Leopold, Petrich & Smith Legal Team Joins Ballard Spahr

Two nationally renowned Media and Entertainment Law practices have joined forces to create a powerhouse team with an expanded presence in Los Angeles.

Ballard Spahr was named 2019 Law Firm of the Year for Media Law and Copyright Law by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers. It also serves clients in business and transactions, finance, intellectual property, litigation, and real estate, with lawyers in 15 offices around the country.

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Practice Areas

  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Entertainment



  • J.D.,UCLA School of Law, 1982.
    • Chief Articles Editor, Federal Communications Law Journal, 1981-82.
  • B.A,UCLA, 1979
    • magna cum laude.



  • California
    District of Columbia



2049 Century Park East
Suite 3110
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Phone: 310-277-3333
Fax: 310-277-7444
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Daniel M. Mayeda

Daniel M. Mayeda litigates entertainment, media and publishing matters and handles insurance coverage disputes involving those industries.  His practice encompasses copyright, trademark, libel, privacy, right of publicity, breach of contract, breach of confidence, license disputes, unfair competition, Lanham Act violations and advertising injury in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States.

Beside his experience directly defending motion picture and television studios, distributors, production companies, writers, directors, television networks, publishers, record companies and advertisers, Mr. Mayeda has also represented a number of insurance companies involved in insuring entertainment and media industry entities and productions.

Mr. Mayeda also regularly counsels clients on domestic and international copyright, trademark, piracy, licensing and other entertainment, media, publishing and Internet-related matters.

Prior to joining Leopold, Petrich & Smith, Mr. Mayeda practiced communications law in Washington D.C.  He also served on the staff of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance.

Mr. Mayeda has written and spoken extensively on media, intellectual property and Asian American community issues, and has taught courses at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, California State University, Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge.  He is a Member of the Board of Directors, pro bono legal counsel and immediate past president of East West Players (“EWP”), the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American Theatre organization.  On behalf of EWP, Mr. Mayeda is one of the leaders of a national multi-ethnic coalition of civil rights and media activism groups that has successfully persuaded the four major television networks to increase diversity on screen and behind the scenes. 

Selected Experience:

  • Obtained summary judgment for Frankie Valli and the other creators of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and an accounting based on a theory that defendants became co-copyright owners of a biographical manuscript about a former Four Seasons member.  Corbello v. DeVito, et al., 832 F.Supp.2d 1231 (D.Nev. 2011); 844 F.Supp.2d 1136 (D.Nev. 2012).  After the Ninth Circuit reversed summary judgment for defendants and remanded for trial, obtained dismissal as a matter of law for defendants Frankie Valli and Robert Gaudio during the trial.  Following an adverse jury verdict for plaintiff on copyright infringement, filed post-trial motions for Judgment as a matter of law and for new trial.  The Court granted Judgment to all remaining defendants on the ground that the very limited amount of protected material that was potentially copied from plaintiff’s Work into the Play was a “fair use” as a matter of law (2017 WL 2587924 (D.Nev. 2017)).
  • Successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal to affirm summary judgment of a claim brought by plaintiff writer against defendant writer for breach of implied-in-fact contract for the sale of ideas and breach of confidence relating to the Paramount motion picture Year of the DogKightlinger v. White, 2009 WL 4022193 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 23, 2009)
  • Successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm denial of a motion to enjoin release of a Universal Studios motion picture based on the alleged infringement of the plaintiff’s Internet website domain name and the title of the plaintiff’s proposed motion picture.  Guichard v. Universal City Studios, 2009 WL 4884582 (9th Cir. Dec. 14, 2009)
  • Secured dismissal on an anti-SLAPP motion of invasion of privacy suit brought by the “drunken frat boys” against the 20th Century Fox motion picture Borat.
  • Secured equitable contribution payment from one insurance carrier to another of $1.5 Million following a successful summary judgment motion in a state court lawsuit involving three carriers and an insurance broker.
  • Represented plaintiff publisher in copyright infringement claims that, on remand, were tried to a jury verdict for plaintiff.  Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) v. Ananda Church of Self-Realization, 206 F.3d 1322 (9th Cir. 2000).
  • Regularly counsels an international publisher in intellectual property and publishing matters, including domestic and international copyright and trademark registrations; negotiating publishing contracts; prosecuting copyright and trademark infringement of publications, domestically, internationally and on the Internet; and drafting location and personal releases for the filming of the publisher's facilities and personnel.
  • Secured dismissal on an anti-SLAPP motion of a libel and invasion of privacy suit brought by George Lutz, the real life participant in events depicted in the MGM motion picture remake The Amityville Horror.
  • In a separate lawsuit involving George Lutz and relating to The Amityville Horror, secured summary judgment for MGM on the ground that Lutz had previously granted remake rights to MGM’s predecessor-in-interest.
  • Regularly provides coverage analysis to various insurance carriers regarding claims and lawsuits involving motion pictures, television shows, radio broadcasts, newspapers, books, computer software, advertising, the Internet and related matters.
  • In title arbitrations before the MPAA, secured the right of studios to title their motion pictures Meet the Fockers, Pecker,  and Ever After:  A Cinderella Story.
  • Successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm summary judgment for MCA Records on copyright infringement lawsuit against the Tom Petty composition, “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”
  • Defended Star Magazine in defamation and right of publicity action brought by Ed McMahon.
  • Succeeded in modifying and severely limiting the scope of a preliminary injunction against the maker of a fashion doll compatible with plaintiff’s “Barbie” doll.
  • Secured summary judgment and attorneys fees for Universal against a copyright infringement suit brought by plaintiff Dana Rowe regarding the motion picture Back to the Future.
  • After Back to the Future II and Back to the Future III were released, Rowe sued again, this time on various state law claims.  After securing dismissal of the suit on demurrer, the California Court of Appeal reversed and remanded.  The case ultimately was dismissed in exchange for a waiver of costs and sanctions against the plaintiff.
  • Secured dismissal of breach of contract claim arising out of the motion picture The Cannonball Run. Franklin v. Cannon Films, Inc., 654 F.Supp. 133 (C.D. Cal. 1987).


  • Copyright Fair Use, the First Amendment and New Communications Technologies:  The Impact of Betamax, co-author, 38 Federal Communications Law Journal 59 (1986).
  • High Potential in Low Power, A Model for an Efficient Low Power Television Service, 33 Federal Communications Law Journal 419 (1981).

Professional Activity:

  • Testimony before the California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications on AB 2987 (Cable/Telephone Company Competition Bill), June 27, 2006.
  • Testimony before Board of Information Technology Commission of the City of Los Angeles Concerning Universal Access to Broadband Communication Services, October 19, 2000.
  • Moderator of panel, “Of Spin Doctors and Talking Heads: Lawyers and the Media,” annual convention of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, November 13, 1999.
  • Panelist, California Minority Counsel Program’s Entertainment Roundtable, September 13, 1996.
  • Guest Lecturer, “Legal Implications of Infomercials,” Emerson College Course on Advertising, November 16, 1996.
  • Speaker, “Broadcast Media, the FCC and You,” Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance, March 27, 1993. 
  • Panelist, Intellectual Property Seminar, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, September 1992.


  • Named to “Southern California Super Lawyers,” 2007-2009.