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. A legal commentator on NBC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal and on national radio programs, Peter is also a Faculty member at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and a recognized “Super Lawyer.” His recent book Burning Bridges has been an Amazon Top Seller and has received widespread acclaim for its account of the serial trials against labor leader Harry Bridges.
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 been profiled by the Daily Journal for his appellate achievements and appellate teaching. 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. Some of Peter’s appeals are here:
- 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 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., 642 Fed Appx 17 (2d Cir. 2016) (prevailed in copyright alter ego standards appeal).
Media and Speaking Engagements
Peter regularly speaks on intellectual property issues:
- 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, discussing current legal issues.
- 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.
- Speaking to various bar associations around the country on copyright termination-reversion law and federal appellate issues.
Community Work and Awards
Peter was 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. Peter was a member of the Board of 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 and the USC Paul Davis Memorial Award for his appellate litigation work.
Books & Articles
“The Ninth Circuit’s Copyright Crisis of 2020″ (Orange County Lawyer, July 2021)
“Where External Reality Collides with Trial” (California Litigation June 2018)
“Burning Bridges: America’s 20-Year Crusade to Deport Labor Leader Harry Bridges” (Thirlmere Books, 2017)
“Copyrights, Patents & Trademarks” (Continuing Education of the Bar, University of California, annual Chapter)
“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)