Zia F. Modabber is head of the Los Angeles Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. His practice incorporates a wide array of business and entertainment disputes, with particular expertise in the music industry. His general litigation practice focuses on copyright, trademark and intellectual property, contract, partnership, business tort and employment disputes, primarily for members of the entertainment industry in the musical recording and publishing, live performance, merchandising, production and television arenas.
Mr. Modabber is a trial lawyer experienced in both state and federal courts and is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America
(2010–2013), Southern California Super Lawyers
(2005–2013) and the Lawdragon 3000.
Mr. Modabber advises, counsels and litigates in the following areas:
- Copyright, trademark and intellectual property
- Rights of publicity
- Idea submission
- Partnerships (including band) disputes
- Artist-manager relations and disputes
- Trade secrets
- Labor and employment
- Trade dress
- Musical recording and publishing
- General business litigation
Past and Current Clients
- Estate of Michael J. Jackson—Ongoing work focused primarily on the protection of the estate's intellectual property assets, including copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and other assets.
- Scottish American Media, LLC and Maurice Fraser v. Reveille, LLC, Ben Silverman, et al.—Represented defendants in an idea submission case alleging the improper use of ideas in connection with development of a television program. Obtained summary judgment.
- Livia Milano v. NBC Universal, Inc., et al.—Represented Reveille, NBC Universal and producer Ben Silverman in a copyright infringement claim. Obtained summary judgment.
- Slash/Guns N' Roses Partnership—Represented Slash and the Guns N' Roses partnership in connection with their rights to sales of infringing merchandise, as well as ongoing disputes between the partners and band members of the original lineup over ownership and control of partnership assets.
- Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails—Represented the founder, owner and creator of Nine Inch Nails in an action for the return of the NIN trademarks and related assets, as well as in disputes concerning the ownership and control of numerous related companies and businesses. Prevailed on all counts in jury trial in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, resulting in the return of all Nine Inch Nails trademark and intellectual property rights, as well as on all claims and counterclaims relating to breach of fiduciary, breach of contract and fraud.
- Jeff Lynne/Electric Light Orchestra—Represented Jeff Lynne as the owner of all trademark and related intellectual property rights in "Electric Light Orchestra." Obtained preliminary, and ultimately a permanent, injunction in federal court against infringing former band members.
- Jordan Schur—Represented head of major label(s) in connection with dispute relating to ownership of the band name “Staind.”
Education and Bar Admissions
- Azure Capital
- Ben Silverman
- Chevy Chase
- Estate of Michael J. Jackson
- Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor
- Jordan Schur
- Slash/Guns N' Roses Music
- Sony Music
Mr. Modabber received his BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley and his JD from Loyola Law School Los Angeles. He is a member of the St. Thomas More Honor Society and is a former staff member, editor and published author of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review
Mr. Modabber is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice in all the California state courts, as well as the US District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also litigated and tried cases in the Southern District of New York.
JD, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
BA, University of California, Berkeley
US District Court, Central District of California
US District Court, Northern District of California
US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
American Bar Association
- Los Angeles County Bar Association