Douglas L. Johnson
Douglas Johnson

Managing Partner

Education

  • J.D. , University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 2000, Dean's List
  • B.A. , University of Southern California, 1996, Dean's List

Practice Areas

  • Entertainment Litigation
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Defamation, Media, and First Amendment Law
  • Rights of Privacy and Publicity

Bar Admissions

  • California
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Douglas L. Johnson
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Douglas L. Johnson is Managing Partner at Johnson & Johnson.

Professional Experience

Mr. Johnson is well known for handling high-profile and high-impact entertainment matters. His clients include producers, actors, directors, production companies, music artists, and independent record labels. He is well-known for his successes in profit participation and royalty disputes, right of publicity cases, and theft of idea cases for film and television. Mr. Johnson has been repeatedly named by SuperLawyers as a top intellectual property litigator for more than a decade, representing the top 2.5% of the profession in Southern California. Mr. Johnson also serves as outside general counsel for WorldStarHipHop.com.

Since co-founding Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Johnson has been at the forefront of developing California’s right of publicity laws. He has litigated cases up to the California Supreme Court, advocating for precedent to protect the rights of all Californians from those who would seek to profit from their names, images, and likenesses without authorization. Mr. Johnson’s advocacy extends to his participation on speaking panels, publication of scholarly articles, and educating law students on the importance of these rights.

Representative Matters

  • Handled profit participation disputes on behalf of Sylvester Stallone (Demolition Man), Glen Larson (Magnum PI, Knight Rider, Fall Guy, Battlestar Galactica), Ed Weinberger (Amen), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Goodbye Girl, What About Bob?) and Raymond Wagner (Turner and Hooch), Jack Klugman (Quincy, Odd Couple), Mike Connors (Mannix), the Estate of Charles Bronson (St. Ives, Telefon).
  • Obtained multiple eight-figure settlements in class actions against major Hollywood studios for underpaying royalties on home video and new digital media, major record labels for underpayments on digital download royalties, and major entertainment guilds for unpaid foreign levies, Mr. Johnson is currently leading class actions against several major record labels for underpayment of digital streaming royalties.
  • Defended blues icon B.B. King in a case seeking declaratory relief regarding the right to produce a film about his life, resulting in dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Obtained a seven-figure jury verdict on behalf of an artist and record company in a copyright infringement case.
  • Litigated several high-profile libel disputes against large media companies, recently settling one in 2015 for mid-seven figures. Mr. Johnson represented Richard Simmons in a libel action against the Enquirer.
  • Obtained a $10 million arbitration award on behalf of a business owner involved in partnership dispute.
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement in wrongful death and civil rights case, resulting in reorganization of staffing and training at a county jail. The matter was featured on the cover of the Sacramento News & Review and constituted the largest settlement in the nation at the time for such a case.

Thought Leadership

  • Adjunct Professor, Entertainment and Media Litigation, Southwestern School of Law, 2012 to Present
  • Panelist, “Backend Optics: Profit Participations Through Different Lenses,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2018 
  • Panelist, “I’m a Celebrity, You Can’t Do That, (Can You?), California Society of Entertainment Lawyers, 2018
  • Panelist, “Entertainment Year in Review: Entertainment Litigation With Stars Of The Bar,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2017
  • Panelist, “The Right of Publicity: The State of The Current Law,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2014
  • The Ever-Evolving Courtroom Drama of Net Profits, Donald L. Stone’s Inn of St. Ives, 2012
  • Panelist, Right of Publicity: How Much Is Your Client Really Worth?, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2012
  • Panelist, Current Issues in Right of Likeness, Defamation and Privacy, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2011
  • Panelist, Injuries Without Remedies, Loyola Law School’s Legal Symposium, 2010

Sample Publications

  • Entertainment Contracts With Minors in New York and California, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring, 2019
  • Defamation and Invasion of Privacy in the Internet Age, Southwestern Journal of International Law, Volume XXV, 2019
  • When Will Legal Communication Result In Liability?, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March, 2019
  • Entertainment Contracts With Minors: Clarification Needed, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November, 2018
  • Tales and Lessons Regarding the Right of Publicity, USC Entertainment Law Spotlight, Issue 2, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Tales and Lessons Regarding the Right of Publicity, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, No. 2, Summer, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Essential Clauses for Drafting an Ironclad Release and Consent Agreement, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Making the Perfect Pitch, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 27, No.3, Fall/Winter, 2017
  • Hollywood Docket: One-Sided World, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol 27, No. 2., Summer, 2016
  • A New Way to Revive a Corporation, Los Angeles Daily Journal, October 26, 2016
  • Hollywood Docket: Social Media, the Law, and You, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall, 2016
  • What Happened to Unjust Enrichment in California? The Deterioration of Equity in the California Courts, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 44:277 Fall, 2010
Douglas Johnson

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Los Angeles, CA
Send a fax:
(310) 826-5450
Douglas L. Johnson
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Professional Experience

Mr. Johnson is well known for handling high-profile and high-impact entertainment matters. His clients include producers, actors, directors, production companies, music artists, and independent record labels. He is well-known for his successes in profit participation and royalty disputes, right of publicity cases, and theft of idea cases for film and television. Mr. Johnson has been repeatedly named by SuperLawyers as a top intellectual property litigator for more than a decade, representing the top 2.5% of the profession in Southern California. Mr. Johnson also serves as outside general counsel for WorldStarHipHop.com.

Since co-founding Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Johnson has been at the forefront of developing California’s right of publicity laws. He has litigated cases up to the California Supreme Court, advocating for precedent to protect the rights of all Californians from those who would seek to profit from their names, images, and likenesses without authorization. Mr. Johnson’s advocacy extends to his participation on speaking panels, publication of scholarly articles, and educating law students on the importance of these rights.

Representative Matters

  • Handled profit participation disputes on behalf of Sylvester Stallone (Demolition Man), Glen Larson (Magnum PI, Knight Rider, Fall Guy, Battlestar Galactica), Ed Weinberger (Amen), Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Goodbye Girl, What About Bob?) and Raymond Wagner (Turner and Hooch), Jack Klugman (Quincy, Odd Couple), Mike Connors (Mannix), the Estate of Charles Bronson (St. Ives, Telefon).
  • Obtained multiple eight-figure settlements in class actions against major Hollywood studios for underpaying royalties on home video and new digital media, major record labels for underpayments on digital download royalties, and major entertainment guilds for unpaid foreign levies, Mr. Johnson is currently leading class actions against several major record labels for underpayment of digital streaming royalties.
  • Defended blues icon B.B. King in a case seeking declaratory relief regarding the right to produce a film about his life, resulting in dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Obtained a seven-figure jury verdict on behalf of an artist and record company in a copyright infringement case.
  • Litigated several high-profile libel disputes against large media companies, recently settling one in 2015 for mid-seven figures. Mr. Johnson represented Richard Simmons in a libel action against the Enquirer.
  • Obtained a $10 million arbitration award on behalf of a business owner involved in partnership dispute.
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement in wrongful death and civil rights case, resulting in reorganization of staffing and training at a county jail. The matter was featured on the cover of the Sacramento News & Review and constituted the largest settlement in the nation at the time for such a case.

Thought Leadership

  • Adjunct Professor, Entertainment and Media Litigation, Southwestern School of Law, 2012 to Present
  • Panelist, “Backend Optics: Profit Participations Through Different Lenses,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2018 
  • Panelist, “I’m a Celebrity, You Can’t Do That, (Can You?), California Society of Entertainment Lawyers, 2018
  • Panelist, “Entertainment Year in Review: Entertainment Litigation With Stars Of The Bar,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2017
  • Panelist, “The Right of Publicity: The State of The Current Law,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2014
  • The Ever-Evolving Courtroom Drama of Net Profits, Donald L. Stone’s Inn of St. Ives, 2012
  • Panelist, Right of Publicity: How Much Is Your Client Really Worth?, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2012
  • Panelist, Current Issues in Right of Likeness, Defamation and Privacy, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2011
  • Panelist, Injuries Without Remedies, Loyola Law School’s Legal Symposium, 2010

Practice Areas

  • Entertainment Litigation
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Defamation, Media, and First Amendment Law
  • Rights of Privacy and Publicity

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • J.D. , University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 2000, Dean's List
  • B.A. , University of Southern California, 1996, Dean's List

Professional Associations

Classes & Seminars

  • Panelist, Current Issues in Right of Likeness, Defamation and Privacy, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2011 to 2011
  • Panelist, Injuries Without Remedies, Loyola Law School’s Legal Symposium, 03/26/2010 to 03/26/2010
  • Panelist, Right of Publicity: How Much Is Your Client Really Worth?, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 03/21/2012 to 03/21/2012
  • The Ever-Evolving Courtroom Drama of Net Profits, Donald L. Stone’s Inn of St. Ives, 2012 to 2012
  • Panelist, The Right of Publicity: The State of The Current Law, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2014 to 2014
  • Panelist, Entertainment Year in Review: Entertainment Litigation With Stars Of The Bar, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section, 2017 to 2017
  • Panelist, “I’m a Celebrity, You Can’t Do That, (Can You?), California Society of Entertainment Lawyers, 2018 to 2018
  • Adjunct Professor, Entertainment and Media Litigation, Southwestern School of Law, 2012 to Present

Honors

  • Super Lawyer, Intellectual Property Litigation, 2006 - 2013, 2016 - 2017

Published Works

  • Entertainment Contracts With Minors in New York and California, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring, 2019
  • Defamation and Invasion of Privacy in the Internet Age, Southwestern Journal of International Law, Volume XXV, 2019
  • When Will Legal Communication Result In Liability?, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March, 2019
  • Entertainment Contracts With Minors: Clarification Needed, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November, 2018
  • Tales and Lessons Regarding the Right of Publicity, USC Entertainment Law Spotlight, Issue 2, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Tales and Lessons Regarding the Right of Publicity, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, No. 2, Summer, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Essential Clauses for Drafting an Ironclad Release and Consent Agreement, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring, 2018
  • Hollywood Docket: Making the Perfect Pitch, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 27, No.3, Fall/Winter, 2017
  • Hollywood Docket: One-Sided World, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol 27, No. 2., Summer, 2016
  • A New Way to Revive a Corporation, Los Angeles Daily Journal, October 26, 2016
  • Hollywood Docket: Social Media, the Law, and You, New York State Bar Association, Arts and Sports Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall, 2016
  • What Happened to Unjust Enrichment in California? The Deterioration of Equity in the California Courts, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 44:277 Fall, 2010

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We Can Provide The Strong Support You Need.