When Adam Levin was asked by the press how he planned to prepare for the Nicollette Sheridan vs. ABC: 'Desperate Housewives’ trial, he responded “I am going to do yoga.” A self-proclaimed yogi, Adam lives his life following the eightfold path defined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. These eight steps serve as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They offer us a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.
Adam applies these principles to both his personal life and his career. He believes that by strengthening his body and attaining good health, he is able to, in turn, help others, give back to the community, and be a good leader. Dealing with the everyday stresses of being an aggressive litigator, yoga enables Adam to reboot his brain, start fresh, and approach a case from a new and creative perspective.
Adam frequently travels the globe attending yoga retreats, and coaching others. Above all else, he continues to show the world he is a fighter and will not take “it can’t be done” for an answer. His most recent victory was achieved in Iceland, where he proved to skeptics that doing a handstand on top of a glacier was an absolutely attainable feat.
Adam Levin represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including serving as lead counsel in numerous employment discrimination, wrongful termination and trade secret/unfair competition cases, labor arbitrations, National Labor Relations Board hearings, and other administrative proceedings. Counsels clients on compliance with FMLA, ADA, Title VII, FEHA, FLSA, ERISA, NLRA and state employment laws. He negotiates and drafts executive employment agreements, and also represents clients in litigation involving right of publicity, invasion of privacy and related claims involving models, celebrities and performing artists.
Represented ABC, Touchstone Pictures and “Desperate Housewives” executive producer Marc Cherry against claims of wrongful termination, battery and unlawful retaliation brought by former “Housewives” star Nicollette Sheridan. Mr. Levin obtained dismissal of all claims and all defendants, except for a single claim against Touchstone on which the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Mr. Levin represented the defendants on appeal and in subsequent trial court proceedings, ultimately obtaining dismissal of Sheridan’s remaining claims resulting in a total victory for the defendants.
Successfully represented Warner Bros. Television Production, an independent production company and several individual writers in a high-profile, wrongful termination and harassment suit brought by a former writer’s assistant for the hit TV show “Friends.” After obtaining summary judgement and an award of $415,000 in attorneys’ fees, reversed by the appellate court, argued the case of Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Production before the California Supreme Court, resulting in a unanimous decision in favor of our clients. Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Production, 38 Cal. 4th 264 (2006). Watch Oral Arguments Before California State Supreme Court - February 14, 2006.
Represents Cable News Network against claims made by a former producer who alleged that his termination stemmed from race discrimination. Adam successfully used California’s anti-SLAPP statue to persuade an LA Superior Court judge to dismiss the claims and rule that the news organization’s editorial decision to terminate the former producer was protected by the First Amendment. The appellate court reversed the Superior Court’s finding in a split decision (2-1), but in March 2017, the California Supreme Court granted petition for review. On May 7, 2019, Adam argued before the Supreme Court, who reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal in part and remanded the case for further proceedings on whether Wilson has put forward sufficient evidence of minimal merit to proceed. Watch Oral Arguments Before California State Supreme Court – May 7, 2019.
Obtained dismissal of a complaint brought over allegedly discriminatory casting decisions on The Bachelor. Adopting Adam’s view, the court ruled that the network’s choices were protected free expression.
- Successfully defended talent agency Todd Shemarya Artists in a discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination action. After trying the case to a Los Angeles Superior Court for almost two weeks, the jury deliberated for a mere 30 minutes before returning a verdict for our client on all causes of action.
- Successfully defended a major record company in a discrimination action by an aspiring recording artist. Obtained dismissal of the action with prejudice, which the Ninth Circuit affirmed on appeal. Flores v. Elektra Records, 124 Fed. Appx. 502, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 2346 (9th Cir. 2005).
Successfully defended a major oil and gas company in a sex discrimination and retaliation action by an employee. Obtained dismissal of the complaint, which the Ninth Circuit affirmed on appeal. Kinney v. Occidental Oil & Gas Corp., 109 Fed. Appx. 135, 136 (9th Cir. 2004).
Successfully defended Outback Pictures in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination action by a former personal assistant. Obtained summary judgement for our client, which the appellate court affirmed on appeal.
- Chief negotiator on numerous entertainment industry collective bargaining agreements.
- Recently represented a national clothing retailer in two purported wage and hour class actions in California. Both settled on favorable terms.
Successfully represented a national clothing retailer in their appeal of the District Court’s order directing it to comply with an administrative subpoena from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in respect to a sexual harassment claim by a former employee. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s decision to enforce the subpoena.
Defended Move, Inc. against an unlawful employment practices claim alleging employment discrimination based on race brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Successfully obtained summary judgement for our client.
- Defended client in breach of contract action by former employee, and obtained judgment for defendant at trial. Rosen v. Homestore, Inc., Los Angeles Superior Court.
- Handled numerous trade secret/unfair competition cases, including obtaining a temporary restraining order for an employer enjoining a former employee from working for a competitor.
- Represented a publicly traded, online real estate company in a purported wage and hour class action in California.
- Handled threatened class action against major aerospace corporation, including defeating attempt to certify a class, obtaining summary judgment, and obtaining affirmance by the U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
- Acted as in-house counsel for major motion picture studios (1996-1998; 2001-2002).
Honors & Awards
- "Top Labor and Employment Lawyers," Daily Journal (2020)
- "Lawyer of the Year" Honoree, Best Lawyers in America© (2020)
- "Employment Law Trailblazer," National Law Journal (2019)
- "Legal Impact Report," Variety (2018 and 2020-2021)
- "Leading Labor & Employment Lawyers in California," Chambers USA (2011-2021)
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of:
- Employment Law Management (2011-2021)
- Labor Law - Management (2011-2021)
- Litigation - Labor and Employment (2011-2021)
- "Lawdragon 500 Leading Corporate Employment Lawyers," Lawdragon (2020-2021)
- "Top 100 Power Lawyers," The Hollywood Reporter (2011-2014, 2021)
- "Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys," Human Resource Executive (2012-2019)
- "Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers of 2014”, National Law Journal
- "Top Labor & Employment Lawyers in California," The Daily Journal (2011)
- "40 Up & Comer Employment Attorneys," Human Resource Executive (2011)
- "Top 5% of lawyers in Southern California," Southern California Super Lawyers (2004-2021)
- Award for Employment, California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) (2007)
- "The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys," Lawdragon (2009)
- "Top 20 Lawyers Under Age 40 in California," Daily Journal (2005)
- "New Stars New Worlds," a survey of top lawyers throughout the United States, Lawdragon 500
- AV® Preeminent™ Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Professional, Business and civic Affiliations
- Co-chair, 26th Annual Entertainment Industry Labor and Employment Law Conference (December 2015)
- MSK Governing Board
- Legal Committee, Employers Group
- Theatre L.A. (Member, Board of Governors)
- Co-chair, 11th Annual Entertainment Industry Labor and Employment Law Conference (December 2000)
- Co-chair, 10th Annual Entertainment Industry Labor and Employment Law Conference (December 1999)
Other Career Experience
- Law Clerk to the Hon. A. Andrew Hauk, USDC, Central District of California (1991-1992)
- Extern to United States Court of Appeals Judge J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1990)
- Intern to the Hon. Gwyneth Dunwoody, Member of Parliament, UK (1987)
- May 26, 2021
- Chambers USA, May 20, 2021
- April 8, 2021
- January 21, 2021
- August 20, 2020
- July 15, 2020
- July 14, 2020
- April 30, 2020
- Chambers USA , April 23, 2020
- December 6, 2019
- September 24, 2019
- August 15, 2019
- July 23, 2019
- June 28, 2019
- April 25, 2019
- March 15, 2019
- March 1, 2019
- January 30, 2019
- September 20, 2018
- August 15, 2018
- May 3, 2018
- April 17, 2018
- William Cole and Adam Levin Named to Human Resource Executive's List of Most Powerful Employment AttorneysApril 13, 2018
- March 5, 2018
- January 18, 2018
- October 12, 2017
- September 28, 2017
- August 15, 2017
- William Cole and Adam Levin Recognized in Human Resource Executive List of Most Powerful Employment AttorneysJuly 17, 2017
- May 26, 2017
- January 20, 2017
- January 20, 2017
- December 2016
- November 1, 2016
- August 22, 2016
- May 31, 2016
- April 5, 2016
- January 20, 2016
- July 2015
- August 2015
- William Cole and Adam Levin Recognized in Lawdragon's 2015 Guide to Most Powerful Employment AttorneysJune 18, 2015
- June 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- December 2014
- November 21, 2014
- The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 Recognizes 21 Attorneys from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp and Names 2 Attorneys “Lawyer of the Year”August 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- January 2014
- August 15, 2013
- May 2013
- January 2013
- August 24, 2012
- July 18, 2012
- June 25, 2012
- June 18, 2012
- January 23, 2012
- August 31, 2011
- July 14, 2011
- July 13, 2011
- June 20, 2011
- June 10, 2011
- January 25, 2011
- August 19, 2010
- May 3, 2010
- April 14, 2010
- January 26, 2010
- August 3, 2009
- Bill Cole and Adam Levin Ranked Among the Nation's "Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" by Human Resource ExecutiveMay 15, 2009
- January 30, 2009
- January 30, 2008
- March 1, 2007
- February 15, 2007
- January 20, 2006
- March 21, 2005
- Labor and Employment Litigation in the Entertainment Industries, Entertainment LitigationOxford University Press, 2014
- "So This Guy Walks Into a Bar . . . .": Dirty Jokes and Vulgar Language in the Workplace After the California Supreme Court’s “Friends” DecisionCalifornia Labor & Employment Law Review, August 2006
- Labor and Employment Litigation in the Entertainment Industries, Entertainment Litigation2011
- Entertainment Litigation (Oxford University Press, 2011), 2011
- June 2006
- The Unions AriseJuly 2005
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Writers and Actors Navigate Hollywood's Rough Roads to Employment During Labor Strikes2001
- October 1994
Events & Speaking Engagements
- March 29, 2021
- October 17, 2020
- April 19, 2018
- Can I Quote You? - The Impact of California's and New York City's Salary Inquiry Bans on Talent DealsNovember 6, 2017
- December 9, 2015
- Interviewed on NPR/KCRW regarding Hollywood's work environment and what does, and doesn't, constitute harassment, abuse and discriminationMay 2010
- December 5, 2003
- California, 1991
- U.S. District Court
- Central District of California, 1991
- Northern District of California, 1993
- Southern District of California, 1993
- Eastern District of California, 1997
- U.S. Court of Appeal, 1997
- Ninth Circuit
University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1991; magna cum laude
Member, San Diego Law Review
Claremont McKenna College, B.A., 1988
Distinguished Scholar; National Political Science Honor Society