Jeffrey M. Movit
Head of Litigation
Jeffrey Movit is an aggressive and innovative litigator whose practice areas include copyright, trademark, defamation and entertainment law. As a member of both the New York and California bars, Jeffrey maintains a truly bicoastal law practice. He brings creativity and energy to each of his representations, pressing for favorable resolutions for his clients at every turn. Jeffrey has been called the “lawyer to the stars” by the New York Post, and he was named by Billboard magazine as one of the “Top Music Lawyers” for 2022 and 2023. Jeffrey has also been selected by Super Lawyers for 2022 and 2023.
While Jeffrey frequently obtains favorable results for his clients in the courtroom, his clients often hire him to resolve disputes confidentially before litigation becomes necessary.
- Jeffrey currently represents the former managers and business partners of a major R&B singer in a breach-of-contract action against that singer. During the pendency of the case, Jeffrey has obtained a large payment from the singer to Jeffrey’s clients in the amount of $850,000. This payment was made after Jeffrey moved on behalf of his clients for an attachment of the singer’s assets, and the Court ruled that the attachment would be granted.
At his prior firm:
- In a recent breach-of-contract arbitration, Jeffrey obtained a resounding victory for his client, a major talent management company. This victory included a substantial damages award for his client in the amount of $1,275,744.43. Jeffrey further established his client’s right to receive further commissions in perpetuity. Jeffrey also defeated all of the counterclaims asserted by the adverse party, including a counterclaim asserted under California’s Talent Agencies Act.
- Gray v. Hudson et al., 28 F.4th 87 (9th Cir. 2022). Jeffrey represented defendants at the trial-court level and at the appellate stage of this seminal lawsuit in which the plaintiffs alleged that Katy Perry’s smash-hit song “Dark Horse” infringed their musical composition. The District Court entered judgment in favor of Jeffrey’s clients, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the allegedly infringed musical expression at issue was not protectable as a matter of law.
- Estate of Smith v. Cash Money Records, Inc., 799 Fed. Appx. 36 (2d Cir. 2020). Jeffrey represented defendants at the trial and appellate levels in this influential copyright-infringement case. The District Court granted, and the Second Circuit affirmed, the dismissal of Jeffrey’s clients from the action on the ground that their alleged use of a “sample” from the plaintiffs’ spoken-word composition was transformative, and constituted protected fair use.
- Loomis v. Cornish, 836 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2016). In this precedent-setting copyright-infringement action in which the plaintiff alleged that Jessie J’s hit song “Domino” infringed his musical composition, Jeffrey successfully argued on behalf of the defendants before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit adopted Jeffrey’s argument that the plaintiff’s claim failed as a matter of law because the plaintiff could not establish any access by the defendants to the plaintiff’s allegedly infringed song. For the very first time, the Ninth Circuit adopted the “corporate receipt” doctrine, which holds that “bare corporate receipt” by a defendant of an allegedly infringed work is insufficient as a matter of law for the plaintiff to establish access.
- Jay Brian Ballard v. Mary J. Blige, et al. (C.D. Cal.2010). Jeffrey obtained a significant victory in this copyright-infringement action, in which the plaintiffs alleged that Mary J. Blige’s smash hit “Take Me As I Am” infringed their musical composition. Jeffrey obtained dismissal of the action after taking the deposition of plaintiffs’ expert musicologist. At that deposition, upon Jeffrey’s cross-examination, the musicologist renounced his prior opinion that “Take Me As I Am” was infringing.
Selected Press Coverage
- ChaudhryLaw Taps Top Music Lawyer as Head of Litigation (The Hollywood Reporter, September 18, 2023)
- Depp-Heard Trial: Experts Reveal Which Side Benefits from Weeklong Break (New York Post, May 9, 2022)
- Jessie J Knocks Down “Domino” Lawsuit on Appeal (The Hollywood Reporter, September 2, 2016)
- New York University School of Law, J.D.
- College of William and Mary, B.A.; magna cum laude
- State of New York
- State of California
- U.S. District Court
- Eastern District of Michigan
- Eastern District of New York
- Southern District of New York
- Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- Second Circuit
- Ninth Circuit