Who We Are
Doniger / Burroughs is California’s premier fashion, art, entertainment, and technology law boutique. The firm has resolved more than 1,000 disputes over the almost 20 years it has been in existence, and has represented all manner of individuals and businesses in the creative industries. Its lawyers have extensive state and federal court experience, and hail from well-regarded law schools. The firm has been on the forefront of cutting-edge copyright law, appearing often before judges, juries, and the Courts of Appeal. It has tried more copyright infringement cases than virtually any other firm over the last 5-10 years, and has obtained for its clients numerous six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements.
The firm is committed to representing artists and content creators, and enforcing intellectual property rights. It has litigated successfully against many of the nation’s largest retailers, film and television studios, web sites, and news organizations. Its partners speak and write often on art and copyright law issues, and devote significant time and resources to ensuring a level playing field for those responsible for the creation of art and content.
Meet the Team
Stephen M. Doniger, Esq.
Over the past five years, Mr. Doniger has handled more copyright cases than any other attorney in the United States, with his firm named as the top copyright litigation firm in Lex Machina’s 2015 Copyright Litigation Report. He has also prevailed in every copyright matter taken to trial, and has been lead trial counsel in many of the largest copyright verdicts in the Central District, including: Advanced Visual Image Design, LLC v. Exist, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-09383 ($1,754,272 verdict), United Fabrics International v. Lane Bryant, et al., Case No. CV08-6865 ($447,670 verdict), Caribbean Blues, Inc. v. Target Corp., et al., Case No. CV10-3334 ($389,638 verdict). He has also realized numerous six and seven figure settlements in his clients’ favor, including a $1.1 million settlement in favor of his client on the day of trial in Star Fabrics, Inc. v. Morex, Inc. et al., Case No. CV-10-7987, and a low seven-figure settlement in L.A. Printex Industries, Inc. v. William Carter Co., Case No. CV09-02449 which was negotiated in the middle of a bifurcated trial after he obtaining a willful copyright infringement liability verdict.
Since prevailing in his first trial as a sole practitioner in 1997 (One World Marketing v. MEK Int’l, Case No. BC 193556 – trademark infringement / trade secret theft jury verdict for plaintiff of $550,000), he has built a successful practice around business disputes in general and intellectual property in particular, representing photographers, authors, fine artists, and clients in the marketing, fashion, entertainment, real estate and hospitality industries. And in his 20+ years of practice Mr. Doniger has successfully litigated cases in the federal and state courts of California, New York, Nevada, and South Carolina, and has overseen litigation in foreign jurisdictions including Canada and the United Kingdom through local counsel.
Mr. Doniger has also successfully handled numerous state and federal appeals, including arguing before the Second Circuit to affirm a willful infringement verdict he obtained at trial before the Southern District of New York in LA Printex Ind., Inc. v. Pretty Girl, Inc. et al., prevailing in LA Printex Industries, Inc. v. Aeropostale, Inc., et al, (9th Cir. Case No. 10-56149 – January 12, 2012 reversal of summary judgment against Doniger/ Burroughs client) and United Fabrics International v. Lane Bryant, et al. (9th Cir. Case No. 10-56169 – 12/20/11 substantially affirming of Doniger / Burroughs trial verdict).
Mr. Doniger has been selected by Global Law Experts as its exclusive copyright law expert for California, has been a featured speaker on copyright, trademark, and misappropriation of likeness law for California Lawyers for the Arts, Fashion Business Incorporated and other groups, and has been retained as an expert witness on copyright litigation. He has also been profiled multiple times in the Daily Journal, which complimented that “he projects a thoughtful and ethical wisdom, particularly when it comes to practicing law,” and has featured and quoted in many other articles on intellectual property and business topics. Similarly, Doniger / Burroughs and its work has been featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Daily Journal, Los Angeles Weekly, and Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Doniger graduated from Brandeis University in 1992 with a double major in political science and philosophy, and a minor in international studies. In 1995 he obtained his law degree from the University of Southern California where he was a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors program, externed for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, interned for the District Attorney’s Office in the Environmental Crimes Division, and was a California State Bar Environmental Law Section student writing competition winner.
Scott Alan Burroughs, Esq.
Mr. Burroughs was selected as a Rising Star for 2015 and 2016 by Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers. This honor recognizes the top 2.5% of all attorneys under 40 years of age. One of his jury verdicts was also recognized by The Recorder and VerdictSearch as a top jury verdict for the year 2014. He has handled over a thousand art and business law disputes in his decade of practice – more than virtually any other attorney in the United States. His matters involve fashion, art, photography, scripted and reality programming, accessories, literature, documentary and feature films, websites, advertising, novelty goods, jewelry, hospitality, and home décor. In one representative case, Mr. Burroughs resolved a rights dispute regarding one of the most popular web series of all time.
He has obtained numerous six and seven-figure results for his clients, and a number of the top copyright jury verdicts in Los Angeles, including the following:
* Novelty Textiles, Inc. v. The Wet Seal, Inc., CV13-5527 ($650,000.00)
* United Fabrics International v. Lane Bryant, Inc., CV08-6865 ($447,670.60)
Mr. Burroughs has also argued successfully before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, creating new law on important, cutting-edge copyright issues, including the following:
* L.A. Printex Industries, Inc. v. Aeropostale, Inc., (No. 10-56187) (published opinion) (full reversal of a district court decision awarding more than $400,000.00 against the firm’s client, after which the client prevailed at the liability stage of a bifurcated jury trial and the case settled for a low seven-figure sum the night before the damages stage was set to begin).
* United Fabrics Int’l, Inc. v. C&J Wear, Inc., (No. 09-56499) (published opinion) (full reversal of a district court ruling against the firm’s client, after which summary judgment was entered in favor of the firm’s client).
Mr. Burroughs is passionate about protecting the rights of artists and content creators, and writes and speaks often on the subject. He has lectured for California Lawyers for the Arts, the Fashion Business Institute, the Loyola Law School Fashion Symposium, and the University of Southern California Law School. He also taught Fashion Law at the Art Institute of California, and curates a popular art law blog.
In addition to his work on the west coast, Mr. Burroughs handles litigation for firm clients in jurisdictions including New York, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Miramax Films, SFX Entertainment, and as a music journalist. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, San Diego and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California.
Matthew DiNicola, Esq.
Matthew DiNicola specializes in transactional, business, and entertainment law. Mr. DiNicola previously served as an associate at Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, LLP, where he worked as an associate on large accounts with clients including national housewares chains and global gaming and hospitality companies. Mr. DiNicola brings with him extensive knowledge in drafting and negotiating multi-billion dollar agreements and a wealth of entertainment counseling knowledge. DiNicola specializes in advising start-up companies and counseling clients in connection with the development, production and distribution of entertainment projects as well as providing legal counsel to business owners through the financing, production and distribution of their projects. He also has considerable experience in a variety of complex corporate and real estate transactions.
Mr. DiNicola earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2004 and is licensed to practice in the State of California and the State of Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 2000. Among his long list of impressive accolades, Mr. DiNicola earned a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, which is ranked as the top program of its kind in the nation. He is also the proud recipient of a Golden Gavel Award.
David R. Shein, Esq.
David Shein specializes in the enforcement of intellectual property rights for diverse clients throughout the United States. His practice also focuses on Plaintiff’s litigation, representing businesses and individuals in breach of contract matters, right of publicity claims, as well as personal injury suits. Mr. Shein brings with him practical knowledge from the music, television, and fashion industries, having had hands on experience in the creation, promotion, and dissemination of musical recordings and television shows.
Trevor Barrett, Esq.
Trevor Barrett’s practice is focused on counseling, transactions, and civil litigation for clients in the art, entertainment, and media industries. Mr. Barrett graduated from the UCLA School of Law, with a specialization in Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property. While at UCLA, Mr. Barrett served as Managing Editor of the UCLA Entertainment Law Review and as Vice President of the Sports Law Federation. In addition, he participated in moot court and the 2011 Thomas Jefferson School of Law national sports law negotiation competition. He also externed with the Business and Legal Affairs Department of NBC Universal’s Comcast Entertainment Group. Mr. Barrett earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from California State University, Northridge in Music Industry Studies, with a minor in Cinema and Television Arts Media Management. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Barrett had worked in marketing for an international film distributor, as a music supervisor for film trailers and political promotional materials, and acted as head of a non-profit record label. Mr. Barrett has wide-ranging experience in the entertainment industry, an expansive knowledge of entertainment business transactions, and material experience in civil litigation, with particular emphasis in the areas of copyright, trademark, and general business litigation. He is licensed to practice before the Central District of California.
Frank Gregory Casella, Esq.
Frank Gregory Casella is an associate at Doniger / Burroughs, representing clients in the fashion, entertainment, journalism, and photography industries. His practice focuses on copyright, trademark, and contract law. Mr. Casella earned his law degree in 2014 from the University of Southern California Gould School Of Law, where he was a Senior Copy Editor of the Interdisciplinary Law Journal and earned Certificates in Entertainment Law and Business Law. During law school, Mr. Casella worked as a judicial extern in the California Court of Appeals for the late Justice H. Walter Croskey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with minors in Finance and Philosophy from the University of Miami in 2011, graduating magna cum laude. Mr. Casella is admitted to practice law in the state of California, the Central District of California, and the Ninth Circuit.
Howard S. Han, Esq.
Howard S. Han represents clients in the fashion, art, internet, and entertainment industries. His practice focuses on copyright, trademark, and contract law. He obtained his law degree at the New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Yale University, where he majored in American Studies. During law school, Mr. Han was a member of the NYU Moot Court Team and was awarded the Order of the Barrister. A lover of film, music, and fashion, Mr. Han strives to facilitate artistic expression and protect the intellectual property of creative individuals and companies. Before joining the Doniger/Burroughs team, Mr. Han gained valuable trial experience at Proskauer Rose LLP, DLA Piper US LPP, and in his own private practice. He is licensed to practice before the Central District of California.
Justin M. Gomes, Esq.
Mr. Gomes represents clients in the entertainment, fashion, art, and media industries, with a focus on copyright law. Mr. Gomes obtained his law degree and an entertainment law certificate from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law and his B.A. in political science from the University of California, San Diego. While at USC, Mr. Gomes worked in the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Clinic where he advised documentary filmmakers, authors, artists, and creators regarding fair use, and submitted comments in significant copyright and patent law rule matters. Prior to joining the Doniger / Burroughs team, Mr. Gomes served as an associate at a prominent boutique copyright litigation firm specializing in entertainment and copyright litigation. He represented clients in several multimillion-dollar cases and helped secure a historic settlement on behalf of the heirs of a legendary comic book creator in a case that was pending before the United States Supreme Court.
Emily A. Danchuk, Esq.
Emily A. Danchuk is an intellectual property attorney with significant litigation and transactional experience, and is passionate about the rights of content creators. Ms. Danchuk has handled numerous copyright and trademark prosecutions, managed litigation of infringement matters, and prepared all manner of business and licensing agreements for her creative clients. She served as in-house counsel for a film distribution company specializing in independent and foreign films, and founded Copyright Collaborative, LLC, an association that assists artists in understanding, protecting, and managing their intellectual property rights. Ms. Danchuk received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in dual areas, Political Science and Spanish, from Miami University of Ohio. She is admitted to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maine.
Michael D. Steger, Esq.
Michael D. Steger is of counsel to the firm, practicing primarily in New York. He focuses on intellectual property, entertainment, litigation, and business matters in the fashion and entertainment industries. In 2010, he was named “Best Intellectual Property Attorney for Growing Businesses” by New York Enterprise Report magazine. Mr. Steger has tried numerous cases to judges, juries, and arbitrators in federal and state court, including as lead counsel in Berman v. Johnson, 518 F.Supp.2d 791 (E.D.Va. 2007), a seminal film industry matter.
Mr. Steger’s entertainment practice focuses on film, television, internet and music projects, and he represents creatives and production companies in matters including film, television, and online financing, and production, distribution and syndication agreements. His corporate and business experience includes forming and dissolving corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, as well as contract drafting and review, drafting buy-sell and other shareholder agreements, and handling investment transactions.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Steger was in-house counsel for STF Productions, Inc., the producer of Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” and the syndicated “Final Justice,” where he also handled business and legal affairs for other Fox entities. Thereafter, he represented clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies in California and New York.
Mr. Steger is a member of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section and the Co-Chair of the Copyright Litigation Subcommittee, and a member of the New York Bar Association’s Copyright and Literary Property Committees. Mr. Steger received his J.D., M.A. and B.A. from the University of Virginia and is admitted to practice in New York, California, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.