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Admitted to Practice

  • New York, 2011

Yonatan S. Berkovits

Yonatan Berkovits represents clients in the entertainment and media industries in a wide variety of matters. In addition to litigation, he provides counseling and production legal services to television production companies and networks, including Showtime and A&E. Productions include Showtime’s “Billions” and “Six” on The History Channel. He also advises television, magazine, newspaper and book-publishing clients on pre-broadcast and pre-publication legal issues. Before practicing law, Yonatan worked as a screenwriter for television and film.

Representative Experience

New York Public Radio v. Office of the Governor

Representing New York Public Radio in connection with the state denying multiple requests to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and several state agencies under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47-1A-1.1 et seq. (“OPRA”), and the common law right to access for various documents, including documents relating to “Bridgegate” and the dispensation of federal funds for relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. NYPR appealed 12 of the denied requests to the Superior Court. The parties settled as to eight of those requests on favorable terms to NYPR, with the government either providing documents or searching and confirming they had none; NYPR obtaining access to documents under two of the requests; and being denied access as to two. Court awarded attorney’s fees as to the eight settled requests, in amounts cumulatively exceeding $83,000. On the state’s appeal, the Appellate Division reversed in part and remanded in part as to the Superior Court’s grant of two requests; proceedings on remand and appeal are ongoing. (N.J. Super. Ct. and App. Div. Ongoing)

Pre-publication review for print media

Provide pre-publication review for newspapers and magazines, including In Touch, Life & Style, US Weekly and the New York Post, and legal vetting of manuscripts for book publishing clients. (Ongoing)

VHT Studios Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc. et al.

Representing VHT in a copyright infringement suit for the unauthorized copying of thousands of photographic images owned by VHT on Zillow’s "Digs" home design site and on properties not actively listed for sale on Zillow’s central listing website. (W.D. Wash. Ongoing)

Klapper v. Viacom, et al.

Represented defendants in libel claims arising out of reality television show "Mob Wives." Dismissed as barred by appearance release and attorney fees awarded. Dismissal affirmed by 2nd Department, motion for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals pending. (2nd Dep’t, N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

Nizewitz v. Viacom, et al.

Representing defendants in right of publicity and other claims arising out of reality television show "Dating Naked." Dismissed as barred by appearance release and attorney fees awarded. On appeal to First Department. (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

Pras Michel v. NYP Holdings, Inc.

Obtained dismissal on behalf of the New York Post and two of its investigative reporters in defamation suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida brought by rapper Pras Michel, founding member of the Fugees, arising from a report on that he “bailed on” and was a “no-show” at a 9/11 benefit concert to benefit his own foundation. District Court found the article to be non-defamatory opinion. (S.D. Fla. Case no. 14-62649-civ; March 4, 2015) 11th Circuit affirmed dismissal of complaint on actual malice rather than opinion grounds, and remanded so that plaintiff may amend complaint to plead actual malice (11th Cir. March 7, 2016) (Ongoing)

Johnson v., et al.

Defended online retailer in an action alleging infringement of copyright in a cult horror film. Case successfully settled. (S.D.N.Y. 2014)

Picciano v.

Defended the owner of an online dating service, OKCupid, in an action alleging negligence and false advertising. After OKCupid filed motion to dismiss on Section 230 grounds, plaintiff withdrew the action. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014)

Rosner v.

Defended Amazon against a claim of defamation based on a user review on an author’s Amazon book page. Dismissal affirmed and leave to appeal denied. (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., Ct. App. 2014-2016)

Munchkin Inc. v. Playtex Products LLC

Represented Playtex in false advertising jury trial involving advertising superiority claims as to the odor control capabilities of the parties' respective diaper pails. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2011-2013)

Additional Qualifications

  • Associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, New York, N.Y., 2010-2011
  • Summer Associate, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, Atlanta, 2008