Entertainment Litigation

Entertainment litigation is a true specialty practice requiring intimate knowledge of industry players, practices, deals, and trends.

KHIKS is widely regarded as Hollywood’s go-to entertainment litigation law firm.  Entertainment litigation is a true specialty practice requiring intimate knowledge of industry players, practices, deals, and trends. We are privileged to handle the most sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment litigation work in the nation.

The firm has represented actors, directors, producers, major motion picture studios and studio executives, broadcast and cable networks, talent agencies, personal managers, business managers, recording artists, record producers, record companies and music publishers, professional athletes and sports management companies, entertainment lawyers and law firms, and large domestic and international corporations in civil and criminal trial and appellate courts and regulatory forums across the country.

Representative Matters

+ x Film & Television

  • The representation of the executive producer of the hit television series Bones in a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Television, the Fox network and affiliated companies. The plaintiff alleges that 20th Century Fox Television cheated him out of his share of profits from the show, and that network executives threatened to cancel the series if he did not accept a lower licensing fee from Fox. The suit is currently pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • The representation of the creator, writer, and executive producer of the worldwide hit television series The Walking Dead, and leading talent agency CAA, in a suit against the AMC television network. The plaintiffs allege that AMC produced the show and licensed it for broadcast to itself for license fees well below market rates, resulting in diminished profits for the show and its participants. The suit is currently pending in New York.
  • The representation of Chuck Lorre, the co-creator of Two and a Half Men, in his high-profile dispute with actor Charlie Sheen. Mr. Sheen blamed Lorre for his termination from TV’s top sitcom, and sued Lorre and the production studio for $100 million. After KHIKS successfully moved the matter to arbitration, the parties reached a mutually agreeable resolution.
  • The representation of the creators and producers of the hit television series Smallville in a profit participation and vertical integration case against Warner Bros. Television. The creators alleged that Warner Bros. Television licensed Smallville to its sister networks The WB and The CW for “sweetheart” deals with unreasonably low license fees, in violation of Warner’s contractual duties to the plaintiffs.  After KHIKS defeated two motions for summary judgment brought by the defendants, the matter was favorably settled.
  • The representation of American Idol creator Simon Fuller in his highly publicized case against Fox Broadcasting Company and Fremantlemedia North America for breach of the settlement of a prior UK litigation regarding the similarities between American Idol and X Factor, in which Mr. Fuller had been promised executive producer fees and credit for the US version of the X Factor television show.
  • The representation of Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sylvester Stallone and Jeff Wald defending claims for inducing breach of contract and intentional interference with prospective economic relations brought by Sugar Ray Leonard’s former business partner arising out of the reality television series The Contender. KHIKS obtained summary judgment on behalf of our clients
  • The representation of Jimmy Kimmel and his company Jackhole Productions against claims brought by the star of the cult movie classic Windy City Heat for an accounting and profits from the film, as well as alleged damages arising from a publicity stunt performed on a radio show to promote the movie.
  • The representation of writer/director Deborah Kampmeier and the producer, The Motion Picture Group, of the Sundance-award winning film Hounddog, against claims brought by an entity that claimed to have contractual rights to distribute the film.
  • The representation of the executive producer/showrunner of the hit animated series Family Guy in a profit participation dispute against 20th Century Fox Television.
  • The representation of the creators of the hit animated series King of the Hill in a profit participation dispute against 20th Century Fox Television.
  • The representation of Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Gary Goetzman and Nia Vardalos in a “profit participation” case against the distributors of the highly acclaimed and successful film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

+ x Music

  • The representation of The Estate of Michael Jackson in numerous litigation matters, including a lawsuit against Lloyds of London seeking to recover proceeds from a cancellation insurance policy covering Michael Jackson’s planned “This Is It” concert tour and disputes arising out of the exploitation of Mr. Jackson’s intellectual property. KHIKS provides strategic support for the Estate on an ongoing basis with respect to a variety of legal and business issues, including the administration of the Estate, the handling of creditors’ claims and the restructuring of debt obligations.
  • The representation of recording artist Justin Bieber in various matters arising out of Bieber’s activities as a recording and touring artist.
  • The representation of the eBay unit StubHub defending a claim by Ticketmaster that StubHub interfered with Ticketmaster’s exclusive right to sell concert tickets at various venues across the United States.
  • The representation of Univision Music Group in successfully defending against an injunction proceeding in the United States District Court in Puerto Rico brought by a reggaeton artist who claimed he did not consent to the distribution of his record album.
  • The representation of Yahoo, Inc. in resolving claims asserted by a technology company that had been acquired by Yahoo to provide development of one of Yahoo’s music features.
  • The representation of the estate of famed “funk” recording artist Rick James in a lawsuit to recover significant amounts of unpaid publishing revenue that were being wrongfully withheld.
  • The representation of a songwriter/producer/musician in litigation against pop singer Rickie Lee Jones alleging that Jones breached the producer’s agreement, failed to provide compensation, and failed to accord credit for the songwriting, performing and producing services.

+ x Talent

  • The representation of reality television stars Kim and Khloe Kardashian in a lawsuit brought by Sonja Norwood, the mother of R&B singer Brandi.
  • The representation of Sean Combs against the Los Angeles Times regarding a false and defamatory story related to allegations about Combs and Tupac Shakur, which resulted in an unprecedented apology and retraction by the Los Angeles Times.
  • The representation of Sugar Ray Leonard in a jury trial against claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty brought by his former business partner relating to the closing of their boxing promotion business.
  • The representation of Amanda Demme in a number of cases concerning the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Tropicana Bar and

+ x Agents, Lawyers and Business Managers

  • The representation of business management firm Loring Ward, Inc. and its parent company Loring Ward International, Ltd. defending various claims brought by former client Christine Wolf arising out of her divorce from Dick Wolf, the creator of the Law & Order television series. KHIKS obtained dismissal of the claims against the parent company based on lack of personal jurisdiction. After litigation of the claims against Loring Ward, Inc., the Court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Representation of ICM Partners in a variety of matters including commission disputes, breach of contract, idea submission and agent departures.
  • The representation of the William Morris Agency in a dispute regarding entitlement to commissions on director Guillermo del Toro’s film Hellboy 2.
  • The representation of talent agency Paradigm in an arbitration brought by a former Paradigm agent who was terminated by Paradigm for cause.
  • The representation of the entertainment law firm Jackoway Tyerman in connection with the profit participation and vertical integration action brought against NBC by Jackoway Tyerman’s clients Kohan and Mutchnick, who were the creators of the successful television series Will & Grace. During discovery and at trial, NBC sought to obtain confidential information concerning the law firm’s representation of other successful television shows.