Mr. Kinsella is a nationally known trial lawyer specializing in the areas of entertainment and intellectual property litigation. During his career, he has successfully tried numerous cases in state and federal courts, and in private arbitrations and administrative proceedings, involving a wide array of disputes, from copyright and trademark infringement matters to antitrust and securities litigation. Mr. Kinsella has represented large domestic and international corporations, major motion picture studios, record companies, law firms, and professional athletes and actors. He has successfully defended Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal; American Idol’s Simon Fuller; and the creators of the television show Smallville.
Mr. Kinsella has successfully represented motion picture studios, as well as recording companies including DreamWorks, Universal Studios and Legendary Films. Other clients have included numerous actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors and recording artists as well as domestic and international companies in complex licensing disputes involving copyright and trademark rights. Numerous artists as well as studios have requested Mr. Kinsella’s representation in “net profit” litigation involving prime time network television series and major motion pictures.
As a “lawyer’s lawyer,” Mr. Kinsella has represented numerous law firms and individual partners of firms in complex law firm dissolution proceedings, legal malpractice, and malicious prosecution actions in both state and federal courts.
The Hollywood Reporter perennially lists him as one of the “100 Power Lawyers;” he is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” and Chambers; and he has been a Thomson Reuters “Southern California Super Lawyer” since 2004.
- Recently obtained $179 million arbitration award, the second largest in history, representing 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 alleged 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.
- Representing 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.
- Represented the creators (Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins) and writers (Miles Millar and Al Gough) 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 Bros. Television’s contractual duties to the plaintiffs. KWIKA defeated two motions for summary judgment brought by the defendants and obtained a favorable settlement for the plaintiffs.
- Filed suit on behalf of American Idol creator Simon Fuller in his case against Fox Broadcasting Company and Fremantlemedia North America. In this suit, Mr. Fuller alleges that as part of the settlement of the 2004 UK litigation regarding the similarities between American Idol and X Factor, Mr. Fuller had been promised an executive producer credit and fee for the US version of the X Factor television show. This matter is still pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.
- Defended Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal against the claims of Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, an Iraq war veteran who alleged his rights of publicity were violated and he was defamed by the movie The Hurt Locker. Mr. Boal had been embedded with Sarver’s unit and wrote about him and other bomb disposal experts for an article, “The Man in the Bomb Suit.” The film was later adapted from this article, and Sarver claimed that it was based on him, presenting him in false light, resulting in ridicule from fellow service members. In October 2011, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen ruled that The Hurt Locker was a movie connected to an issue of public interest and that Sarver had not demonstrated a likelihood of prevailing. The suit was dismissed, with Sarver ordered to pay the attorney fees of all involved. This ruling ensured that the First Amendment rights of filmmakers are protected, reducing the effect that lawsuits such as this one would have on the creativity of the arts.
- Filed a complaint and actively litigating an action on behalf of Jaycee Dugard against the federal government for failing to monitor convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, who kidnapped and held Ms. Dugard captive for 18 years. Ms. Dugard’s recent New York Times bestselling book detailing the horrors of her kidnapping and 18 years in captivity frames the backdrop of this litigation. The complaint states that authorities were negligent and aware that Garrido was still dangerous, yet failed to revoke his parole and return him to prison. This filing follows the record $20 million settlement in 2010 negotiated by Mr. Kinsella on behalf of Ms. Dugard against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for alleged failure to adequately supervise Garrido during the 10 years he was under its parole supervision.
- Represents Kate Hudson and Kurt Russell in a variety of matters.
- Represented numerous individuals and companies in litigation against KPMG and other national accounting firms in connection with “tax shelter” abuses that have been the subject of Congressional investigations. Mr. Kinsella has recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients in these matters.
Admissions, Memberships & Qualifications
- Kilroy Realty Corporation (NYSE) (Board of Directors, 1997 – Present)
Honors & Awards
- Listed in U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers since 1995
- Listed in Chambers USA, the world’s leading guide to the legal profession
- Listed in Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine since 2004
- Named a “Power Lawyer” by Variety
- Named in “Top 100 Entertainment Lawyers” by The Hollywood Reporter
- University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A. 1970
- UCLA Law School (Editor in Chief, UCLA Law Review), J.D. 1974