Experience List
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Admitted to Practice

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2001
  • California, 1983
  • New York, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1974

Henry J. Tashman

Henry J. Tashman is the founding partner of DWT's Los Angeles litigation, media and intellectual property practices. He currently is chair of the Los Angeles complex litigation group, which has a website at LosingisNeverCostEffective.com.

By thinking "outside of the box" and devising novel winning procedural and substantive arguments, Henry consistently obtains exceptional results in virtually all areas of complex litigation, for example:

  • By suing the sole shareholder of three TV stations for copyright infringement for broadcasts after licenses with the stations had been terminated for nonpayment, Henry was able to pierce the stations’ corporate veils and obtain a $31.6 million jury verdict in copyright statutory damages against the shareholder—over seven times the balance due on the stations’ licenses;

  • Obtaining an award of over $200 million in contempt fines against appellant and dismissal under the "fugitive disentitlement doctrine" of his appeals-by-obtaining injunctive relief that (as Henry predicted) appellant disobeyed;

  • By arguing that that the jury’s disbelief of a defense witness does not establish the contrary facts, we obtained a complete reversal on appeal of a $3.8 million jury verdict in a whistle blower/wrongful termination suit brought by a senior executive against a major bank and national mortgage lender. (This was the first time this argument was made in a California wrongful termination case);

  • Successfully challenged a video games publisher's contractual right to recoup over $15 million in development advances by claiming that its conduct violated the antitrust laws, breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violated California's general prohibition against agreements not to compete;

  • Using the "target jurisdiction" doctrine (typically used in defamation cases) to obtain personal jurisdiction for successful copyright infringement and tortious interference claims in excess of $60 million;

  • Using federal statutory interpleader, contract and tortious interference claims to permit U.S state and federal courts to declare worldwide ownership of intellectual property rights worth over $25 million and end foreign infringement of those rights;

  • Recovered property taken by a former employee (and forced the resignation of the employee's counsel) by asserting that the settlement demands of that counsel constituted extortion;

  • Based on a profit participant's challenge of, and interference with, the studio's rights to distribute several motion pictures, we obtained the participant's forfeiture of over $6 million in participations generated from the worldwide distribution of those pictures;

  • Making new law, obtained dismissal of antitrust claims against six motion picture studios because plaintiff "recklessly" disobeyed the court's discovery orders, even if plaintiff's conduct was not "willful."

Henry has worked on over 15 trials, ranging from two days to three months in length. Favorable verdicts were entered in nearly all of these trials. Henry won all of the trials where he served as “first chair," obtaining verdicts totaling over $600 million.

Henry also has worked on over 50 appellate matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court (arguing against now Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.); arguing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; the California Court of Appeal; the New York State Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) and the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

Henry approaches his cases with creativity, tenacity and passion which has paid off in the results he has obtained for his clients. As one of Henry's partner's declared: "Henry is sui generis."

Representative Experience

Winston v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, el al.

Obtained a complete reversal of a $3.8 million jury verdict against Countrywide and Bank of American in a "whistle blower/wrongful termination" case brought by a senior Countrywide executive. The Court of Appeal ruled that Winston had failed to connect any retaliation by Countrywide to the Bank’s subsequent decision not to hire him when it took over Countrywide. The Court held – for the first time in a California wrongful termination case – that the jury’s disbelief of the testimony of Bank's decision maker that he knew nothing of the alleged events at Countrywide could not support the contrary inference or establish a retaliatory motive. (2013)

Activision Entertainment Holdings, Inc. v. Double Fine Productions, Inc.

Prevented video game publisher Activision from recovering over $15 million in development advances paid to Henry’s client, Double Fine Productions, and prevented Activision from enjoining the release of Brütal Legend—a video game voiced by Jack Black and designed by Double Fine’s iconic chief game designer, Tim Schafer.  For his success in the lawsuit, Henry was given "Special Thanks Credit" on the game. (2009)

Lucasfilm Ltd. v. Ainsworth, et al.

Drafted expert opinion at the request of defendants on U.S. intellectual property issues with respect to a 2008 lawsuit in the United Kingdom High Court alleging infringement of copyrights and trademarks in costumes for the movie 'Star Wars.' (2008)

Guichard v. Mandalay Pictures, LLC

Represented the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and all of its members (except MGM). Obtained dismissal of a claim by an independent motion picture producer that the MPAA's Motion Picture Title Registration Bureau violated federal and California antitrust laws and California Business & Professions Code § 17200. 2005 WL 2007883 (N.D. Cal. 2005)

Israel Bio Engineering Project v. Amgen

Co-counsel for intervenor Yeda Research & Development Co. (the marketing arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science) in a patent infringement action involving the multibillion-dollar drug Enbrel. Yeda successfully moved for summary judgment dismissing the action on the ground that the plaintiff lacked standing to assert patent infringement because it did not have rights from all of the patent holders. CV 02-6860 R860RGK (C.D. Cal. 2005)

Laparade v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. & Ivanova v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Representation of Columbia Pictures in a six-party dispute regarding worldwide ownership (including ownership of restored U.S. copyrights under Section 401A) of 39 classic Spanish-language motion pictures starring the iconic Mexican actor Cantinflas. Columbia Pictures prevailed after a three-week trial and on appeal. The Supreme Court denied certiorari notwithstanding the support of the Government of Mexico as amicus curiae. 217 F.R.D. 501 (CDCA. 2003); 2004 WL 2487633 (9th Cir. Nov. 5, 2004), cert. denied, 545 U.S. 1115 (2005); 387 F.3rd 1099 (9th Cir. 2004), cert. denied 545 U.S. 1159 (2005). 387 F.3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2005)

Ivanova v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Representation of Columbia Pictures in a six-party dispute regarding ownership of 39 classic Spanish-language motion pictures starring the Mexican actor Cantinflas. Columbia Pictures prevailed after a three-week trial; affirmed on appeal. 217 F.R.D. 501 (C.D.Cal. 2003), 387 F.3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2004), & 2004 WL 2487633 (9th Cir. Nov. 5, 2004) Read more

Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc.

Obtained for Columbia Pictures Television a $31.6 million jury verdict in copyright statutory damages for willful vicarious and contributory copyright infringement by the sole shareholder of three television stations which continued to broadcast Columbia’s programs after Columbia terminated the program licenses for nonpayment. Representation included two trials, three appeals to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court (arguing against now Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.). Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc., 523 U.S. 340 (1998); Columbia Pictures Television v. Krypton Broadcasting of Birmingham, Inc., 106 F.3d 284 (9th Cir. 1997); 152 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 1998); 259 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2001), cert. denied 534 U.S. 1127 (U.S. 2002)

Conrad v. Action Products

Defended educational toy manufacturer against right of publicity claims by former Apollo astronauts to enjoin use of their names and likenesses. (1999)

Gold v. Gold Realty

Successfully represented minority shareholders seeking to involuntarily dissolve three closely held, family-owned corporations holding real estate and other assets worth $70 million to $100 million. Representation included a three-month trial and proceedings in the Court of Appeal and briefing in the California Supreme Court. SC 028708 (L.A. Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 1999)

Holliday v. Cable News Network (CNN)

Defended CNN against copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit brought by the videographer of the infamous home video depicting Rodney King's beating by Los Angeles police; obtained summary judgment dismissing claim. (1994) Read more

Frank Schaffer Publications, Inc. v. The Lyons Group Partnerships, LP

Successfully defended Barney (the purple and green dinosaur) in a suit to enjoin the distribution of videotapes containing 30 Barney & Friends episodes with a retail value over $400 million. Plaintiff sought the injunction based upon the use of plaintiff's copyrighted posters as set dressing on the walls of the Barney classroom set. 15 NO. 10 Ent. L. Rep. 9. (C.D. Cal. 1993)

Professional Real Estate Investors v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Co-counsel for Columbia Pictures, obtaining and successfully defending on appeal a summary judgment ruling that Columbia’s unsuccessful but objectively meritorious copyright infringement lawsuit (brought with other studios against a potential competitor) was protected by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine and therefore did not violate the antitrust laws. 508 U.S. 49 (1993); Columbia Pictures v. Professional Real Estate, 944 F.2d 1525 (9th Cir. 1991)

Buffalo Broadcasting v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)*

Represented a class of over 700 independent TV stations in an antitrust class action challenging ASCAP's and BMI's blanket TV music public performance license. 546 F. Supp. 274 (S.D.N.Y. 1982)

International Service Agencies v. O'Shea *

State regulations for charitable deductions from state employees' salaries by client the United Way of New York were void. 104 Misc.2d 1071 (1981)

United States v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.*

Pay TV joint venture among client Columbia Pictures, and Fox, Paramount and Getty Oil enjoined for antitrust violations. 507 F. Supp. 412 (S.D.N.Y. 1980)

Cine Forty-Second Street Theatre Corp. v. Allied Artists Pictures Corp.*

Obtained dismissal for discovery abuses of an antitrust suit brought by a motion picture theatre owner against five major and two non-major studios. 602 F.2d 1062 (2d Cir. 1979)

Allegaert v. Perot*

Representation of Ross Perot and affiliated parties in connection with Perot’s $70 million investment in the 1970s in the now-defunct Wall Street firm DuPont, Glore Forgan:

  • 466 F. Supp. 516 (SDNY 1978) (no setoff of pre-bankruptcy claims against bankruptcy trustee);
  • 78 F.R.D. 427 (SDNY 1978) (securities fraud complaint allegations sufficient);
  • 548 F.2d 432 (2d Cir.1977); cert. denied, 432 U.S. 910 (1977) (bankruptcy trustee not bound by pre-bankruptcy arbitration agreement);
  • 565 F.2d 246 (2d Cir.1977); 434 F. Supp. 790 (SDNY 1977) (Perot’s attorneys not disqualified despite prior related representation of plaintiff).

ABKCO Industries, Inc. v. Apple Films, Inc.*

Profit participations from Beatles' film 'Let It Be' establish quasi in rem jurisdiction in New York. 39 N.Y. 2d 670 (1976)
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Partner, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, Los Angeles
  • Senior Vice President/Deputy General Counsel, Legal Affairs, Columbia Pictures, New York, N.Y., and Los Angeles
  • Associate, Weil Gotshal & Manges, New York, N.Y 

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Entertainment Law by Best Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Selected to "Southern California Super Lawyers" in Intellectual Property Litigation, Entertainment & Sports and Antitrust Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2004-2011