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Yakub Hazzard

Partner, through his Professional Corporation - los angeles


Legal Expertise

Yakub Hazzard is the Vice Chair of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp and former Co-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Hazzard specializes in litigating high-profile matters involving intellectual property, right of publicity, privacy, breach of contract, profit participation, commercial disputes, and other media & entertainment-related conflicts across a wide range of industries. He has also handled employment litigation matters for clients.

Yakub began his career at MSK in the 1990s, developing his entertainment litigation practice as the firm was representing the Recording Industry Association of America in the Napster dispute. Over his career, he has represented an array of entertainment industry clients, including Berry Gordy, the Ray Charles Foundation, Incubus, Weezer, NBCUniversal, Universal Music Group, Starz Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment in litigation spanning copyright, trademark, right of publicity and contracts. His clients have also included foreign distributors and leading video game companies.

At NBCUniversal, his most recent role, Mr. Hazzard handled all profit participation audits and litigation for the company’s television, film and consumer products businesses. In addition, Mr. Hazzard oversaw copyright, trademark and general litigation matters brought by or against NBCUniversal.

Representative Matters

  • Achieved settlement on first day of trial on behalf of a museum client regarding wrongful termination claim
  • Defending talent agency client in arbitration involving employment claims for talent agent
  • Obtained Ninth Circuit published opinion establishing that the Ray Charles Foundation had standing to challenge copyright termination notices served by several of Ray Charles’ children
  • Successfully represented major television studio in resolution of profit participation lawsuit brought by the creator of several successful television shows
  • Counseled the Estate of Sammy Davis Jr. with respect to right of publicity and other intellectual property issues
  • Represented Red Bull North America in successful resolution of idea misappropriation claims regarding the Red Bull Stratos event
  • Successfully represented several actors and recording artists in several Labor Commissioner proceedings involving violations of the Talent Agencies Act
  • Achieved settlement on behalf of video game publisher regarding right of publicity claims in connection with video game
  • Represented slot machine manufacturer in defense of claims brought by Arnold Schwarzenegger for alleged unauthorized use of name, likeness and voice

Honors & Awards

  • "Most Influential Minority Attorneys," Los Angeles Business Journal (2018)
  • "Top 5% of lawyers in Southern California," Southern California Super Lawyers (2010-2014, 2022-2024)
  • "Leading Media and Entertainment Litigation Lawyers in California," Chambers USA (2013-2014)

Professional, Business and civic Affiliations

  • Member, Board of Directors, The Ray Charles Foundation
  • Litigation Division Chair, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association
  • Advisory Board Member, UCLA Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law
  • Board Member, Public Counsel
  • Member, Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association
  • Member, John M. Langston Bar Association
  • Member, Planning Committee, USC Intellectual Property Institute
  • Former Board Member, Berry Gordy Family Foundation
  • Former Board Member, Fulfillment Fund
  • Former Co-Chair, Entertainment Section of the Century City Bar Association

Other Career Experience

  • Vice-President Legal, NBCUniversal Television
  • Co-Chair of the Entertainment and Media Group, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP



  • California 
  • U.S. District Court
  •    Central District of California
  •    Northern District of California


  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D. (1990)
  • Stanford University, B.A., Public Policy (1986)
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