Rob Ellison is a member of the Litigation & Trial Department and the Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice. He advises clients in the areas of entertainment, sports, and media litigation, general commercial litigation, and trade secrets litigation.
Mr. Ellison has successfully represented clients ranging from entertainers and high-net-worth individuals to leading internet, entertainment, and emerging companies, as well as sports franchises. He has substantial trial experience and routinely leads his teams in all facets of the discovery process. He has extensive experience arguing motions, taking and defending high-profile depositions, and conducting internal investigations, including many related to #MeToo claims and other allegations of misconduct. Mr. Ellison also regularly consults on Entertainment, Sports & Media transactional matters with an emphasis on limiting clients’ litigation exposure.
Since joining the firm, Mr. Ellison has also actively participated in the firm’s pro bono activities, ranging from helping Holocaust survivors secure reparations from the German government to advising the Humane Society of the United States regarding comments to the federal government concerning proposed federal shark finning regulations. Mr. Ellison also recently represented the Marin Humane Society in a successful appeal related to the seizure of badly neglected horses and, following remand by the California Court of Appeal, first-chaired the subsequent three-day, evidentiary hearing before an administrative hearing officer who upheld the seizures by Mr. Ellison’s client. For their efforts, Mr. Ellison and his team were recently honored as the Marin Humane Society’s Humanitarians of the Year.
Mr. Ellison currently serves on the firm’s Training & Career Enhancement Committee and Ethics Committee, and he previously served on the firm’s Recruiting Committee.
Mr. Ellison’s recent representations include the following:
- Co-lead counsel on behalf of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes in a week-long arbitration before the NHL Commissioner arising out of an employment dispute with the Coyotes' former General Manager and resulting in a resounding victory.
- Second chair in successful arbitration arising out of high stakes real estate partnership dispute involving US$200 million of commercial real estate properties. After week-long arbitration, clients awarded specific performance and millions of dollars in prevailing party attorneys’ fees.
- Kjersti Flaa, et al. v. Hollywood Foreign Press Ass’n, et al., C.D. Cal. (2021): On behalf of clients Hollywood Foreign Press Association and several of its members, obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of sweeping antitrust, fair procedure, and declaratory relief claims brought by two member applicants.
- Major league baseball franchise in sweeping, high-profile grand jury investigation led by US Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office (D.C.) related to the recruitment of international baseball players.
- Major league baseball franchise in dispute with television network partner.
- Madison Square Garden Sports & Entertainment in a high-profile litigation arising out of the City of Inglewood’s agreement to convey property to be used as the site for a new arena competitive with the MSG Forum in Inglewood, California.
- Media company and its executive against claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment by former employee.
- Auto club and insurance company against trade secret misappropriation claims by a competitor.
- Live Nation and Ticketmaster in a sprawling, high profile anti-trust and trade secret case, which settled on the eve of trial.
- Plaintiff craigslist, Inc. in a web scraping case with roughly 20 causes of action, including copyright, trademark, CFAA, and breach of contract in the Northern District of California. craigslist obtained substantial monetary judgments and stipulated permanent injunctions against defendants. In its annual Top Verdicts of 2015 feature, the Daily Journal selected this settlement as a Top Plaintiffs’ Verdicts by Impact in California.
- Regularly advises world-famous landscape photographer and related companies concerning their copyright and trademark rights, and in nearly every aspect of their businesses.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of Grammy-nominated and world famous recording artist against premises liability and negligence claims by an individual, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
- Defended Medivation, a biopharmaceutical company, in nine-figure breach of contract action related to sales of blockbuster prostate cancer drug.
- Major airline against copyright infringement claims by a music publishing company, filed in the Central District of California.
- Film studios in connection with DMCA section 512(h) subpoenas related to infringements of the studios’ copyright rights.
- In re Estate of Saley, Los Angeles Sup. Ct.; Case No. KP011186: Successfully represented City of Hope National Medical Center and its employee in a four week jury trial resulting in a complete defense victory.
- Chamat v. Latham & Watkins LLP, San Diego Sup. Ct.; Case No. 37-2011-00078536: Secured dismissal on behalf of Latham & Watkins LLP of an abuse of process claim against the firm by a percipient witness in a separate and prior litigation. The dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court denied a petition for review.
- Riverside County Sup. Ct.; Case No. INC 1205391: Intervened and won summary judgment on behalf of secured senior lender on claims by junior lender against borrower, stemming from borrower's default on more than US$200 million in credit obligations.
- Westfield Litigation, Placer County Sup. Ct.; Case Nos. SCV0032793 and SCV0032793: Represented defendants against US$25 million+ damage claims by major retailer tenants of Roseville Galleria, and prosecuted related cross-claims, stemming from 2010 arson at the shopping center.
- A major league sports franchise and its employees in a federal grand jury investigation related to immigration issues.
- A major league sports franchise and its employees in a federal grand jury investigation of former ownership of the franchise.
- A major television studio in a profit participation contract dispute related to a hit television series.