Richard B. Kendall’s practice focuses on complex litigation, and his experience spans more than three decades, several continents, and leading judicial and arbitration forums worldwide. A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Kendall has prevailed in every one of the dozens of civil trials and arbitrations in which he has served as lead counsel representing both the defense and plaintiff sides.
Over time, he has become the go-to litigator and trial counsel for his clients, some of whom, like Paramount and MTV, that he has represented for more than 25 years. Mr. Kendall has argued and successfully resolved sophisticated, contentious, and unprecedented challenges to the First Amendment and the rights of privacy and publicity.
He has argued on preemption of state consumer laws and environmental claims against the military before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Kendall also litigated asset confiscation and recovery claims that were connected to the fall of Saigon and the overthrow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
His courtroom background includes serving as lead trial counsel in dozens of trials and appeals in the federal and state courts, including two arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Hollywood Reporter has recognized him as a Power Lawyer multiple years. The prestigious Chambers & Partners legal ranking organization quoted a client in 2016 as saying that Mr. Kendall is one of the West Coast’s “strongest litigators.”
As a commercial litigator and an advisor on transactional matters, Mr. Kendall represents major entertainment studios, leading media companies, securities, banking, and financial institutions, and foreign governments in complex, sensitive, and high-stakes disputes and negotiations. Current significant areas of his counsel include distribution rights battles, copyright, financing, and profit-participation disputes.
- University of Southern California School of Law, J.D., 1979
- Southern California Law Review, Executive Notes Editor
- Wesleyan University, B.A., 1974
- Won summary judgment for Paramount Pictures Corporation in a $40 million lawsuit filed by Middle Pictures, Inc. (MPI) over the distribution of the film, Middle Men.
- Representing a prominent talent agency in a $55 million lawsuit brought by producers and film financiers of motion picture projects alleging misrepresentations, fraud, and breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Advised and counseled clients on the use and infringement of trademarks related to numerous entertainment properties and brand-name retail goods.
- Represented several of the largest national media companies in litigation with cities over fees and restrictions related to outdoor advertising.
- Provided defense in a consumer class action that involved the video game industry and involved allegations of the use of false advertising and the distribution of defective products.Defended an environmental activist website against claims of a prominent celebrity that a photograph of her personal residence infringed on her privacy rights and misappropriated her publicity rights.
- Represented most of the major film studios and producers of TV programs in litigation with both international free and pay TV broadcasters, as well as firm-processing and video-distribution vendors.
- Prevailed at trial for HR-MWC Partners, LLC, in a multi-million-dollar dispute arising from the failure of a land-development project in Tianjin, China.
- Represented two U.S-based international banks against claims that were brought by Vietnamese citizens who held deposits in those banks when Saigon fell and the banks’ assets had been confiscated by the Communist government.
- Conducted internal and international investigations into frauds committed by executives who were employed by domestic and multinational companies, and defended the resulting securities claims that were brought by shareholders or government entities.
- Represented China National Coal Development Corp. in a dispute regarding the dissolution of a coal-mining joint venture in northeastern China.
- Represented the Republic of the Philippines in worldwide actions to recover assets, in the aftermath of the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos that the Marcos family had secreted in the U.S., France, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
Bar and Court Admissions:
- California, 1979
- U.S. District Courts
- Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
- Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
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