Louis P. Petrich

Senior Counsel

petrichl@ballardspahr.com
Tel 424.204.4369
Fax 424.204.4350
Los Angeles

Louis P. Petrich is one of the most experienced attorneys practicing media law in the United States. He has argued several landmark First Amendment and intellectual property cases, and his clients include titans of the entertainment industry in television, film, and insurance.

Lou frequently lectures on copyright, right of publicity, and media issues, and has advised legislators on the development of media law at the state and federal level. He has served on the Board of Trustees and as past president of the Los Angeles Copyright Society, of which he is currently a member.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel, obtained summary judgment in Harter v. Disney Enterprises Inc., 104 U.S.P.Q.2d 1547 (E.D. Mo. 2012) ("Santa Paws" movies)
  • Lead counsel, obtained summary judgment in Muller v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 794 F.Supp.2d 429 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), affirmed 2012 WL5439910 (2d Cir. 2012) ("Alien v. Predator" movie)
  • Trial and appellate attorney for Lions Gate in obtaining a defense jury verdict in the Eastern District of Texas in West v. Tyler Perry, Lions Gate on copyright infringement case against the movie Diary of A Mad Black Woman (Dec. 2008), 2009 WL 2225569, and affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit, 2010 WL 3303752.
  • Briefed and argued to California Supreme Court in Gates v. Discovery Communications, Inc., 34 Cal. 4th 679 (2004). Persuaded Court to overrule its 1971 holding in Briscoe v. Readers' Digest Assn., Inc., 4 Cal. 3d 529 which had upheld privacy right claims against public disclosure of facts in public record regarding criminal activity because of the passage of time.
  • Briefed and argued to Sixth Circuit, in Murray Hill Productions v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 361 F.3d 312 (6th Cir. 2004) ("Jingle All The Way" movie). After a Michigan jury rendered a verdict for plaintiff for $19 million, obtained a reversal with directions to dismiss.
  • Briefed and argued to U.S. Supreme Court in Stewart v. Abend, 490 U.S. 207 (1990) regarding revocation of renewal term copyright in Rear Window case.
  • Briefed and argued to en banc panel of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Subafilms v. MGM Pathe Communications Co., 24 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 1994) regarding limits on extraterritorial reach of U.S. Copyright laws regarding Yellow Submarine.
  • Trial and appellate defense counsel in Shaw v. Lindheim re TV series The Equalizer. Obtained summary judgment which was reversed. Upon remand, obtained JNOV in light of intervening decision in Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service. 809 F. Supp. 1393 (C.D. Cal. 1992).
  • Trial and appellate counsel in Olson v. National Broadcasting Co., 855 F.2d 1446 (9th Cir. 1988) ("The A-Team" TV series).
  • Trial and appellate counsel in Baxter v. MCA, Inc., 812 F.2d 421 (9th Cir. 1987) ("E.T., the Extraterrestrial" movie). Obtained summary judgment on claim against theme for musical soundtrack; after remand from reversal, successfully defended Universal City Studios at trial, affirmed in unreported decision.
  • Trial and appellate defense counsel in Litchfield v. Spielberg, 736 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir, 1984)
  • Defense and appellate counsel in Miller v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 650 F.2d 1365 (C.A.5 (Fla.) 1981)
  • Appellate counsel for defense in Ferguson v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 584 F.2d 111 (C.A.5 (Tex.) 1978)
  • Frequent advisor to, and author of amicus briefs for, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
  • Counsel to MPAA on 1999 amendments to California post-mortem right of publicity rights statute, Civil Code section 990, since renumber Civil Code section 3344.1.
  • Counsel to MPAA on all state legislative efforts to add or modify right of publicity statutes

Professional Activities

American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow

Media Law Resource Center, President, Defense Counsel Section, 2014; Chairperson, Entertainment Law Committee, 2005-2009

Los Angeles County Bar Association

California State Bar Association

Los Angeles Copyright Society, member; Board of Trustees, 1995-2000 and 1980-1982; President, 1987-1988

American Bar Association

Recognitions & Accomplishments

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers, 2009-present

The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2012

Named a "Top Lawyer" in The Hollywood Reporter's Power Lawyers, 2007, 2019

Frequently listed in Southern California Super Lawyers

University of California, Los Angeles, Law School (J.D. 1965)
Managing Editor, UCLA Law Review
Order of the Coif

University of California, Los Angeles (B.A. 1962)

California

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit