Category Archives: Attorney – Business Litigation

Neil Elan

Associate

Neil Elan

Direct Voice: 818.444.4506
Direct Fax: 818.444.6306
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Neil Elan is an associate in the Business Litigation practice area.

Neil’s civil litigation practice focuses on all areas of business and commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on business dissolution, buy-sell agreements, prosecution and defense of breach of contract and promissory note actions, business torts, unfair business practices, fraud and Anti-SLAPP.  In his civil litigation practice, Neil represents real estate developers, limited liability companies, closely-held corporations, financial institutions, entertainment producers, commercial landlords and business owners.

On occasion, Neil also handles various civil and probate family-law cross-over matters, including those related to elder abuse and palimony actions.

Neil understands that each case is more than just a file–it is story with moving parts, complicated personalities and rapid needs. He strives to protect the fast-moving, cutting-edge business and interest needs of his clients, and is committed to finding creative and effective solutions. He understands that litigation is not for the faint of heart, and prides himself in ensuring that the client’s legal—and business—needs are well protected.

Neil was named to the 2016 and 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists, a recognition that no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in the State receive.

Neil earned his J.D.  from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where graduated at the top 15% of his class as a member of St. Thomas More Law Honor Society. While attending law school, Neil was a Staff Member and Note and Comment Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. Neil attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society with magna cum laude distinction.  Neil is a member of the California State Bar and the United States District Court Central District of California.

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John De La Merced

Associate

John R.
De La Merced

Direct Voice: 818.444.4543
Direct Fax: 818.444.6343
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John R. De La Merced is an associate of the Firm.  His practice focuses on business litigation, which includes commercial and intellectual property disputes.  His experience encompasses all aspects of the litigation process, including drafting operative pleadings and responses, law and motion practice, discovery, mediation, client counseling and assisting in trial.

Prior to joining the Firm in 2017, John was an associate at a large national law firm where he primarily served individuals, families, and charities in complex trust and estate disputes, trust and estate administration, as well as conservatorship and guardianship matters.  John also assisted in general commercial litigation matters, which included breach of contract cases, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and partnership disputes.

John currently serves as Treasurer and a member of the board of governors for the Philippine American Bar Association, and will serve as the organization’s President-Elect in 2018 and then President in 2019.  John is also a member of the advisory committee for the St. Thomas More Society of Los Angeles.

John received his B.A., cum laude, from the University of California, Riverside and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.  During law school, John served as a judicial extern to the Honorable S. James Otero of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and to the Honorable R. Bruce Minto of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  John also served as chief articles editor of the Asian Pacific American Law Journal, one of only two law journals in the United States that focuses exclusively on legal issues affecting Asian Pacific American communities.  He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

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Michelle Chung

Associate

Michelle Chung

Direct Voice: 818.444.4512
Direct Fax: 818.444.6312
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Michelle Chung is an associate of the firm.  Her practice focuses on all stages of business litigation.

Michelle has experience in both the public and private sector.  Prior to joining the firm, Michelle was a summer associate for Baker Marquart LLP.  She also worked as a law clerk for Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith LLP, focusing on labor and employment law.  Michelle served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Otis D. Wright II, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California.  She also served as a law clerk for the Appeals, Writs, and Trials section of the California Attorney General, where she successfully argued in front of the Second District Court of Appeal on behalf of the people of California.  Michelle also worked for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in the Hardcore Gang Unit.

Michelle graduated with a B.S. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego in 2012, and her J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 2016.  While attending USC, Michelle was a teaching assistant where she lectured and lead discussion of undergraduate students on various legal topics including the criminal justice system, privacy law, family law, the First Amendment (speech, religion, campaign financing), gender and racial equality.

Michelle is fluent in Korean and is an active of the Korean American Bar Association.  She is admitted to practice law in the State of California at the state and federal levels.

practice & experience

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David Harris

David Harris

Senior Counsel

David Harris

Direct Voice: 818.444.4547
Direct Fax: 818.444.6347
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David Harris is senior counsel at the Firm.  He has successfully represented clients both at trial and on appeal in state and federal courts.  His practice is focused primarily on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property disputes.

Prior to joining Stubbs Alderton and Markiles in 2016, David was an associate at the firm Crone Hawxhurst LLP—a spinoff of Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan, LLP that specializes in representing Fortune 500 companies at trial.  Before that, David worked at Toberoff & Associates, PC, a litigation boutique that represents authors, artists and their heirs in copyright disputes.

David received his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 2006, where he was an editor on the Yale Law Journal.  After law school, David clerked for Chief Justice Dana Fabe of the Alaska Supreme Court.  He is a member of the California Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and also the District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California.

practice & experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of the client, a leading designer of “mega-coasters” and cutting-edge theme park rides. The plaintiff, represented by one of the country’s top antitrust plaintiff’s firms, sought nearly $20 million in damages for alleged antitrust violations.  The trial court agreed that the plaintiff could not establish antitrust injury or damages.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of the client, a Fortune 100 tech company. The plaintiff sought nearly $10 million in damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained as a result of the client’s negligence.  The Court agreed that the plaintiff could not establish negligence as a matter of law based on the little-known “completed and accepted doctrine.”
  • Successfully litigated a malicious prosecution case against a number of attorneys on behalf of the client, a leading energy drink manufacturer. After their anti-SLAPP motion, anti-SLAPP appeal and motion for summary judgment were defeated, the defendants agreed on the eve of trial to have judgment entered against them and in favor of the client.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a complaint aimed at depriving the heirs of a world famous musician from reclaiming their father’s copyrights. The trial court agreed that the plaintiff did not have standing to bring its federal copyright claims and could not, as a matter of law, succeed on its state law claims.  As a result, the trial court ordered the plaintiff to pay the heirs’ attorney’s fees and costs.

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Jeffrey F. Gersh

Jeff Gersh_069

Partner

Jeffrey F. Gersh

Direct Voice: 818.444.9222
Direct Fax: 818.444.9272
Mobile: 310.780.9898
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Jeffrey F. Gersh is a Partner of the Firm and Chair of the Trademark and Copyright Practice. Before joining Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, Jeffrey was managing partner of The Gersh Law Firm, Inc. for over 10 years and a partner for 25 years with Zimmerman, Rosenfeld, Gersh and Leeds, LLP.     He has litigated, arbitrated, or mediated complex business and commercial matters, for both plaintiffs and defendants, whether individuals, public or private corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and/or its members, shareholders and partners, involving various types of disputes, including contract matters, trade secrets, intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights and trade dress) negligence and fraud, employment, real estate, license agreements, the apparel and garment industry, and general business matters.   Jeffrey has also represented and represents many of his clients in various transactional matters relating to general business, the garment industry, real estate, entity formation, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights and other intellectual property matters, trade secret matters, and employment matters to name a few.

Jeffrey has been directly involved in litigation and business matters for clients not only in California, but also in New York, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, London, Australia, and Estonia and other places. He has litigated cases from inception through trial and in some cases appeal, directly responsible for all aspects of the prosecution, defense and resolution of his client’s complicated and sophisticated matters in both state and federal courts. As a result of his commitment to his client’s needs, he has enjoyed long-standing client relationships.

Jeffrey received his B.A. from California State University at Northridge and his J.D. from Whittier Law School.  He is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, all California state courts, as well as the United States District Courts in Central, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California.  He has been admitted pro hac vice to represent clients in the United States District Court for the Second Circuit and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Fourth Circuit.  He is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Jeffrey has served as a Voluntary Settlement Conference Officer as well as Mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court.  He is a former Judge Pro Tem for the Beverly Hills Superior Court.

practice & experience

  • Represented the founders of Kazaa B.V., one of the most downloaded software programs on the internet and at the heart of the music downloading revolution, in one of the most complicated copyright issues in the United States at the time. Concluding years of litigation, Jeffrey was instrumental in bringing about a global settlement of this matter.
  • Successfully defended a billion-dollar trade secrets claim resulting in a nuisance payment to the plaintiff. He has also been involved in a number of other trade secret matters, both for plaintiffs and defendants, relating to the theft of customer lists and other company properties, most recently defending a client against claims of trade secret misappropriation.
  • Handled a number of partnership and other business disputes both in arbitration and litigation, recently winning a bitterly contested three-week jury trial for his client resulting in a substantial award to his client which ultimately lead to a very favorable settlement.
  • Successfully represented through trial a video game company in defending claims of copyright and trademark infringement that resulted in a favorable substantial settlement payment to his client.
  • Represented numerous garment manufacturers in entity formation, contract disputes, license agreements, as well as prosecuting and defending copyright, trademark and trade-dress infringement matters.
  • Represented a number of lighting designers and sound and lighting companies for major concerts, video and television, not only in contract matters but also litigation.
  • Represented food processors and food distribution companies in various business and litigation matters.
  • Successfully represented a public company in defense of shareholder claims and a proxy fight that resulted in a resolution in favor of the public company.
  • Successfully represented a growing internet company in litigating a partnership dispute that resulted in a very favorable resolution for the client.
  • Represented a major jewelry manufacturer and designer in prosecuting trademark infringement claims related to jewelry designs. In connection therewith obtained an ex parte seizure order in Nevada authorizing the seizure of jewelry from numerous manufactures and distributors at one of the largest jewelry shows in the country.
  • Represented a well-known credit monitoring company in defense of a trade mark infringement matter, resulting in a very favorable result for the client.
  • Represented a number of foreign diamond dealers in various business and litigation disputes involving millions of dollars in diamonds.
  • Represent one of the largest manufacturers of adult novelty toys in the country, in all areas including, general business matters, trademark and litigation.
  • Represented the inventor/owner of a major patent for use in satellite television broadcasting that enabled users to locate specific channels that resulted in a substantial multimillion dollar payment to the client.

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James A. Sedivy

Jim Sedivy_085

Attorney

James A. Sedivy

Direct Voice: 818.444.9207
Direct Fax: 818.444.9257
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James A. Sedivy is an attorney with the Firm.  For the past 34 years he has been involved in litigating business and commercial matters, and complex business disputes. In addition he focuses on trademark and copyright registration, maintenance and enforcement as well as litigation arising from these substantive areas of the law. James has represented artists and companies regarding the negotiation and drafting of agreements relating to acquisition of intellectual property rights, celebrity endorsements, modeling, acting, commercial production, film production, foreign licensing, literary property, motion picture acquisition and distribution, music publishing, personal management, recording and screenplays.

James has been a contributing author to Musician’s Business and Legal Guide (Prentice Hall, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions) and The Actor’s Manual (Beverly Hills Bar Association).

James received his B.A. from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law.  He is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts, Central District of California, Northern District of California, and District of Nevada.  James is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Nevada.

practice & experience

  • Obtained successful resolutions to multiple cases brought by client for trademark infringement against novelty and fragrance manufacturers.
  • Successfully resolved multiple claims of invasion of rights of publicity brought by celebrities against client.
  • Defended multiple clothing manufacturers and major retail stores in actions brought against them for alleged copyright infringement of fabric designs.
  • Obtained nonsuit in jury trial for record producer alleged to have interfered with contract for famous recording artist.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction for jewelry manufacturer in copyright infringement case.
  • Obtained dismissals for defendants in copyright infringement suit with defendants establishing ownership to disputed copyrights.
  • Obtained early distribution from minor’s blocked trust account for actor.
  • Obtained a Writ of Mandate from the California Court of Appeals vacating a trial court judgment and entering judgment in favor of defendant with costs being awarded to client.
  • Obtained court judgment for defendant in business dispute action for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Registered and maintained portfolio of over 70 trademark registrations for leading adult novelty manufacturer.
  • Negotiated and drafted multiple film acquisition and distribution agreements for DVD manufacturer and distribution company.

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Ryan Duckett

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Associate

Ryan Duckett

Direct Voice: 818.444.4546
Direct Fax: 818.444.6346
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Ryan Duckett is an associate of the Firm. Ryan’s practice focuses primarily on employment, commercial, intellectual property and entertainment litigation. He has successfully litigated cases for both plaintiffs and defendants with trials and appellate experience that has secured over millions of dollars in jury verdicts for his clients, to arguing California jury instructions that were created by the case he second chaired.  He manages and handles all aspects of civil actions from pre-litigation matters to law & motion to trials, post-trials & appeals.

Prior to joining Stubbs Alderton and Markiles in 2015, Ryan was a litigation associate at Haney & Young LLP where he aggressively litigated commercial disputes for a broad range of clients, with nearly hundreds of court appearances, dozens of mediations, series of depositions and a winning rate of resolving cases in his clients’ favor. Ryan also was the Chief Executive Officer of Skyland Entertainment and President of the Board of Directors of the African Film Commission prior to joining Haney & Young and becoming an active litigator.

Ryan received his B.A from Cornell University and his J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, where he served as SBA Chairman, was an Editor for the International Business Law Journal and received the Holderness Moot Court Best Speaker Award.  Ryan is a member of the California Bar and United States District Court, Central District of California.

practice & experience

  • United States District Court, Central District of California Victory for famous musical artists involving a trademark & copyright infringement case, where Ryan personally handled the law and motion, discovery, and trial preparation, all the way to a mediation that lasted overnight resulting in a favorable award for his clients, including a significant monetary recovery, a stipulated permanent injunction and dissociation agreement, and withdrawal  of all the adversaries’ USPTO objections with an agreement to his clients’ rights in the multiple disputed
  • Reversed the Superior Court decision in its entirety through the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, by drafting and orally arguing the appeal, and ultimately leading to the case being reinstated in the Superior Court and settling with a remarkable reward for his client.
  • Defended a major toy company in parallel criminal and civil actions against demands for seven years imprisonment and over $3.2 million in copyright and trademark infringement penalties brought by Disney, Sanrio, Rovio, Dream Works, Mattel, Universal, DC, and After intense law and motion against the District Attorney, the client successfully avoided seven years of imprisonment and settled both actions for only one-thirtieth a fraction of what plaintiffs and the state sought.
  • Successfully argued defenses and advocated claims connected with the County of Los Angeles Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority in disputes involving EMS, Arson Unit, Battalions, Hazmat and various Fire Stations. Results vary from reinstatement and promotions to top dollar settlement awards.

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Harris Cohen

Harris_Cohen_120

Of Counsel

Harris Cohen

Direct Voice: 818.444.4559
Direct Fax: 818.444.6359
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Harris is Of Counsel to the firm since 2014.

Harris has broad experience litigating matters including real estate, bankruptcy, employment, medical malpractice, personal injury, probate, patent, healthcare, and general business matters.  He has litigated matters in the California Superior Court, United States Bankruptcy Court, United States District Court and the Bet Din and handled appeals in the California Appellate Court, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Harris received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola Law School.  He was a member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society and is a Co-Author of “Payroll-Based Tax Credit Employee Stock Ownership Plans,” 12 Journal of Pension Planning and Compliance 149, 1986.  He became a member of the California State Bar in 1985.

practice & experience

  • Successfully represented foreclosure fund in defense of numerous challenges to series of foreclosure purchases.
  • Successful as co-counsel in having U.S. District Court invalidate a patent on behalf of client sued for infringing patent.
  • Represented nationally known civil rights attorney in Bankruptcy non-dischargeability litigation resulting in six figure judgment for plaintiff.
  • Represented agency of the United States in Los Angeles Superior Court and succeeded in having case dismissed.

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Michael A. Sherman

Michael_Sherman

Partner

Michael A. Sherman

Direct Voice: 818.444.4528
Direct Fax: 818.444.6328
Mobile: 818.631.9109
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Michael Sherman is a Partner of the Firm and Chair of the Business Litigation practice group.

Michael is an accomplished trial lawyer in high-stakes, “bet-the-company” litigation, and has represented both large and early-stage companies as well as entrepreneurs in all facets of business and complex commercial litigation. He has evenly split his litigation practice on both the plaintiff and defense side of cases, has first-chaired numerous trials in complex matters in industries as varied as energy, securities, healthcare, environmental, consumer products, technology, project development/finance, advertising, real estate and apparel, and is highly skilled in class actions and unfair competition law. Michael’s trial skills and courtroom success resulted in his being named several years ago to the “Top 100 Lawyers” in California list, published by the Daily Journal newspaper chain. He has consistently been named to “Best Lawyers in America”.

Michael has been recognized as a leading trial lawyer by his peers and featured in the press for some of his significant victories on behalf of clients. He is a recent past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker and writer on business litigation and trial advocacy.

Michael has served on the Board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Michael also served as a Board Member and Vice-chair, of Aviva Family and Children’s Services, a major Los Angeles nonprofit.

Michael has received numerous accolades including: recipient of Aviva’s “Spirit of Compassion” Award; Best Lawyers, leading lawyer in Commercial Litigation (2007–2014); Super Lawyers, Southern California (2004–2015); “Top Defense Verdicts of 2009,” Daily Journal; “Top 100 Lawyers of 2009,” Daily Journal

Michael received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.


Best Lawyers Award Badge

practice & experience

  • Obtained complete defense judgment at trial on behalf of client, state of California, in defeating $250 million claim involving proposed Ward Valley radioactive waste site. Gov. Gray Davis personally commended Michael’s trial victory, stating that “we would not have won without your wise counsel and skilled advocacy.”
  • Led trial team that obtained a complete plaintiff’s judgment, after trial on claims involving fraud and breach of fiduciary duty that resulted in recovery of nearly $25 million of stock in one of Southern California’s fastest-growing small technology companies in recent years. Award included findings of punitive damages in favor of our client, and a judgment awarding recovery of all attorneys’ fees.
  • Successfully represented bondholders in recovering principal and interest on defaulted hydro-electric power project in Northern California, in defending against claims of equity holders.
  • Obtained a complete defense judgment at trial on behalf of one of California’s largest water utilities, Eastern Municipal Water District, in successfully opposing $300 million in claims and environmentally related injunctive relief sought by the U.S. government involving the rights and responsibilities of various parties with respect to the waters of the Santa Margarita River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California. The parties’ dispute had stretched over 15 years and included defense of claims asserted by the Environmental Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton.
  • Successfully defended one of California’s largest health providers, in a month-long jury trial, that had been sued for misappropriation of trade secrets by a competitor. The competitor had sought $60 million in damages, and the jury award was for a mere $147,000 — a decision so favorable for Michael’s client that it was thereby entitled to recover all its costs against the competitor.
  • Obtained dismissal at pleading stage of lawsuit seeking $1 billion in claims against CBRE, Freeman Spogli, Blum Strategic Partners, KBS Realty Advisors and others, alleging breach of a joint venture and misappropriation of confidential information.  Dismissal was upheld on appeal.
  • Secured recovery at early stage of proceedings of all principal and interest, and fees, on material sums owing to lender consortium led by Sun America under loan participation.
  • Successfully represented major private equity fund sponsor in litigation initiated by Fortune 50 company charging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and in resolving litigation short of trial, with both commitment of future fund investments and written apology.
  • Obtained complete defense verdict in jury trial on behalf of AIG subsidiaries, in defeating $14 million claim brought by a former senior executive alleging breach of partnership agreement, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully represented founders of one of the world’s fastest growing telecommunications companies in defense of claims arising out of multibillion dollar sale of company, in instance where $90 million in claims against them were dismissed due to spoliation of electronic evidence and findings of obstruction of justice.
  • Successfully defended Affinity Group in a jury trial, where plaintiff sought $100 million in damages for unfair competition claims. Plaintiff took nothing. The trial and Michael were then featured in Los Angeles Daily Journal articles, with the Company CEO describing Michael’s performance in that case as that of “a tenacious litigator with a work ethic that seems to have no end.”
  • Obtained an eight-figure recovery, after trial victory, for heiress of one of the nation’s best-known industrialists, deceased.
  • Successfully handled numerous securities actions brought against major companies including Lockheed Corp., Pacific Enterprises, Rohr Corporation, Arthur Andersen and Herbalife.
  • Managed unfair competition and Lanham Act cases involving Compaq and Packard Bell, and regularly advised No. 1 seller of home computers on products, advertising and procurement issues.
  • Obtained nearly eight-figure recovery at trial for terminated securities registered rep (confidential).
  • Represented former policyholders in consumer litigation/class action involving Executive Life. Additionally, he successfully prosecuted numerous class action and contingency matters in business areas including hi-tech, industrial equipment, consumer finance, insurance and timeshares.

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