William J. Briggs, II

William J. Briggs

William Briggs is a trial lawyer and civil litigator with broad experience in the entertainment industry. William represents some of the top talent in film, television, music, and sports. He has experience in state, federal, and appellate courts, and with arbitrations, involving intellectual property disputes, complex entertainment contract disputes, partnership disputes, rights of publicity and First Amendment issues, and employment matters.

In addition to his decades-long practice, William is also the president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. He is the highest-ranking official within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and his responsibilities include oversight of all aspects of the Department, its $11.8 billion budget, officer-involved shootings, and in-custody deaths. He regularly speaks at length in the media and to community groups on issues concerning policing in Los Angeles.

William has substantial courtroom experience in disputes that involve:

  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • First Amendment
  • Defamation
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Right of publicity
  • Guild disputes
  • Profit participation
  • Royalty payments
  • Violations of the Talent Agencies Act
  • Interpretation and enforcement of talent, executive, distribution, film, and recording contracts

Outside of the courtroom, William works with clients to respond rapidly to crisis and emergency situations, while identifying the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions. When difficult and challenging issues cannot be resolved without litigation, he is prepared to try the case for the client.


Representative Matters

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Represented co-owners of copyrights and trademarks in a dispute between partners, concerning who had the right to use the trademark and exploit the copyrights
  • Represented an agency in an idea submission case
  • Represented talent in a copyright infringement matter

Entertainment Contract Litigation

  • Represented talent in a right of approval dispute that required talent’s approval before the release of a film
  • Represented a production company in a dispute regarding rights to conduct a music festival
  • Represented a production company in a dispute with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screenwriters Guild of America (SGA) concerning residual payments
  • Represented personal talent managers in a partnership dispute

General Litigation

  • Represented a high-profile actor, producer, and comedian in high-stakes litigation, and obtained a groundbreaking appellate decision in the areas of harassment, discrimination, copyright, and right of publicity
  • Represented plaintiff in an employment discrimination lawsuit
  • Represented an actress in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against a network
  • Represented a wholesale diamond dealer in a multi-million-dollar embezzlement lawsuit

Reported Decisions

  • MGM Grand Hotel, Inc. v. Smith-Hemion Productions, 158 F.R.D. 677 (D. Nev. 1994)
  • Trans-World International, Inc. v. Smith-Hemion Productions, Inc., 972 F. Supp. 1275 (C.C. Cal. 1997)
  • McConnell v. Innovative Artists, 175 Cal. App. 4th 169 (2009) (affirming grant of anti-SLAPP motion)
  • Digerati Holdings, LLC v. Young Money Entertainment, LLC, et al., 194 Cal. App. 4th 873 (2011) (affirming partial grant of anti-SLAPP motion)
  • Pierre Daniel v. Marlon Wayans, 8 Cal. App. 5th 367 (2017) (affirming grant of anti-SLAPP motion)




  • J.D. Georgetown University Law Center 1988
    • American Jurisprudence Award in Civil Rights
  • B.A. Bethune-Cookman College 1978

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • President, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Associate member, American Inn of Court, William B. Enright Chapter
  • Member, Professional Advisory Network, Motion Picture & Television Fund
  • President, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
  • Member, Chancery Club


  • Billboard, Top Music Lawyers, 2024
  • Variety, Legal Impact Report, 2022 – 2023
  • Los Angeles Business Journal,
    • Leaders of Influence: Litigators & Trial Lawyers, 2018 – 2020
    • Leaders of Influence: Minority Attorneys, 2016, 2019 – 2022
  • The Hollywood Reporter, Power Lawyers, 2019
  • Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2014 – 2024
  • Billboard, Top Music Lawyers, 2018, 2021 – 2023


Pro Bono

  • Active in the local community and provides pro bono legal services to the Alliance for Children’s Rights

Personal Activities

  • Scuba diving
  • Skiing