Nick Soltman is an experienced litigator who specializes in complex entertainment industry disputes in the areas of contract, profit participation, and “vertical integration,” and business and intellectual property litigation raising copyright, trademark, partnership, fraud, rights of privacy, and defamation issues. He represents producers, writers, showrunners, professional athletes, musicians, fashion designers, production and distribution companies, amusement parks, personal and business managers, and talent agencies. In those cases, as well as a number of personal injury matters for athletes, entertainers, and models, Nick has conducted direct and cross examinations of expert and fact witnesses in a jury trial, multiple arbitrations, and numerous depositions. He has also briefed and argued case dispositive motions in the trial courts and the appellate courts. Nick has been named a Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in Southern California for the last four years; in 2018 and 2019, he was also named to the “Up-and-Coming 100” list. He was also featured in Variety’s 2019 “Legal Impact Report,” The Daily Journal’s 2019 “Top 40 Under 40” list in California, and the 2020 edition of the “Best Lawyers in America.”
Nick graduated, with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 2010, where he served as a comment editor on the Law Review and represented the wrongfully convicted in post-conviction proceedings as part of the school’s Exoneration Project. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2006 with a BA in Anthropology and French, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then spent a year as one of 47 full-time, live-in tutors at the MATCH Charter School in Boston.
Before entering into private practice, Nick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra Ikuta of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Nick was born and raised in Los Angeles. These days, he enjoys cooking, dining out, and traveling with his wife Megan and daughter Juliet (and their dog Ellie and cat Teddy). He is also active in the community: in addition to five years as a volunteer big brother for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, he is involved in various local children’s non-profits with his wife.
- Represents the executive producer of the hit television series Bones in an arbitration against 20th Century Fox Television, the Fox network and affiliated companies. The plaintiff alleges that 20th Century Fox Television owes him profits from the show, and that network executives threatened to cancel the series if he did not accept a lower licensing fee from Fox.
- Represented former NFL running back Reggie Bush in his lawsuit against the St. Louis Rams over a knee injury that he suffered in the team’s stadium. After the team removed the case to federal court and moved to compel the case to arbitration, Nick won a motion to remand the case to state court. In the jury trial, along with colleague Shawn Holley and local counsel, he briefed and argued numerous motions in limine, put on Mr. Bush’s damages expert, cross-examined the Rams’ only fact witness, and successfully moved to exclude the Rams’ so-called “football contracts expert.” Ultimately, Mr. Bush was awarded $12.5 million in damages, including $7.5 million in punitives. The case settled on favorable terms shortly after trial.
- Represents Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian in three related state and federal actions and an arbitration filed in Los Angeles against a hedge fund and its beauty company subsidiary concerning the operation of a cosmetics company to whom the Kardashians licensed their names and images.
- Represents the producer of the classic “Spaghetti Westerns” The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and For a Few Dollars More in a lawsuit against MGM for unpaid profits. The case is currently pending in Santa Monica Superior Court.
- Represents 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 owner and creator of the Free City brand in a trade dress action against the brand’s former manufacturer.
- Represented a model injured on a photo shoot at a Hollywood advertising agency. The case settled on favorable terms shortly after Nick and his colleague Alan Kossoff defeated the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
Admissions, Memberships & Qualifications
- California State Bar (member)
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California; Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- Clerk to the Honorable Sandra Ikuta of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2010–2011)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles
Honors & Awards
- “Rising Star,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2016 – 2018
- “Top 100: Southern California Rising Stars,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2018
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- “What About Me (Too)?” The Case for Admitting Evidence of Discrimination Against Non-Parties,” University of Chicago Law Review (76 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1875 (2009))
- Amherst College (Anthropology; French, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Publisher, The Amherst Student) B.A., 2006
- University of Chicago Law School (with honors; Joseph Henry Beale Prize for outstanding performance in Legal Research and Writing; Bell, Boyd & Lloyd Prize for outstanding appellate brief writing; Comment Editor, University of Chicago Law Review; Exoneration Project), J.D., 2010