Scott J. Sholder, Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation group, focuses his practice on litigation, counseling, and dispute resolution in connection with entertainment, media, and intellectual property matters. Scott represents and advises clients across various industries in copyright, trademark, right-of-publicity, unfair competition, domain name, and commercial and business disputes, as well as defamation defense. He has appeared in federal and state courts around the country as well as administrative and arbitral tribunals and has handled cases from pre-suit negotiations through trial and post-trial procedures. His clients range from major media and entertainment companies and A-list talent to closely held and startup businesses and individuals in need of advice on intellectual property or guidance concerning brewing or existing legal conflicts. Scott is a skilled advocate and understands the risks, benefits, and practical considerations inherent in these cases and knows how to make use of available leverage and industry knowledge to reach a favorable conclusion. He utilizes a principled yet practical approach to litigation with an eye toward efficient resolution in line with the client’s business needs and financial realities.
A frequent writer and speaker on issues related to copyright and trademark in the entertainment and digital media space, Scott is a regular contributor to the CDAS legal blog as well as other major legal publications and has published several law review articles. He has also authored several amicus briefs in the Courts of Appeal and U.S. Supreme Court addressing important and cutting-edge issues in copyright law.
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison: Litigation Associate
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: Law Clerk to the Honorable Leonard I. Garth, U.S.C.J.
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey: Law Clerk to the Honorable Peter G. Sheridan, U.S.D.J.
- U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits
- Seton Hall University School of Law, JD, Valedictorian
- Seton Hall Law Review, Executive Editor
- American University, BA
Drafted amicus briefs on behalf of industry organizations in:
- Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. – Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court during merits stage of second appeal concerning Copyright Act attorney’s fee awards; filed on behalf of The Copyright Alliance.
- Cambridge University Press v. Patton – Amicus Brief to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit concerning fair use in the context of mass digitization of books; filed on behalf of the Authors Guild.
- WNET v. Aereo – Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court during certiorari and merits stage concerning legality of broadcast television retransmission over the Internet; filed on behalf of Copyright Alliance.
- Authors Guild v. HathiTrust – Amicus Brief to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit concerning legality of mass digital book scanning; filed on behalf of fifteen associations of independent authors’ organizations.
ASSOCIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
- Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA), Planning Committee
- American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Intellectual Property, inaugural Chair and current Vice-Chair; Right of Publicity Committee
- Media Law Resource Center (MLRC), Co-Chair of Media, Copyright & Trademark Committee
- New York State Bar Association
- New York City Bar Association
- Copyright and Trademark Litigation
- Defending legendary rock musician against copyright infringement claim related to a song performed during a famous MTV broadcast.
- Defending famous music star in a high-profile copyright infringement claim involving a record company’s logo.
- Defending major sports league and member team in a trademark dispute concerning the member team’s name.
- Defending Manhattan hotel owners and investors against trademark infringement claims brought by Nashville restaurant.
- Defending owners and operators of various pop culture news websites against copyright infringement claims by paparazzi photograph aggregators.
- Representing online travel booking website in trademark infringement action against competitor using website’s registered marks as search engine advertising keywords.
- Defended software developer in copyright infringement action relating to 3-D modeling apps; reached favorable settlement.
- Secured transfer of venue from California to New York in copyright infringement case resulting in favorable settlement.
- Secured favorable settlement on behalf of estate of legendary experimental jazz artist whose musical compositions were being exploited without permission or compensation.
- Digital Media, Media Defense, and Domain Name Disputes
- Providing counseling and legal defense on behalf of major social media and online news outlets against various copyright, defamation, and false light claims, including responding to claim letters, settlement negotiations, and litigation defense.
- Securing removal of infringing user-generated content on social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook through use of DMCA takedown procedures.
- Representing online content producers in disputes concerning linking of content.
- Defending operator of popular consumer complaints website against defamation claims.
- Secured dismissal with prejudice of federal and state lawsuits against major media company asserting claims of false light, infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference in connection with online articles and radio/video interviews.
- Securing the transfer of infringing domain names from cybersquatters on behalf of music artists, television/film talent, photographers, game designers, and fashion designers through UDRP procedures.
- Right-of-Publicity and Privacy Disputes
- Secured dismissal of a right-of-publicity claim against a fine art photographer by subjects of photographs, and affirmance by the New York Appellate Division First Department.
- Reached a favorable settlement for major stock content licensor in a lawsuit dealing with improper end uses of a photograph depicting the plaintiff which had been submitted with a falsified model release.
- Secured dismissal of right-of-publicity, breach-of-contract, and fraud claims against a photographer when photographs of model appeared on adult websites in violation of EULAs and without knowledge of the photographer.
- Handling disputes concerning model releases in connection with digital image licensing.
- False Advertising, Unfair Competition, and Trade Secret Cases
- Reached a favorable settlement for a manufacturer of home steam shower products against a competitor utilizing “bait and switch” sales techniques online.
- Represented website operator in suing former employee who removed proprietary information and trade secrets upon departure from the company; reached favorable settlement.
- General Media and Entertainment Litigation and Counseling
- Providing counseling and advice and engaging in settlement negotiations on behalf of film, digital media, and television producers dealing with various contract disputes with co-producers, financiers, directors, editors, and talent.
- Providing counseling and advice, and settling disputes concerning various commercial contract claims, including over unpaid commissions, fees, and royalties, improper termination, and unfulfilled advertising and marketing commitments.
- Secured partial dismissal and favorable settlement of breach-of-contract claims of former employee against website operator.
- Secured favorable settlement on behalf of publishing company involved in arbitration concerning the valuation of a minority member’s interest in an LLC.
- Pursued breach of contract claims on behalf of recording artist against former publicist, resulting in favorable settlement.
- Representing various media and entertainment companies in connection with third-party subpoenas for the production of documents and depositions.
- General IP Advice and Strategy
- Conducting trademark searches, clearance, and risk assessments.
- Registering trademarks with USPTO.
- Providing counseling in connection with various copyright issues, including assessing public domain status of works, fair use of copyrighted works, and protectability of new works.
- Named to “40 and Under Hot List,” Benchmark Litigation 2019
- “New York Metro Rising Star,” New York Metropolitan Area Super Lawyers, 2014-2019
- “Rising Star, Media & Entertainment,” Law360, 2018
- Short-listed for “Best in Media & Entertainment,” Euromoney Legal Media Group’s inaugural “Americas Rising Stars Awards,” 2018