Honors & Awards

  • “Rising Star” in Media & Entertainment, Law360, 2021
  • “The Best Lawyers in America,” 2020-Present
  • “Rising Star,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2016-Present
  • “Top 40 Under 40,” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, 2019
  • “Top 100: Southern California Rising Stars,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2018

Education

  • Amherst College (Anthropology; French, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Publisher, The Amherst Student) B.A., 2006
  • University of Chicago Law School (with honors; Joseph Henry Beale Prize for outstanding performance in Legal Research and Writing; Bell, Boyd & Lloyd Prize for outstanding appellate brief writing; Comment Editor, University of Chicago Law Review; Exoneration Project), J.D., 2010

Nick Soltman is an experienced litigator who specializes in complex entertainment industry disputes in the areas of contract, profit participation, and “vertical integration” (including streaming), and business and intellectual property litigation raising copyright, trademark, partnership, fraud, rights of privacy, and defamation issues. He represents producers, directors, writers, showrunners, professional athletes, fashion designers, production and distribution companies, personal and business managers, and talent agencies. In those cases, as well as personal injury matters, Nick has conducted direct and cross examinations of expert and fact witnesses in a jury trial, multiple arbitrations, and numerous depositions. He has also briefed and argued case dispositive motions in the trial courts and the appellate courts. Nick has been named a Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in Southern California for the last five years; since 2018, he has also been named to the “Up-and-Coming 100” list. He was also featured in Variety’s 2019 “Legal Impact Report,” The Daily Journal’s 2019 “Top 40 Under 40” list in California, and the 2020 and 2021 editions of “Best Lawyers in America.”

Nick graduated, with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 2010, where he served as a comment editor on the Law Review and represented the wrongfully convicted in post-conviction proceedings as part of the school’s Exoneration Project. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2006 with a BA in Anthropology and French, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Between college and law school, he spent a year as one of 47 full-time, live-in tutors at the MATCH Charter School in Boston.

Before entering into private practice, Nick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra Ikuta of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is also active in the community: in addition to six years as a volunteer big brother for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, he is involved in various local children’s non-profits with his wife Megan, an attorney at the Children’s Law Center in Monterey Park.

  • California State Bar (member)
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California; Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Clerk to the Honorable Sandra Ikuta of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2010–2011)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles
  • “What About Me (Too)?” The Case for Admitting Evidence of Discrimination Against Non-Parties,” University of Chicago Law Review (76 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1875 (2009))

Representative Matters

Film & Television Profit Participants Litigation

Nick represents a wide swath of clients in the entertainment, media, digital, and technologies businesses, including motion picture and television talent, creators of television and streaming series, reality and unscripted television stars and producers, and rights holders in the entertainment and media businesses. He:

  • Obtained $179 million arbitration award, the largest arbitration award ever issued in a profit participation dispute, representing the executive producer of the hit television series Bones in a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Television, the Fox network and affiliated companies. The plaintiff alleged that 20th Century Fox Television cheated him out of his share of profits from the show, and that network executives threatened to cancel the series if he did not accept a lower licensing fee from Fox. The case settled pending appeal of the award.
  • Represents a director/producer whose film was released on a studio’s affiliated streaming service rather than theatrically, as contemplated by the parties.
  • Represents the producer of the television miniseries It in lawsuit against Warner Brothers arising out of the record breaking two-part film adaptation.
  • Represents the creator, writer, and executive producer of the worldwide hit television series The Walking Dead, and leading talent agency CAA, in a suit against the AMC television network. The plaintiffs allege that AMC produced the show and licensed it for broadcast to itself for license fees well below market rates, resulting in diminished profits for the show and its participants. The suit is currently pending in New York.
  • Represented the producer of the classic “Spaghetti Westerns” The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and For a Few Dollars More in a lawsuit against MGM for unpaid profits. The case settled shortly after Nick and his partner Chad Fitzgerald defeated MGM’s summary judgment motion and two of its key motions in limine.
  • Represented the producer of a hit action film in post-audit arbitration against a mini-major distributor. The parties resolved their dispute amicably thereafter.
  • Represented the creator, writer, and star of a long-running basic cable drama in an arbitration against the indie studio. The case settled on favorable terms at the outset of arbitration.
  • Advises the producers and creators of numerous past and still-running hit television series in connection with the ongoing audits of their respective studios.

The Kardashian and Jenner Sisters, and Kris Jenner

Nick has represented Kim Kardashian West, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and their manager and mother, Kris Jenner, in a variety of public and confidential matters, including litigation in state and federal court, and arbitration. He:

  • Represents Kourtney, Kim and Khloe in three related state and federal actions and an arbitration filed in Los Angeles involving a hedge fund and its beauty company subsidiary concerning the operation of a cosmetics company to whom the Kardashians licensed their names and images. After two weeks of live testimony, the three-member arbitration panel entered their Final Award, which (i) awarded the Kardashians approximately $12 million in damages and pre- and post-judgment interest; and (ii) held that the hedge fund should take nothing on its $180 million in damages claims. The Kardashians thereafter filed their motion to confirm the arbitration award, which was granted by the Los Angeles Superior Court. The appeal will be argued in 2021.
  • Represented Kim and her company Kimsaprincess, Inc. in an action filed in federal court in Los Angeles for copyright and trademark infringement, and violation of her right of publicity, against an Alabama doctor and his trade association for using her name and likeness without authorization in order to promote the so-called “Vampire Facial” procedure. The action was favorably resolved, including the entry of a stipulated Judgment and permanent injunction against defendants. (Kimsaprincess, Inc. and Kim Kardashian West v. Charles Runels, et al, USDC Case No. 2:19-cv-10415-CBM.)
  • Represented Kendall in an adversary action filed by the Fyre Festival Bankruptcy Trustee, which sought to recover the promotional fee earned by and paid to Kendall. The matter was resolved and the action dismissed. (In re: Fyre Festival LLC, USBK Case No. 1:19-ap-01347.)
  • Represented Kendall in an action filed in federal court in Los Angeles against the creator and distributor of a laser treatment product for trademark infringement and violation of Kendall’s right of publicity, arising out of defendant’s unauthorized use of Kendall’s name and likeness to advertise defendant’s laser products. (Kendall Jenner, Inc., et al v. Cutera, Inc., USDC Case No. 2:16-cv-00936-JAK.) The defendant paid a substantial settlement before discovery.

Personal Injury

  • Represented former NFL running back Reggie Bush in his lawsuit against the St. Louis Rams over a knee injury that he suffered in the team’s stadium. After the team removed the case to federal court and moved to compel the case to arbitration, Nick won a motion to remand the case to state court. In the jury trial, along with colleague Shawn Holley and local counsel, he briefed and argued numerous motions in limine, put on Mr. Bush’s damages expert, cross-examined the Rams’ only fact witness, and successfully moved to exclude the Rams’ so-called “football contracts expert.” Ultimately, Mr. Bush was awarded $12.5 million in trial, including $7.5 million in punitives. The case settled on favorable terms shortly thereafter. In response to this case, the most recent NFL collective bargaining agreement added a provision (Art. 39, section 11) specifically requiring non-injury grievances (i.e., arbitration) of claims that an NFL Stadium is not in compliance with the Wall Padding and Non-Slip Surfaces Policy adopted after Mr. Bush’s injury.
  • Represented a model injured on a photo shoot at a Hollywood advertising agency. The case settled on favorable terms shortly after Nick and his colleague Alan Kossoff defeated the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

Additional Representative Media, Entertainment and Intellectual Property Matters

  • Represented comedian Daniel Tosh in negotiations with Viacom related to the winding up of his long-running hit comedy series Tosh.0. In the series finale, Mr. Tosh thanked the firm (among others) for making him a “wealthy comedian.”
  • Represents the producer of a docuseries in its dispute with the production company that put on a high-profile pay-per-view event.
  • Represented the owner and creator of the Free City brand in a trade dress action against the brand’s former manufacturer.
  • Represented the producer of an independent film in a film financing dispute with his co-producers.

Honors & Awards

  • “Rising Star” in Media & Entertainment, Law360, 2021
  • “The Best Lawyers in America,” 2020-Present
  • “Rising Star,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2016-Present
  • “Top 40 Under 40,” Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, 2019
  • “Top 100: Southern California Rising Stars,” Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, 2018

Education

  • Amherst College (Anthropology; French, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Publisher, The Amherst Student) B.A., 2006
  • University of Chicago Law School (with honors; Joseph Henry Beale Prize for outstanding performance in Legal Research and Writing; Bell, Boyd & Lloyd Prize for outstanding appellate brief writing; Comment Editor, University of Chicago Law Review; Exoneration Project), J.D., 2010

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