Entertainment Law

GMSR has successfully represented parties in some of the leading California cases regarding profit participation, entertainment industry contracts, and publicity rights.

Branca v. El-Amin (Cal.Ct.App., May 16, 2019, No. B282375) 2019 WL 2136114

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company. The Court of

Court of Appeal rejects claim that Michael Jackson gave away 15% of his business at a middle-of-the-night meeting

Four people claimed that Michael Jackson promised them 15% of The Michael Jackson Company in a middle-of-the-night meeting in 2006. After a long bench trial, the probate court rejected those claims on multiple grounds and confirmed that Jackson wholly owned the company.

Wind Dancer Production Group v. Walt Disney Pictures (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 56

GMSR’s clients, the creators and producers of the hit television show Home Improvement, sued Disney for underpaying their profit participation.  Disney obtained summary judgment on the basis of an “incontestability clause” in its contract with plaintiffs that, Disney claimed and the trial court found, absolutely

GMSR obtains reversal of summary judgment in Home Improvement profit-participation case, enabling the creators/producers to proceed to trial

GMSR’s clients, the creators and producers of the hit television show Home Improvement, sued Disney for underpaying their profit participation.  Disney obtained summary judgment on the basis of an “incontestability clause” in its contract with plaintiffs that, Disney claimed and the trial court found, absolutely

GMSR wins publicity rights dispute for Bing Crosby’s heirs; Court of Appeal’s decision helps delineate publicity rights of celebrities and their heirs, brings stability to settlements by reaffirming the breadth of releases of claims

Bing Crosby v. HLC Properties, Ltd. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 597 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three) [published]. In an important decision for the entertainment industry, the Court of Appeal resolved a publicity rights dispute in favor of GMSR’s clients, famous crooner Bing

Crosby v. HLC Properties, Ltd. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 597

GMSR wins publicity rights dispute for Bing Crosby’s heirs; Court of Appeal’s decision helps delineate publicity rights of celebrities and their heirs, brings stability to settlements by reaffirming the breadth of releases of claims

Ninth Circuit affirms $319 million award for GMSR’s client

Celador International, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. (2012) 499 Fed.Appx. 721, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24820 (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) [unpublished]. GMSR’s client Celador International licensed its mega-hit game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire to

Celador Internat., Inc. v. American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. (9th Cir. 2012) 499 Fed.Appx. 721

Television show creator found contractually entitled to 50% of network’s profits; substantial evidence supported jury’s $269 million damages award

Price v. Stossel (9th Cir. 2010) 620 F.3d 992

Ninth Circuit holds that district court erred in dismissing GMSR’s client’s express defamation claim against ABC on anti-SLAPP grounds.

Ladd v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1298

Studio’s undervaluation of film producers’ share of revenues; infringement of film producer’s rights

Who We Serve

PUBLIC ENTITIES

Whether on appeal, assisting trial counsel, or advising government officials contemplating legislative action, GMSR provides unique insight into the complex laws that impact public entities.

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INSURERS

Where coverage may exist, GMSR represents insureds on appeal effectively and efficiently. Where it does not, the firm protects insurers’ right to deny claims.

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BUSINESSES

GMSR offers corporate clients objective assessments on appeal, based on a deep understanding of the limitations and opportunities of appellate review.

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TRIAL COUNSEL

The firm’s lawyers are team players, collaborating with trial counsel at any level from legal strategy to writing or editing trial court motions and appellate briefs.

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INDIVIDUALS

GMSR vigorously advocates the rights of individual plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal appellate courts.

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