Education

  • UCSD, 1998, B.A. with honors, in Political Science and minors in both Economics and Middle Eastern Studies
  • UCLA School of Law, 2002, J.D., Order of the Coif

Jonathan Steinsapir is a partner with the firm. He is a trial lawyer who has successfully tried cases before juries, judges, and arbitrators; he is an accomplished appellate advocate who has argued about a dozen appeals before the Ninth Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit, and the California Court of Appeal in recent years; and he is a counselor to clients hoping to avoid litigation altogether. His practice focuses on complex litigation and client counseling in entertainment, music, and software matters, along with matters in most other commercial sectors. He has particular expertise in intellectual property issues, having handled disputes in all forms, from license negotiations to litigating all stages of dozens of copyright, patent, and trademark cases throughout the country. He also counsels clients on employment related issues and represents both employees and employers in high stakes trade secret, non-compete and discrimination matters. He also has extensive experience litigating probate issues in both probate and other courts, particularly when they intersect with intellectual property matters.

Mr. Steinsapir clerked for the Hon. Cynthia Holcomb Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2002-03. The following term, he clerked for the Hon. Margaret M. Morrow of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Steinsapir graduated from UCLA School of Law in 2002 and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He graduated with Honors from UCSD in 1998, and spent a year studying politics in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

From August through December 2001, Mr. Steinsapir worked in the Pentagon for the Office of the General Counsel to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. A month after the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon, he traveled to Uzbekistan as the Pentagon’s only on-site legal advisor during the negotiation and signing of an executive agreement between the United States and Uzbekistan mandating the cleanup of a notorious, former Soviet biological weapons testing site in the Aral Sea.

Recognized for his expertise in intellectual property and related issues, Mr. Steinsapir is frequently asked to comment on pending matters of interest by various publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Playboy, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and The Daily Journal. From 2014 forward, Mr. Steinsapir has been named every year by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” in Intellectual Property Litigation in Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine.


Representative Matters

Music and Copyright Matters: Mr. Steinsapir has counseled clients and litigated matters concerning copyright issues in the motion picture and music industries, the clothing and apparel industry, the commercial printing industry, the jewelry industry, and various other industries.

  • Represented the Estate of Michael Jackson in a jury trial defending claims by producer Quincy Jones that the Estate had underpaid royalties to Jones after Jackson’s tragic death in 2009. Although Jones asked a jury to award him over $30 million, the jury rejected almost all of his claims and Jones was eventually awarded only $2.6 million. Notably, this amount was less than what Estate witnesses had testified to the jury that the Estate had been prepared to pay Jones before trial.
  • Steinsapir has expertise in copyright termination issues and has been consulted confidentially on several Copyright Termination matters, by both studios and record companies seeking to protect their copyrights, on the one hand, and by authors, musicians and other content creators seeking to retake their copyrights, on the other.
  • Lead counsel for Mark Frost, the award-winning author, screen writer and co-creator of Twin Peaks, in a series of actions centered around allegations that Mr. Frost breached a contract to produce a motion picture based on his book, The Match: The Day The Game of Golf Changed Forever. Steinsapir argued appeals in the case in both the Ninth Circuit and the California Court of Appeal, obtaining a complete victory for Mr. Frost with the courts addressing an issue of first impression regarding the scope of the “signed writing” requirement of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 204(a). MVP Entertainment, Inc. v. Frost, 210 Cal. App. 4th 1333 (2012).
  • Represented the pay television provider Starz concerning numerous copyright and other intellectual property issues along with issues arising under its output and licensing agreements. Among several other litigations, Mr. Steinsapir represented Starz in a 2013 jury trial in Colorado against DISH Network, where the case settled midway through trial on favorable terms for both parties.

Trademark and Unfair Competition Matters: Mr. Steinsapir has extensive experience litigating trademark, trade dress, false advertising and unfair competition matters in state and federal courts.

  • Represented the Estate of Michael Jackson in litigation regarding trademark infringement and dilution of Jackson’s famous “King of Pop” trademark and was able to secure the KingOfPop.com domain name for the Estate.
  • Successfully represented the Kardashian Sisters in claims that they contributed to alleged trademark infringement by a makeup brand they endorsed, arguing an appeal that affirmed a summary judgment in their favor. Kroma Makeup EU v. Boldface Licensing & Branding, 920 F.3d 704 (11th Cir. 2019).
  • Successfully obtained a preliminary injunction in the Kardashian Sisters’ favor against infringement of their trademarks in connection with another makeup line and successfully argued the appeal affirming the injunction. 2Die4Kourt v. Hillair Capital Management, 692 Fed.Appx. 366 (9th Cir. 2017). Later, he secured a final judgment of roughly $12 million for the Kardashians in related proceedings.
  • Lead counsel, along with partner Alan Kossoff, to the successor to the Estate of Marilyn Monroe in a licensing dispute with a former licensee seeking roughly $7 million in damages after the Estate terminated its trademark license agreement. After a one-week arbitration in Chicago, the three-arbitrator panel unanimously decided in the Estate’s favor, awarded the Claimant nothing, and awarded the Estate roughly $300,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Patent Matters: Mr. Steinsapir represents patentees and accused infringers in patent cases. He has argued dispositive motions and Markman issues in federal courts in California, Texas, Nevada, and Connecticut.

  • Represented the Estate of Michael Jackson in several cases involving claims that holographic images of Michael Jackson infringe certain patents. On May 16, 2014, after being given less than 14 hours’ notice, Mr. Steinsapir argued and defeated an application for an injunction in federal court to enjoin performance of a “virtual” Michael Jackson performance at the May 18, 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The cases eventually all settled on favorable terms for the Estate.
  • Represented Roland Corporation and affiliates in numerous patent cases throughout the country. In one case, Mr. Steinsapir represented Roland against claims that its keyboards infringed two patents. After the case was transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Central District of California, it was stayed pending an ex parte reexamination where the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office cancelled all claims in both patents-in-suit.  As part of a comprehensive settlement negotiated by Mr. Steinsapir, plaintiff agreed to assign another related patent to Roland in exchange for the dismissal of Roland’s counterclaims.
  • Represented Kretek International in a case where a company alleged that Kretek’s vaping products infringed its patent. The case settled on favorable terms.

Appellate: In the last few years, Mr. Steinsapir has handled numerous appellate matters, arguing almost a dozen appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals (in the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits) and in the California Court of Appeal. He has also worked on matters in the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and other federal Courts of Appeals.  Among others, all of the following appeals were argued by Mr. Steinsapir: Kroma Makeup EU v. Boldface Licensing & Branding, 920 F.3d 704 (11th Cir. 2019) (affirming summary judgment in clients’ favor); 2Die4Kourt v. Hillair Capital Management, 692 Fed.Appx. 366 (9th Cir. 2017) (affirming preliminary injunction in clients’ favor); Kroma Makeup EU v. Boldface Licensing & Branding, 845 F.3d 1351 (11th Cir. 2017) (addressing issue of first impression regarding equitable estoppel on motion to compel arbitration); Jaycee Dugard v. United States, 835 F.3d 915 (9th Cir. 2016) (argued kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard’s claims against the Federal Government); Ross v. O’Neal, 525 Fed. Appx. 600 (9th Cir. 2013) (holding that California statute was unconstitutional as applied to firm client, Shaquille O’Neal); MVP Entertainment, Inc. v. Frost, 210 Cal. App. 4th 1333 (2012) (obtaining affirmance of trial court’s ruling in client’s favor); Frost v. Frederick, 466 Fed. Appx. 604 (9th Cir. 2012) (obtaining reversal of trial court’s ruling against client).

Probate and Related Issues

    • With Howard Weitzman, Mr. Steinsapir has represented the Estate of Michael Jackson for over ten years, counseling it on intellectual property and other issues, and representing it in dozens of cases and disputes in the state and federal courts of California, New York, and Nevada. As a result of his representation, Mr. Steinsapir also has extensive experience in probate litigation and the intersection of probate litigation and “ordinary” civil litigation, including 850 petitions, claims filing requirements, late claim petitions, and the one-year post-death statute of limitations.

Education

  • UCSD, 1998, B.A. with honors, in Political Science and minors in both Economics and Middle Eastern Studies
  • UCLA School of Law, 2002, J.D., Order of the Coif

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January 21, 2021

14 KWIKA Attorneys Named 2021 “Super Lawyers”

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that 14 of the firm’s attorneys have been named 2021 Southern California “Super Lawyers” by Thomson Reuters. One of the most respected rating services in...

October 21, 2020

Jonathan Steinsapir Speaks to Bloomberg Law on Gorilla Glue Trade Dress Claims

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KWIKA Prevails in Lawsuit for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

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Michael Kump, Jon Steinsapir and Nick Soltman represented Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a lawsuit filed in state court in July 2020...

June 16, 2020

Jonathan Steinsapir Speaks to Billboard on Concert Venues and COVID-19 Liability

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May 8, 2020

KWIKA Prevails as Appeals Court Hands Michael Jackson Estate Huge Win

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The Estate of Michael Jackson, represented by KWIKA’s Howard Weitzman, Jonathan Steinsapir and Zachary Elsea scored a total victory in Quincy Jones v. MJJ Productions, Inc. when an appeals court...

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Jon Steinsapir Quoted in Playboy on Right of Publicity

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March 10, 2020

Jon Steinsapir Comments on Quibi Patent Infringement Allegations

Jon Steinsapir was recently quoted in Wendy Lee’s Los Angeles Times article “Quibi denies stealing mobile technology as streaming debut looms.” The article details the accusations leveled at Quibi by the New...

December 10, 2019

Michael Kump Quoted in The Hollywood Reporter Article

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Michael Kump was recently quoted in Ashley Cullins’ The Hollywood Reporter article “Kim Kardashian West Out for Blood Over Use of Her Image in Vampire Facial Marketing.” This article describes...

October 24, 2019

Jon Steinsapir Quoted in Los Angeles Times Article

Jon Steinsapir was recently quoted in Daniel Miller’s Los Angeles Times article "When is an Original Tommy’s burger not an original? When it’s one of these 67 look-alikes.” In this...

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Jon Steinsapir Quoted in New York Times Article

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April 1, 2019

KWIKA Wins Unanimous 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision for the Kardashian Sisters

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami, in an unanimous decision, ruled today in favor of firm clients, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, ending...

February 21, 2019

Jonathan Steinsapir Quoted on Suit Over Undelivered Artwork

Jon Steinsapir's representation of art collectors who paid half a million dollars for three pieces of undelivered artwork was covered in Sarah Cascone's Art.com article "A Collector Couple Is Suing...

December 10, 2018

Jon Steinsapir Comments on LL Cool J Lawsuit in Bloomberg Law

Jon Steinsapir was recently quoted in Kyle Jahner’s Bloomberg Law article "LL Cool J May Luck Into ‘Rock the Bells’ Rights for Sirius Channel,” which analyzes the hip hop artist’s trademark lawsuit...

May 11, 2018

Jon Steinsapir Quoted on Dr Dre Trademark Battle

Jon Steinsapir was recently asked by World Intellectual Property Review to discuss the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) recent decision against Dr Dre in his trademark opposition against a...

August 24, 2017

KWIKA Wins Summary Judgment for the Kardashians

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KWIKA partners Michael Kump, Jonathan Steinsapir and Gregory Korn won summary judgment in federal court in Orlando for KWIKA clients Kim Kardashian West, and Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian. ...

June 2, 2017

KWIKA Scores Yet Another Victory for Kardashians in Cosmetics Legal Battle

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Michael Kump and Jon Steinsapir secured another major win on behalf of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian in their suit against cosmetics company Haven Beauty and Hillair Capital after an...

August 29, 2016

Jon Steinsapir Speaks, Writes on Leslie Jones Hack

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August 25, 2016

KWIKA scores victory for Kardashians in cosmetics lawsuit

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KWIKA’s Michael Kump, Jonathan Steinsapir and Gregory Korn won a preliminary injunction in federal court on August 23, 2016 on behalf of clients Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian. ...

August 19, 2016

Jon Steinsapir Speaks to Los Angeles Times

Jon Steinsapir was recently quoted in Ryan Faughnder’s Los Angeles Times article “Gawker.com will shut down next week,” which discusses Univision’s decision to close down the site after being the...

July 18, 2016

Jon Steinsapir Quoted in Los Angeles Business Journal

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February 20, 2016

Scalia Often Put Limits On Rights In IP Decisions – Law360

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January 20, 2016

Twelve at KWIKA named Super Lawyers for 2016

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that twelve of our attorneys were named Super Lawyers for 2016, including Dale Kinsella, Howard Weitzman, Larry Iser, Michael Kump, Alan Kossoff, Shawn Holley, Greg...

December 9, 2015

Five at KWIKA named Super Lawyers in 2015 Business Edition

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KWIKA is pleased to note that the 2015 Business Edition of Super Lawyers magazine includes five of our attorneys: founding partners Dale Kinsella, Larry Iser, and Michael Kump, and...

October 22, 2015

‘Gutsy move’ ends Jay-Z ‘Big Pimpin” trial

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Jay Z’s ‘Big Pimpin’’ Dispute Bound to Raise Cost of Making Hip Hop Music

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October 13, 2015

Jonathan Steinsapir Quoted in Los Angeles Daily Journal Article on Jay-Z Copyright Lawsuit

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September 8, 2015

Jonathan Steinsapir Quoted in The Hollywood Reporter

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September 4, 2015

Jonathan Steinsapir Quoted in Los Angeles Business Journal

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Jon Steinsapir Opines on Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises – Law360

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January 22, 2015

Ten at KWIKA named Super Lawyers for 2015

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that 10 of our attorneys were named Super Lawyers for 2015, including Dale Kinsella, Howard Weitzman, Larry Iser, Michael Kump, Alan Kossoff, Shawn Holley, Greg...

December 2, 2014

KWIKA lands three slots on Super Lawyers IP list

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that Super Lawyers' Business Edition for 2014 includes our partners Larry Iser, Michael Kump and Jonathan Steinsapir in the Intellectual Property category.  One of the...

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Aereo injunction may not doom Dish’s commercial-skipping service

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September 11, 2014

Jonathan Steinsapir covers hacked photos in
guest column with Hollywood Reporter

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Super Lawyers Magazine: Four at KWIKA named in Business Edition

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Aereo violating copyright law, says Supreme Court

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Oral argument in ‘ABC Television Stations v. Aereo’ to begin at Supreme Court

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February 24, 2014

Lighting Ballast ruling by Federal Circuit maintains claim construction status quo

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January 30, 2014

Seven at KWIKA named Super Lawyers for 2014

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A full 40 percent of all lawyers at KWIKA were named Super Lawyers for 2014, including Dale Kinsella, Howard Weitzman, Larry Iser, Michael Kump, Shawn Holley, Suann MacIsaac and Jonathan...

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Supreme Court to hear Aereo case on broadcasters’ digital streaming rights

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October 14, 2013

Broadcasters claim signal theft by digital streaming service

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September 25, 2013

Proposed bill targeting patent ‘trolls’ may harm legitimate litigants

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Supreme Court says no to DNA patents on ‘nature’

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Super Lawyers Magazine: Six from KWIKA named Rising Stars for 2013

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KWIKA is pleased to announce that Greg Korn, Jeremiah Reynolds, Chad Fitzgerald, Jonathan Steinsapir, Greg Gabriel and David Swift were named Southern California Rising Stars for 2013 by Super Lawyers...

June 4, 2013

Turning the tables: Parody filmmaker sues producers of ‘real’ version

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May 31, 2013

Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of action filed against KWIKA client, Shaquille O’Neal

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On May 24, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the district court granting the motion filed by KWIKA partners Michael Kump...

May 30, 2013

KWIKA protects Starz Entertainment’s contract rights in Colorado jury trial

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KWIKA attorneys Michael Kump, Jonathan Steinsapir and Aaron Liskin, and paralegal Janet Glick, represented long-time KWIKA client Starz Entertainment in a jury trial against defendant DISH Network that commenced on...

May 30, 2013

Vermont goes after frivolous patent suits

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May 13, 2013

Supreme Court upholds Monsanto seed patent against farmer’s challenge

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March 25, 2013

Supreme Court first-sale copyright ruling could lead to parallel policy for patents

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March 20, 2013

High court throws wrench into copyright holder worldwide pricing differentials

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March 14, 2013

Apple’s second suit of Samsung to move forward

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November 20, 2012

KWIKA wins for ‘Twin Peaks’ co-creator in published Court of Appeal opinion

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KWIKA partners Dale Kinsella and Jonathan Steinsapir secured a complete victory for client Mark Frost last week, when the California Court of Appeal issued a published opinion affirming the entry...

November 13, 2012

Apple softens litigation strategy for smaller competitors

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August 28, 2012

Apple’s patent win: Jon Steinsapir’s view

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August 21, 2012

Interview with Jon Steinsapir: Hollywood’s Knockoffs

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June 15, 2012

Super Lawyers Magazine: Five from KWIKA named Rising Stars for 2012

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KWIKA is pleased to note that Greg Korn, Chad Fitzgerald, Jonathan Steinsapir, Greg Gabriel and David Swift were named Southern California Rising Stars for 2012 by Super Lawyers Magazine. Greg...

October 18, 2011

Michael Kump and Jonathan Steinsapir Win One for Shaq

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When NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal was sued by an alleged former business associate who claimed the basketball great had ordered him to be kidnapped, he turned for help to KWIKA...

June 16, 2011

Super Lawyers Magazine: Five at KWIKA Recognized

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Greg Korn, Jonathan Steinsapir, Greg Gabriel, Amber Holley and David Swift were named Rising Stars in Super Lawyers‘ 2011 edition. Greg K., Jonathan and Greg G. were recognized for their...

February 3, 2011

Chad Fitzgerald and Jonathan Steinsapir Named Partners

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Los Angeles, CA — February 1, 2011 — Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP (KWIKA) has named Chad Fitzgerald and Jonathan Steinsapir as Partners.  Coming off a landmark year of cases,...

December 7, 2010

KWIKA Lawyers Invalidate Alleged Dodgers Ownership Agreement

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December 7, 2010 — Today, Judge Scott Gordon of the Los Angeles Superior Court issued a 100-page decision which invalidated an alleged agreement between KWIKA client Jamie McCourt and her...

June 20, 2010

Super Lawyers Magazine, Rising Stars 2010 Edition: Six at KWIKA Recognized

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Suann MacIsaac, Greg Korn, Jonathan Steinsapir, Amber Holley, Greg Gabriel and David Swift were named Rising Stars in Super Lawyers‘ 2010 edition. Suann and Amber were recognized for their success...

July 23, 2009

Jackson Browne Settles Dispute with McCain, Republicans

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Nearly one year after KWIKA’s Larry Iser, Patricia Millett, Jon Steinsapir and Greg Gabriel filed suit on behalf of singer/ songwriter Jackson Browne against then-presidential candidate Senator John McCain, the Ohio...

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