Bruce Wessel has extensive litigation experience, including more than 25 trials in state and federal courts and before U.S. and international arbitration tribunals. Bruce was a member of the successful trial team for the defendant in a breach of fiduciary duty class action, tried in Los Angeles County Superior Court, named one of the top 20 defense verdicts for 2016 by the Daily Journal. His trials and arbitrations also include matters for plaintiffs and claimants where he has obtained favorable rulings for individuals and companies.

Prior to law school, Bruce ran two successful congressional campaigns and worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the State of Connecticut legislature. As a lawyer, he has represented elected officials in redistricting litigation and has handled constitutional challenges to state statutes and ballot measures. He was counsel for the California State Senate in a three-judge district court proceeding Cano v. Davis, 211 F. Supp. 2d 1208 (C.D. Cal. 2002).

Bruce serves on two firm committees that oversee retirement plan assets. He has also served as an appointed member of the Pension Advisory Committee for the City of Santa Monica.

Experience

  • Successfully defended a large public company in a week-long patent jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. 
  • Prevailed in an arbitration and valuation proceeding for three entertainment executives, recovering $90 million. 
  • Established a First Amendment defense to state business tort claims in a precedent-setting U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for a studio in an idea submission claim in a California superior court and prevailed on appeal in a case of first impression. 
  • Confirmed license rights in an international arbitration proceeding involving disputes among a licensor and two licensees.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of commercial litigation, First Amendment law and media law every year since 2007 and has been named the “Lawyer of the Year” in 2018 and 2020

Publications

  • "The Role of Dictionaries in Last Term's High Court Decisions," Law360 (July 12, 2019)
  • "Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster" (Book Review), Los Angeles Lawyer (January 2019)
  • "Preliminary Injunctions Enforcing Contractual Nondisparagement Clauses," Communications Lawyer (Fall 2017)
  • "Proposition 59: the Citizens United Initiative," Daily Journal (October 5, 2016)
  • "What You Need to Know About the Defend Trade Secrets Act," The Recorder (April 27, 2016)
  • "Senate Gridlock Causes En Banc Uncertainty," The Recorder (July 12, 2013)
  • "Libel Claims Against Lawyers for Statements Made to the Press," Communications Lawyer (Fall 1998)

Community Involvement

  • Member, board of directors and the Executive Committee of the Coro Foundation for Southern California
  • Member, board of directors of Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Early-stage investor in three Southern California startups: Tuition.io, HelloTech and TennantBase

Education

Yale University (J.D., 1984)

Occidental College (M.A., Urban Studies, 1984)

Coro Foundation Fellow (1977-1978)

Trinity College (B.A., 1977), with honors; Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • California, 1984
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits
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