Bruce Wessel focuses his practice on representing individuals and private companies in litigation and pre-litigation matters. He has more than 30 years of experience handling matters in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies and arbitration tribunals.

In addition to his commercial litigation background, Bruce has represented elected officials in redistricting litigation and has handled constitutional challenges to state statutes and ballot measures.

Bruce has extensive experience advising on free speech and defamation matters. Best Lawyers named him 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” in Los Angeles for First Amendment Law. His successful representation of Globetrotter Software before the Federal Circuit has been recognized as establishing, for the first time, the connection between the First Amendment and the notification rights of intellectual property owners. 

Experience

  • Prevailed in an arbitration and valuation proceeding for three entertainment executives, recovering more than $90 million.
  • Successfully represented a minority shareholder in a state court breach of fiduciary duty proceeding, winning $6 million.
  • Confirmed license rights for a licensee in an international arbitration proceeding.

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 named “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 Tuition.io, HelloTech, TenantBase and Bamboo Learning

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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