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Buchalter

Lawrence B. Steinberg

Lawrence B. Steinberg

Shareholder

Expertise

  • Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility
  • Appellate Law
  • Litigation
  • Class Actions

WSG Practice Industries

Activity

Buchalter
California, U.S.A.

Profile

Larry Steinberg is Chair of the firm’s Multi-Level Marketing Practice Group. He focuses his practice on complex business litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all aspects of civil litigation.

During his 30-year career, Mr. Steinberg has handled a wide variety of matters, focusing his practice on claims involving intellectual property (including copyright, trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, and trade secrets), disputes pertaining to multilevel marketing and the direct sales industry, disputes involving the entertainment and apparel industries, and partnership and corporate disputes. Though believing that a negotiated settlement is often in the client’s best interests, Mr. Steinberg is a litigator who, when appropriate, takes cases to trial, having had dozens of bench trials, jury trials, appeals and arbitrations in state and federal courts around the country.

Leadership in Bar and Community Activities

Mr. Steinberg currently serves as a Lawyer Representative to the Judicial Conference of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He is a former President of the Los Angeles Copyright Society and served as a longtime member of its Board of Trustees. Mr. Steinberg has also been active in community affairs, serving as a board member, officer, and president of Public Counsel, the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Inner City Law Center. He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Executive Committee of the Entertainment Law, and the Intellectual Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Mr. Steinberg is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been selected as a Top Rated Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media in conjunction with Martindale Hubbell. He has also been selected by Super Lawyer Magazine as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers since 2007. Mr. Steinberg has been elected into the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, an organization whose membership is composed of distinguished lawyers who are active in professional, civic, and philanthropic organizations.

Speaking and Writing

Mr. Steinberg writes and lectures widely on false advertising law, unfair competition, copyright, entertainment law issues, and unfair competition law. He has spoken at programs sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute, Mealey’s, Bridgeport Continuing Education, Promotions Marketing Association, and the Los Angeles Copyright Society, among others. Mr. Steinberg was selected to participate as a trial lawyer in the annual program sponsored by the State Bar of California entitled “Champions of the Courtroom: The Masters in Action.”

 

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • Yale University
  • Harvard Law School
Areas of Practice

Appellate Law | Class Actions | Intellectual Property Law | Litigation | Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility | White Collar & Investigations

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Represented a buyer of second hand gold jewelry in an action for false advertising under the Lanham Act, claiming that a competitor materially misrepresented the prices it was paying to consumers. After a three week jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of Mr. Steinberg’s client, including an award for the client’s lost profits and disgorgement of the defendants’ profits which resulted from the false advertising.
  • Represented profit participants, including executive producer and world famous author, in arbitration against major motion picture studio regarding audit claims, allocation issues and claims for breach of contract, pertaining to ten years of distribution and subdistribution of more than a dozen television movies. Favorable confidential settlement negotiated on eve of arbitration trial.
  • Represented a multi-level marketing company in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accusing the company, which sold digital music and music related products, of false advertising and operating as an illegal “pyramid scheme,” through all phases of pre-trial motion practice and discovery, and acted as lead counsel in a three week bench trial in Los Angeles federal court. Argued case in United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented a private equity firm and buyers of a leading provider to the aerospace industry against the sellers of the business and 25 financial institutions in a lawsuit for breach of contract, fraud and rescission, and in a related post-closing purchase price adjustment arbitration. The arbitration resulted in a decision in favor of Mr. Steinberg’s client for 100% of all disputed accounting issues, laying the groundwork for a multimillion-dollar payment to the client.
  • Represented a real estate developer and operator of hotels against a savings and loan association in a trial for specific performance of a contract to buy a hotel and for promissory fraud, resulting in a decision ordering sale of the hotel to Mr. Steinberg’s client. A preliminary injunction was entered by the trial court allowing Mr. Steinberg’s client to remain in possession of the hotel pending trial. The decision was appealed up to and sustained by the California Supreme Court.
  • Represented television production company against local O&O television station in action pertaining to rights to nationally syndicated strip show and ownership of field cassette videotapes. Issues included profit distributions, packaging allocations and allegation that syndication revenue was not maximized due to network’s packaging of show with other less successful properties. Case settled on very favorable terms after prevailing on motions for preliminary injunction and writ of possession and after defeating television station’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented seller of a small chain of retail closeout stores, including handling issues related to valuation, due diligence, assumption of real estate leases, security interests, subordination and financing issues and insurance issues.
  • Represented major motion picture studio and its parent company in $70 million dispute against another major motion picture studio for breach of an output deal pursuant to which second studio had given Mr. Steinberg’s client a 10-year exclusive license to distribute second studio’s entire library on basic cable television; suit involved complicated accounting issues, issues related to corporate restructuring of parent company and assignability of license agreements. Case settled on very favorable terms with second studio buying out all remaining obligations under license agreement.
  • Represented advertising agency in purchase of minority owner’s shareholding interest, including handling of all issues regarding due diligence, financing, indemnities, assignments of intellectual property, and receivable and payable issues.
  • Represented executive producer of a successful television series against a major motion picture studio in a case arising out of client’s profit participation. After 18 months of intensive deposition discovery, studio agreed to rewrite client’s profit definition and make multimillion-dollar payment.
  • Defended a publicly owned international distributor of exercise equipment in a case brought by a foreign competitor for false advertising under the Lanham Act. Also assisted in representation of the same clients in a concurrent investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Summary judgment was entered by the trial court in favor of Mr. Steinberg’s clients, and an agreement was negotiated with the FTC that did not require the client to pay any money to the government or to consumers.
  • Lead member of team of attorneys representing former officers and directors of a failed savings and loan in a series of lawsuits, including shareholder derivative action, a regulatory enforcement action brought by Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation and suit for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA brought by the Association’s ESOP. Successfully prevailed on writ of mandate before Ninth Circuit, resulting in one of the leading published court decisions on standards for disqualification of law firms due to dual representation.
  • Represented production company and writer of major motion picture in JAMS arbitration brought by unauthorized writer of draft screenplay in action alleging plagiarism, unjust enrichment and breach of settlement agreement. Case settled for nominal amount of money in the middle of trial after Mr. Steinberg’s cross examination of plaintiff.
  • Part of team that represented two major motion picture studios and screenwriter in action for copyright infringement related to motion picture with $500 million in worldwide revenues. Case went to jury trial; defense verdict.
  • Represented showrunner of prime time television series against major motion picture studio in claim alleging studio’s breach of contractual agreement to shoot television pilot. Case settled on very favorable terms without the necessity of filing a lawsuit.
  • Represented one of the leading chains of motion picture theater exhibitors in Southern California in a variety of business and real estate disputes, including defending the theater exhibitor, its principals and partners in a series of related cases alleging breach of numerous joint venture agreements for the development, construction and leasing of “built to suit” theater complexes. After two years of discovery and motion practice, the case settled with the parties’ exchanging mutual releases and without the payment of any money by Mr. Steinberg’s client to the plaintiffs.
  • Represents artists and personal managers before the California Labor Commission in disputes involving California’s Talent Agencies Act and the alleged “procurement of employment,” and represents artists and advertisers in disputes regarding the “right of publicity.”

Articles

  • FTC Enters Into Landmark Settlement With Network Marketing Company; Vemma Lives To Play Another Day
  • U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Importation and Re-Sale of Gray Market Goods Manufactured Abroad
  • Remedies Available for False Advertising Under California Business & Professions Code Section 17500 and Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act
  • Tensions Between Class Actions and the Liberal Standing Requirements for Private Attorney General Actions Brought Under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code Section 17200
  • Regulating Personal Managers in the Entertainment Industry Under California’s Talent Agencies Act


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