Bobby Schwartz Named CCBA Entertainment and Media Litigation Lawyer of the Year

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February 2017

Irell & Manella partner Robert M. ("Bobby") Schwartz has been named the 2017 Entertainment and Media Litigation Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association (CCBA). The award will be presented at the CCBA's 49th Annual Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City on March 30, 2017.

Schwartz is a nationally recognized litigator known for his representation of clients in the media and entertainment industries. Over his 32-year career, he has made a name for himself successfully litigating high-stakes disputes, particularly class actions. Schwartz's diverse areas of practice also include intellectual property, corporate governance, First Amendment, and business disputes.

Schwartz has successfully represented some of the country’s most influential companies in matters of far-reaching significance. Most recently, he delivered a huge victory to CBS in a closely watched copyright class action over the broadcaster’s airing of music recorded before 1972. Other defendants had paid out huge settlements to settle similar claims, but Schwartz came up with a novel argument that convinced the judge to grant summary judgment for CBS. In a landmark privacy case, he defeated a class action brought against Hulu LLC in one of the first cases seeking to apply the 1998 Video Privacy Protection Act to digital video streaming services. Schwartz represented the plaintiffs in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., a copyright infringement suit against several peer-to-peer file sharing companies, which culminated in a landmark unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision adopting the “active inducement” theory of contributory copyright infringement. Other major matters include representing the owners of the iconic James Bond intellectual property in copyright cases, as well as the creators of some of the most successful video games franchises in history in a high-profile dispute with their employer.

Bobby's work has garnered him numerous accolades. Every year since 2007, The Hollywood Reporter named him a "Power Lawyer," one of the 100 most influential entertainment attorneys in the nation. Bobby is regularly featured as a leading litigator in Variety's Legal Impact Report. Chambers USA ranks him in the top tier of media and entertainment litigators in California. Bobby was recognized as one of "75 Leading IP Litigators" in California by the Daily Journal in 2010 and 2016.

Bobby is the author of four chapters in the 2011 Oxford University Press treatise Entertainment Litigation and the 2014 revision Entertainment Law & Litigation concerning copyright, trademark and unfair competition, and law of ideas and contracts.

Outside his practice, Schwartz serves on the Bet Tzedek Board of Directors. Bet Tzedek, one of the largest public interest law firms in Los Angeles, provides free, comprehensive legal services for low-income individuals and families. Schwartz earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1984 and his B.S. from University of California at Los Angeles in 1981.

For more on the event, please click here.