Mr Joel Weiner > Katten > Los Angeles, United States > Lawyer Profile

SUITE 1000
United States

Work Department



Some of the most prominent companies in the entertainment business turn to Joel Weiner to handle disputes across a broad range of subject matter. With nearly 30 years of litigation experience and vast industry knowledge, he has been trusted by companies like NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Endemol Shine Group, Telemundo and Excel Sports Management with high-profile lawsuits involving series, films and other valuable entertainment properties.

The entertainment industry is a magnet for creative disputes. Joel represents motion picture studios, television networks, production companies and talent on the full spectrum of litigation issues. He frequently handles cases involving copyright, contract, accounting, and business tort claims, as well as personal claims against high-profile entertainers, directors and professional athletes. Some of his recent matters have involved popular reality series such as “The Biggest Loser,” “Keeping Up With the Kardiashians,” and “Ghost Hunters,” as well as scripted series like “Heroes,” celebrity talk shows like “The Wendy Williams Show,” and films like “Ted” and “Machete.”

Whether he’s defending a studio accused of idea theft, interpreting an entertainment industry contract or asserting a producer’s First Amendment rights, Joel adjusts his strategies to the particular business needs of his client. In some instances, those business needs call for avoiding the cost, risk and public attention that comes with taking a case to trial. He has won numerous anti-SLAPP motions with fee awards, motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, and has mediated or arbitrated many disputes confidentially. In other matters, Joel stands ready to take cases all through trial and beyond, drawing on his substantial appellate experience.

Outside the entertainment industry, Joel represents clients in business litigation involving contract disputes, interference with contract, insurance issues, environmental claims, employment disputes and real estate investment fraud claims, among other areas. 


JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; BA, University of California, Santa Barbara

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.