Zia Modabber, managing partner of Katten's Los Angeles offices and chair of the Entertainment and Media Litigation practice, has been named on Billboard Magazine's "2022 Top Music Lawyers" list. This is the fourth consecutive year in which Zia has been featured by Billboard Magazine as one of the nation’s savviest legal minds in the music industry.
In its profile of Zia, Billboard Magazine highlighted his work defending the estate of Michael Jackson in a putative class action regarding the artist's first posthumous album, "Michael." The ongoing lawsuit alleges that a Michael Jackson impersonator provided the vocals on three tracks from the album. Zia has represented the estate throughout the case, in which a California appellate court ruled in the estate's favor and reversed a lower trial court. The dispute has now reached the California Supreme Court, which has granted review of the trial court's ruling.
Looking ahead to the supreme court's review of the case, Zia told Billboard Magazine that oral argument will address "undecided First Amendment issues on the boundary between protected artistic speech and expression, on the one hand, and pure commercial speech that may be easily regulated, on the other."
Zia has decades of experience representing some of the biggest artists and companies in the music industry, including Trent Reznor, Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Usher, Céline Dion, Lil Nas X, Live Nation, and the Recording Academy.
"Revealed: Billboard's 2022 Top Music Lawyers," Billboard Magazine, March 28, 2022
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