Leo M. Lichtman is an associate in Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp's Litigation Practice Group. Leo's practice focuses on copyright and other intellectual property and commercial litigation with a particular concentration on entertainment, media, and technology disputes. Leo represents leading businesses and individuals across a number of industries in high-stakes litigation, including music, film and television, visual arts, publishing, sports, and retail goods, and has significant experience both affirmatively protecting his clients’ copyright and trademark rights as well as defending clients against infringement allegations. Leo counsels clients at all stages of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling to trial and appeal.
Prior to joining the firm, Leo was an associate at Oppenheim + Zebrak LLP, where he worked on cutting-edge issues at the intersection of content and technology. While at O+Z, Leo regularly advised content owners with respect to online enforcement of intellectual property, which included designing and implementing anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting enforcement programs and engaging in all aspects of litigation, from instituting an action to final judgment.
- Represented clients Aubrey Drake Graham, p/k/a “Drake,” Universal Music Group, and others in seminal case involving doctrine of fair use in a music copyright infringement case, in which the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for defendants. The appellate court agreed with the trial court that plaintiff’s claim of infringement against Drake’s song “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” (from Drake’s album Nothing Was the Same) for use of a 1982 spoken word piece entitled, “Jimmy Smith Rap,” could not succeed, and was properly dismissed on the ground of fair use.
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of well-known pop group against a company that used their hit song in commercial without authorization.
Represent music industry news websites in connection with copyright infringement claims filed by photographers.
- Successfully represented group of textbook publishers in numerous enforcement actions against operators of websites devoted to online piracy, resulting in damage awards totaling millions of dollars, permanent injunctions, and domain name seizures.
- Member of trial team representing a group of textbook publishers in a complex counterfeiting case, which resulted in a $34.2 million jury verdict for their clients, thought to be one of the largest amounts ever awarded in a textbook-counterfeiting case.
- Drafted amicus brief on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Music Publishers' Association in BMG Rights Mgmt. (US) LLC v. Cox Commc’ns, Inc. before the Fourth Circuit.
- Represented numerous major record labels and music publishers in a high-profile copyright infringement action against an internet service provider that continued to provide services to known infringers.
- Counsel content owners on a wide range of issues related to copyright enforcement and the DMCA.
Honors & Awards
- Dean’s Merit Scholar and Order of the Coif, University of Miami School of Law
Professional, Business and civic Affiliations
- Vice-chair, Visual Arts, Dramatic Works & Motion Pictures Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on Intellectual Property
- Past Vice-chair, Copyright Legislation Committee for Copyrights Division of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property
Other Career Experience
- Associate, Oppenheim + Zebrak LLP
- Senior Legal Fellow, Copyright Alliance
- Summer Law Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office
- Legal Intern, Ultra Music Festival
- PhillyVoice, NBC Sports Philadelphia, ESPN, Philadelphia Business Journal, Law360, Bloomberg Law, USA Today, February 25, 2020
Events & Speaking Engagements
- CSUSA l Florida ChapterNovember 12, 2020
- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court
- Southern District of New York
Eastern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- Ninth Circuit
University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2014; Order of the Coif, magna cum laude
University of Miami Business Law Review
Vanderbilt University, B.M., 2011