John Stephens is chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Group, vice chair of the Sports and Entertainment Practice Group, and leader of the firm’s Los Angeles office and west coast operations.
Standing at the forefront of data privacy, digital marketing, new media, and entertainment-related legal issues for over two decades, John is known for his wide-ranging practice, covering data and cyber risks, intellectual property licensing and related transactions, specialty insurance coverage and litigation, and media and entertainment transactions and litigation, including matters involving live music festivals.
John represents media entities, national and worldwide entertainment and sports companies, magazines, television and radio stations, production companies, entertainment technology companies, computer technology companies, online content and software providers, and talent. He has also served clients in manufacturing and the financial and insurance industries.
Clients across numerous industries — from media, entertainment, and technology to retail, health care, and finance — turn to John for counsel on data protection and privacy laws.
His experience covers the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, breach of notification laws, and other federal and state laws.
An International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Certified Information Privacy Professional in the U.S. (CIPP/US), John’s practice includes helping companies to draft or revise privacy policies to comply with new laws and regulations and to adapt to advancing technologies, patterns of use, and standard business operations.
He also advises companies on the data privacy and security implications of mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, and other arrangements.
John trains clients in data breach preparedness, preventive measures, and response protocols, and performs privacy and security assessments to help companies improve data management and privacy practices and incident response.
When breaches do occur, he provides rapid and globally minded incident response counsel under attorney-client privilege. He is adept at determining the source and scope of a breach, identifying related risks, assessing regulatory compliance requirements, managing notifications and call centers, and conducting after-action review.
His clients have included management consulting companies, health care companies, and large multinational retail companies.
In the intellectual property realm, John’s practice covers litigation of copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and false advertising matters. He counsels clients on protecting intellectual property rights and handles intellectual property transactions, including software and product licenses, rights-sharing agreements, and merchandising and branding deals.
With extensive experience in the various complex legal aspects of live entertainment events, both nationally and internationally, John also brings to his clients a deep understanding of First Amendment issues, defamation, and related matters.
In addition, John provides insurers with comprehensive representation encompassing all aspects of coverage. His experience includes defense, preparation of coverage opinions, claims investigation, litigation, and trial.
He counsels insurers on claims-handling procedures, loss prevention, and other issues, and leverages his extensive background in cyber risk and emerging technologies to assist with drafting media and data privacy policies.
John earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Rutgers University, graduating in the top five percent of his class and starting his career as an auditor at a “Big Five” accounting firm.
He returned to Rutgers for his law degree, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and serving as editor of the Rutgers Law Journal. He went on to serve as clerk for the Hon. Stanley Brottman in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
A prominent leader in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley region as well as in the larger legal community, John has served in governance roles in numerous legal, business, and civic organizations.
He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC), teaching classes in Media, First Amendment Issues, and Privacy at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.
- California Bar Association
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Los Angeles Copyright Society
- American Bar Association
- National LGBT Bar Association, Board Member, 2015
- Lambda Legal
- International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
- Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1995
- Rutgers University, B.S., 1990
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