Entertainment & Defamation - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Entertainment & Defamation Group handles a broad range of litigation, transactional and regulatory matters for our entertainment industry clients.

Our attorneys are among the nation's premier defamation and entertainment litigators. For over 35 years, our attorneys have successfully represented high-profile individuals and business organizations in libel and privacy litigation. Our litigators have broad experience in litigating contract and profit participation disputes for members of the television, motion picture and recording industries. We also handle intellectual property matters, including copyright, Lanham Act and idea submission cases.

We believe that reputational injury can sometimes be prevented. Our corporate and celebrity clients often turn to us for aid in preventing imminent reputational harm. However, when litigation is necessary, our success in courts throughout the country is unparalleled.

We not only argue the law but help shape it. We are on the cutting edge of First Amendment and entertainment law and have achieved success at the appellate level in a number of precedent-setting cases.

Within the entertainment industry, our Corporate & Business Group has decades of experience acting as general corporate and tax counsel for both public and privately-owned business enterprises. We have represented private equity groups and individual investors in acquisitions, sales, mergers and financings, and have created effective legal structures for the business operations of many celebrities and other clients working within the entertainment industry. Our tax, trusts and estates attorneys have specialized knowledge derived from years of experience structuring and implementing creative and effective personal tax and estate plans, paying careful attention to celebrity rights, copyright and trademark matters, and other trusts and estates issues unique to the types of assets our entertainment clients accumulate.

Our Government Relations Group offers its lobbying and public policy services to entertainment industry businesses and trade groups that need help interpreting federal government actions and interacting with government officials. These services include legislative consulting, lobbying, policy development, public relations strategy and representation in front of the Congress, federal agencies and regulatory bodies.

Brownstein knows how to handle the unique legal problems and opportunities that arise in the entertainment industry. We frequently collaborate with our clients’ other advisors to provide fully integrated and comprehensive representation. We offer a complete suite of solutions that complements the services provided by other members of our clients’ business team – including their entertainment lawyers, business managers, investment advisers, personal managers and agents -- so all of the client’s needs are met. When required, we know how to coordinate these efforts as “team leaders.”

By combining specialized practitioners from Brownstein’s various practice areas, we make sure that our clients never lack the industry knowledge or legal skills necessary to achieve their goals.

Most important, our attorneys are proactive strategists who always think ahead. Whether handling a complex piece of litigation, managing the purchase or sale of a business or lobbying for musicians’ rights at the highest levels of government, we are expert at coordinating our efforts, both within the firm and with our clients’ other advisors, to take care of their current legal needs and to plan for the future.

Industry service offerings:

  • Business litigation
  • Business planning
  • Conservatorships
  • Contract disputes
  • Copyright registration, compliance and litigation
  • Corporate advisory
  • Defamation litigation
  • Intellectual property
  • Tax planning
  • Trademark registration, compliance and litigation
  • Trusts and estates
  • Right of privacy
  • Right of publicity
Representative Matters
  • Brownstein's Entertainment and Defamation Litigation Team won a $19-million judgment for Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn in a defamation lawsuit against "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis. Brownstein's team proved that in today's digital world where stories, comments and images live online forever, the false and defamatory statements about Wynn could continue to damage Wynn's reputation and undermine his businesses in the highly regulated gaming industry. The Los Angeles jury originally awarded Wynn $20 million in damages for harm to Wynn's reputation and mental anguish and an additional $20 million in punitive damages because the jury found Francis' conduct to be intentional and despicable. After the verdict, the court granted Brownstein's request for an injunction to permanently prohibit Francis from repeating these false accusations. Recently, the judge adjusted the compensatory damages to $19 million, an amount Wynn "is very happy with."

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Meet The Team

Mitchell J. Langberg Shareholder T 702.464.7098 mlangberg@bhfs.com
George Short Shareholder T 805.882.1441 gshort@bhfs.com
Laura Bielinski Langberg Of Counsel T 702.464.7046 llangberg@bhfs.com
Karen Dinino Senior Counsel T 310.500.4619 kdinino@bhfs.com
Michelle Lee Pickett Shareholder T 805.882.1422 mpickett@bhfs.com
Erin E. Grolle Shareholder T 702.464.7087 egrolle@bhfs.com
Matthew D. Francis Shareholder T 775.324.4100 mfrancis@bhfs.com
Sherli Frank Associate T 310.500.4618 sfrank@bhfs.com
Jonathan C. Sandler Shareholder T 310.564.8672 jsandler@bhfs.com
Lindsey A. Williams Associate T 702.464.7056 lwilliams@bhfs.com