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

The Los Angeles-based team at Katten balances risk assessment aimed at avoiding litigation with a broad contentious practice that encompasses contracts, IP and business disputes for high-profile clients from the music and visual entertainment industry. Practice head Zia Modabber focuses his practice on music industry disputes; he recently represented the estate of Michael Jackson in a matter of first impression matter concerning a posthumous Michael Jackson album. Seasoned litigator David Halberstadter  specializes in intellectual property defense, in a recent highlight he represented Viacom CBS in a copyright infringement case concerning the alleged misuse of a pilot script. Fellow IP expert Joel Weiner also specializes in anti-SLAPP motions. Further recommended is Tami Kameda Sims who provided key support when the aforementioned Michael Jackson matter was argued in front of the California Supreme Court.