Greenberg Glusker (Full name Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP) is a law firm based in Los Angeles, CA, best known for representing high-profile celebrity clients in matters of entertainment law.
The firm that would become Greenberg Glusker was first founded in 1947 as Hill, Jones, and Attias, by retired Assistant Attorney General Irving Hill and his partners. Philip Glusker joined the firm in 1950, after graduating from Yale and accepting a position at the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which was rescinded after the firm found out he was Jewish. In 1954, he became a partner with the firm. In 1959, Arthur Greenberg joined the firm, and Hill, Greenberg & Glusker opened on April 1 in a converted Safeway store on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, with Stephen Claman, the firm’s first associate, joining that June. In 1961, Hill left the firm after being appointed to the California Superior Court by Governor Pat Brown, and the firm was renamed Greenberg Glusker.
A full-service firm that originally specialized in real estate, it became known for its role in entertainment law after 1982, when entertainment lawyer (and partner) Bert Fields joined the practice. The number of attorneys at the firm number "approximately 100", with a client roster that contains a number of celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Madonna, James Cameron and Warren Beatty. Lawyers at the firm also produce an entertainment law blog called Law Law Land as well, which won the ABA Journal’s 4th Annual Blawg 100 Award in the “For Fun” category in 2010.
In 2001, James Hornstein represented Fox in a suit filed against them by Viacom Inc. and the producers of the television series Survivor alleging that the Fox show Boot Camp was an imitation of Survivor. Viacom dropped the case under an agreement that was not disclosed.
In 2003, Ricardo Cestero represented Tom Cruise in a case against gay porn actor Chad Slater, who claimed to have had an affair with Cruise. Cruise was awarded a $10 million judgement in the case.
In 2006, members of Greenberg Glusker were named in the wiretapping case against private investigator Anthony Pellicano, who had been hired by the firm on various cases. At least 10 members of the firm were also called to testify before afederal grand jury. Throughout the investigation, Fields approved requests by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles to waive the statutes of limitations. Ultimately, federal prosecutors decided not to seek an indictment against the firm. The case arose in the news again in 2013, when a judge awarded a summary judgment to Fields and Tom Cruise, dismissing a wiretap lawsuit filed by former Bold magazine editor Michael Davis Sapir, ruling that the statute of limitations had expired on the case.
In 2008, attorneys Stephen Smith and Suann MacIsaac represented Ubisoft Entertainment in a copyright and trademark infringement dispute against MGA Entertainment, the owner of Bratz dolls, after MGA sought to force a renegotiation of a 2003 license terminating the license without cause. Ubisoft's countersuit alleging that MGA's termination of the license was a breach of contract was granted a $13.2 million judgment.
In 2008, they handled the contract allowing software company Ubisoft's exclusive acquisition of Tom Clancy material for video games for the foreseeable future.
In 2013, the firm represented Stan Lee Media in a case against Walt Disney, alleging infringement of characters created by Stan Lee. The judge stated that it had already been determined that Stan Lee Media did not hold the relevant copyrights and had not rights to the claims against Disney.
In 2013, they represented Japanese entertainment company Toho Co., Ltd. in a lawsuit against New Orleans Lager & Ale Brewing Company, claiming that the brewer’s “Mechahopzilla” beer violates Toho’s copyrights for Mechagodzilla.
In 2008, litigation attorney Rachel Wilkes was presented with a Distinguished Pro Bono Service award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association for her work on obtaining asylum for HIV-positive individuals facing immigration proceedings at San Pedro Detention Center on Terminal Island. The same year, estate planning attorney Jon Gallo was named by Worth Magazine as one of its Top 100 Attorneys. Greenberg Glusker real estate attorney Steven J. Lurie was included in the California Real Estate Journal's "California Dealmakers" in 2009, after handling approximately one billion dollars worth of real estate transactions in one year.
In 2013, three members of Greenberg Glusker were named to The Hollywood Reporter's list of the Top 100 Entertainment Lawyers in America. Talent lawyer Matt Galsor was named for hanlding daily affairs for Tom Cruise and James Cameron, closing a deal with Paramount for Cruise to star in Mission: Impossible 5, as well as with Warner Bros. for him to star in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and brokering a deal between Ubisoft and New Regency to produce a feature film based on the video game Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender. Litigation attorney Bonnie Eskenazi was named as well, for filng suit against Universal Music for a vendor of accounting software that claims the music label isn’t paying royalties in an accurate or timely manner, as well as for acting as the outside general counsel of Bob Marley’s estate, as well as helping with the development of a film.
The third named was litigation attorney (and partner) Bert Fields, who represented the Mario Puzo estate against Paramount over a literary sequel to The Godfather, as well as being involved with Tom Cruise’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against the publisher of Life & Style magazine. Galso was also named as one of 2013's Attorneys of the Year by The Recorder.