Zachary Elsea handles a wide array of intellectual property and business litigation matters, including trade secret litigation, copyright and trademark matters, state and federal appeals, and other commercial disputes. He is experienced handling complex cases from inception through trial and has represented companies and individuals in the entertainment, technology, real estate, and financial services sectors, among others.

Zachary previously served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Milan D. Smith, Jr., on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also maintains an active pro bono practice, and received the Pro Bono of the Year Award from Public Counsel’s Appellate Law Program in 2012 for his successful appeal in a housing discrimination case.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a financial data and technology company in a private arbitration trial regarding the alleged theft of trade secrets.
  • Represented a major music company in the California Court of Appeal regarding a royalty and digital rights dispute.
  • Represented the developers and equity holders of Lake Las Vegas Resort against claims of fraudulent transfer and fraudulent conveyance.
  • Represented a major mobile communications company in a series of patent disputes regarding wireless communications technologies.

Admissions, Memberships & Qualifications

  • Clerk to the Honorable Milan D. Smith, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2012–2013)
  • State Bar of California (Member)
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers

Honors & Awards

  • “Rising Star,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2017-2018.
  • “Pro Bono of the Year Award,” Public Counsel Appellate Law Program, 2012.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Guest, “Barely Legal with Joe Escalante” radio show, July 22, 2018.
  • “Do Sacha Baron Cohen’s Targets Have a Shot at Winning a Lawsuit?” The Hollywood Reporter, July 2018.
  • Moderator, LACBA Barristers “Careers in Government” Panel. May 2018.
  • “How Ginger and Fred Settled the Battle Between Two ‘Empires.’” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine. Feb. 2018.
  • “Unprecedented Battle Looming: AT&T Threatens To Take Trump And DOJ To Court Over Time Warner Deal.” Forbes. Nov. 2017.
  • “AT&T’s Acquisition Of Time Warner Could Be In Jeopardy,” Forbes. Nov. 2017.
  • “Summary Analysis of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016,” Los Angeles Lawyer. Nov. 2016.
  • “SB 1177: Protecting Our Children on the Internet,” Daily Journal. Jan. 21, 2015.
  • “Oh, Say Can You ©: Jimi Hendrix, Shostakovich, and All That Jazz!” Century City Lawyer. Nov. 2011


  • Harvard Law School (J.D. 2011) cum laude, Senior Editor, Harvard International Law Journal
  • Oxford University (MSc, Social Anthropology, 2008)
  • Harvard College (A.B. Government, 2006)