Michael E. Weinsten, (Member) is an experienced trial attorney who handles complex litigation and arbitration at the state, federal and international level. He has handled hundreds of disputes on behalf of individuals and businesses ranging from sole proprietorships to some of the leading Fortune 500 companies, in a variety of industries including: sports and entertainment, fashion, high tech, aerospace and defense, banking and finance, insurance and energy.
Mr. Weinsten's litigation practice covers a wide range of disputes including contract disputes, copyright and trademark, licensing and royalty disputes, artist/management disputes, defamation, first amendment, right of privacy/publicity, stalking and harassment, film finance, unfair competition, art theft, fraud, securities, general corporate matters, insurance and employment.
In the area of sports and entertainment, Mr. Weinsten has represented some of the most prominent actors, musicians, athletes, directors, writers, producers, agents and managers, as well as cable companies, studios, record labels and video game companies.
* In a first case of its kind, Mr. Weinsten defended one of the world's most recognizable celebrities against allegations that she failed to adequately promote a film in which she starred. Mr. Weinsten tried the case in Federal court in Miami, after which the Judge dismissed claims for $8.5 million in damages.
* Obtained a $13,000,000 arbitration award on behalf of a television executive terminated in breach of his contract.
* Successfully represented a former heavyweight boxing champion in a suit against the World Boxing Council to force a title bout against the existing champion.
* Defended one of hip-hops' top musical artists against copyright claims concerning the artist's alleged use of plaintiff's voice and lyrics without permission or compensation.
* On behalf of a New Zealand film company, obtained one of the largest monetary awards ever rendered by the Independent Film and Television Alliance in a dispute involving a failed joint venture with a US company.
* Obtained an injunction on behalf of a major cable channel effectively halting the illegal broadcast of its programming in the Middle East and North Africa.
* Successfully defended an academy award winning writer/director in a breach of contract action, obtaining an early dismissal of the case.
* Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of sexual harassment claims brought against a top radio executive.
* On behalf of a major talent management company, obtained early dismissal of indemnity claims brought against the company and a substantial monetary award for sanctions against opposing counsel.
* On behalf of one of America's top selling music groups, successfully sued a group of insurance carriers to obtain insurance coverage when the band was forced to cancel a nationwide tour.
* Employing a Talent Agencies Act defense, successfully defended one of the iconic rock bands of the 1990's in a multi-million dollar commission dispute asserted by the band's former manager.
* Successfully defended the star of one of the highest rated television sitcoms from defamation claims arising from an interview with a major tabloid publication.
* On behalf of a film financier, obtained an injunction freezing the assets of a major production company who misused and diverted the client's funds to unapproved projects.
Outside of the entertainment arena, Mr. Weinsten assisted the Boeing Company to recover $300 million in a breach of contract action against the United States Government. Mr. Weinsten also represented the Government of Indonesia in its efforts to invalidate a $2.5 billion contract allegedly tainted by official corruption and assisted in obtaining a court injunction barring arbitration filed under that contract.
* A frequent lecturer on key legal issues affecting the entertainment community, Mr. Weinsten is a certified provider of MCLE. He has also been quoted in various business and legal publications discussing entertainment matters, including among others the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. He is also a Co-Author of the legal treatise ENTERTAINMENT LITIGATION (Oxford University Press, 2011) (Chapter titled "Invasion of Privacy, Stalking and Harassment"). He also authored the article "Anti-Paparazzi Law Sports Bigger Bite," appearing in the Jan. 8, 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
* Mr. Weinsten participated in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Trial Attorney Project, where he successfully prosecuted three criminal cases achieving guilty verdicts in each matter.
* Mr. Weinsten was named as one of the "Top 100" by Southern California Super Lawyers and has been included on the Southern California Super Lawyers list from 2006-2013.
Entertainment & Media Litigation
Tulane University (B.A., cum laude, 1987)
London School of Economics, Junior Year Abroad 1985-1986
The National Law Center at George Washington University (J.D., with honors, 1991)
The State Bar of California
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