Category Archives: Attorney – Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment

Karine Akopchikyan

Associate

Karine Akopchikyan

Direct Voice/Text/Fax : 818.444.4546
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Karine Akopchikyan is a litigator in the Firm’s Business Litigation practice group.

Karine has extensive experience representing and advising plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of business and commercial disputes in state and federal courts.  She focuses her practice on resolving complex contractual disputes, intellectual property disputes (including copyright, trademark, patent, right of publicity, and trade secret claims), cyber insurance coverage disputes, and disputes involving unfair competition, fraud, and other business torts.  In large part, Karine’s success lies in her credibility, diligence, and ability to bring people together.

Outside of the office, Karine is committed to improving the academic and social outcomes for students in her community.  With roots as a credentialed public school teacher, Karine helped create the Pasadena Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee, which connects law students with seasoned attorneys.  In addition, she regularly volunteers as an attorney proctor for the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Teen Court Program, which focuses on the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

Karine earned her law degree from USC Gould School of Law and presently serves on the Los Angeles Chapter of the USC Gould Alumni Committee.  While in law school, Karine was a Senior Executive Editor of USC’s Business Law Advisor, which is a student-run publication focused on advisory articles relevant to the intersection of business and law.  She also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew of the United States District Court.

Karine is admitted to practice law before all California state and federal courts.

practice & experience

  • Successfully defeated class certification in defense of a manufacturer, against a putative class action alleging product liability, breach of contract, and breach of warranty claims and seeking in excess of 750 million in damages. The parties subsequently entered into a settlement pursuant to which the client, a subsidiary of an entity that ranks in the top 20 of Fortune Global 500, paid no money to plaintiffs.
  • Persuaded an insurer to reverse its denial of coverage and, after continual lowballing of estimated repair costs by the insurer, recovered 100% of the amount of the claim, which involved extensive real property damage.
  • Successfully defended a California partnership against claims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and breach of contract claims in which the damages sought, if obtained, would devastate the partnership’s survival.
  • Prosecuted and obtained a judgment involving a 6-figure contract claim and thereafter successfully collected payment on the judgment.
  • In a pro-bono matter, successfully reversed the Social Security Administration’s cessation of disability benefits of a low-income claimant. After written statements, reports, and a hearing, the analyst reinstated the claimant’s benefits and status as an individual with a disability, noting the claimant’s unique health ramifications.

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Celina Kirchner

Celina Kirchner

Associate

Celina Kirchner

Direct Voice/Fax/Text: 818.444.4553
Mobile: 818.489.3832
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Celina Kirchner is an associate in the Business Litigation practice area.

Celina’s civil litigation practice focuses on all areas of business and commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on digital media, technology, internet, privacy, emerging companies, insurance, breach of contract, fraud, and complex business disputes.  In her practice, Celina works closely with business professionals of all levels in order to develop practical strategies for resolving their disputes.  She also advises businesses on formation, governance and contracting matters in the hope that they can avoid litigation altogether.  Having worked with clients of all sizes, Celina understands that every case is unique and, ultimately, comes down to people.  She focuses on the human element of her cases and communicates in an understandable, business manner.  In the end, Celina endeavors to make what can be a stressful time for her clients as smooth as possible.

Celina is a frequent speaker at events centered around digital media and the burgeoning Silicon Beach community.  She was named to the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists, a distinction reserved for only the top 2.5% of lawyers in the state.

She earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of law where she focused her coursework on the internet, digital media, and emerging companies.  Celina attended Yale University as an undergraduate, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and was chosen as the Class Insight Speaker, where she gave a speech after Bill Clinton.  She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

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Alia Delpassand

Associate

Alia Delpassand

Direct Voice/Text/Fax : 818.444.4516
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Alia Delpassand is an associate of the Firm.

Alia’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities law compliance, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies.

Prior to joining the firm, Alia interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. where she worked on insider trading liability and misappropriation cases. She also previously served as an extern for two federal judges, the Honorable Catherine E. Bauer in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, and the Honorable Frances H. Stacy in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas.

Alia received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of Southern California where she graduated with Honors and her J.D. and Masters in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law. She also completed a Business & Finance Certificate from the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship & the Law.

Alia is fluent in Farsi and is an active member of the Iranian American Bar Association, the Women’s Legal Association of Los Angeles, and the Santa Monica Bar Association. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

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Daniel A. Rozansky

Partner

Daniel A. Rozansky

Direct Voice: 818.444.4548
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Daniel Rozansky is a Partner of the Firm in the Business Litigation Practice.

Dan concentrates his practice on entertainment, privacy, First Amendment and complex business and real estate disputes.

In addition to his diverse litigation experience, Dan also counsels a broad array of clients on developing the best strategies to avoid disputes. For entertainment clients, he regularly reviews television pilots, screenplays and other material in development to assist those clients in identifying and avoiding potential liabilities.

Dan’s areas of focus are entertainment finance, anti-SLAPP motions, unfair competition, trade secrets, intellectual property, surreptitious tape recording, reality television, profit participation, rights of privacy and publicity, real estate, partnership disputes and First Amendment issues. He represents clients both at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court on a wide array of issues.

Recognized as an industry leader, Dan has been listed as a top entertainment and media litigator in Chambers USA (2011-2016).  In 2013, 2014, and 2016, he was featured in Variety’s “Legal Impact Report,” which names the top attorneys who are making a significant impact in the entertainment industry.

Dan received his B.A. from University of California, San Diego and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

  • Represented the managing member in a dispute regarding several LLCs that were established to develop real estate in Southern California. The plaintiffs alleged that our client breached his fiduciary duties as the managing member and sought compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an accounting. Following a bench trial in 2016, the Los Angeles Superior Court denied the plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety and granted our client’s cross-complaint, awarding him damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • Represented Move, Inc. in lawsuit against competitor real estate site Zillow and two of its senior executives.  The plaintiffs, who own and operate the realtor.com website, brought claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty, among others, in the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington. The case ended with a $130M settlement in clients’ favor on the first day of trial in June 2016.
  • Secured a significant victory for rap superstar Jay-Z in copyright infringement case relating to the use of a sample of a small snippet of an Egyptian song, Khosara Khosara in the hit song Big Pimpin’. After six days of trial, a federal judge in Los Angeles granted all defendants judgment as a matter of law.
  • Prevailed on numerous anti-SLAPP motions resulting in the dismissal of more than $500 million in claims.
  • Won an anti-SLAPP motion that resulted in dismissal of claims against Bunim/Murray Productions, Kris Jenner, and Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.
  • Represented numerous clients regarding claims of tape recording without consent.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing the disbursement of misappropriated funds regarding the production of a major motion picture.
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss putative class action against investigative consumer reporting agency for alleged wrongful disclosure of personal information.
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss and subsequent appeal of dismissal to the Fifth Circuit of RICO action against private equity fund alleging wrongful sale of insurance policies.
  • Won summary judgment against film financier regarding breach of guaranty.
  • Obtained emergency injunctive relief on behalf of Sears in connection with a media buyer’s improper use of advertising money. The injunctive relief aided in the recovery of more than $20 million.
  • Obtained emergency injunction regarding improper foreclosure on intellectual property collateral.
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar writ of attachment on behalf of Premiere Radio Networks regarding a dispute regarding advertising.
  • Prevailed in a dispute over a client’s right to obtain tax refund arising out of production filmed in New Mexico.
  • Defended a German media company Tele Munchen Group in a multimillion-dollar international arbitration concerning distribution rights to the movie The Chronicles of Riddick.
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar writ of attachment and successfully obtained dismissal of bankruptcy regarding a production loan.
  • Defended the Japanese rights holder and executive producer of the hit movie The Ring at trial against claims of fraud, breach of contract and unfair business practices.
  • Obtained dismissal of dispute regarding the right distribute the film Snowpiercer in Russia based on the argument that the license agreement did not comply with United States copyright law.
  • Won a motion to dismiss claim of third party interference in financing agreement. Upheld by Second Circuit Court of Appeal.
  • Obtained a large settlement for a Fortune 500 company in an action against a competitor for theft of trade secrets and unlawful recruiting of employees.
  • Defended a Fortune 500 company in an international arbitration, obtaining a dismissal of the action.
  • Obtained dismissal of a RICO action against a corporation seeking to enjoin its merger.
  • Counseled lenders regarding SEC and attorney general investigations.
  • Represented a client in a class action relating to its inkjet printer technology.

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Shanita Nicholas

Shanita Nicholas

Associate

Shanita Nicholas

Direct Voice: 818.444.4545
Direct Fax: 818.444.6345
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Shanita Nicholas is an associate of the Firm.

Shanita’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions matters and other general corporate and business matters. Prior to joining the firm, Shanita worked at international law firms within mergers and acquisitions for middle market private equity clients and within derivatives and mergers and acquisitions for large private equity clients. Prior to her legal career, Shanita worked as an IT consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she acted as a liaison  between government clients and technical specialists.

Shanita is founder of the Los Angeles Black Investors Club and a member of the Los Angeles Venture Association.

Shanita received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and her JD and MBA from Columbia University Schools of Law and Business, where she served as Operations Editor of the Columbia Business and Law Review. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the State of California.

practice & experience

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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.

practice & experience

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Marc Kenny

Marc Kenny

Partner

Marc Kenny

Direct Voice: 818.444.9208
Direct Fax: 818.444.9528
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Marc Kenny is a corporate partner at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP.

Marc’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private securities offerings, cross-border transactions, and other strategic transactions representing private equity funds, independent sponsors, family offices as well as public and private corporations.  Over his 20+ year career, Marc has had the opportunity to work in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and London representing clients on a range of domestic and cross-border transaction with an emphasis on the digital media, technology, communications, entertainment, healthcare, and energy industries.  Marc regularly speaks at events on topics such as private equity, M&A, and venture capital deal-making trends.

Prior to joining SA&M in August 2017, Marc worked at Global 50 and AM LAW 100 law firms in the U.S. and London.  Marc received his J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law, where he was an Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar and G. Joseph Tauro Scholar. Marc received his B.A., cum laude, in Political Science from Bucknell University.  He is admitted to practice in California, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Practice & Experience

 

  • Platinum Equity, a global private equity firm with approximately $13 billion of assets under management, in various acquisitions and dispositions, including the sale of Keen Transport to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (OSE: WWL); the sale of Truesense Imaging to ON Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONNN); the sale of Ulticom, Inc. to Mavenir Systems (NASDAQ: MVNR); the sale of Altura Communication Solutions to an affiliate of Silver Oak Services Partners; the sale of PEAK Technologies to an affiliate of Keystone Capital, Inc.; the acquisition of the wireless deployment business of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), and the subsequent sale of the newly named business, Wireless Facilities, Inc.; the sale of KTAQ of Dallas to London Broadcasting Company; and multiple add-on acquisitions for many of Platinum Equity’s portfolio companies.
  • AllTrails, an online database of curated digital outdoor maps, in its recapitalization and majority sale transaction by Spectrum Equity.
  • Audioboom Group, a U.K. AIM-listed company in the on-demand audio industry, in its proposed acquisition of Triton Digital, Inc., a portfolio company of Vector Capital.
  • Alpine Pacific Capital, a West Coast private equity firm, in its acquisitions and co-investments, including its co-investments in connection with Arable Capital Partners’ acquisition of Fresh Innovations California and Farmington Fresh Cuts, processors of fresh sliced apples and other packaged fruits.
  • DIRECTV, a direct-to-home digital satellite television provider, in its acquisitions and strategic equity investments, including the acquisition of LifeShield, Inc., a privately held company providing wireless home security systems and solutions; the acquisition of the multiband division of Goodman Networks Incorporated, a division providing subscription-based video, high-speed internet and voice services and related call center functions; and its strategic equity investments in various digital media companies, including FanDuel, Digitalsmiths, FreeWheel Media, i.TV, and LiveClips.
  • MGM Studios, a media company engaged in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs, in its strategic equity investments in various digital media companies.
  • Credit Karma, a personal finance technology company, in various financing transactions, including its $75 million follow-on Series C growth financing led by Tiger Global Management, Google Capital and Susquehanna Growth Equity; its $85 million Series C financing led by Google Capital, Tiger Global Management and existing investors Susquehanna Growth Equity and Ribbit Capital; its $30 million Series B preferred stock financing led by Ribbit Capital and Susquehanna Growth Equity; its Series A preferred stock financing led by QED Investors with participation from SV Angel, Felicis Ventures and Founders Fund; and its initial convertible note financing.
  • Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, in its $1 billion acquisition of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and its acquisition of the Prisoner Wine Company.
  • Fang Investment Group, a foreign investment fund, in its minority equity investments in emerging growth technology and digital media companies, including Zooz Mobile, GraphSQL, Lytro, and Atheer.
  • Pine River Capital Management, an alternative investment fund, in its proposed restructuring transaction of a national temporary staffing business based in Southern California.
  • Verdugo Hills Hospital, a non-profit community hospital based in Southern California, in its sale of substantially all of its assets to an affiliate of the University of Southern California.
  • Thermata, an Idealab operating company engaged in the development of technology for concentrating solar power systems, in its sale to SolarReserve, LLC.
  • RayTracker, an Idealab operating company engaged in the development of tracking technology and photovoltaic systems, in its sale to First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR).

* Some of the matters listed above were handled by Marc prior to joining SA&M.

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Grace Kim

Associate

Grace Kim

Direct Voice: 818.444.4504
Direct Fax: 818.444.6304
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Grace Kim is an associate of the Firm. Grace’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, securities laws compliance, corporate governance, and other general corporate and business matters.

Prior to joining the firm, Grace worked as a legal intern at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in London for the International Arbitration Group on commercial contract disputes. She also previously worked in-house at Activision Blizzard, Inc., where she worked on commercial agreements, licensing, trademarks, corporate governance and securities. Grace also worked for Conversant LLC, The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in the Major Crimes Division, and Human Rights Project.

Grace received her B.A. in International Development Studies from University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. and Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law, where she served as Associate Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review.

Grace is an active member of the Korean American Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

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Kelly S. Laffey

Kelly S. Laffey

Associate

Kelly S. Laffey

Direct Voice: 818.444.4538
Direct Fax: 818.444.6338
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Kelly Siobhan Laffey is an associate of the firm.

Kelly’s practice focuses on advising emerging growth and middle market companies in the technology, digital, internet, interactive media (i.e., AR and VR), and entertainment industries. Kelly counsels clients on issues related to corporate governance and formation, venture capital and other financings, joint ventures, employee compensation, complex stockholder and operating agreements, securities law regulation and other general corporate matters.  Kelly also advises investors and funds in connection with venture capital and other financings.

Kelly also counsels clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions matters, including asset and equity acquisitions and dispositions, cross-border transactions, spin-off transactions, secured lending transactions, financing restructurings and corporate reorganizations.

Drawing on her diverse work experience in the entertainment arena, including time spent with talent agencies, and music and television production companies, Kelly also assists on matters related to licensing, marketing, and exploitation of intellectual property rights.

Kelly received her B.A. in Media Studies and Organizational Communication from Emerson College in 2008 and her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2013. She is admitted to practice law in the States of California and Missouri.

practice & experience

  • Representation of venture capital fund in multiple preferred stock financings ranging from $2 million to $7 million.
  • Representation of electrical infrastructure and maintenance software-as-a-service company in preferred stock financing and convertible note financing with an aggregate $1.8 million raise.
  • Representation of audio-immersive technology company in preferred stock financing of approximately $12 million.
  • Representation of last-mile solution robotic delivery company in cross-border corporate reorganization and convertible note financing of approximately $4.5 million.
  • Representation of employee benefits administration firm in sale of equity for approximately $38 million.
  • Representation of private investor in acquisition of film production company for approximately $1.6 million.

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Caroline Cherkassky

Caroline Cherkassky

Senior Counsel

Caroline Cherkassky

Direct Voice: 818.444.4540
Direct Fax: 818.444.6340
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Caroline Cherkassky is senior counsel of the Firm.

Caroline’s practice focuses on advising emerging growth, development stage, and middle market companies on a variety of matters, including venture capital and other financings, employee compensation, securities laws compliance, technology transactions, mergers and acquisitions, stockholder agreements, equity incentive plans, corporate governance, and other general corporate matters, including serving as outside general counsel to early stage companies. She also advises the funds and other investors that invest in these types of companies.

Caroline received her B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

practice & experience

Representative transactions:
• HelloTech in its Series A financing and general corporate matters;
• Representation of Atomico in its Series C investment in Clutter Inc.;
• Morpheus Ventures in its Series B investment in Bridg, Inc.
• Consortia Health Holdings, Inc. in its Series A financing and general corporate matters;
• Netki, Inc. in its Series Seed financing and general corporate matters;
• Colle Capital Partners in various venture capital investments.

Representative speaking engagements:
• UCLA Law School’s “Law & Entrepreneurship” Conference – March 9, 2018
• Plugin South LA’s Digital & Beyond in LA – October 12, 2017

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