William J. Briggs, II

Partner
Briggs William
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.

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

In addition to his courtroom practice, William works with clients to respond rapidly to emergency situations and to identify 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.

Experience

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)

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. Georgetown University Law Center 1988
  • 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

  • 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

Recognition
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  • Listed in Los Angeles Business Journal, Most Influential Minority Lawyers, 2016 and 2018
  • Included in Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2014 - 2019
  • Listed in Billboard as a "Top Music Lawyer," 2018
  • Listed in Los Angeles Business Journal, "Top Litigators," 2018
  • Winner, American Jurisprudence Award in Civil Rights

Community
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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