Variety Magazine has named him a Top Intellectual Property and Entertainment lawyer. From battles with Madonna over the “Material Girl” brand to protecting artists in copyright and trademark disputes, Peter has been a legal commentator on NBC and CBS, recognized as a “Super Lawyer” (an honor less than 5% of lawyers in Southern California receive), and was selected by the University of California to author the annual intellectual property piece, Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks.
Peter has particular expertise in appellate litigation. He is Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the University of California Irvine, School of Law and previously founded the Appellate Litigation Clinic at Chapman University School of Law. He has litigated scores of high-profile federal appeals before the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, personally arguing over two dozen with a high success rate. Peter regularly provides CLE on appellate and intellectual property law to various bar groups, Westlaw and other video providers, and his “Winning on Appeal” CLE has received national acclaim from lawyers.
Peter has secured published opinions in many noteworthy federal and state cases. A sampling is here:
- Mavrix Photographs LLC v. LiveJournal, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. 2017) (prevailed establishing copyright DMCA and liability standards for liability of online businesses monetizing others’ content).
- Network Signatures v. State Farm, 731 F.3d 1239 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (prevailed in patent inequitable conduct appeal).
- Direct Technologies v. Electronic Arts, 863 F.3d 1059 (9th Cir. 2017) (prevailed in copyright appeal in case involving Copyright Act originality and joint author issues).
- Randall May Int’l v. Dynasty Music, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2014) (prevailed in patent fee appeal; secured hundreds of thousands in fees for client).
- Mavrix Photo, Inc. v. Brand Technologies, Inc., 647 F.3d 1218 (9th Cir. 2011) (prevailed in copyright personal jurisdiction appeal involving personal jurisdiction over modern internet businesses).
- DTS v. City of San Diego et al., 2016 WL 1407739 (4th Dist., Cal. Ct. App. 2016) (prevailed in securing trade secret protection for under seal filings and setting correct standard for protecting designated trade secrets; secured reversal of joint venture claim).
- Gutierrez ex rel. Gutierrez v. United States, 2009 WL 784266 (9th Cir. 2009) (successfully defended as part of appellate team the largest Federal Tort Claim Act award in history, over $54,000,000).
- Betty Harris Clemons v. Sony Music et al., __ F.3d __ (2d Cir. 2016) (prevailed in copyright alter ego standards appeal)
- Crow Irvine #2 v. Winthrop California Investors Limited Partnership, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 644 (4th Dist., Cal. Ct. App. 2002) (prevailed in business dissolution and termination dispute).
Media and Speaking Engagements
Peter regularly speaks on intellectual property issues. A sampling includes:
- Speaking on copyright for musicians at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, California Lawyers for the Arts, and the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California.
- Peter has been interviewed by famed NBC anchor Colleen Williams.
- Peter has been interviewed for his legal opinions by CBS’s Emmy-award winning anchor Catherine Anaya, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters News, American Lawyer Magazine, and the ABA.
- Speaking at the famed Bill Handel on the Law events, where Peter has presented on copyright, trademark, internet, patent and trade secret law to the business community.
- Speaking to various bar associations around the country on copyright termination-reversion law and federal appellate issues.
Board, Government, and Community Work
Peter is a Founding Director of the Rock School Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping children in financial need attend Rock Music Schools and an organization that has been supported by renowned rock musicians. In 2010-11, Peter was the President of the Federal Bar Association of Orange County, and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2005. Peter was a member of the Board Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County from 2001-2005, and a Board Member of the Democratic Foundation of Orange County from 2004 through 2009.
Peter was awarded the Public Counsel “Advocate of the Year” Award for his efforts in federal immigration litigation. In 2006, Peter was awarded the USC Paul Davis Memorial Award by the Public Interest Legal Foundation for his appellate litigation work, and in 2009 received special recognition awards from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for his federal pro bono efforts.
“Where First Amendment Internet Anonymity Rights Collide with Copyright” (California Litigation Journal, California State Bar, April 2015)
“Basic Fairness” (California Litigation Journal, California State Bar December 2013)
“Lost Children“ (Orange County Lawyer Magazine, July 2012)
“Show Trials” (Envelope Books, book published May 2012)
“Copyrights, Patents & Trademarks” (Continuing Education of the Bar, annual Chapter)
“What Estate Planners Need to Know About Copyright” (Estate Planning Magazine, March 2010)
“Superman’s Latest Episode: The Rights of Authors and their Families to Terminate a Copyright Grant and Recapture the Copyright” (Orange County Lawyer, September 15, 2009)
“The Growing Circuit Split Over Whether Premature Notices of Appeal Preserve Appellate Review.“(The Federal Lawyer, July 2008)
“Private Enforcement of Government Patents Under the Bayh-Dole Act: Standing.” (Orange County Federal Bar Association, July 2007)