Professional Biography

Michael B. Garfinkel Partner

Firmwide Chair, Media & Entertainment Litigation practice

  • Los Angeles

    D +1.310.788.3202

    F +1.310.788.3399

    Los Angeles

    1888 Century Park East, Suite 1700

    Los Angeles, CA




Michael Garfinkel is a trial lawyer who draws on extensive experience both inside and outside the courtroom to provide clients with strategic advice prior to and throughout all phases of litigation.  Michael has a broad commercial litigation practice with particular experience in entertainment, intellectual property, defamation and class action defense.  He prosecutes and defends actions in state and federal courts as well as in administrative hearings and arbitration.

Michael handles breach of contract, breach of non-disclosure agreements, interference with contract and prospective economic advantage, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, accounting and unfair competition disputes in many different industries. Within the entertainment industry, he has represented motion picture studios, television networks, production companies, talent agencies, personal managers and artists in a wide variety of matters, including disputes involving profit participations, commissions and trade secrets.  Michael also counsels and litigates on behalf of media, advertising, commercial production and hospitality clients concerning copyright, trademark and right of publicity matters as well as libel, slander and related First Amendment issues.  Michael has defended several commercial class actions brought under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Business and Professions Code Section 17200.

Professional Recognition

  • Ranked by Chambers USA, as "America's Media & Entertainment: Litigation Lawyers," 2016 - 2017

Professional Leadership

  • Los Angeles Copyright Society, Board of Trustees, Trustee-At-Large, 2015 - 2017
  • Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
    • Associate National Commissioner
    • Pacific Southwest Region, Vice Chair 2014 - 2016
    • ADL 2016 Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Ken Solomon, Chairman of the Board and CEO of The Tennis Channel, Co-Chair
    • ADL 2015 Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Brett Ratner and Ben Silverman, Dinner Committee
    • ADL 2014 Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Chair
    • ADL 2013 Entertainment Industry Awards Dinner Honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chair

Related Employment

  • Venable LLP, Los Angeles, CA, Partner, 2007 - 2011; Chair of Venable's California Commercial Litigation Group, 2009 - 2011; California Hiring Partner, 2007 - 2009          
  • Rintala, Smoot, Jaenicke & Rees LLP, Los Angeles, CA, Partner 1999 - 2007; Associate 1996 - 1999            
  • Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, Los Angeles CA, Associate 1991 - 1996





Areas of Focus

Bar and Court Admissions

  • California

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan


  • University of California, Los Angeles, J.D., 1991
  • University of Michigan, B.A.,
    with honors
    , 1988