310.359.8188 (Los Angeles – direct) 206.274.2828 (Seattle – direct)
Derek represents clients in high-stakes litigation, most involving intellectual property and Internet issues. He also has substantial business experience, and represents clients in corporate transactions.
Derek advises in copyright, trademark, patent, publicity rights, trade secret, marketing, and general-business disputes. He has appeared in federal courts throughout the country. In government action over advertising claims, Derek has resolved disputes against the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general. He also represents clients in trademark cancellation and opposition proceedings before the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
Derek has a unique ability to resolve cases short of a trial. He has negotiated many multi-million dollar settlements for plaintiffs. For defendants, Derek has won numerous judgments dismissing cases (on the papers), and settled dozens of cases for nominal value.
Derek has counseled clients in hundreds of domain-name disputes, including in federal court and before Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) panelists. He also represents domain-name registrars and registries in policy development.
Derek was lead counsel in groundbreaking cases in the arena of Internet policy. His representation of the plaintiffs in the class action Smiley v. ICANN – alleging that the launch of the <.biz> top-level domain was an illegal lottery – resulted in a unprecedented multi-million dollar settlement providing most consumers with a full refund for money spent.
In the area of email marketing, Derek recovered the first-ever judgment for attorney’s fees in favor of a defendant in a federal CAN-SPAM action. He was also the first to win a judgment for attorney’s fees against a plaintiff in a state “spam” lawsuit.
Derek has won lots of appeals. Under the First Amendment, Derek won before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (overturning a federal district court’s injunction that would have blocked the Internet distribution of a video of public concern). Before the Ninth Circuit, Derek won a landmark appeal striking down a state law and limiting private litigants from bringing frivolous claims against email marketers. In the Utah Supreme Court, he argued an appeal resulting in a unanimous opinion in favor of his client based upon the Fourteenth Amendment.
Derek is an entrepreneur. He co-founded and ran a beverage company, raising over $10 million in capital and ultimately selling a majority interest in the company to a private equity firm.
In addition to his own business experience, Derek represents clients in various corporate transactions — from business formation and enterprise organization to strategic alliances, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.
Media and Public Relations:
Derek has advised clients appearing before Congress regarding Internet, intellectual property, domain name, and First-Amendment issues. He has been a frequent speaker over the years to the domain-name industry and on national television news programs about Internet law and the First Amendment.
Derek is passionate about the First Amendment and for many years hosted the First Amendment Minute, a weekly 60 second radio entertainment feature.
United States Supreme Court
United States Courts of Appeal:
United States District Courts (either full membership or pro hac vice):