los Angeles is John Gatti, who is recognized for his work on profit participation and copyright infringement cases. In the New York office, Prana Topper is recommended for royalties disputes and copyright infringement. The team's bicoastal presence placed it in a strong position to handle EMI's royalties dispute with Kanye West, which involved California’s seven-year rule contract stipulation as well as a New York-based countersuit.

Practice head(s):

Robert Jacobs

Other key lawyers:

John Gatti; Prana Topper

Testimonials

‘Robert Jacobs and his team are top flight attorneys with a solid track record and high touch counsel.’

Key clients

300 Entertainment

BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

CBS Broadcasting

Christopher Comstock p/k/a Marshmello

Earth, Wind and Fire Records, LLC

EMI April Music

Miramax, LLC

Revolution Studios and Revolution Production Services, Inc.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing

UMG Recordings

Universal Music Group

Warner Music Group

Work highlights

  • Served as lead counsel for defendants Marshmello, Steve Mac, Polygram, Kobalt Music and others against a copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • Advised EMI April Music in cases addressing Kanye West’s challenge to the enforceability of the publishing contract between the parties, based on California’s seven-year rule.
  • Defending Miramax Films in a $10m profit participation claim brought by Outlaw Productions and award-winning director Steven Soderbergh regarding the film Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP operates under the leadership of Jay Cohen and Lynn Bayard, two highly respected IP litigators. Cohen is highly skilled in copyright infringement disputes and royalty rates disputes involving sound recordings. He has also acted in antitrust, defamation and broadcasting-related cases. Bayard is also highly skilled in disputes involving music royalty rates, as well issues involving health safety in sports and entertainment. Jonathan Kanter has left to set up his own practice.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Fielding a bicoastal, four-partner team, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has experience in a full range of entertainment and media-related disputes. Disputes concerning social media are a particular strongpoint, having recently defended Elon Musk against a private citizen involving potentially defamatory tweets. The team has also handled highly sensitive cases, such as representing Woody Allen in film cancellation matters brought by Amazon involving Allen's abuse allegations, and representing The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in its expulsion of Roman Polanski due to his convictions of unlawful relations with a minor. Los Angeles-based Gary Gans co-chairs the team and is an expert in film financing and contractual breaches. Also in Los Angeles, fellow practice Robert Schwartz focuses on issues cornering commercial agreements and has been particularly active in disputes concerning Covid-19 and the film industry. The New York office is home to Robert Raskopf and Carey Ramos, both of whom are experts in copyright infringement claims.

Practice head(s):

Gary Gans; Robert Schwartz; Robert Raskopf; Carey Ramos; Sandra Bresnick; Steven Cherny; Patrick Curran; Raymond Nimrod

Key clients

Elon Musk

Google LLC / YouTube

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Vivendi S.A. and Studiocanal

NetEase Inc.

Woody Allen

Bank Leumi, USA

Emigrant Bank

Aperture Media Partners LLC

Zaika Corporation, On Corporation, and Little Dragon Productions, Inc.

Lotus Media, LLC

Film Finances, Inc.

Bloomberg, L.P. and Bloomberg Finance, L.P.

YKK

Amgen

Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma

Becton Dickinson

SpeySide

PureWick

Hesai Photonics Technology Co., Ltd. (“Hesai”)

Blix

Neural Magic

C.R. Bard, Inc., Bard Access Systems, Inc., and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. (wholly owned subsidiaries of Becton Dickinson & Co.)

C.R. Bard, Inc., and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. (wholly owned subsidiaries of Becton Dickinson & Co.)

Spotify USA Inc.

Vimeo, Inc. (a subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp)

Horror Inc. and Manny Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Vivendi S.A. and Studiocanal on a profit sharing dispute with the creators of the movie This is Spinal Tap.
  • Advised NetEase in a copyright and trade dress infringement claim brought by competitor PUBG in relation to one of the client’s video games.
  • Advised Bank Leumi in a breach of contract claim against the producers of the Johnny Depp movie City of Lies.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Based in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP stands out in particular for its strength in copyright law, particularly in the music sector, though the team is also highly proficient in handling copyright matters in the publishing and photography segments. Benjamin Marks leads the practice and has been acting for Pandora in disputes concerning its royalty rates to musicians and record labels. Yehudah Buchweitz is another key name, with expertise in both commercial disputes and antitrust matters, and acting for clients including Viacom. Also recommended is Jessica Falk. Bruce Rich has retired.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Marks

Other key lawyers:

Yehudah Buchweitz; Jessica Falk

Key clients

Sirius XM Radio

Pandora Media

Getty Images

CBS Corp.

S&P Global

North American Concert Promoters Association

Facebook (including subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Leonard Lauder

Association of American Publishers

Spotify

Twitter Inc.

Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, SAGE Publications

Discovery Communications

A&E Networks

Alibaba

Creative Artists Agency and Zion Williamson

The Spectator (1828), Ltd

Hearst Communications

Work highlights

  • Advised Pandora Media in a royalty payments dispute.
  • Advised Getty Images in its defense involving copyright infringement and falsification of copyright management information claims.
  • Advised CBS in a private putative class action lawsuit on behalf of direct purchasers of broadcast television spot advertising for allegedly colluding to fix prices in TV advertising.

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP has been the point of contact for The Washington Post in several privacy and defamation lawsuits, including a claim brought by Donald Trump’s re-election campaign regarding the President’s alleged collusion with Russia. Thomas Hentoff, one of three practice co-heads, has been representing The Post on these cases. In addition to defamation and press freedom disputes, Hentoff is also skilled in trademark and copyright law. Joint practice head Joseph Terry has a similar focus on defamation lawsuits, and has been focusing on defamation issues arising from televised news, coverage of protests, factual reporting and privacy issues. Also in the practice leadership is Stephen Fuzesi, who also has deep expertise in defamation matters, and has represented key clients including CNN and The Washington Post.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Hentoff; Joseph Terry; Stephen Fuzesi

Key clients

Washington Post

Cable News Network (CNN)

Google

Walt Disney Company

Fox News Network

Lynn Goldsmith

Recording Industry Association of America

Work highlights

  • Defended the Washington Post in a lawsuit brought by a student at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who alleged that the newspaper falsely implied he engaged in racist acts.
  • Defending The Washington Post in a libel lawsuit filed by  Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, alleging false statements in columns.
  • Defending both CNN and The Washington Post in a defamation lawsuit filed by former coal CEO and US Senate candidate Don Blankenship.

Kendall Brill & Kelly

Los Angeles-based litigation boutique Kendall Brill & Kelly covers a range of entertainment-related disputes, including common areas such as IP, contractual breaches and NDAs, as well as more niche areas such as family law, insurance and antitrust. The team has acted in significant disputes in the industry, a recent example of which was its representation of Creative Artists Agency in a dispute with the Writers’ Guild of America cornering payment and ownerships. Practice head Richard Kendall acted on that particular dispute alongside Patrick Somers. The team also includes copyright infringement expert Bert Deixler and Philip Kelly, who focuses on IP disputes and commercial agreements, and has also been singled out by clients for his expertise in copyright and film financing disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Kendall

Other key lawyers:

Bert Deixler; Philip Kelly

Testimonials

‘KBK has excellent commercial knowledge of the industry and high quality partners and associates.’

‘Philip Kelly provides practical, well-reasoned legal advice and makes himself available to talk through case strategy and legal issues.’

Key clients

Creative Artists Agency, LLC (CAA)

Regency Entertainment and Monarchy Enterprises S.A.R.L.

The Estate of Robert Philpott, the late business manager for Dick Wolf, creator of the Law and Order TV franchise

European Film Bonds, Burmester Dunkler & Jory Gmbh, and Various German Insurance and Reinsurance companies (including Allianz)

The Estate of World-renowned Singer Jenni Rivera

Nirvana

Olympic Champion Kerri Walsh Jennings

CBS Broadcasting

Paramount Pictures

Viacom International Inc. and Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Work highlights

  • Advised the talent agency CAA in an antitrust dispute with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
  • Represented Regency Entertainment Inc. and Monarchy Enterprises S.A.R.L. in a breach of contract lawsuit filed over Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply box-office flop.
  • Acted for Paramount Pictures in a  breach of contract case brought against a former licensing partner in connection with the development of Paramount hotels and theme parks.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Led by seasoned litigator Dale Cendali, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a leading force in copyright and trademark infringement litigation, particularly in the video game industry. The team advises major video game publishers such as Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive Software on a full range of disputes, including on niche allegations of infringement such as the dance steps used in a game and tattoos featured on certain characters in video games. Also recommended in the team are New York-based Claudia Ray, who has assisted Cendali on several disputes, and Diana Torres in Los Angeles, another key contact for IP litigation.

Practice head(s):

Dale Cendali

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Ray; Diana Torres

Key clients

Association of American Publishers

Epic Games, Inc.

Fox News Network LLC

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Thomson Reuters

Work highlights

  • Advised a number of publishers in a copyright litigation case against Audible which used unauthorised use of books through its Audible Captions mobile feature.
  • Advised Epic Games in a case against saxophone player Leo Pellegrino, who alleged that a signature performance move of his was infringed in the video game Fortnite.
  • Advised Take Two Interactive Software in an infringement case brought by a tattoo artist whose work on famous NBA players appeared in the client’s basketball game.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is a reputed name in the music industry, with a client roster consisting of household names including U2, Madonna, Sony Music and Live Nation. In this space, the team is adept at handling copyright infringement claims, royalties disputes, and other contractual issues. Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks works between New York and Los Angeles and has acted in high-stakes music copyright cases, most recently defending BMG in a case brought by former members of the group Yellowstone concerning the song "Lucid Dreams" by Juice Wrld. Employment is another cornerstone of the practice, with Anthony Oncidi recently representing Viacom in a dispute with Netflix concerning its alleged poaching of Viacom's employees. Renowned trademark and advertising litigator Brendan O’Rourke is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Oncidi; Brendan O’Rourke

Testimonials

‘The practice group is notable because of its Department Head. Sandy Crawshaw Sparks is a world class lawyer and always delivers. The group feeds off of her knowledge and passion. Her results are legendary.’

‘Simply put, for me… this firm IS SANDY CRAWSHAW SPARKS. She creates leverage and knows her adversaries. Second to none in her field.’

Key clients

U2, and Paul Hewson (p/k/a “Bono”)

UMG Recordings

Madonna

Live Nation Entertainment

Hasbro, Inc.

BMG Rights Management

Overtime Sports

Young Hollywood LLC

Viacom/Activision

The Recording Academy

Sony Music Entertainment

Ellen DeGeneres

NBCUniversal

Universal Pictures

Work highlights

  • Advised The Recording Academy, which owns the Grammy brand, on a lawsuit against the unaffiliated Christian Grammys.
  • Advising Viacom in action against Netflix, which is alleged to have poached the client’s employees.
  • Advised Ellen DeGeneres on the investigation into the work environment issues surrounding her show Ellen.

Pryor Cashman LLP

Pryor Cashman LLP commands a strong presence in the music publishing industry, particularly in relation to royalty disputes and copyright infringement. This has included major copyright infringement claims against Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. Outside of the music industry, the team has also assisted Netflix with IP infringement and libel issues. Leading the team is Donald Zakarin, a veteran litigator in the music industry. He is supported by Brad Rose, James Sammataro and Ilene Farkas, all of whom have extensive experience in music industry disputes.

Practice head(s):

Donald Zakarin

Other key lawyers:

James Janowitz; James Sammataro; Ilene Farkas

Key clients

Mechanical Licensing Collective (“MLC”)

National Music Publishers Association and Nashville Songwriters Association International

Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Warner Music, Sony Music/RCA, Atlantic Records, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management, Concord Music and others

Ed Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Atlantic Records and others

Netflix

EMI April Music Inc. (“EMI April”), The LA Reid Music Publishing Company, LLC (“LA Reid”) and Sony/ATV Songs LLC (“Sony/ATV”)

Extreme Music Library Ltd.

Tito “El Bambino” and Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

UMG Recordings Inc.

Ricky Martin

Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Erika Ender, and Universal Music Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Mechanical Licensing Collective on licensing issues with digital streaming service providers.
  • Representing National Music Publishers Association and Nashville Songwriters Association International in its determination of royalty rates.
  • Defended Ricky Martin in a copyright infringement case.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s Century City office is highly involved in the entertainment sector, with a heavy caseload consisting of contractual disputes and copyright infringement. Specifically, recent highlights have involved unlawful terminations, contract breaches and settlement agreement violations. Marty Katz leads the practice and, in addition to breach of contract and copyright matters, is also skilled in handling employment and insurance liability issues. Dylan Price has a similarly broad skill set with notable strengths in distribution rights and content licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Marty Katz

Other key lawyers:

Dylan Price

Work highlights

  • Represented Row 44 in a dispute with SwiftAir over the termination of a contract concerning an in-flight “destination deal” service on Southwest Airlines’ entertainment portal.
  • Represented Oakley, Inc. and Luxottica of America, Inc. in a high-profile dispute arising out of Olympic gold medalist Shaun White’s endorsement of various products.
  • Represented Tohme R. Tohme, Michael Jackson’s former manager, in action against the Estate of Michael Jackson for breach of a settlement agreement entered into between the parties.

Ballard Spahr LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP has a strong track record in defamation and invasion of privacy cases, often acting for major media companies and high-profile individuals. One particular highlight of note has been its representation of several news organizations in disputes against the US Small Business Administration concerning a freedom of information request regarding the recipients of the Administration's Covid-19 relief stimulus. Washington DC-based Charles Tobin heads up the practice and has acted for clients in both federal and state courts. He is supported by Jay Ward Brown, a name to note for privacy and defamation matters.

Practice head(s):

Charles Tobin

Other key lawyers:

Jay Ward Brown; Seth Berlin; Chad Bowman; Leita Walker

Testimonials

‘The media lawyers at Ballard are so knowledgeable and skilled. Also just very nice people. We know we are getting absolute top-notch work, and they do it at a reasonable rate. We rely on them heavily.’

‘Ballard Spahr has the deepest bench of talented media attorneys in the country. It is an all-star team of attorneys in the media defense space.’

Key clients

The Washington Post

A&E Television Networks, LLC (sued as Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC)

Cable News Network

CBS

The New York Times Company

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer

Global Witness

Netflix

Northland Television, LLC d/b/a WJFW-NBC

Oberlin College and Meredith Raimondo

Southern Poverty Law Center

Univision

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Star Tribune Media Company LLC

NPR

Work highlights

  • Represented 11 news organizations in a FOIA lawsuit against the Small Business Administration to uncover information of the businesses that received money through the SBA’s new Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Represented CNN in an access lawsuit arising out of the “Comey Memos” – the memoranda that FBI Director James Comey wrote to document conversations.
  • Defended CBS in a defamation action brought by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax over its broadcast of interviews with two women who have accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting them.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)' Los Angeles-based team is experienced in IP disputes and contractual breaches and recently acted for Spyglass in its contested acquisition of The Weinstein Company's assets. That particular matter was handled by practice head Michael Garfinkel, who specializes in the entertainment sector and has a strong track record in disputes concerning commercial agreements, rights of publicity and intellectual property. Another key figure is Andrew Deutsch, an expert in copyright and trademark litigation, who acts for clients including Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Practice head(s):

Michael Garfinkel 

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Deutsch

Key clients

Spyglass Media Group

Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP

Raven Capital Management

Spyglass Media

Phillip Lawrence

William Fay

Storyboard Media, LLC

Jukin Media

Endeavor (WME-IMG)

ICM Partners

Spyglass Media Group

Indisumo Group and A.M. Participations

Prettybird, LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Spyglass Media Group, the stalking horse bidder that acquired substantially all of the assets of The Weinstein Company.
  • Advised Dr. Seuss Enterprises on copyright and trademark infringement claims  infringing upon the author’s famous works.
  • Advised Raven Capital Management on a breach of contract and fraud against Georgia Film Fund arising out of Raven’s planned distribution of Mel Gibson’s new movie entitled Box Level.

Katten

Katten is a prominent name for IP infringement disputes in the music and film industries. Managing partner of the Los Angeles office Zia Modabber leads the practice and has recently been involved in a number of disputes concerning royalties and management fees. He represents a range of high-profile musicians including Celine Dion, Trent Reznor, The Estate of Michael Jackson and Lil Nas X. Also recommended are David Halberstadter and Joel Weiner, both of whom are experts in IP infringement, especially concerning film production and idea theft allegations.

Practice head(s):

Zia Modabber

Other key lawyers:

David Halberstadter; Joel Weiner

Key clients

Celine Dion

Lil Nas X

ViacomCBS

NBCUniversal

Estate of Michael Jackson

Lions Gate Entertainment

Storyteller Distribution Co., LLC d/b/a Amblin Partners

Paramount Pictures Corporation

Starz Media

Live Nation

Game Show Network

Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails

Work highlights

  • Defended the Michael Jackson Estate in a  dispute with producer Quincy Jones over royalties from Jackson’s albums Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad.
  • Defended NBCUniversal Media and Work Title Films in an idea theft claim for breach of implied-in-fact contract pertaining to the 2019 Beatles-themed feature film Yesterday.
  • Defended ViacomCBS in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who claims that the company infringed upon her written treatment and pilot script for a proposed television series.

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Loeb & Loeb LLP is recognized in this space for its work on copyright infringement matters, particularly those arising in the music industry. New York-based Barry Slotnick chairs the IP and entertainment group and has represented major music publishers in copyright litigation as well as in privacy-related issues. Another key figure is Los Angeles-based David Grossman, deputy chair of the firm’s litigation department, who is experienced in copyright infringement claims surrounding film and TV. Also recommended in the New York office are Tal DicksteinHook Wang and Barry Mallen.

Practice head(s):

Barry Slotnick; David Grossman

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Zavin; Wook Hwang; Tal Dickstein; Barry Mallen

Key clients

Ryan Lewis, Ben Haggerty p/k/a Macklemore

CBS Interactive and Netflix

Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, SonyATV Music Publishing, PeerMusic, Spirit Music Group, Concord Music Publishing, ABKCO Music

AMC Network Entertainment LLC

Viacom International

Viacom International and Big Fish Entertainment

NBC Universal, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Truly Original

Ford Motor Company

Reservoir Media Management, Inc., Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group Inc., Warner Music Inc., and Warner Music Group Corp.

Juan Luis Guerra

Fox Searchlight, Guillermo del Toro

Paramount Pictures

Universal

Legendary

Master Licensing

Gaumont Television USA

Work highlights

  • Represented Ryan Lewis and Macklemore, in a copyright infringement case against Paul Batiste d/b/a/ Artang Publishing, LLC.
  • Defended CBS Interactive and Netflix in a copyright infringement case brought a video game creator claiming that Star Trek: Discovery infringed his game.
  • Representing Universal in a copyright infringement lawsuit relating to a song that was used in an episode of the series Amazing Stories on Apple TV+.