Daniel Scott Schecter is a litigation partner in the Century City office of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Schecter currently serves in his second term as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation & Trial Department, and previously served as Vice Chair of the firm's Global Litigation & Trial Department. His practice focuses on litigating and trying to verdict complex business, intellectual property, technology, bankruptcy, and entertainment disputes. He has tried jury and bench trials in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts, and before major arbitration bodies domestically and internationally, and has taken cases to verdict or decision with more than US$3 billion in claimed damages at stake.
Mr. Schecter has represented clients across industries in a wide range of matters involving trade secret misappropriation; software development and implementation; partnership, corporate control, and other contract disputes; trademark, trade dress, copyright, and patent infringement; false advertising and unfair competition; motion picture and television distribution; and class action defense. Mr. Schecter also has represented a number of clients in disputes arising out of merger and acquisition transactions and financings, insolvency proceedings, and fiduciary duty and other claims against officers and directors.
Before joining Latham in 1994, Mr. Schecter was a law clerk for Senior Judge Irving Hill of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Mr. Schecter has been recognized in a number of publications for his trial and litigation work, including; Litigator of the Week (Runner Up) by The American Lawyer; a Top Intellectual Property Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal; one of the Most Influential Intellectual Property Attorneys in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal; a top 50 intellectual property attorney under age 45 by IP Law & Business; one of the top 10 copyright lawyers in California by the Daily Journal; a leading litigator in the Euromoney Institutional Investor Benchmark: Litigation 2008; an Angeleno To Know In Intellectual Property Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal; and a Southern California Super Lawyer in Business and Intellectual Property Litigation for 2019 and 2020 (with over ten annual recognitions as a Super Lawyer).
Mr. Schecter’s notable victories as a trial attorney and in other prominent matters include:
- Served as first chair on a Latham trial team that won a complete victory after a six-week state court jury trial in Southern California on four consolidated cases, arising from a dispute over ownership and control of a successful digitally native, e-commerce company, which helped pioneer online fashion branding. The jury awarded Latham’s clients over US$36 million in compensatory and punitive damages on claims including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, and breach of contract. The jury resolved key and heavily contested ownership and control disputes in favor of Latham’s clients, in particular rejecting the Defendant’s claim to majority ownership and finding that Latham’s client enjoyed joint and equal control of a company valued at nearly US$400 million during trial by the Defendant’s expert. Mr. Schecter was recognized as a Runner Up for Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer for this trial result.
- Leading a Latham team that won a complete defense verdict in a federal jury trial in Southern California. Mr. Schecter and Latham represented a major Dubai-based bank facing a US$1.6 billion claim by US fintech company for trade secret misappropriation and fraud. The plaintiff, InfoSpan, asserted that Emirates NBD Bank – one of the largest banks in the Middle East – had misappropriated a proprietary payment card platform, allegedly developed to serve unbanked laborers and provide them with a cost-effective solution for international remittances to their home countries. Latham took over the case from another firm prior to trial, and against nationally-regarded trial counsel, succeeded in establishing that Emirates NBD had properly terminated its relationship with InfoSpan, due to InfoSpan’s complete failure to deliver a viable product and that InfoSpan did not have any of the trade secrets it claimed. InfoSpan had sought more than US$1.6 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Conducted successful oral argument to Ninth Circuit on appeal. Latham’s victory was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the Top Verdicts of 2016.
- A complete defense award for Live Nation in a matter tried to the ICC International Court of Arbitration, in an action arising from an agreement to develop and implement a ticketing software platform for Live Nation’s domestic and international promotion and venue management businesses. Following a lengthy arbitration, Mr. Schecter and the Latham team established that CTS Eventim failed to meet its obligations to deliver a software system suitable for the North American, British, and certain European markets, defeated Eventim’s claims and request for US$920 million in damages, and obtained an award for Live Nation of monies wrongly retained by CTS Eventim.
- A complete victory as lead counsel in an arbitration for Canadian computer software vendors Constellation Software and Harris Computer, in a breach of contract action brought by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) (the second largest school district in the US), alleging that Harris failed to deliver an Integrated Student Information Software system. Mr. Schecter led the trial team which won a complete rejection of LAUSD’s claim for more than US$60 million in damages, and won an award in favor of Harris of more than US$10 million on counterclaims.
- A complete defense verdict at jury trial, representing the owners of a robotic game competition in federal court in the Southern District of New York against claims of tortious interference brought by a competitor.
- A complete defense verdict for major venture capital firms and individual directors at trial in bankruptcy court in California over a failed DSL Internet provider, on claims under bankruptcy law and state law for fraudulent transfer, preferential transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, unlawful dividend, and negligence. Mr. Schecter first-chaired this bitterly contested matter which spanned over 13 years and included a five-week bench trial in the Bankruptcy Court resulting in a complete defense verdict for Latham’s clients, multiple successful summary judgment motions, an award of Rule 11 sanctions against opposing counsel, and affirmance by the District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Conducted successful oral argument to Ninth Circuit on appeal.
- A complete defense award and multi-million dollar attorney fee award for FTI Consulting in an arbitrated trade secrets and copyright dispute over game theory software used with high-stakes auctions.
- A complete defense award for a global consulting firm against claims seeking US$300 million in damages arising out of an Oracle ERP software implementation.
- A multi-million dollar award and permanent injunction for a major motion picture producer in an arbitration with foreign distributors. Mr. Schecter obtained an order reverting ownership to key foreign distribution rights for 31 motion pictures, including titles such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, and Slingblade.
- Successfully opposing class certification and winning summary judgment for the National Football League Players Association in litigation asserting that NFLPA failed to generate licensing opportunities for retired football players. Conducted successful oral argument to Ninth Circuit on appeal.
- Winning summary judgment for Debtor Franchise Pictures in a matter litigated in Bankruptcy Court with Morgan Creek Productions over copyright mortgages in numerous motion pictures.