Litigation

The firm represents clients in complex business and contract disputes including disputes arising in the context of the entertainment and sports industries, the investment banking industry and the real estate industry. The Idell Firm has defended and prosecuted cases arising in a variety of business contexts including breach of contract, tort claims, unfair competition, regulatory matters, the Internet, employment law, professional liability, insurance, partnership/corporate/limited liability company disputes, real estate, commercial leases, licenses, environmental matters, and trust and estates. The Idell Firm has vast experience in intellectual property disputes including copyright, trademark, publicity/celebrity rights, and trade secret matters. Such litigation includes prosecution and defense of claims in both federal and state court. The Idell Firm has been admitted for trial matters in all district courts of California, district courts in the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey, Kentucky and Kansas. The Idell Firm has prosecuted and defended claims for unfair competition and false advertising as well as other advertising related issues. The Idell Firm also prosecutes trademark registrations and prosecutes and defends trademark disputes arising from such registrations and trademark usage.

Significant Litigation matters:

  • Litigation involving Stored Communications Act: A Motion to Quash production of emails in the custody of Google. Motion to Quash denied. Order appealed. Court ruled in favor of production. Negro v. Superior Court (Navalimpianti USA, Inc.), 2014 WL 5341926 (Cal. App. 2014).
  • Litigation involving the Stored Communications Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
    Theofel v. Farey-Jones
    395 F.3d 1066 (9th Cir. 2004)

    • In a case in which the defendants used service of a patently overbroad subpoena to obtain private emails, The Idell Firm represented the plaintiffs in the district court and as co-counsel on appeal in an action to obtain an injunction and damages, asserting violations of the Stored Communications Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. On appeal the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court dismissal and held that these statutes protected the email from such unauthorized disclosure. This case is considered a landmark decision of the authority and use of federal court subpoenas to obtain emails.
  • Litigation involving conversion of a domain name.
    Kremen v. Cohen, 337 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2003)

    • In this case, Gary Kremen had registered the domain name “sex.com” in 1994 only to see it stolen by convicted felon, Stephen Michael Cohen, sometime later. Kremen sued in 1998 and the case proceeded through the district court to a preliminary injunction and later, to trial. The domain name was returned to Kremen in 2000 and after trial, Kremen was awarded $65,000,000 in damages. The defendant fled to Mexico and became a fugitive after the court held him in contempt for refusing to account for profits and after refusing the repatriate $25,000,000 to the U.S. The Firm represented Kremen in parallel trademark matters before the Patent and Trademark Office and as members of Kremen’s legal team in the district court litigation and in the Ninth Circuit on several of the appeals following judgment. In the initial case, Kremen sued Network Solutions, Inc. for conversion of the domain name. The district court dismissed the claim on the grounds that a domain name is not “property” subject to conversion. On appeal the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that a domain name is property subject to the tort of conversion. The Idell Firm represented Kremen as co-counsel in the subsequent matter against Network Solutions, Inc. and VeriSign. The Firm also represented Kremen in the effort to collect the $65,000,000 and in contempt proceedings in the District Court after Cohen was apprehended and arrested in late 2005.
  • The firm prosecutes WIPO proceedings to recover domain names.
  • Copyright and Trademark Litigation Anti-Piracy Actions: Since 1985, the firm has represented film distribution companies in numerous copyright and trademark enforcement actions as part of a strategic anti-piracy program. Many of these actions involved prosecution of claims by obtaining ex parte temporary injunctions and seizure orders (under Section 503 of the Copyright Act). The firm has prosecuted such cases in the Northern District, Eastern District, Central District and Southern District of California as well as district courts in Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Massachusetts.
  • Other Copyright Litigation: The firm has prosecuted and defended claims for copyright infringement in a variety of contexts including unauthorized use of photographs in film, substantial similarity claims involving novels, scripts and sculptures, unauthorized distribution of films and copyright ownership. Such litigation matters have included prosecution and defense of preliminary injunctions as provisional relief in such matters and litigation over defenses of fair use, diminimus use and estoppel.
  • Real Estate Litigation. The firm handles litigation involving residential and commercial leases, rent control, lease arbitrations, landlord/tenant, development issues, partition actions, toxic/hazardous waste liability, easements, title issues, escrow disputes, construction disputes, mechanics liens, disputes over purchase and sale agreements, prescriptive easement issues and disputes between members of limited liability companies and corporations over ownership rights.
  • The firm litigates partnership, LLC and corporate disputes including ownership disputes, buy-sell issues, governance issues and operational issues.
  • The firm recently obtained a jury verdict in favor of a lawyer sued for legal malpractice with a cross-complaint for fees. The firm was successful in deterring the malpractice claims and obtaining an award for the fees plus a finding that the client defrauded the lawyer; the jury also awarded punitive damages.
  • Defense of nonprofit in Breach of Contract and Fraud: The firm successfully defended Trees Foundation in a two week jury trial. The case, which alleged Breach of Contract and Fraud, was brought by a disgruntled donor who claimed that she had made a conditional gift.
  • Other Trademark Litigation: The firm has prosecuted and defended trademark claims in a variety of contexts including, disputes over domain names, franchise brands, disputes over claimed similarity of names and marks, claims of prior use.
  • Internet Litigation. The firm has defended an Internet search engine in a state court class action asserting liability for advertising online off-shore gambling. The firm prosecuted litigation brought by a publishing business whose business was damaged by a bogus online review site published by a competitor. The competitor was also alleged to be “gaming” search engine results by using multiple domains. The case was resolved by a payment of money damages and entry of a final consent decree and permanent injunction.
  • Insurance Litigation. The Idell Firm has extensive experience in pre-litigation and litigation of efforts to procure defense and coverage for insured’s in litigation matters. Such cases include coverage disputes over trademark and copyright claims, disputes over coverage for tort claims and dispute over coverage for business claims.
  • Trademark registration and prosecution and defense of claims of opposition. The firm has a robust trademark registration practice and prosecutes and defends claims of opposition to registration.
  • Patent Disputes: The Idell Firm are not patent lawyers, however, the firm has strong working relationships with local patent counsel and has successfully prosecuted and defended litigation over ownership of patents.
  • Trade Secrets Litigation: The firm has successfully prosecuted and defended claims under the California Trade Secrets Act.
  • Unfair Business Practices: The firm has successfully prosecuted and defended claims under the California Unfair Business Practices Act.
  • Litigation involving Merchandising Contracts: The firm has represented a nationally known band in its dispute with its merchandising company.
  • Litigation involving Force Majeure Clauses in Entertainment Contracts: The firm represented a tour promoter in litigation involving cancellation of a performance by a venue based on a force majeure clause. The firm also prosecuted an action against an artist based on a failure to perform allegedly asserting a force majeure clause.
  • Litigation involving claims of injuries at concerts: The firm has acted as litigation counsel for promoters, presenters and venues since 1987 in claims involving injuries at concerts and other events involving public assemblages. The firm has successfully defended such claims in arbitration and jury trial.
  • Personal Injury Litigation. The firm has prosecuted and defended personal injury claims in a variety of contexts.
  • Securities Litigation/Investment Advisor Claims: California Court of Appeal, Appellate Case # A108294, San Francisco Superior Court Case # CGC-03-400113. The firm brought an action against an investment advisor and its principal for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims. The litigation included arbitration proceedings and an appeal which affirmed a six figure judgment against the defendants, including a finding of personal liability of the investment advisor.
  • Arbitration: Investment Advisors: The firm litigated an investment advisory case in a J.A.M.S. arbitration and was successful in obtaining more than a $14,000,000 award.
  • Litigation R.I.C.O.: The firm is prosecuting claims arising out of fraudulent business investments connected to thoroughbred mare leases.
  • Litigation Involving Claims of Professional Negligence: The firm has prosecuted and defended professional negligence claims against lawyers, doctors, chiropractors, architects, dentists, accountants, insurance brokers and other professionals.
  • Litigation Involving California Environmental Quality Act: The firm has represented developers and land-owners and occupiers in matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act.
  • Litigation against Major National Bank to Recover Losses Arising from Bank’s Involvement in Con Game: The firm successfully prosecuted claims of fraud and non-disclosure against a large national banking institution and a con-man arising from a con-game involving loans and phony securities. The case was tried successfully to a jury, resulting in a judgment of over a million dollars and was affirmed on appeal in an unpublished decision. American Income Trust v. Northern Trust.

Litigation (Basic Services):

  • State and Federal Court
  • Trial and Arbitration
  • WIPO Proceedings
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Arbitration
    • Mediation
    • Early Neutral Evaluation
  • Litigation Areas
    • Business
    • Insurance
    • Personal Injury
    • Privacy
    • 1st Amendment
    • Defamation
    • Publicity
    • Tort Law- personal injury and property
    • Real Estate
    • Environmental
    • Contract Disputes
    • Business Torts
    • Intentional Interference with Contract
    • Intentional interference with Prospective Advantage
    • Conversion
    • Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation
    • Declaratory Relief
    • Intellectual Property Disputes
      • Ownership Disputes
      • Copyright Ownership and Licensing Rights
      • Trademark Ownership and Licensing Rights
      • Domain Name Disputes
      • Trade Secrets Actions
      • Infringement Actions
        • Copyrights
        • Trademarks
        • Domain Names/Cybersquatting Issues
      • Piracy/Counterfeiting Actions
      • Publicity Rights Claims
      • Injunctive Relief Actions