Rob Klieger

Robert N.
Klieger

Partner

Partner

Education
  • Stanford Law School (J.D., 1997) Order of the Coif
  • Hamilton College (A.B., 1994, Government) summa cum laude, with Distinction; Phi Beta Kappa
Clerkships
  • Hon. Cynthia Holcomb Hall, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Hon. Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Admissions
  • California
  • United States Supreme Court
“A very good litigator.”
—Chambers
“A very strong technical lawyer.”
—Chambers
“An excellent lawyer with considerable experience handling trademark, copyright and profit participation disputes.”
—Chambers
“This guy’s good...”
—Vanity Fair

Robert N. Klieger has earned a national reputation as a go-to litigator and trusted advisor to media and entertainment clients.

Mr. Klieger resolves high-stakes disputes for clients in the film, television, and video game industries. Fortune 500 companies and leading executives alike value his exceptional courtroom skills and successful outcomes in a broad array of issues, including intellectual property, contract, profit participation, business torts, and licensing disputes. Mr. Klieger has been repeatedly named to Variety’s Legal Impact Report, The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers list, and Law360’s MVP list, and ranked by Chambers USA.

Notably, Mr. Klieger served as lead counsel for media mogul Sumner M. Redstone in one of the most dramatic and high-stakes entertainment industry showdowns in decades. The battle for control of Mr. Redstone’s $40 billion media empire played out in a series of high-profile legal proceedings in the courts of Delaware, Massachusetts, and California that were front-page news in mainstream and industry publications, including FortuneThe Hollywood ReporterThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Variety. Through across-the-board victories in these actions, Mr. Klieger helped restore Mr. Redstone’s control of Viacom and cleared the way for sweeping changes in the management and strategic direction of the company.

In addition to his litigation engagements, Mr. Klieger regularly advises film studios, broadcast and cable television networks, and video game publishers in connection with a wide variety of intellectual property, privacy, and contract issues. He is frequently consulted in connection with the negotiation and drafting of complex business transactions involving film production and financing and in connection with the production and distribution of reality television programming. Mr. Klieger has also advised high-ranking executives in connection with non-solicitation and non-competition provisions in employment agreements in the financial services and other industries.

Experience

Prevailed in a $40 billion battle for corporate control of Viacom on behalf of controlling shareholder and Chairman Emeritus Sumner M. Redstone, which was waged in the courts of Delaware, Massachusetts, and California. (See “Viacom Saga Comes to End With Redstones Emerging Victorious,” Bloomberg; “Redstone Family Prevails in Fight for Viacom,” The Hollywood Reporter)

Won a unanimous defense verdict for Electronic Arts in a jury trial on a copyright claim related to The Sims 3, the third installment in the company’s best-selling series of life simulation games. Also won summary judgment for Electronic Arts on a companion claim for alleged trade secret misappropriation and secured affirmance of that ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Obtained dismissal of a dozen subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company from multimillion-dollar trademark infringement and unfair competition action involving Toy Story 3. Recently argued the appeal in this matter before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Represented media mogul Sumner M. Redstone in defending against a high-profile challenge to his mental capacity filed by former companion Manuela Herzer. Obtained dismissal of Ms. Herzer’s challenge after just one day of trial.

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Obtained dismissal for Sumner M. Redstone of a derivative action filed by a Viacom shareholder in Delaware Chancery Court which sought to claw back compensation Mr. Redstone earned in connection with his service on Viacom’s board of directors.

Obtained a confidential settlement for Electronic Arts in a high-profile dispute related to the hiring of the development team responsible for the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare video game franchise.

Successfully defended Electronic Arts in trademark infringement and right of publicity actions related to EA SPORTS Active, Fight Night, Medal of Honor, and Mirror’s Edge video games.

Obtained confidential settlements for Paramount Pictures in multimillion-dollar contract and business tort actions involving complex domestic and international film financing transactions.

Successfully represented Nickelodeon, MTV Networks, and CBS in defending against copyright and idea submission claims related to various scripted and reality television series.

Obtained a favorable settlement for Showtime Networks in an action alleging Lanham Act and right of publicity violations in connection with misattribution of a motion picture.

Obtained a confidential settlement for an Oscar-winning filmmaker in an accounting and profit participation dispute related to The Lord of the Rings.

Obtained a favorable settlement for three leading film studios in a multibillion-dollar dispute related to the licensing and distribution of pay television services in Australia.

Successfully defended the founders and franchisor of the world-famous improv comedy clubs in trademark infringement and breach of contract disputes

Recognitions

  • Named to “Legal Impact Report,” Variety (2017-2018)
  • “Power Lawyers List,” The Hollywood Reporter (2017-present)
  • “MVP of the Year,” Law360 (2016)
  • Media & Entertainment: Litigation, Chambers USA
  • Litigation: General Commercial, Chambers USA
  • Entertainment Litigation Attorney of the Year, Benchmark Litigation

Activities

Board of Directors, CBS Corporation

Speaking engagements on emerging issues in entertainment and intellectual property law

Insights

Publications include a leading article on trademark dilution, which has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and numerous federal courts of appeal, as well as “Best Practices for Effective Representation of Clients in Litigating—and Avoiding—Entertainment Disputes,” a chapter in Inside the Minds: Litigating Media and Entertainment Matters.