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Dan Laidman

LaidmanDan
Associate
T213.633.6886
F213.633.6899

Dan Laidman focuses his practice on media and First Amendment litigation matters, including records access, newsgathering, prior restraint, defamation, privacy, copyright, and trademark issues. Prior to practicing law, Dan worked as a newspaper reporter.

Representative Experience

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. Los Angeles Times

Successfully defended against an effort by the union representing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies to restrain the Los Angeles Times from publishing information from Sheriff’s Department background investigative files. The court granted The Times’ SLAPP Motion after previously rejecting the union’s application for a temporary restraining order; the union has appealed. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2013; Cal. App. Ongoing)

Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

Represented a UCLA Professor in a California Public Records Act lawsuit to obtain access to public records of a high school teacher disciplined by the SMMUSD. 202 Cal. App. 4th 1250 (2012)

David Boorstein v. Men’s Journal, LLC

Defended magazine publisher in one of the first wave of privacy class actions under California's "Shine the Light" law—which relates to the practice of businesses sharing personal information about their customers so third parties can directly market to them. The plaintiff claimed that the Men’s Journal website Privacy Policy did not satisfy certain notice requirements in the statute. Won dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage based upon plaintiff's failure to allege any cognizable injury, and obtained precedential decisions that have been cited in other "Shine the Light" cases. After Plaintiff appealed, appellate briefing was completed, and the court announced it would rule without oral argument, case was resolved and the appeal was dismissed. (C.D. Cal.; 9th Cir. 2011-2014)

Coleman v. Brown

Represented the Los Angeles Times in a successful emergency petition to the Ninth Circuit to vacate a prior restraint in a high-profile lawsuit about California’s treatment of mentally ill prisoners. The trial judge allowed videos to be shown in open court depicting guards using force against inmates, but barred anyone who viewed them from publicly disclosing the names of individuals shown in the videos. A unanimous Ninth Circuit panel vacated the prior restraint. (9th Cir. 2013)

Crews v. Willows Unified Sch. Dist.

Represented media amici in matter of first impression under the Public Records Act resulting in published opinion reversing trial court order awarding attorney fees against public records requester and in favor of public agency unsuccessfully sued for withholding public records. 217 Cal. App. 4th 1368 (2013)

In re Marriage of McCourt

Represented the Los Angeles Times in successfully opposing a motion to seal court records related to the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Times intervened in the divorce case of the team’s former owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, to oppose an effort by the new owner to seal a document describing Frank McCourt’s ongoing financial arrangement with the team. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied the motion and ordered the record unsealed. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2013)

Los Angeles Times Communications, LLC v. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission

Represented the Los Angeles Times in a lawsuit against the joint state-county-city agency that operates the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge found that the Commission violated the open meetings law by holding numerous improper closed sessions related to a deal to transfer long-term control of the Coliseum to the University of Southern California, and that the agency violated the Public Records Act by withholding and delaying disclosure of numerous records requested by The Times. The judge ordered the Commission to produce the documents and to record its closed sessions for three years, in addition to other injunctive and declaratory relief. The Commission elected not to appeal the ruling, and agreed to pay The Times more than $340,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. (Cal. Super. Ct. 2013)

Brownmark Films v. Comedy Partners

Successfully defended Comedy Central, South Park Digital Studios, and other defendants against a copyright-infringement claim arising from "South Park's" parody of the Internet viral video "What What in the Butt." The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, finding that "South Park's" use of the plaintiffs' video was protected as a fair use under Section 107 of the Copyright Act. The court also granted the defendants’ fee motion. Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal to the 7th Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s "well-reasoned and delightful opinion," and unequivocally held that "South Park's" parody was a fair use. Importantly, the 7th Circuit instructed that the fair-use defense may be decided without discovery in appropriate cases – something that other circuits have resisted – enabling content creators to avoid long and burdensome litigation. (E.D. Wis., 7th Cir. 2012)

Additional Qualifications

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Pasadena, Calif., 2010-2011
  • Summer Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine, Los Angeles, 2009
  • Extern, National Public Radio, Washington, D.C., 2009
  • Law Clerk, Housing Rights Center, Los Angeles, 2008