Philip Meldman, Esq.

Profile

Philip Meldman is a national mediator in full-time practice since 1992. Before entering mediation, Mr. Meldman was in private law practice, emphasizing entertainment and business law, a partner in a real estate investment company, and worked in the motion picture, television, and music industries for 22 years. In addition to serving as Director of Business Affairs and later Director of Literary Affairs for Paramount Pictures, Mr. Meldman was a motion picture and  record producer, and a theatrical agent.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business:
    • complex business and commercial contract
    • business acquisition
    • buy-sell agreement
    • partnership dissolution
    • shareholder dispute
    • franchise dispute
    • business tort
    • trade libel
    • attorney/client fee dispute
    • attorney malpractice
  • Employment
    • wrongful termination,
    • discrimination (FEHA, Title VII, ADEA, and ADA)
    • sexual harassment
    • whistleblower and retaliation
    • wage and hour
    • family and medical leave
    • False Claims Act
    • trade secret misappropriation
    • executive contract dispute
    • ERISA
  • Entertainment/Media
    • motion picture, television, music, concert, advertising, internet, publishing, and new media transactions
    • idea submission
    • rights of publicity
    • copyright and trademark infringement
    • profit participation
    • royalty
    • artist, agency, and executive employment agreements
    • entertainment insurance coverage
    • rights of privacy
    • defamation
  • Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith:
    • business
    • employment
    • entertainment
    • intellectual property
    • real estate
  • Intellectual Property
    • copyright
    • trademark
    • trade dress
    • design patent infringement
    • rights of publicity
    • trade secrets
    • unfair competition
  • Real Estate/Land Use
    • residential buyer/seller
    • residential developer/buyer
    • real estate broker/client
    • homeowner association
    • commercial and residential landlord/tenant dispute
    • commercial and residential construction defects
    • eminent domain, inverse condemnation, nuisance

Mr. Meldman is a member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society, past Vice-Chair of the ABA Entertainment ADR Committee, and a past appointed member of the State Bar of California  ADR Committee (2000-2003). He drafted and was instrumental in the passage of the 1996 amendment to California Evidence Code 1152.5 regarding the confidentiality of a mediation consultation. Mr. Meldman served as a guest lecturer at Stanford Law School, is a national speaker on the subject of mediation, and currently presents MCLE workshops on mediation.

Philip Meldman graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1966. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1969 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1970.

Representative Cases

Complex Business

  • International Business: Complex contract, shareholder, and trademark dispute involving U.S. and Taiwanese companies.
  • Business Acquisition: Plaintiff/ former owner of media marketing company claimed breach of acquisition agreement by Defendant/ buyer for failing to pay contingent earn-out payment due to mismanagement of acquired company and fraudulent accounting. Initial demand: high seven figures.
  • Franchise Agreement: Plaintiff/hotel franchisor claimed that Defendant/hotel operator breached the franchise agreement by transferring ownership of the hotel to a related entity without franchisor’s consent and used its trademarks without authorization by continuing to operate the hotel under franchisor’s banner after franchisor terminated the agreement. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff implicitly agreed to the assumption of the franchise agreement by the new entity. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Foreign Goods: Plaintiff/ U.S. distributor of international consumer brand alleged that Defendant/foreign manufacturer delivered faulty products, which did not meet agreed upon specifications, and which resulted in loss of high end audio/video market share and tarnishing of Plaintiff’s brand: Initial demand: eight figures.
  • Internet Business: Plaintiff/internet “crowd sourcing” business terminated its agreement with Defendant to provide a marketing plan and create and implement a complex website, alleging that services rendered by Defendant were delayed and unacceptable. Plaintiff further claimed it had to hire a third party to start from scratch and demanded repayment in full. Defendant counterclaimed that Plaintiff had approved all work and demanded final payment due. Initial demand: six figures.
  • Partnership Buy-out: Plaintiff/former 50% equity partner alleged that following buy-out of his shares, Defendant/company failed to pay scheduled installments of purchase price, which was based in part on Defendant’s future revenue. Defendant claimed that anticipated cash flow problems plus unexpected changes in statutory law prevented timely payment. Initial demand: high seven figures.
  • Venture Capital Investment-Pre-litigation: Angel investor withdrew from a musical instrument venture, alleging fraud and failure of management to meet the goals of the agreed upon business plan. Mediation facilitated the renegotiation of the investment agreement.
  • Law Firm Breakup-Pre-ligation: Expelled partner alleged that former law partners refused to pay his earned fees and equity share. Former partners claimed expelled partner misrepresented his book of business, had uncollected fees and never earned his draw. Initial demand: mid-six figures.

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Employment

  • Contract/Restitution: Plaintiff/employer fired defendant/former senior corporate executive for gross negligence, which allegedly resulted in company incurring eight figure loss. Plaintiff sought restitution including return of prior paid compensation bonus. Initial demand: mid-seven figures.
  • Disability Discrimination: Plaintiff/high school teacher with physical disfigurement and speech impediment sued defendant/public school district, alleging he was not hired for a permanent teaching position due to his disability, notwithstanding being employed at the time in the same position as a substitute teacher. Plaintiff alleged past and future economic damages and emotional distress. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Slander/Wrongful Termination: Plaintiff/studio executive alleged he was publicly accused of illegal activity by a senior executive and fired. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Wrongful Termination/Racial Discrimination (4 parties): Plaintiffs/former city administrators alleged that a newly elected mayor ordered city manager to fire plaintiffs because of their race. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Wrongful Termination/Whistleblower/False Claims Act: Plaintiff/former scientist alleged that medical instrument manufacturer terminated him for reporting to supervisor that falsified testing results were used on FDA application. Initial demand mid-seven figures.
  • Wrongful Termination/Whistleblower: Plaintiff/former parts inspector alleged that defendant/aerospace manufacturer terminated him in retaliation for reporting safety violations to government authorities. Defendant claimed employee was terminated as part of ongoing layoff program. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Wrongful Termination/Embezzlement: Plaintiff/former president alleged he was unjustly fired by CEO of defendant company. Defendant counterclaimed that plaintiff embezzled large sums of money. Initial demand from each party: high six figures.
  • Constructive Discharge/Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Plaintiff/former executive alleged he was denied promotion and forced to resign due to ongoing harassment because of his sexual orientation. Defendant/employer claimed plaintiff took medical leave of absence due to serious illness which pre-dated employment. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Constructive Discharge/Sexual harassment: Plaintiff/former executive assistant alleged that president of defendant/company made unwanted physical sexual advances and frequent sexual comments. Initial demand: Mid-six figures.

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Entertainment

  • Trademark/Copyright Infringement/insurance Coverage (8 parties): Plaintiffs/ motion picture studio and owner of underlying rights to literary character claimed a series of television ads for an unrelated product infringed its rights in a major motion picture based upon the character and the art work used in the attendant motion picture advertising campaign. Multiple insurance companies disputing coverage. Pending preliminary injunction hearing. Initial demand: high eight figures.
  • Copyright Infringement/Unfair Competition (14 parties): Plaintiffs/ multiple foreign motion picture producers claimed defendants/multiple television distributors and broadcasters licensed and exhibited without authorization plaintiffs’ motion pictures, which were protected by U.S. copyright restoration act. Initial demand: high seven figures.
  • Copyright Infringement: Plaintiff/author alleged that defendant/motion picture studio used plaintiff’s published novel as basis for high profile motion picture. Initial demand: mid seven figures.
  • Idea Submission: Plaintiff claimed story treatment, submitted to producer prior to producer setting up similar project at major studio, became basis of major event motion picture. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Rights Agreement: Plaintiff/motion picture production company alleged multi-million dollar production halted by defendant/underlying rights owner claiming rights reverted upon failure to timely start “principal photography”. Pending injunctive and declaratory relief hearing. Initial demand eight figures.
  • Rights of Publicity: Plaintiff/heirs alleged distributor of classic motion picture entered into multiple licensing agreements to sell products bearing images from the film of the deceased star without authorization from heirs. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Artist Agreement: Plaintiff/motion picture director claimed defendant/production company started “pre-production” on a subsequently abandoned motion picture, which triggered a “pay or play” commitment. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Profit Participation: Plaintiff/producer of vintage TV series alleged original agreement with network covered exploitation of rights by means and devices not known at the time, such as video and cable. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Agency Partnership Dissolution: Departing artist’s agent claimed past and future commissions from star clients of agency were owed. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Rights of Privacy: Plaintiff alleged that “reality” TV program crew entered his apartment under false pretense and filmed his arrest. Initial demand: six figures.
  • Slander/Wrongful Termination: Plaintiff/studio executive alleged he was publicly accused of illegal activity by a senior executive and fired. Initial demand: seven figures.

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Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith

  • Trademark/Copyright Infringement/Insurance Coverage (8 parties): Plaintiffs/ motion picture studio and owner of underlying rights to literary character claimed  a series of television ads for an unrelated product infringed its rights in a major motion picture based upon the character and the art work used in the attendant motion picture advertising campaign.  Multiple insurance companies disputed coverage among them, including issues of lapsed policies and primary vs. excess coverage. Pending preliminary injunction hearing.  Initial demand: high eight figures.
  • Property Damage/ Waiver of Subrogation: Plantiff/ production company lessee alleged television set was destroyed due to negligence of Defendant/facility lessor. Defendant denied liability and alleged Plaintiff waived its right of subrogation, preventing Plaintiff’s insurance company to recover the amount of claims paid to Plaintiff. Initial demand: high seven figures.
  • Bad Faith: Plaintiff production company sued its insurance company for denying coverage. Live, filmed daredevil stunt event was cancelled due to severe injury to star performer, who attempted an unscheduled rehearsal stunt the day before. Insurance company alleged production was only covered for day of the live film shoot and denied coverage for any losses, including lost distribution sales. Initial demand: mid six figures.
  • Bad Faith: Plaintiff production company sued its insurance company for denying coverage. Production company filed claim for lost film footage shot on location. Insurance company denied coverage for costs due to postponement and completion of the film. Insurer alleged that production company shot new scenes, which were production enhancements not replacement of actual scenes lost. Initial demand: mid- six figures.

Intellectual Property

  • Trademark/Copyright Infringement/insurance Coverage (8 parties): Plaintiffs/ motion picture studio and owner of underlying rights to literary character claimed a series of television ads for an unrelated product infringed its rights in a major motion picture based upon the character and the art work used in the attendant motion picture advertising campaign. Multiple insurance companies disputing coverage. Pending preliminary injunction hearing. Initial demand: high eight figures.
  • Trademark Infringement/Unfair Competition: Plaintiff/senior user, a local mortgage broker, claimed reversed confusion as a result of defendant/junior user, a regional mortgage lender, using plaintiff’s trade name and slogan. Pending preliminary injunction hearing. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Trademark Infringement: Plaintiff/senior user, a local sports promoter claimed reverse confusion as a result of defendant/junior user, a national sports promoter, used the same initials in advertising the same type of sporting events and sold products bearing the same initials. Pending preliminary injunction hearing. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Trademark Infringement: Plaintiff/clothing manufacture claimed confusion as a result of use of similar logo by celebrity/entertainment company marketing competing product. Pending preliminary injunction hearing. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Trademark Infringement: Plaintiff/fabric manufacturer claimed unauthorized use of fabric design on dresses sold by major department store. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Copyright Infringement/Unfair Competition (14 parties): Plaintiffs/ multiple foreign motion picture producers claimed defendants/multiple television distributors and broadcasters licensed and exhibited without authorization plaintiffs’ motion pictures, which were protected by U.S. copyright restoration act. Initial demand: high seven figures.
  • Copyright Infringement: Plaintiff, creator/distributor of a successful collectible doll, claimed defendant/national distributor sold a “knock-off” doll created by Plaintiff’s former employee. Initial demand: mid seven figures.
  • Copyright Infringement: Plaintiff, a photographer alleged internet supplier of stock photos sold hundreds of plaintiff’s photos without authorization: Initial demand: mid-seven figures.
  • Copyright Infringement: Plaintiff/author of self-help books alleged copying by defendant/author and sales by defendant/major book publisher. Initial demand seven figures.

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Real Estate/Land Use

  • Ground Lease: Plaintiff/Shopping Center Developer alleged Defendant/Restaurant Chain breached lease agreement by failing to build Restaurant and make lease payments. Defendant claimed lease terminated. Pending declaratory relief hearing. Initial demand high seven figures.
  • Sales Agent Commissions: Multiple Plaintiff/former sales agents alleged Defendant/closed Real Estate Brokerage firm failed to pay commissions owed. Initial demand: high six figures.
  • Buyer/Seller: Plaintiff/Real Estate Developer alleged breach of sales agreement by Defendant/owner of luxury apartment complex for backing out of sale. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Seller/Broker Fraud: Plaintiff/buyer alleged Defendants/seller and real estate broker failed to disclose existence of material defects in luxury residential home and incurred extensive repair costs and emotional distress. Initial demand: Seven figures.
  • Constructive Defect/Property Damage (5 parties): Plaintiff/rental property owner claimed Defendant/contractor and Defendant/sub-contractor-plumber installed defective water valve which cause water damage to rental cabin; alleged Defendant/rental agent failed to properly inspect and maintain property; and further alleged defendant/restoration company failed to detect water damage resulting in extensive mold infestation. Initial demand: mid-six figures.
  • Trespass/Nuisance/Construction defect (multiple parties): Plaintiff/homeowner claimed his home was totally destroyed by sewage backup due to Defendant/City’s failure to repair broken sewage pipes and/or Defendant/Developer and defendant subcontractors’ failure to install proper sewer backup valve and alleged emotional distress. Initial demand seven figures.
  • Landlord/Tenant: Plaintiff/Tenant alleged that Defendant/landlord failed to maintain apartment which caused water damage and mold infestation and forced plaintiff to relocate and suffer emotional distress. Initial demand: six figures.
  • Condemnation: Property owner alleged that condemnation of commercial land prevented planned development and resulted in substantial financial loss. Initial demand: seven figures.
  • Condemnation: Liquor store owner challenged condemnation by redevelopment agency and alleged loss of inventory and business goodwill: Initial demand: six figures.

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