Entertainment & New Media
Intellectual Property & Technology
Christine Lepera focuses her practice on the entertainment and media industries, as a litigator and strategic advisor. Christine's practice covers the landscape of entertainment/media disputes and issues, including copyright infringement, music plagiarism, unfair competition, defamation, right of publicity, and contract and commercial disputes. Christine has represented many leading entertainers and entertainment/media companies, including those mentioned in the representative matters below.
Music, sports and entertainment
Key Professional Accomplishments
* Reach Music Publishing, Inc., et al. v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Obtained dismissal (2010) on behalf of music publishers of claims by songwriter and music publisher of copyright co-ownership in certain musical compositions originally recorded by Run-D.M.C., and defeated motion to dismiss (2011) counterclaims against Plaintiffs for breach of contract and tortious interference with contract.
* Lukasz Gottwald p/k/a Dr. Luke, et al. v. Christina S. Jones p/k/a Chrissy, et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Won judgment (2011) on behalf of Kesha and Dr. Luke holding their hit song "Tik Tok" is not infringing on defendants' composition.
* Lukasz Gottwald p/k/a Dr. Luke, et al. v. David M. Bellamy, Homer Howard Bellamy, and Bellamy Brothers Music, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division (2011). Successfully represented Dr. Luke and Max Martin in copyright related litigation involving Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me."
* Clement Brown, Jr. v. DeAndre Cortez Way p/k/a Soulja Boy, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. Won motion to dismiss case (2011) involving trademark infringement claims against Soulja Boy and other defendants.
* Jay Brian Ballard and Kim Jones v. Mary J. Blige, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California (2010). Successfully represented Mary J. Blige and other defendants in copyright infringement litigation involving Blige's "Take Me As I Am."
* Osama Ahmed Fahmy v. Jay-Z (aka Shawn Carter), et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. Defeated summary judgment motion (2011) on behalf of Defendants, including Tim Mosely p/k/a "Timbaland" and Jay-Z in connection with copyright infringement claim involving the hit song "Big Pimpin'."
* Anger Management & Entertainment, Inc. v. Gregory Tribett, et al., Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Obtained summary judgment (2010) for the band Mudvayne on a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the band's ex-manager.
* Christopher S. Chapman v. Universal Motown Records Group, et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Won summary judgment (2010) for Defendants, including Joseph Cartagena p/k/a Fat Joe, on music plagiarism case involving hit song "Lean Back."
* BMS Entertainment/Heat Music LLC, et al. v. Christopher Bridges, et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Obtained jury verdict (2006) on behalf of recording artists and songwriters Christopher Bridges p/k/a Ludacris and Kanye West, and music publisher EMI April Music in music copyright infringement case involving the 2003 hit single “Stand Up” written by Ludacris and Kanye West, which appears on Ludacris’ album “Chicken-n-Beer.”
* Microhits Music Corp., et al. v. Arista Records, Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California. Won summary judgment (2006) on behalf of songwriters and performing and recording artists Antwan Patton and Andre Benjamin, p/k/a Outkast in a declaratory judgment action in which plaintiffs claimed joint copyright ownership in certain of Outkast’s recordings and compositions on their multi-platinum, award-winning album entitled “Speakerboxxx / Love Below.”
* R. Kelly, et al. v. Shawn Carter, et al., Supreme Court of New York, New York County. Won summary judgment (2005) on behalf of Shawn Carter p/k/a Jay Z and his production company, Marcy Projects Productions, on tortious interference claims asserted against them by Robert Kelly p/k/a R. Kelly based upon Kelly’s alleged improper termination from the artists’ “Best of Both Worlds” Tour in 2004.
* Jean v. Bug Music, Inc., Obtained summary judgment (2002) for Wyclef Jean in copyright infringement action involving Whitney Houston’s recording of “My Love is Your Love.”
Professional, Business, and Civic Affiliations
* Past Chair, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (Chair Term 2011-2013)
* Fellow, American Bar Foundation
* Editorial Advisory Board, Media & Entertainment Law360 (2012)
* Board of Editors, Entertainment Law and Finance publication
* AAA Panel of Arbitrators (1987 – present)
* Volunteer Neutral Mediator for the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
* New York Bar Association, Committee on Intellectual Property of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
* Former Vice Chair, Copyright Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)
* Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Entertainment Law Committee (1998-2001)
* Copyright Society
* Women in Film and Television
* NARAS, New York Chapter
* American Bar Association, Committee on Mediation; Task Force on ADR and Entertainment Law; Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections
* New York
* USDC, Eastern District of New York
* USDC, Southern District of New York
* U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
* U.S. Supreme Court
New York Law School, J.D., 1982; summa cum laude
Drew University, B.A., 1979; summa cum laude