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David Halberstadter

Los Angeles – Century City Office

David Halberstadter serves as deputy general counsel for the firm's four California offices. He is an established and well-respected presence in the entertainment industry, widely known for his clear, thoughtful advice and strategic litigation judgment in intellectual property and other entertainment matters. David represents traditional, institutional entertainment industry clients as well as new media companies, that come to him for his extensive experience, his practical, business-savvy approach, and his ability to aggressively prosecute and defend litigation relating to all aspects of motion picture, television and new media conception, development, finance, production and distribution.

David both prosecutes and defends litigation on behalf of motion picture studios and production companies, television networks and producers, and Internet/new media companies on a wide variety of issues, including: copyright infringement, fair use, parody and termination; trademark infringement and unfair competition; defamation, rights of publicity, rights of privacy and the First Amendment; rights acquisitions and transfers; contract disputes between producers and talent; and production, financing, distribution and licensing matters. 

David also plays a prolific "behind-the-scenes" role in connection with motion picture, television and new media development. He regularly helps creators of entertainment content answer the question "Can we do this without getting sued?" For example, David frequently can be found at his desk reviewing books, films, screenplays, motion picture and television treatments, magazine articles and other works in order to assess and reduce the risks of third-party claims based upon motion picture and television adaptations of such works. He analyzes often byzantine rights agreements to ensure that his clients actually acquire the rights for which they are prepared to pay significant sums. He also counsels (and, if necessary, defends) his clients with respect to accounting and other claims asserted by motion picture and television profit participants. According to Chambers USA, David's clients say that "He has high levels of expertise across entertainment matters, and is extremely smart and a real fighter."

David frequently lectures and writes on topics relating to the rights and obligations of entertainment industry companies, and has served as an entertainment law columnist for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal. In 2019, he was selected to sit on Law360’s Media & Entertainment Editorial Advisory Board. Prior to joining Katten, he practiced with Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick & Tobey, LLP.

Shown below is a selection of David’s engagements.


Best Lawyers in America, 2015–2020
Legal 500, 2016–2019
Chambers USA, 2013–2019
Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2004–2019

Daily Journal

Daily Journal, "Top 75 IP Litigators," 2014, 2017; Top Intellectual Property Lawyer, 2018–2019
Variety, Legal Impact Report, 2014, 2016

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter, Power Lawyers List, 2010
Law360, MVP – Media and Entertainment, 2016
Firm News
October 16–17, 2015
Speaker | Right of Publicity Workshop | The Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School | New Haven, Connecticut
David  Halberstadter


  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center
  • BA, Cornell University

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


Best Lawyers in America
Legal 500
Chambers USA
Super Lawyers
Southern California, 2004–2019

Daily Journal

"Top 75 IP Litigators," 2014, 2017; Top Intellectual Property Lawyer, 2018–2019
Legal Impact Report, 2014, 2016

Hollywood Reporter

Power Lawyers List, 2010
MVP – Media and Entertainment, 2016
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  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Law360 Media & Entertainment Editorial Advisory Board
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