Michael J. Kaiser

Michael Kaiser



  • J.D., Harvard Law School
    • Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Article Editor
    • Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Staff Member
  • B.A., UCLA summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa


  • California State Bar
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California


Mike Kaiser is a strategic litigator who tenaciously seeks creative, yet pragmatic solutions for his clients’ legal issues, whether large or small. Mike has significant experience representing defendants and plaintiffs in multiple industries (including, for example, entertainment and high-tech industries) in a wide range of matters, such as general business litigation, copyright/trademark disputes, and actions involving the First Amendment (for example, defamation).

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 2008, Mike began his career as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. At O’Melveny, he began to hone his craft of identifying the procedural and/or substantive weaknesses of the opposing party’s case and then developing and implementing a strategy that wields cogent legal arguments to surgically attack those weaknesses, whether in a pre-litigation demand letter or in the heat of high-stakes litigation.

Mike also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia A. Phillips, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. His clerkship experience, along with his substantial litigation experience, has given Mike a practical sense for how best to present his clients’ cases to the Court to maximize the chances for a favorable outcome for his clients.

Whether it’s representing an individual or small business in a simple breach of contract dispute or defending large high-tech companies in complex copyright litigation, Mike delivers high-quality advocacy in a manner that is sensitive to his clients’ business objectives.


Represented Pandora Media, LLC (and its predecessor Pandora Media, Inc.) in a mass copyright infringement action brought by a prominent music publishing administrator where Pandora successfully moved to dismiss on standing grounds under the 1909 and 1976 U.S. Copyright Acts, which substantially reduced the number of works at issue.

Successfully defeated multiple motions to dismiss transnational copyright infringement lawsuit brought in S.D.N.Y. against various foreign defendants alleging that the interpolation and worldwide exploitation of our clients’ song, “San Francisco Bay,” within the hit Kesha song, “Timber,” was not authorized by our clients and therefore constituted copyright infringement under the laws of various foreign countries. Levitin v. Sony Music Entm’t, 101 F.Supp.3d 376 (S.D.N.Y. 2015). Levitin was one of the first U.S. cases to recognize the transactional law principle that a worldwide license requires the consent of all copyright co-owners (or the administrator(s) for such co-owners) and that failure to obtain such a license can result in a cognizable U.S.-based lawsuit under foreign copyright laws.

Obtained Court of Appeal decision reversing summary judgment against our clients—the founding members of the 1970s funk band WAR (“Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Spill the Wine.” “Lowrider,” etc.)—involving complex issues of contract interpretation under California law (including the proper role of extrinsic evidence) underlying a royalty dispute between our clients and their music publisher. Brown, et al. v. Goldstein, et al., 34 Cal.App.5th 418 (2019).

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In a federal cybersquatting action brought by our clients—famed songwriter and music producer Walter Afanasieff and entertainment personality Katie Cazorla—successfully obtained a TRO and preliminary injunction, requiring the immediate transfer of domain names and website content to our clients. Cazorla v. Hughes, 2014 WL 12235425 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 7, 2014).

In a high-profile lawsuit by our entertainment manager clients against actress Zooey Deschanel, successfully obtained summary adjudication, resulting in a complete dismissal of the breach of fiduciary duty Cross-Complaint against our clients. Seven Summits Pictures and Management, LLC v. Zooey Deschanel, LASC Case No. BC604072.

Successfully brought a motion to amend or correct judgment, as well as an opposition to a post-judgment attorney’s fees motion, in a copyright action where our firm was retained immediately after issuance of a judgment that had erroneously sua sponte awarded attorney’s fees against our author client. Not only did the Court correct the erroneous judgment, but it also denied the opposing parties’ post-judgment motion for $100,000+ in attorney’s fees. King v. IM Glob., 2017 WL 2620695 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 25, 2017).

Represented a major television network and a production company in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who asserted right of publicity claims based upon allegations that she did not consent to her role as an extra on a television show. The case settled quickly and favorably following a letter threatening an Anti-SLAPP motion on copyright preemption and First Amendment grounds.


  • “Beatle’s settlement leaves open questions,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 17, 2017 (co-written with Kenneth D. Freundlich, Esq. of Freundlich Law)
  • “McCartney asks US court for Help!”, Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 30, 2017 (co-written with Kenneth D. Freundlich, Esq. of Freundlich Law)
  • “A View from Across the Pond: Duran Duran’s Termination Rights under the U.S. Copyright Act Come Undone by British High Court Ruling,” American Bar Association’s Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, Volume 33, Number 2, Winter 2017 (co-written with Kenneth D. Freundlich, Esq. of Freundlich Law)