Stanton
"Larry"
Stein

Entertainment & Media
Litigation



Team

Biography

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Stanton "Larry" Stein

Entertainment & Media Litigation

Biography

Stanton ("Larry") Stein is a Partner in Liner’s Entertainment & Media Litigation Group. His clients include actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, high-net-worth individuals, entertainment guilds, talent agencies, personal and business management companies, independent production companies, and interactive gaming companies.

Throughout the last decade, Larry created the legal concept of vertical integration and has initiated numerous lawsuits challenging use. Larry’s tireless efforts have changed the face of contract negotiation among networks, their affiliated production companies, and talent. Larry has brought countless lawsuits on behalf of his clients against conglomerates that were self-dealing on licensing fees and a variety of other revenue streams.  Larry’s work has changed how revenue is more evenly allocated among profit participants including actors, directors, writers, and producers. He is widely known in the entertainment industry as being the go-to lawyer in taking on Hollywood studios, a task not many have the ability or courage to assume.

In addition to his groundbreaking litigation against vertical integration, Larry is also changing the parameters of copyright infringement in reality television.  He brought the seminal lawsuit to establish copyright protection for formats in reality television.

Larry protects the business and personal interests of his clients. He has a long history of bringing defamation, right of privacy, and right of publicity actions against publications and private individuals and dealing with the media and governmental agencies on behalf of his clients. As a result, Larry has been able to secure dozens of confidential settlements and retractions.

Throughout his career, Larry has been recognized by leading legal, business, and entertainment industry publications and organizations for the successes he has achieved on behalf of his clients.

Education

University of Southern California (J.D.)

University of Southern California (B.A., with honors)

Speaking Engagements & Publications
  • Recent MCLE presentations on Entertainment Law to arbitrators and mediators at JAMS and ADR Services
  • Moderator, "Hot Legal Issues in Current Entertainment Litigation," UCLA's 27th Annual Entertainment Law Symposium, along with and a number of other USC Entertainment Law Symposia panels
  • Adjunct Professor, USC Gould School of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Stanford Law School
  • Distinguished Speaker, Harvard Law School's Conference on Entertainment and Sports
  • Lectured at numerous universities, including Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, the University of California's Boalt Hall School of Law
  • Chaired entertainment law seminars for the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar, Century City, and Beverly Hills Bar Associations
News
Recognition
  • "Attorney of the Month," by Attorney at Law Magazine
  • Best Lawyers in America (2017)
     -Entertainment Law
  • California Lawyer as one of the top five "A-List Entertainment Lawyers" changing Hollywood
  • "Rising" section of Entertainment Weekly's "101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment"
  • "Entertainment Lawyer of the Year,” the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Century City Bar Association
  • ACLU Foundation's Pro Bono Civil Liberties Award
  • The Best Lawyers in America and the Daily Journal's "100 Most Influential Lawyers in California"
  • "Who's Who in L.A. Law" by the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers
  • 100 Most Powerful Lawyers in The Hollywood Reporter
  • Variety’s Legal Impact Report
  • AV rating with Martindale Hubbell
  • LawDragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2004-2009, 2011-2016)
Community
  • Co-founder and first President of Public Counsel (public interest law firm)
  • Board of Directors of Bet Tzedek
  • Past President of Beverly Hills Barristers
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Century City Bar Association
  • Santa Monica Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Directors, Foundation of the State Bar of California (2005-2010)
  • California Trial Lawyers Association
Representations

Profit Participation and Vertical Integration Litigation

  • The first vertical integration suit was on behalf of the showrunners for Home Improvement against ABC, quickly followed by suits on A.S.H. for Alan Alda and The X-Files for David Duchovny. As the first attorney to bring vertical integration lawsuits, Larry is currently reviewing, on a confidential basis, numerous audits of television shows and films involving vertical integration issues. Many of these matters are still confidential but will either settle or lead to litigation in the future.
  • Representation of the Maloof family as consultants to a well-known record producer and artist in disputes with producer/artist’s record label, involving profit participation and contractual disputes.
  • Larry represented Little Star Films in connection with its profit participation in the hit motion picture "Mamma Mia." The matter addressed several Audit issues in connection with the film.
  • In a Hollywood Accounting case, Larry successfully negotiated a settlement for Connie Burge, the show runner (writer-producer) for the television seriesCharmed against CBS Studios, Inc., in a complaint for breach of contract and accounting. The client sought damages of millions of dollars based upon a number of improper accounting practices, including vertical integration issues.

Producer Agreements

  • Larry successfully represented Colony Capital and resolved a lawsuit filed by David Bergstein in which Bergstein claimed participation in the acquisition of Miramax.
  • Larry represented Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison in their dispute against Legendary regarding credit and compensation in connection with the feature film Godzilla.
  • On behalf of Summit Entertainment, Larry successfully negotiated settlement in a lawsuit regarding production rights and credits on the filmI, Alex Cross, based on the book by James Patterson.

Civil Code Section 3344 (Right of Publicity)

  • Larry successfully represented William Roberts p/k/a Rick Ross, a highly acclaimed rapper, who was sued by “Freeway” Ricky Ross, a former kingpin of a Los Angeles cocaine empire. The plaintiff, Freeway, alleged Mr. Ross misappropriated his name and persona for his musical career and stated various federal and state claims based on that allegation. A federal district court dismissed trademark and Lanham Act counts brought against the famous musician, and that dismissal was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. He also successfully defended Mr. Ross in the subsequent state court action for alleged violation of common law and statutory rights of The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Mr. Ross. The California Court of Appeal affirmed, ruling Mr. Ross did not violate any publicity rights because the First Amendment protected the rapper’s creative expression through his music and performances. This ruling was a significant victory not only for Mr. Ross but for all those involved in the industry, as it re-affirmed the First Amendment’s protection of creativity.

Copyright Infringement

  • Larry represented all the defendants in an action brought by Edward Pressman Film Co. and Clarke Abbey alleging that defendants' independent filmNight Moves infringed the copyright in the popular novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. The action was resolved and dismissed.
  • He represented Tokyo Broadcasting System suing American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ("ABC") and Endemol USA, alleging that their programWipeout infringed format copyrights in six Tokyo Broadcasting System programs (Takeshi's Castle, MXC, Sasuke, Kunoichi, Ninja Warrior, and Women of Ninja Warrior), and that ABC improperly promoted Wipeout by trading on consumer goodwill associated with Tokyo Broadcasting System's shows to divert viewers to Wipeout.

Right of Privacy

  • Larry represented Pauley Perrett, one of the stars of NCIS, in a trial involving violation of a restraining order by her former husband and a criminal conviction for use of the Internet to harass. In a separate case, Larry represented Pauley Perrett and her fiance Thomas Arklie in an action for abuse of process, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress brought by an individual who, in connection with the same facts, had been criminally convicted of violating Ms. Perrett’s restraining order against him.  The anti-SLAPP dismissal of the complaint was preserved on appeal.
  • Larry has been retained by David Choe, the already successful graffiti artist who was in the headlines because of the stock he received from Facebook for the graffiti artwork he created for Facebook headquarters.
  • Larry successfully represented LeAnn Rimes in litigation against a mother and daughter who illegally recorded a telephone conversation with Ms. Rimes, edited it, and distributed it on the Internet. The case involves cyber-bullying.

Defamation

  • Larry is representing Blake Shelton in his defamation action against Bauer Publishing in connection with In Touch magazine’s publication of the false and defamatory cover story “REHAB For Blake.”Shelton defeated Bauer’s anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss and the matter is on appeal at the Ninth Circuit.
  • Larry is representing music artist Ciara in a defamation and false light action against her ex-boyfriend Future.
  • Larry represents rapper Drake and secured the dismissal of a trade libel case against him regarding various statements he made on Twitter about a theatrically released documentary in connection with one of his 2009 concerts in Toronto. In addition to dismissal, Drake was awarded his attorneys' fees. The film’s distributor appealed, and later settled.
  • Larry is representing Camille Grammer in a defamation and malicious prosecution action brought by her former boyfriend in federal court in Dallas.  Ms. Grammer has counterclaimed for assault.  Trial is scheduled for March 2017.

Litigation of Personal Services Agreements

  • In overseas litigation, Larry successfully represented the high-profile producer and performer, Timbaland, against a concert promoter in connection with a concert tour that was to have taken place in Australia. The concert promoter alleges that Timbaland breached a personal services agreement primarily because he booked another performance when he was allegedly to be performing in Australia. This case involved complex issues of the impact of the concert promoter's failure to pay guarantees and the concert promoter's inability to properly coordinate the tour. The case settled.

Contractual Disputes Regarding Celebrities

  • Larry is currently representing Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, in litigation pending in Orange County.  Based on his fame and notoriety in the racing world, Mr. Busch was approached by Luke Burrett and was asked to invest in Burrett’s clothing-related companies.  Mr. Busch made significant investments in, and loans to, Burrett’s companies and also provided name-recognition to increase sales to NASCAR fans. Knowing Mr. Busch was likely to sue, Burrett and his companies filed a preemptive lawsuit, falsely accusing Mr. Busch of breaching various investor agreements.  Mr. Busch responded with a cross-complaint for breach of contract and fraud and is presently vigorously pursuing his claims against Burrett.

Contractual Disputes Regarding Producers

  • Larry represented Summit Entertainment and Pablo Fenjves (writer) against claims by Gavin Polone that he was attached as a producer to the film Man on a Ledge. Polone alleged an oral contract with Mr. Fenjves by which he claims the right to produce the film. The complaint alleged breach of contract and sought injunctive relief. The case settled.

Television Series Negotiations

  • Larry represented Harry Shearer in the negotiations leading to his return to "The Simpsons." Although the terms are confidential, the negotiations involved complicated issues concerning Shearer's services and compensation in connection with the series.

Reality Television

  • Larry has been instrumental in negotiating for the rights of participants in reality television shows and in revising their contractual obligations. For example, Larry represents Camille Grammer and represents Adrienne Maloof, the former stars of the reality television show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Recording Industry

  • Larry represented the Frank Zappa Family Trust in litigation against Rykodisc, Inc. (a subsidiary of Warner Music) over the scope of grant of rights that the Trust made to Rykodisc to release certain classic Frank Zappa albums. One of the main issues in dispute in the case was whether Rykodisc was transferred rights to exploit the Frank Zappa recordings by releasing them in MP3 format on iTunes. Also at issue were Rykodisc's royalty accountings. The case was resolved with the Zappa Family Trust re-acquiring the catalog.
  • Larry represented Chief Keef (the new hot rapper) in defense of an alleged breach of contract for failure to perform at a venue. In this District of Columbia case, he successfully argued that Chief Keef was a minor when he entered the contract, thus dismissing him from the case. Larry brought a jurisdictional challenge with regard to allegedly related entities and the matter settled before hearing on the jurisdiction issue. The case settled.
  • Larry represented record producer and executive Jolene Cherry and her label The Cherry Party in cases against artist Judith Hill and Prince for, respectively, breach of contract and interference with contract.  The Cherry Party alleged that Prince interfered with its recording agreement with Hill by recording and releasing Hill’s music to the public as a free download.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • Larry is representing the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust in a number of litigation matters against a Trust beneficiary. The iconic race car driver and designer of the Cobra and Shelby Mustang 350 and 500 developed a wide range of businesses, and Larry is helping the trustees of the estate in a variety of matters that pertain to protecting Shelby intellectual property and continuing Mr. Shelby’s legacy.