Mark D. Passin

310.552.0130

Experience

Mark Passin focuses his practice on high-profile contract disputes between major recording artists and record companies, record industry royalty audits, motion picture profit participations, disputes between artists and managers under the Talent Agencies Act, copyright and trademark infringement, motion picture and television litigation, as well as advertising industry cases.  His clients include recording artists, songwriters, actors, motion picture producers, personal and business managers, independent record and music publishing companies, advertising agencies, and concert tour merchandising companies. During his career, Mr. Passin has represented artists and companies such as Cher, Poison, Axl Rose, Snoop Dogg, Meat Loaf, Tom Scholz, Teena Maria Brockert, Clint Black, Sammy Hagar, Henry Rollins, The Moody Blues, Leiber/Stoller Productions, Windswept Pacific Entertainment, and various Omnicom Group, Inc. companies, among others.

Mr. Passin has been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyer” list in 2010 and 2012 and is regularly named a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers.  He received his J.D. from USC Gould School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Represented Cher in an action against a major record company.

Represented the members of the group Poison in a royalty audit case against Capitol Records.

Defended the members of the group Poison in a copyright infringement action.

Represented 5.1 Label Group LLC in a fraud and breach of contract action brought against Sanctuary Records Group, Inc. and Sanctuary Group PLC.

CBS, Inc. v. Donald Thomas Scholz et. al.: Obtained judgment on behalf of Donald Thomas Scholz of the group "Boston" following a six week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Defended a television company in a copyright infringement action brought against it by a major television network.

Obtained a summary judgment for $13.6 million for a motion picture producer against a major motion picture studio in an interpleader action filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Obtained on behalf of a motion picture producer against a major motion picture studio a judgment in the United States District Court for the Central District of California for in excess of $10 million following a six week trial of a breach of contract action. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented Clint Black in an action against his personal manager. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Defended heirs at trial in an action brought against them by the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences relating to the sale of Oscar statuettes. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented Lucy Lawless in a profit participation lawsuit regarding “Xena.”  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented Meat Loaf in a royalty audit case against Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Defended a music publishing company against various actions brought against it for fraud and securities violations in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee relating to its default on a multimillion dollar bridge loan.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented a concert promoter against Michael Jackson in an action relating to the cancellation of a worldwide tour.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Obtained a civil harassment restraining order against a stalker on behalf of a recording artist.

Represented The Ray Charles Foundation in an argument before the Ninth Circuit in which the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the Foundation had standing to challenge copyright termination notices served by Ray Charles’ children.

Represented Axl Rose before the Second Appellate District of California on appeal of a summary judgment motion granted against him.

Represented Aisha Tyler in a Labor Commission proceeding; prevailed in talent agency dispute. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented Trista Rehn in a Labor Commission proceeding; prevailed in talent agency dispute. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented Cher in a Labor commission proceeding; prevailed in talent agency dispute. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Earl S. Burroughs aka Jack Hammer v. Pepsico, Inc., BBDO Worldwide, Omnicom Group, Inc.  Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Pepsico, Inc., BBDO Worldwide, Inc. and Omnicom Group, Inc. in copyright infringement action. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Brett R. Spackman v. Agency.com Ltd., Miller Brewing Company, Skyworks Technologies, Inc., Starcom Media Vest Group and Young and Rubicam, Inc.  Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Agency.com Ltd. in copyright infringement action. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Represented an advertising agency and its client in a breach of contract, right of publicity and Lanham Act case.

Represented an advertising agency in a copyright infringement action brought against it by an illustrator.

Defended film companies in various arbitrations governed by the Independent Film & Television Alliance.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Obtained a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the Central District of California for a record production company against the sale and distribution of an extended play album.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Defeated a motion preliminary injunction filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California by Odyssey Partners and Odyssey Television Partners Ltd. against Odyssey Film Partners Ltd. for violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act and represented Odyssey Film Partners Ltd. in connection with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the decision.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)

Super Lawyers 2019
  • Named in Chambers USA as a Notable Practitioner in Media and Entertainment Category (2014-2017)
  • Named a "Power Lawyer" by the Hollywood Reporter (2010, 2012)
  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers (2009-2019)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Education
  • USC Gould School of Law, J.D. (1981)
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., magna cum laude (1977)
Professional Associations
  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • The Copyright Society of U.S.A.
  • Hidden Figures Profit Participations in a Studio
    Panelist, USC Institute of Entertainment Law & Business, Los Angeles, California (October 21, 2017)
  • Your Passport to Getting the Information You Need From Abroad: The Nuts And Bolts of International Discovery
    UCLA Extension Class (January 14, 2015)
  • Your Passport to Getting the Information You Need From Abroad: The Nuts And Bolts of International Discovery
    Moderator, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, California (May 29, 2012)
  • Creatively Resolving Entertainment Disputes How to Keep Your Clients Out of Court
    Guest Speaker (January 1, 0001)
Back to Top