Morgan E. Pietz, named a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers, is first and foremost a trial lawyer, a champion for those who have been wronged, and a trusted counselor for companies and creative professionals. He primarily handles intellectual property and entertainment matters, business disputes, class actions, and related insurance issues.
In a case that attracted widespread national media attention from outlets such as Business Week and the LA Times, and which was described in the ABA Journal as “part of legal folklore,” Mr. Pietz was one of the lawyers primarily responsible for bringing down the notorious Prenda Law, a copyright trolling collective. In a series of groundbreaking decisions that he argued and won, he made the law, both in various California federal courts and around the country, on the issue of “swarm joinder,” in cases involving the use of the BitTorrent file sharing network. He is also responsible for pioneering a first-of-its-kind defense to copyright infringement predicated on non-compliance with a federal criminal statute.
Mr. Pietz has significant experience working with clients in the fashion and apparel industry on all aspects of their business, which typically touches on copyright, trademark, counterfeiting, and trade dress law. He has successfully defended and resolved multiple fabric print design lawsuits, and is a veteran of litigating complex issues that arise in relation to suing unknown “John Doe” defendants.
Other clients of Mr. Pietz include prominent media and entertainment companies, as well as celebrities and creative individuals, on issues including cyberpiracy, defamation, rights of publicity and privacy, licensing, and royalties. Although now often called to defend larger companies and wealthy individuals, he is a plaintiff’s lawyer at heart, and pushes his cases forward to trial with that kind of mindset.
Mr. Pietz began his career as an intellectual property associate at the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm. Before joining Gerard Fox Law, he founded and ran his own solo law firm in Manhattan Beach, California. Prior to law school, Mr. Pietz produced non-fiction television for outlets including National Geographic, CourtTV, Der Spiegel, and ZDF.
Mr. Pietz is currently the President of the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers. He is an officer on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Delegation to the Conference of California Bar Association. He is also active with the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Entertainment and IP Sections, and the author of a legislative proposal to amend California’s Anti-SLAPP law.
In connection with his assistance in a pro bono impact litigation class action, the ACLU of Southern California awarded Mr. Pietz its Humanitarian Award in 2010.