International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Douglas E. Mirell
Practice Areas:

Los Angeles Attorney
Douglas E. Mirell

Phone: 310.553.3610

Email: dmirell@ggfirm.com

Languages: English

Doug Mirell is a rarity: A powerhouse litigator in the entertainment field, and a lawyer who follows his conscience.

Representing celebrities, entertainers, companies, guilds, media concerns, and others in litigation over the course of nearly four decades—and counting—his imprint can be found on hundreds of important entertainment-related issues that were resolved in the courts or that required legislative action.

Specifically, Doug is a driving force in First Amendment and entertainment industry lawsuits; anti-SLAPP motions; copyright and trademark infringement actions; new and traditional media law issues; invasion of privacy and defamation claims; and publicity rights disputes. Perhaps lesser-known, but equally rewarding to Doug, is his work litigating constitutional law questions that helped protect immigrant rights; prevent the electoral disenfranchisement of minority communities; and enforce freedom of information, public records, and other government access statutes.

Doug regularly reviews video and film footage, internet websites, motion picture, and television scripts, stage plays, newspapers, magazines, and books to identify intellectual property rights infringements and potential publication tort claims.  He previously authored amicus curiae briefs in various appellate courts for the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. and represented all of the MPAA’s member companies in nationwide litigation against computer users who were illegally trafficking in those studios’ copyrighted motion pictures on “peer-to-peer” file-sharing networks.

Making a difference for clients

In his practice, Doug is drawn to challenges that often involve confronting and surmounting new or unexpected problems.  He says this is where his personal skill set proves most useful. One example includes the legislative work he carried out, together with an Academy Award® winning actor and others, to significantly enhance the criminal penalties and create a new civil remedy for the harassment of celebrity children caused by overly aggressive paparazzi.  “No one had thought to do what we did—go to the California Legislature and request a safe space for celebrity kids.  It proved to be a fascinating and extraordinarily successful effort that has made a huge difference in many lives.  Improving the professional or personal lives of my clients is the ultimate reward.  I think that’s what every lawyer should strive to do.”

Doug also attributes his success to frequent communication with his clients.  He believes that every client deserves to be informed by their legal counsel at all times.  “At every stage of a matter, I want my clients to know not only what’s going on, but also what that means in the long term; they should understand the ramifications of each particular action.”  He says that remaining in touch—whether by email, phone, or in-person—improves the attorney/client relationship and forestalls miscommunication or misunderstanding down the road.

A stalwart community resource

A decades-long board member of the ACLU of Southern California and of its Foundation (including service as President), Doug has a strong commitment to equal justice and civil rights. He helped mount a successful constitutional challenge to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ 1981 redistricting plan on the grounds that it intentionally discriminated against the County’s then-three million Latino residents. He was also co-counsel in a federal court lawsuit on behalf of immigrant plaintiffs that successfully halted implementation of California’s Proposition 187.  Some of Doug’s other high-profile, pro bono efforts involved the representation of plaintiffs in landmark free speech and church/state separation litigation.

Doug was also instrumental in providing the legal analysis that helped win passage of three important pieces of California legislation affecting the rights of celebrities in the entertainment community:

  • Assembly Bill 602 (2019), authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman, created a new private right of action to sue those who create and distribute unauthorized sexually explicit “deepfakes” – hyper-realistic videos that use artificial intelligence to replace the image of a performer with that of someone else, most frequently an A-list actress;
  • Senate Bill 606 (2013), authored by then-State Senator Kevin de León, significantly enhanced the criminal penalties and created a new civil remedy for the harassment of celebrity children by overly aggressive paparazzi; and
  • Senate Bill 771 (2007), authored by then-State Senator Sheila Kuehl, clarified that the statutory post-mortem right of publicity applies to those celebrities who predeceased that law’s original effective date of January 1, 1985.

A voice in the media

A sought-after speaker, writer, and commentator, Doug authored over 25 expert commentaries on the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials for WESTLAW’s specialized “Notable Trials” computer database. During eight appearances before Judge Lance A. Ito in the Simpson criminal trial, he argued against sealing coroner’s records, autopsy photographs, juror dismissal transcripts, and other court documents; imposing a “gag order” upon trial participants; conducting a mid-trial inquest into the undisclosed sources of a controversial local TV news report; closing juror voir dire proceedings, and terminating courtroom television/radio coverage.

In addition, Doug has written Op-Ed columns for the Los Angeles Times, Law360, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and the Jewish Journal; he has frequently been interviewed for his perspective on various intellectual property and First Amendment-related issues by major newspapers and magazines, as well as by local, national, and international radio and television outlets.

Greenberg Glusker: A perfect fit

After a 32-year practice at Loeb & Loeb and five years in a boutique entertainment litigation firm he co-founded, Doug says he welcomed the move to Greenberg Glusker. Beyond attributes such as the quality of the firm’s clients, the diverse and full-service nature of the firm’s work, and the opportunities for synergistic relationships among the firm’s attorneys, he greatly appreciates the Greenberg Glusker historic commitment to protecting civil rights and civil liberties. “The firm’s ongoing investment in ensuring equal access to justice speaks highly of Greenberg Glusker. That proud tradition is as important to me as it is to my clients.”

Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Recognized in Advertising Law and Litigation – First Amendment (2010-2020)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (2004-2020)

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1980

Court Admissions

Education

  • University of California, Davis School of Law  (J.D., 1980)
  • Claremont Men’s College  (B.A., cum laude, 1977)

Representative Matters

  • Counsel for Terry Bollea (professionally known as Hulk Hogan) in pre-trial depositions that helped secure a $140.1 million jury verdict in an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, its founder/CEO Nick Denton, and former Gawker.com Editor-in-Chief A.J. Daulerio
  • Lead counsel for Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., the Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ, in a federal court defamation lawsuit that resulted in the entry of a permanent injunction, the removal of dozens of wholly false and highly inflammatory YouTube videos, the incarceration of the defendant responsible for creating and posting those videos upon a finding of civil contempt of court, and a referral of that defendant to the United States Attorney’s Office for a potential criminal contempt prosecution
  • Counsel in a two-year trial of the then-largest shareholder/dissenter’s rights case in American legal history involving a privately-held real estate corporation
  • Successfully defended The Franklin Mint in a publicity rights, false advertising, and false endorsement case brought by the memorial fund and estate of the late Princess Diana
  • Counsel for world-famous paranormal researcher and author Zak Bagans – host of the Travel Channel’s #1-rated Ghost Adventures reality television series and owner of The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas – in a dispute with Ranker.com and its associated Graveyard Shift Facebook site (@rankergraveyardshift) that resulted in the permanent deletion of a negative and inaccurate article and the issuance of a public apology to Mr. Bagans
  • Successfully defended a book author/publisher and a television producer/network against a lawsuit filed by Elizabeth Taylor which sought to prevent the publication of an unauthorized biography and the airing of an unauthorized television mini-series on her life
  • Successfully defended the author of a book about the Scott Peterson murder trial against an attempt by Peterson and his lawyers to censor its contents
  • Successfully represented various criminal defense attorneys and their clients in challenging court-imposed gag orders
  • Co-counsel in the successful constitutional challenge to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ 1981 redistricting plan on the grounds that it intentionally discriminated against the county’s then-3 million Latino residents, resulting in the election of a Latina – the first woman ever elected to the Board and the first Hispanic to serve on that powerful body in 115 years
  • Co-counsel for immigrant plaintiffs in the federal court lawsuit that successfully halted implementation of California’s Proposition 187
  • Co-counsel for Hispanic plaintiffs in a successful challenge to the at-large election system in the Compton Unified School District that resulted in the adoption of a district-based election system, a requirement that those elections occur concurrent with statewide primary elections rather than in odd-numbered years when voter turnout is substantially lower, and the advancement of the date of the first such election from November 2022 to March 2020 

Awards

  • Member “Global IP Star,” Managing Intellectual Property (2018-2020)
  • Named “Best Lawyer” in First Amendment Law, Best Lawyers In America (2010-2020) & Best Lawyers’ Southern California “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – First Amendment (2017)
  • Named in “Southern California Super Lawyers” in Intellectual Property Litigation, Entertainment & Sports and First Amendment/Media/Advertising (2004-2020)
  • Highest “AV Preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0)” Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Highest “SUPERB (10.0 out of 10.0)” Professional Rating, Avvo Inc.
  • Front-page profile, Los Angeles Daily Journal (Dec. 9, 1996)
  • “35 Young Lawyers to Keep an Eye On,” California Law Business (July 24, 1995)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Legal Journalism, Loyola Law School (Spring 1999)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Constitutional Law II (First Amendment), University of Southern California Law School (Spring 1996)
  • Menorah Award, Sinai Akiba Academy (2014)
  • Community Witness Award, Second African Methodist Episcopal Church (2010)
  • Advocate Award, Garment Worker Center (2006)
  • Isaiah Award, Progressive Jewish Alliance (2006)
  • First Annual Professional and Community Service Award, Loeb & Loeb (2003)
  • Pro Bono Advocate of the Year, ACLU Foundation of Southern California (2003)
  • Jewish Life Award, Hillel Council at UCLA (1999)
  • Freedom of Information Award, Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (1997)
  • Tikkun Olam Award, Loyola Law School (1996)
  • Community Service Award, CARECEN (1995)
  • Pro Bono Civil Liberties Award, ACLU Foundation of Southern California (1995)
  • David J. Cohen Memorial Community Service Award, AJCongress Pacific Southwest Region (1992)
  • Legal Services Award, MALDEF (1990)
  • Pro Bono Service Award, ACLU (1990)

Professional Affiliations

  • Board Member, ACLU Foundation of Southern California (President, 2007-2012)
  • Board Member, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
  • Board Member, Law360 Media & Entertainment Editorial Advisory Board
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Chancery Club
  • Member, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • Member, California Public Defenders Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Founding Board Member, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
  • Co-Founder and Former Board Member, Progressive Jewish Alliance (President, 2008-2009)
  • Founding Member, African-American/Jewish Leadership Connection
  • Founding Member, Muslim/Jewish Dialogue Group
  • Advisory Board Member, Defending Dissent Foundation
  • Media Lawyer Member, Los Angeles Superior Court Media Committee
  • Member, Los Angeles Copyright Society (Trustee, 2009-2013)
  • Pro Bono Attorney, ACLU Foundation of Southern California
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Society of Professional Journalists
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Pro Bono Attorney, Public Counsel
  • Former Commissioner, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an independent city-county agency formed to address the problems of homelessness on a regional basis (Chair, July 2008-June 2009; Vice-Chair, July 2007-June 2008)
  • Former Chair, Entertainment Law Committee, Media Law Resource Center (2010-2012)
  • Former Board Member, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Former Board Member, LA Youth (bi-monthly newspaper by and about teens)
  • Former Board Member, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (Federation)
  • Former Regional President and Board Member, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress)
  • Former Chair, Urban Affairs Commission, Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Committee
  • Former Chair, Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (statewide legislative advocacy arm of California’s organized Jewish communities)
  • Former Member, Legal Review Committee, California First Amendment Coalition

Contact This Firm

Greenberg Glusker

2049 Century Park East
Suite 2600
Los Angeles, CA 90067
United States

Law Firm Contact: Brian L. Davidoff

Tel: 310.553.3610

Fax: 310.553.0687

Email: bdavidoff@greenbergglusker.com

Website: www.greenbergglusker.com

Member Since: 2005

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