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
“[Y]oung and dynamic .... [a] creative, aggressive litigator.”
—Harper Business
“An excellent lawyer with considerable experience handling trademark, copyright and profit participation disputes.”
—Chambers USA
“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 motion picture, 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 matters, including copyright, trademark, profit participation, licensing, and shareholder derivative suits. Mr. Klieger was named the “Entertainment Litigation Attorney of the Year” for 2019 by Benchmark Litigation and has repeatedly been recognized in The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers list and Variety’s Legal Impact Report, as an “MVP in Entertainment Law” by Law360, and as a leading lawyer in Media and Entertainment and General Commercial Litigation by Chambers & Partners.

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 Fortune, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, The 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 motion picture 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 motion picture licensing and distribution agreements.

Experience

Prevailed in a $40 billion battle for corporate control of Viacom on behalf of controlling shareholder and Chairman Emeritus Sumner Redstone, which was waged in the courts of Delaware, Massachusetts, and California. (See “The King of Content: Sumner Redstone’s Battle for Viacom, CBS, and Everlasting Control of His Media Empire,” Harper Business; “Redstone Family Prevails in Fight for Viacom,” The Hollywood Reporter).

Obtained dismissal for Shari Redstone of federal RICO lawsuit filed by her father’s ex-companion, who had accused Ms. Redstone of having conspired to remove her from her father’s life and estate plan as part of a scheme to seize control of Viacom and CBS. (See “Judge Dismisses Ex-Companion’s Suit Against Sumner Redstone’s Daughter, Grandson,” The Wall Street Journal; “The Muscle Behind Shari Redstone’s War,” Vanity Fair).

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.

Represented Amazon Studios in defending against claims filed by Woody Allen and his production company after Amazon terminated its motion picture deal with Mr. Allen in the wake of the #MeToo movement. (See “Woody Allen Takes Big Hit in $68M Suit Over Amazon Ending Movie Deal,” Deadline).

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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 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Obtained dismissal for Sumner Redstone of derivative actions filed by CBS and Viacom shareholders in Delaware Chancery Court that sought to claw back compensation Mr. Redstone earned in connection with his board service. (See “Chancery Throws Out Challenge to Redstone’s Viacom Pay,” Law360).

Successfully defended Lionsgate and comedian Kevin Hart in a federal trademark infringement action challenging the use of the “Laugh Out Loud” name for their digital comedy venture.

Won summary judgment on behalf of Sears, K Mart, and a footwear manufacturer in a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit related to a logo for a clothing and footwear line.

Obtained a $24 million arbitration award for former executives of The Gores Group, a prominent private equity firm, who were deprived of equity interests they had been granted in portfolio companies held by the firm’s third institutional fund.

Prevailed on behalf of media mogul Sumner Redstone in a high-profile probate trial challenging his mental capacity. Secured affirmance of the ruling on appeal to the California Court of Appeal. (See “Judge dismisses mental competency case against Sumner Redstone,” Los Angeles Times).

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.

Obtained a temporary restraining order for Entertainment One (eOne) entertainment company on the eve of a motion picture premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival.

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

Successfully defended the founders and franchisor of the world-famous Improv Comedy Club in trademark infringement and breach of contract disputes.

Recognitions

  • 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

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.