Litigation partner Joel R. Weiner was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the 50 “Top Entertainment Lawyers” for California in 2014. This recognition honors the achievements of 50 outstanding litigators, transactional and talent attorneys working in the field of entertainment law in California. The attorneys were selected based on the impact of their work on their clients, the industry and the legal profession. Joel successfully litigated a wide range of cases over the past year on behalf of some of the most recognized names in the industry, including major television and motion picture studios, production companies, distributors, and entertainers.
In conjunction with this distinction, the Daily Journal published a special section and profiled Joel’s work representing NBCUniversal, Universal Television Network’s Syfy channel, and Pilgrim Films & Television in a highly publicized case alleging breach of implied contract and confidence claims for unauthorized use of plaintiffs’ ideas in the television series “Ghost Hunters.” The California Court of Appeal for the Second District issued a rare appellate Writ of Mandate making the trial court reverse its denial of summary judgment for the firm’s clients. “The state court Montz opinion gives certainty to the two-year statute of limitations,” Joel said. Thanks to the court’s published opinion, he commented, it is now clear that “once a TV series or film or written work is distributed publicly the limitations period begins to run” as opposed to the period starting when the plaintiff first views the copyrighted material or the work becomes widely disseminated.
Joel was also profiled earlier this year in Variety’s 2014 Legal Impact Report, which identifies 50 attorneys whose recent deals and court battles have shaped the entertainment industry.