David Fink is an experienced and proven litigator at both the trial and appellate court levels. With more than two decades of experience in multifaceted state and federal litigation and dispute resolution, David has prosecuted and defended complex claims involving hundreds of millions of dollars. David’s experience includes business, media and entertainment and employment litigation, with particularly notable results in First Amendment, entertainment and intellectual property law claims.
As virtual and augmented reality grow into the emerging technology space, David is on the leading edge of the legal issues that are also arising concurrent with the growth of this new technology. In this capacity, he advises clients on liability issues, venues, compliance rights, intellectual property concerns and privacy protection.
Practical and effective, David takes cases when he knows he can add value. David’s creative strategies and litigation style have enabled him to achieve highly favorable results in a wide variety of complex disputes in trial and appellate courts throughout California and the United States. In addition to representing major news media, television and entertainment clients, David has served both as litigation counsel and as a consultant for numerous other businesses and individuals on a wide variety of commercial litigation matters.
David is experienced in resolving commercial disputes across many business sectors, such as media and entertainment, unfair competition, contracts, real estate, corporation and partnership dissolution, trade secrets and trademarks, among others. David vigorously advocates his client’s position while balancing ensuing litigation, time and cost, as well as in expediting the process should it benefit his client. David’s goal is to protect his client at every stage of the dispute resolution and litigation process, including on appeal.
David serves as the managing partner of Kelley Drye’s Los Angeles office, and is the former chair of the firm’s Media and Entertainment practice. David is a frequent speaker and author on legal issues pertaining to media, entertainment and commercial business litigation, and serves as the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports.
Spinner v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
, 2013 WL 1390871 (March 8, 2013). The California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of ABC and dismissing the action, holding: 1) that the plaintiff could not establish access under the bare corporate receipt doctrine, and 2) that ABC had established that it independently created the “LOST” television series.
Allison Gibson et al. v. Twentieth Century Fox Television et al.
, 2012 WL 5207886 (October 23, 2012). The California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial order granting summary adjudication and dismissing several claims arising out of the plaintiff’s contention that she should be paid contingent compensation at a higher rate than she received in connection with her services as showrunner and creator of the television program “Reba.”
Tamkin v. CBS Broadcasting Inc. et al.
, 193 Cal App 4th 133 March 1, 201). The California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion with orders to grant to motion, holding that the defendants had demonstrated the requisite public interest in the creative process surrounding their television program and that the alleged defamatory statements were not of and concerning the plaintiffs.
Price v. Stossel, Ruppel, ABC, et al.
, 620 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2010). The trial court granted an anti-SLAPP motion dismissing claims for both express defamation and defamation by implication, based on a news report broadcast on ABC’s “20/20” program; The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of the claim for defamation by implication.
Crews v. Fishburne et al.
, California Court of Appeal, 2009 Cal. App. LEXIS Unpub., Case No B204316. The California Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s dismissal by terminating sanctions of pregnancy discrimination and other employment-related claims against actor Laurence Fishburne by his former assistant.
Hall v. Time Warner, Inc.
, 153 Cal. App. 4th 1337 (Aug. 02, 2007) (review denied Oct. 31, 2007). The California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion and held that the defendants were entitled to anti-SLAPP protection because the career and personal life of actor Marlon Brando were matters of widespread public interest.
Marder v. Jennifer Lopez
, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation, 450 F.3d 445 (9th Cir. 2006). The Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a copyright infringement and co-ownership action concerning the motion picture “Flashdance.”
Surfvivor Media v. Survivor Productions
, 406 F.3d 625 (9th Cir. 2005). The Ninth Circuit affirmed a dismissal on summary judgment of a reverse confusion trademark infringement claim concerning products marketed in connection with the “Survivor” television program.
Sullivan v. CBS Corp.
, 385 F.3d 772 (7th Cir. 2004). The Seventh Circuit affirmed a dismissal on summary judgment of trademark infringement and other claims brought by Survivor rock band for using the “Survivor” mark in connection with the reality television series of the same name.
Other Representative Cases
Nick Katsoris v. WME | IMG
Represented WME | IMG in a copyright infringement, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition matter, and won in arbitration on every claim in July 2018. The matter involved a lawsuit filed by Nick Katsoris, author of a children’s book based on a character called Loukoumi the Lamb, and was brought against WME | IMG and Viacom, claiming that IMG Productions stole his idea for a children’s television series based upon the Loukoumi project and that Viacom used the idea as a basis for its series entitled “All in With Cam Newton.”
Robert and Gladys Zimmerman v. Roseanne Barr
, 2014-CA 000613 (July 28, 2015). Achieved a dismissal on summary judgment of claims for invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress brought by parents of George Zimmerman against actress and comedian Roseanne Barr.
Jennifer Shaouli et al v. Saks Fifth Avenue, Inc.
, 2015 CV14-09590-AB (April 2, 2015). Achieved a dismissal, with prejudice, of a consumer class action complaint against client Saks & Company. Successfully argued that the plaintiff had not suffered any damages as a result of Saks’ actions and therefore did not have standing to pursue claims.
In 2014, successfully defended a television production company against a wide array of claims, including defamation and other privacy-related claims, as well as claims for wrongful termination of employment, brought by cast members of a popular television series.
In 2014, successfully defended a production company against claims by a former employee for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement of employment, wrongful termination and retaliation in violation of the California labor code.
In 2013 and 2014, represented multiple companies in disputes between companies and their former employees over intellectual property and other proprietary information generated and/or disclosed during the period of employment.
Jane Siskin v. Peter Koral et al.
, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC462606. Represented the former founder and owner of Seven For All Mankind clothing company in a business dispute initiated by his former partner. The case was dismissed on successful summary judgment on statutes of limitations grounds.
Fox Searchlight Pictures v. Camelot Pictures, et al.
, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC 394751 (2009) Represented Fox Searchlight Pictures in a financing dispute over the motion picture “Margaret.”<
Toughlove America, LLC v. MTV Networks, Flower Films and High Noon Productions
, C.D. Cal. Case No. CV-09 -1521 SJO (Ex) (2009). Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction that was sought, based on alleged infringement of the plaintiff's trademark, to prevent the distribution of the reality television program “Toughlove.”
Lynn Ianni v. Courtroom Television Network, et al.
, C.D. Cal. Case No. CV 05-4633 (GPS) (SSc) (2008). Representing Viacom International Inc. and related companies and filed an anti-SLAPP motion and obtained dismissal, with prejudice, of the plaintiff’s defamation and other claims arising from the broadcast on VH1 of a newsmagazine story about the credentials of a reality television psychologist.
Sweeney et al. v. The Greenblatt Janollari Studios et al.
, Los Angeles Superior Court (2007). Secured the early dismissal, with prejudice, of nine of the plaintiffs’ ten idea-submission claims related to the “Elvis” miniseries broadcast on CBS. A highly favorable resolution of the remaining claim was reached.
Howard v. Touchstone Television Productions, LLC et al.
, United States District Court, Central District of California (2006). Represented the defendants in securing the dismissal, with prejudice, of copyright and accounting claims arising from the creation and production of the television series “Criminal Minds.”
Tordjmann v. Warner Bros. et al.
, United States District Court, Central District of California (2005). Successfully represented Warner Bros. and ABC in a copyright infringement action over the television program “War Correspondent.”
Warner Bros. v. Carmine Caridi et al.
, United States District Court, Central District of California. (2005). Represented Warner Bros. on the civil side of a motion picture piracy investigation and crackdown regarding Academy Award screeners.
David maintains a pro bono practice in the area of the immigration of refugees based on political asylum.