August 16, 2010

Highly regarded intellectual property, media, and entertainment litigator, Andrew J. (“A.J.”) Thomas, has joined Jenner & Block as a partner in its Los Angeles office.  Mr. Thomas has significant experience in copyright, trademark, misappropriation, theft-of-ideas, First Amendment, and complex business litigation matters.

Mr. Thomas has represented both traditional and new media clients at the trial and appellate levels in a wide variety of intellectual property rights, First Amendment, and commercial matters.  Last year, for example, a summary judgment Mr. Thomas obtained on behalf of a publisher of a Marilyn Monroe biography was affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit, establishing new protections for the use of publicity photos.  The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari, leaving the appellate ruling in place.  Mr. Thomas has represented clients such as NBC/Universal, Fox, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Nielsen, and many others.

“We are very pleased to welcome A.J. Thomas to Jenner & Block,” said Firm Managing Partner Susan C. Levy.  “His impressive background, particularly in the fields of entertainment and complex business litigation, will be a great asset to our clients.”

Mr. Thomas was named a leading California Media and Entertainment Litigation lawyer by Chambers USA in 2009 and 2010 and selected as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in Business and Intellectual Property Litigation in recent years as well.  From 2007 to 2009, he was a Board Member of the Copyright Society of Los Angeles, and he has been a guest lecturer at a number of educational institutions on topics related to entertainment and media law.

“I am excited to join Jenner & Block,” said Mr. Thomas.  “The Firm has a long history of representing clients in cases on the cutting-edge of copyright law in the entertainment and media industries, and I look forward to offering the Firm and its clients my experience and knowledge.”

Jenner & Block was recently honored as the “2010 U.S. Copyright Firm of the Year” and “Copyright Firm of the Year - West Coast” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, for its “innovative and challenging IP work” and “exceptional cumulative achievements” in 2009.  Over the past two years, the Firm’s Creative Content Practice secured high-profile victories on behalf of all major motion picture studios in the first U.S. decision addressing the merits of copyright infringement claims against a BitTorrent operator, and on behalf of a group of major recording companies in their copyright infringement lawsuit against a commercial USENET server operator.  The Firm also secured an important appellate victory for the Estate of John Steinbeck’s widow, putting to rest a decades-long dispute over the rights to Steinbeck’s classic literary works such as Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath.

“We are thrilled to add A.J. to our growing Los Angeles office,” said Rick Richmond, Managing Partner of the Firm’s Los Angeles office, which opened in April 2009.  “He augments the Firm’s existing premier entertainment practice, especially on the West Coast where so many of our entertainment industry clients are based.”

Mr. Thomas is a 1991 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University in 1988, graduating with distinction and department honors, where he was editor of The Stanford Daily.  Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Mr. Thomas was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Davis Wright Tremaine.  Mr. Thomas previously served as a law clerk to Judge Alfred T. Goodwin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Since opening in the Spring of 2009, Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office has steadily expanded to better serve its clients.  Recent lateral partner hires in that office have included Jerry Oshinsky, who is often referred to as the “Dean” of the insurance policyholder trial bar, and Ken Lee, a former Associate White House Counsel.  The office has also grown with the addition of senior associates and former federal judicial clerks.