From his battles with Madonna over the “Material Girl” brand to protecting artists and inventors, Variety Magazine has named Peter a Top Intellectual Property and Entertainment lawyer. Peter has taught at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, co-authored a book on advocacy, and hosts the national Curious Lawyer CLE series where he provides intellectual property and advocacy education programs. His recent law book Burning Bridges has been an Amazon Top Seller and has received widespread acclaim for its account of the Cold War persecution-by-prosecution of labor leader Harry Bridges.
Peter has litigated scores of high-profile federal appeals before the federal and state courts, across patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret appeals. Peter regularly consults in preparing others for their appellate oral arguments and is Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the University of California Irvine, School of Law where he teaches advocacy. A few are here:
- NeurOptics, Inc. v. Brightlamp, 2023 US App. Lexis 3781 (Fed. Cir. 2023) (prevailed in patent appeal involving pupillometer patent technology).
- EVOX Prods. v. Chrome Data Sols., 2023 US App. Lexis 3293 (9th Cir. 2023) (argued copyright appeal involving copyright public display and best evidence rule issues).
- Mavrix Photographs LLC v. LiveJournal, 853 F.3d 1020 (9th Cir. 2017) (prevailed establishing copyright DMCA 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 involving originality and joint author issues).
- Randall May Int’l v. Dynasty Music, 556 Fed Appx 960 (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 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., 642 Fed Appx 17 (2d Cir. 2016) (prevailed in copyright alter ego standards appeal).
Media and Speaking Engagements
- Peter has been interviewed on NPR stations, Pacifica radio, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters News, American Lawyer Magazine, and a host of other national radio programs.
- Peter has been interviewed by famed NBC anchor Colleen Williams and has been interviewed for his legal opinions by CBS’s Emmy-award winning anchor Catherine Anaya.
Community Work and Awards
A recognized SuperLawyer™, Peter was a Founding Director of the Rock School Scholarship, a 501(c)(3) supported by renowned rock musicians and dedicated to helping children learn music. Peter is a Past President of the Federal Bar Association of Orange County (2011) and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County from 2001-2005. Peter was awarded the Public Counsel “Advocate of the Year” Award and the USC Paul Davis Memorial Award for appellate work.
Books & Articles
“Nancy Sinatra, Bette Midler and Rick Astley: Where State Right of Publicity Voice Protections Collide with Federal IP Laws” (Orange County Lawyer, May 2023).
“Should There Be A National Right of Publicity Law?” (Orange County Lawyer, November 2022)
“To Prove, To Please, To Move…Timeless Principles of Legal Advocacy” (Cicero’s Forum LLC 2021), book by Chris Arledge and Peter Afrasiabi.
“The Ninth Circuit’s Copyright Crisis of 2020″(Orange County Lawyer, July 2021)
“Where External Reality Collides with Trial” (California Litigation Journal, June 2018)
“Burning Bridges: America’s 20-Year Crusade to Deport Labor Leader Harry Bridges” (Thirlmere Books, 2017)
“Copyrights, Patents & Trademarks” (University of California, annual Chapter CEB)
“From San Francisco’s Most Bitter Disqualification Battle Ever to Race-Based Disqualification Motions: Ethics Implications” (Orange County Lawyer, May 2017)
“Immigration’s Collision with Labor in the Legal Arena: How the Legal System Failed Harry Bridges and Why It Matters Today” (Labor Law Journal, June 2017)
“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, 2012)
“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 2009)
“The Growing Circuit Split Over Whether Premature Notices of Appeal Preserve Appellate Review” (The Federal Lawyer, July 2008)