Mr David Halberstadter > Katten > Los Angeles, United States > Lawyer Profile

SUITE 1000
United States

Work Department



Over more than 35 years of practice, David Halberstadter, the firm’s deputy general counsel, has established a reputation among leading entertainment companies as a no-nonsense advisor and talented litigator. When other options fail, he aggressively pursues and defends lawsuits, with a focus on intellectual property-related disputes. Across all his work, clients value David’s clear thinking, strategic wisdom and practical business sense.

David represents motion picture studios, production companies, television networks and new media companies. He gives them advice they can actually use — plain-spoken, grounded in common sense and uncluttered by legalese. His useful recommendations are backed by the decades he has spent in the entertainment industry. He also understands the cost burden of litigation and factors that into his advice.

The cases that David litigates cover all aspects of developing, financing, producing and distributing entertainment content. He also plays a significant “behind-the-scenes” role in the development of movies, television shows and new media properties. He helps clients assess and mitigate risk, often answering the question: “Can we do this without getting sued?” He regularly reviews books, magazine articles and other source material to determine the risk of third-party claims likely to arise from adaptations. In other instances, he reviews often-byzantine rights agreements to make sure his clients actually acquire the rights they need for a project. Clients also turn to him for advice on accounting claims asserted by motion picture and television profit participants.


JD, Georgetown University Law Center; BA, Cornell University

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Intellectual property > Copyright

With a global reach, the intellectual property team at Katten utilizes its deep bench strength to advise on high-profile copyright claims involving household names in entertainment, music, fashion and cosmetics. The team is led in New York by global chair Deepro R. Mukerjee and Karen Artz Ash, a specialist in the fashion sector, representing luxury brand designers, retailers and apparel manufacturers, along with Floyd Mandell, a deeply experienced IP litigator who most recently defended music client Cumulus Media in two class-action suits involving pre-1972 royalties. In Los Angeles, David Halberstadter, who is currently acting for ViacomCBS, and Joel Weiner, whose clients include Will Smith and Sony Pictures, provide expertise on copyright disputes in film and television.

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Media and entertainment: litigation

Based in Los Angeles, the team at Katten takes cases on behalf of musicians and music industry organizations as well as TV and film production studios, including idea theft. Zia Modabber heads the practice and represents high-profile musical artists including Trent Reznor and Stevie Wonder, as well as institutions such as Live Nation and The Recording Academy. On the TV, film, and new media side, David Halberstadter represents companies such as ViacomCBS and Starz Entertainment. Another specialist in this area is Joel Weiner who in a recent highlight represented filmmaker Robert Rodriguez in a claim regarding the ‘Machete’ films. Tami Kameda Sims is also recommended for her expertise in pre-publication review, advising on content and performing rights analysis.