Rob Ellison is a member of the Litigation & Trial Department and the Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice. He focuses his practice in the areas of entertainment, sports, and media litigation, intellectual property litigation, including trademark, copyright, and trade secrets litigation, and general commercial litigation. He 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 has successfully represented clients ranging from entertainers and high-net-worth individuals to leading internet, entertainment, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as sports franchises. He has extensive experience arguing motions, taking and defending high-profile depositions, and substantial lead-role experience in all facets of the discovery process and all the way through trial.
Mr. Ellison was a lead associate in a high-profile matter for craigslist, Inc., which resulted in substantial monetary judgments and stipulated permanent injunctions against craigslist’s adversaries. In its annual Top Verdicts of 2015 feature, the Daily Journal selected this settlement as a Top Plaintiffs’ Verdicts by Impact in California.
Mr. Ellison also regularly consults on Entertainment, Sports & Media transactional matters with an emphasis on limiting clients’ litigation exposure.
Mr. Ellison’s recent representations include the following:
- 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
Mr. Ellison actively participates in the firm’s pro bono program. Since joining the firm, he has helped Holocaust survivors secure reparations from the German government, advised the Humane Society of the United States regarding comments to the federal government concerning proposed federal shark finning regulations, successfully represented tenants in an unlawful detainer case, and secured an award for a client following a hearing before the Labor Commissioner in a wage and hour claim against the client’s former employer. 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.
While in law school, Mr. Ellison externed for the Civil Division, Appellate Staff of the US Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he most notably co-authored a brief on behalf of the US Department of Health and Human Services in a matter before the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and drafted a brief in opposition to certiorari on behalf of the US Solicitor General’s office in a matter being considered by the US Supreme Court.