Jamie Slaughter is an experienced trial lawyer who focuses his practice on complex civil cases.
He has successfully represented a wide range of clients (from individuals to Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations) in a wide range of matters (including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence, copyright, trademark, right of publicity, personal injury, and employment cases). Jamie has spent substantial time protecting the interests of the leading designer and publisher of video games against copyright, trademark and right of publicity challenges, including defeating multiple preliminary injunction motions that sought to prevent his client from releasing popular and highly anticipated games. He also represents Lyft in claims regarding the employment classification of Lyft drivers. Jamie also regularly defends national law firms and their partners against claims of malpractice.
Jamie devotes substantial time to pro bono matters as well as to several community-based organizations. He serves on the boards of directors of Reading Partners and the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. He is a former mayoral appointee to the San Francisco Police Commission.
Michael E. Davis, et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc.
We defended Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) against claims that avatars in its hugely successful Madden NFL franchise used the likenesses of retired NFL players. After litigating an important First Amendment issue in the District Court and before the Ninth Circuit, we defeated two successive motions to certify a class, both because plaintiffs’ case presented intractable choice-of-law problems and because, as the court recognized, the right of publicity is inherently an individual right. In mid-2017, we prevailed at summary judgment over plaintiffs’ statutory claims: the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that “any of the avatars in the Madden games could be ‘readily identified’ as corresponding to any specific plaintiff based on the appearance of the avatars alone.” Not long after, the parties settled.
Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc.
We represent technology company Lyft, which connects individuals in need of a ride to drivers willing to transport them. This putative class action addresses an issue critical to the new economy: whether Lyft drivers have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. In summer 2016, the parties entered into a proposed settlement that does not require the re-classification of Lyft drivers as employees. The court approved the settlement in early 2017.
United States ex rel. Landis v. Tailwind Sports, et al.
We represented Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in settling a False Claims Act case brought by a former teammate and joined in by the United States. The Postal Service and Floyd Landis had sought $100 million in damages from Armstrong, but in light of several significant court rulings rejecting and limiting the plaintiffs’ damages theories, the case settled for $5 million. Our prior representation of Armstrong resulted in the closing of a federal criminal investigation without charges being filed.
Susan Koret v. The Koret Foundation Board of Directors
To seize control of the Koret Foundation, Susan Koret, chair and wife of foundation founder Joseph Koret, filed suit against the Koret Foundation and six of the seven other board members, seeking their removal. On behalf of the foundation and its directors, we sought Ms. Koret’s removal as a director by way of a cross-complaint. A San Francisco Superior Court trial resulted in a tentative ruling rejecting Ms. Koret’s claims and granting the Foundation’s request that Ms. Koret be removed, and the parties settled the dispute on terms favorable to the Foundation.
Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al
We secured a favorable settlement for Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in this groundbreaking antitrust and right of publicity class action. Current and former student-athletes claimed EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games.
Financial Institution v. Law Firm
We defended a large Nebraska law firm from a multi-million dollar legal malpractice case in connection with a real estate transaction. The action stemmed from a separate law firm’s failure to adequately protect a financial institution’s priority in a debt transaction where that client was the lender. As a result of the law firm’s failure to ensure the proper paperwork was filed, the client lost its priority to subsequent lienholders when the borrower went bankrupt. Six months after the original law firm’s malpractice occurred, our client was hired and then sued for indemnification by the financial institution as a third party. On the eve of trial, the plaintiff dismissed our client from the litigation.
Plaintiff v. Law Firm
We defended an AmLaw 100 firm from multiple lawsuits and arbitrations concerning a luxury real estate deal. After individuals purchased condos in a high-end San Francisco tower, they complained of an allegedly unknown Mello-Roos tax. The building owners sought damages from the AmLaw 100 firm which had advised on the disclosures. We were able to settle all of the matters for our client.
Plaintiff v. Law Firm
We represented a national law firm in a professional negligence case. The plaintiffs contended that our client made evidentiary errors in a patent trial which allowed the other party to prove more than $10 million in damages. Following the filing of a summary judgment motion, we settled on terms favorable to our client.
Dillinger LLC v. Electronic Arts Inc.
We won summary judgment for Electronic Arts Inc in this right-of-publicity and trademark case. The heirs of John Dillinger alleged that EA improperly used the Dillinger name in a series of video games. Plaintiff sought damages and an injunction to prevent EA from selling the games. The court's orders not only affirmed EA's fundamental First Amendment right to design and publish its games, but also made clear that Indiana's right of publicity statute could not be applied retroactively to individuals who died before it was enacted. Law360 described the rulings as a "total victory" for EA.
AIME v. The Regents of the University of California
We convinced a federal judge to dismiss a breach of contract suit which alleged the University of California, Los Angeles violated the copyrights of educational-video makers when it implemented a system for streaming videos online to students and faculty. The suit, the first of its kind in the nation, asserted federal causes of action for copyright infringement and unlawful circumvention under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as well as state law claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, interference with contract, and interference with prospective business advantage. In addition to vindicating UCLA, this case may impact the rights of colleges and universities to bring educational videos into the virtual classroom space.
Televisa v. Univision Communications
We represented Univision, the country's leading Spanish language television network, in a breach of contract jury trial. Televisa, a Mexican multimedia conglomerate which supplied Univision with its most popular Spanish language programs, attempted to terminate a long-term exclusive licensing agreement and sought more than $100 million in damages. The case was settled during trial on favorable terms. We also represented Univision in a bench trial which sought declaratory judgment to prevent Televisa from broadcasting over the Internet the same highly popular programs that it exclusively licensed to Univision. We won a complete victory at trial.
Activision v. Double Fine Productions
We intervened on behalf of Electronic Arts (EA), in a suit between Activision and Double Fine in which Activision sought a preliminary injunction to prevent Double Fine from delivering the much-hyped video game Brutal Legend to EA, thereby preventing EA from releasing the game. After winning a tentative ruling denying the preliminary injunction, we settled the case on favorable terms. EA released the game as scheduled.
United States v. Former Chief Executive Officer
We represented the former CEO of a public company in a criminal investigation, a Securities and Exchange Commission suit, a derivative shareholder suit, a breach of contract suit by our client against his former company, and that company's counterclaim for hundreds of millions. All of these matters were related to the company's historical stock option granting practices. We resolved all of the matters against our client with net payments of more than $10 million to our client.
Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice and Shareholders v. Former Chief Executive Officer
We represented the former CEO of an antivirus software company in investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, a shareholder derivative lawsuit, and an arbitration arising out of an investigation into the company’s stock option granting process. The government took no action against our client, who also reached a favorable confidential settlement with his former company.
May 06, 2020
Ousted Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick filed a claim against the city and the civilian commissioners who fired her, alleging a series of misconduct and legal violations, her publicist and legal team announced on Wednesday. Read more
May 01, 2020
San Francisco Superior Judge Ethan Schulman denied a motion that would have reclassified Lyft drivers as employees, so that they can reap the state’s paid sick leave, agreeing with a federal judge who found that such a ruling would jeopardize drivers' access to federal coronavirus relief. Read more
May 01, 2020
A group of Lyft drivers in California lost their latest bid to convince a state court judge to immediately reclassify them as employees with paid sick leave to help fight the spread of Covid-19. Read more
August 20, 2018
A California federal judge has ruled that retired players cannot collectively sue Electronic Arts Inc. for featuring them in Madden NFL video games without authorization, a major victory for the game maker after years of litigation. Read more
April 19, 2018
Five years after then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Justice Department would co-sign onto Floyd Landis’s whistleblower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, the sides have reached a settlement. Read more
April 19, 2018
Lance Armstrong agreed on Thursday to pay $5 million to settle claims that he defrauded the federal government by using performance-enhancing drugs when the United States Postal Service sponsored his cycling team. Read more
April 19, 2018
Lance Armstrong today announced that he has settled the long-running False Claims Act case brought against him by former cyclist Floyd Landis and the U. S. Postal Service. Read more
August 07, 2017
A California federal judge trimmed a state law claim from a suit filed by former NFL players against Electronic Arts. Read more
Rachael Meny, Jamie Slaughter and their team removed a major threat to Lyft's business model when they settled a proposed class action lawsuit without classifying drivers as employees. Read more
Restaurant delivery app Caviar Inc. won't have to defend its use of independent contractors in court, a federal judge ruled Monday, steering claims against the company into arbitration. Read more
Partners R. James Slaughter, Ashok Ramani and Simona Agnolucci will help the restaurant-delivery app fend off claims it misclassified workers as independent contractors. Read more
Lyft has hired Keker & Van Nest Partners Rachael Meny and Jamie Slaughter to bolster its legal team, as it battles misclassification suits. Read more
With a federal judge declaring earlier this month that a jury should decide whether Lyft has been misclassifying drivers as contractors under California state law, the company has beefed up its defense team. Read more
The suit, the first of its kind in the nation, alleged UCLA violated the copyrights of educational-video makers when it implemented a system for streaming videos online to students and faculty. Read more
The firm receives top rankings for bet-the-company, intellectual property, criminal defense, securities, commercial, legal malpractice, and appellate litigation. Read more
Jamie Slaughter and Adam Lauridsen assert Electronic Arts did not infringe trademark rights by using brand-name helicopters in a military combat video game because its expressive work is protected by the First Amendment and the doctrine of nominative fair use.
A California federal judge dismissed a breach of contract suit alleging the University of California, Los Angeles, violated the copyrights of educational-video makers when it implemented a system for streaming videos online to students and faculty.
Keker & Van Nest partners were recognized in more than ten categories, including bet-the-company litigation, criminal defense, and intellectual property litigation. Read more
Jamie Slaughter and Adam Laurisden successfully defended Electronic Arts Inc. in a trademark suit brought by heirs of 1930s American bank robber, John Dillinger. Read more
The class action was brought by retired NFL players who claim the video game maker used their likenesses without permission. Read more
Steven Hirsch and R. James Slaughter provide pro bono assistance to Conductors Guild. Read more