Daniel Scott Schecter is a litigation partner in the Century City office of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Schecter previously served as Vice Chair of the firm's Global Litigation & Trial Department and Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation & Trial Department. His practice focuses on litigating and trying to verdict intellectual property, technology and entertainment cases, and complex business disputes. He has prevailed in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations taken to verdict or decision with more than US$3 billion in claimed damages at stake.
Mr. Schecter has represented clients in a wide range of matters involving trade secret misappropriation; software development and implementation; trademark, trade dress, copyright, and patent infringement; false advertising and unfair competition; motion picture and television distribution; violation of rights of publicity; and class action defense. Mr. Schecter has also 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 directors.
Mr. Schecter’s clients include motion picture and television studios; major sports franchises; premier technology and e-commerce companies; entertainment and sports labor unions; consumer products companies; and major private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies.
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.
In 2017, Mr. Schecter was named a Top Intellectual Property Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal, and among The Most Influential Intellectual Property Attorneys in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In prior years, he has been recognized by a variety of publications, including: one of the top 50 intellectual property attorneys 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 Intellectual Property Litigation from 2009 to 2017.
Mr. Schecter’s notable victories as a trial attorney and in other prominent matters include:
Led a Latham trial team that won a complete victory after a six-week jury trial 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$20 million in compensatory damages and another US$16.5 million in punitive damages, and also resolved key and heavily contested ownership and control disputes in favor of the firm’s clients – particularly rejecting the Defendant’s claim to majority ownership and finding that Mr. Schecter’s and Latham’s client enjoyed joint and equal control of the valuable company. During two years of bitterly contested litigation, Mr. Schecter and Latham obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction to stabilize the company’s finances, after the Defendant locked the firm’s clients out of the business they had founded and operated jointly with the Defendant in 2008.
Leading a Latham team that won a complete defense verdict in a federal jury trial in Santa Ana, California. Mr. Schecter and Latham represented a major Dubai-based bank facing a US$1.6 billion claim by a 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 had none of the trade secrets it claimed. InfoSpan had sought US$554 million in compensatory damages, plus an additional US$1.1 billion in punitive damages. 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 under the agreement 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 claims – for which LAUSD sought damages of more than US$60 million– and 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 New York against claims of tortious interference brought by a competitor.
- 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 multi-million dollar award and permanent injunction for Miramax in an arbitration with foreign distributors. Miramax also 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.
- 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 complete defense verdict for major venture capital firms at trial in bankruptcy court in California over a failed DSL Internet provider.
- 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.
- Summary judgment for Franchise Pictures in a dispute with Morgan Creek Productions over copyright mortgages in numerous motion pictures.