Henry Gradstein has over 35 years of experience litigating and trying a wide variety of entertainment, intellectual property and complex business cases, including a top-ten jury verdict against PBS in California and numerous other multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. He has extensive experience in all aspects of entertainment, intellectual property and complex business litigation, and has a proven track record litigating complex matters as lead trial counsel. He is a 1979 graduate of U.S.C. Law School, where he served on Law Review.
Mr. Gradstein has been named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of its Top 100 Power Lawyers, by Billboard Magazine as one of Music’s Most Powerful Attorneys and by The Daily Journal as one of California’s Top Entertainment Lawyers and a Leading Intellectual Property Attorney.
Current and Recent Matters:
- The ongoing copyright infringement class action brought on behalf of named plaintiffs Melissa Ferrick, Jaco Pastorius, Inc. and Gerencia 360 Publishing, Inc. against Spotify
- The ongoing Flo & Eddie/The Turtles class action cases against Sirius XM and Pandora in federal court in California, New York and Florida seeking damages for the misappropriation and unlawful exploitation of pre-1972 sound recordings
- Litigation on behalf of choreographer Wade Robson and James Safechuck for childhood sexual abuse claims against companies affiliated with Michael Jackson, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures
- Litigation on behalf of iconic music producer Quincy Jones against MJJ Productions and Sony for royalties in connection with recordings he produced on the Thriller and Bad albums
- Litigation against CBS for back-end profits from the hit series Hawaii Five-0
- Litigation against CBS involving claims for copyright infringement of an iconic musical theme
- Litigation on behalf of acclaimed singer/song-writer Aimee Mann against MediaNet for copyright infringement of her musical compositions by MediaNet’s music service through limited downloads, and interactive and non-interactive streams
- Litigation on behalf of writers of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra for copyright infringement claims against Paramount Pictures on behalf of the writers of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra for misappropriation in connection with the $350,000,000 grossing sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Litigation for reversion of copyrights to the songs of rock legend Marc Bolan of T. Rex on behalf of his son, Rolan Bolan
- Won a $10.3 million jury verdict against Los Angeles radio personality Rick Dees on behalf of one of his former radio show partners, the jury finding that Dees and his business manager had acted with “malice and oppression” in diverting profits from “The Rick Dees Dees’ Top 40 Countdown.” The verdict included $7 million in punitive damages.
- Successfully defended movie producer Yoram Globus in the highly publicized MGM-Pathe vs. Giancarlo Parretti and Yoram Globus trial concerning MGM’s merger with Pathe. The trial was covered in all of the Hollywood trade and business media.
- Won a unanimous multi-million dollar jury verdict (along with an undisclosed punitive damage settlement) against Coopers & Lybrand in a breach of fiduciary duty suit arising from charges related to the handling of former 10cc rock star Lol Crème’s business affairs.
- Won a $12.6 million in a whistle blower case against Orinda Healthcorp for Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse violations.
- Won California’s fifth highest jury verdict in 1999 on a counter-claim in federal court when, defending former Monkee Michael Nesmith, Mr. Gradstein obtained a unanimous $47 million fraud verdict against PBS on Nesmith’s for compensatory and punitive damages in a dispute over a home-video distribution arrangement. The verdict included an over $30 million in punitive damages.
- Obtained a $3.4 million settlement from a prominent Beverly Hills entertainment law firm on behalf of the film producer of Morgan’s Ferry, when the case settled mid-trial before a jury.
- Successfully obtained a federal court injunction trial for copyright infringement on behalf of PlayMedia Systems against AOL, enjoining the manufacturing and distribution of AOL’s then current version of the AOL client software. The case settled confidentially days later.
- On behalf of songwriters Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Ann and Nancy Wilson of “Heart,” Hanson and Chrysalis Music Publishing, Mr. Gradstein sued MP3.com for $40-million in damages stemming from alleged copyright infringement arising from the copying of Mr. Gradstein’s clients’ songs by online music provider MP3.com, and subsequently sued Universal Music Group for their share of the MP3.com’s settlement with Universal, settling confidentially.
- Successfully obtained a federal court injunction against Adobe Systems on behalf of Trio Systems, a software database developer. The U.S. District Court found that Adobe had violated terms of its licenses with Trio Systems, and the case settled confidentially days later.
- Represented the feature film production company MPH Entertainment in its claim for a share of profits for the hit indie feature film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a film which grossed over $ 600 million. The legal action against HBO and Gold Circle Films was resolved in less than 2-1/2 months.
- Successfully represented Death Row Records and its principal shareholder in an action against Coopers & Lybrand, LLP, alleging that Coopers & Lybrand, LLP had breached its fiduciary duties and committed professional negligence in connection with its financial management of the plaintiffs. The case settled confidentially.
- Obtained a $65 million settlement with co-counsel in a class action case on behalf of music composers against ABC television for copyright infringement.
- Obtained unanimous jury verdict against the estate of famed band leader Artie Shaw on behalf of actress Evelyn Keyes (the younger sister in Gone With The Wind and star of numerous other films), winning half of his estate based on a disputed contract to make a will.
- Successfully defended Paris Hilton in a widely publicized defamation case and was successful in confidentially settling the case on favorable terms.
- Favorably settled a suit brought against New Line Cinema on behalf of actors in the motion picture “Lord of the Rings.”
J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law (1979) Law Review
B.A., University of South Florida (1976) Cum laude
1979 State Bar of California
1979 U.S. District Court for Central District of California 1979 United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
Beverly Hills Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association