Bert H. Deixler

In his more than thirty-five year career as a trial attorney and commercial litigator, Bert Deixler has tried scores of cases to verdict, litigated cases involving more than 25 reported decisions and prevailed in appearances before the United States Supreme Court, including in the landmark case of Johnson v. California, which ruled unconstitutional the forced racial segregation of California’s prison system. For his work on that case, California Lawyer magazine awarded him the prestigious California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award.

Mr. Deixler is widely known for his entertainment, media and intellectual property experience. He has litigated on behalf of individuals and entities in a wide array of industries, including motion pictures, television, music, and new technologies. Mr. Deixler advises on and resolves disputes pertaining to copyrights, trademarks, digital downloading, libel, and rights of privacy, as well as the full range of business torts claims. His clients include prominent artists in music, movie, television and new media, motion picture and television studios, broadcast networks, and production and distribution companies.

A former Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division, Mr. Deixler represents individual and corporate clients in criminal, quasi-criminal, regulatory, and parallel proceedings litigation. This includes white-collar crime allegations and SEC actions involving tax fraud, insider trading, backdating options, wire and mail fraud, internal investigations, and other investigations and proceedings.

He represents clients in a wide array of other commercial disputes, including wrongful termination and post-termination compensation entitlement disputes, allegations of professional malpractice, and is frequently called upon to advise professionals and Boards of Directors in disputes pertaining to duties, departures, and responsibilities.

In addition to his experience in commercial and media litigation, Mr. Deixler has a deep commitment to public service, including the fair administration of justice in California. He has served as a member or as counsel to numerous reform commissions including the Los Angeles Ethics Commission (Cowan Commission) and the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (Christopher Commission), the Rampart Independent Review Panel, and the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence. He has testified before the California Senate on constitutional issues related to racial segregation in prisons.

Mr. Deixler played a founding role in establishing the Pro Se Clinic of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, an initiative to promote access to civil justice in conjunction with Public Counsel and the Judges of the District. He has also participated in initiating a pilot program in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California permitting Limited representation by attorneys of Pro Se litigants in pending Central District cases.

Representative Matters

Media, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property

Copyright Litigation

Defended successfully Warner Communications, Inc. against company holding certain rights to Tom Waits’ music.
Third Story Music, Inc. v. Waits, 41 Cal. App. 4th 798 (1995)

Represented musician Jack White and The White Stripes in copyright litigation against music producer seeking ownership of copyright interest in The White Stripes’ songs.
Diamond v. Gillis, 357 F. Supp. 2d 1003 (E.D. Mich. 2005)

Represented music band Smashing Pumpkins in obtaining summary judgment in action alleging copyright infringement and state law claims relating to production of music video.
Morrill v. Smashing Pumpkins, 157 F. Supp. 2d 120 (C.D. Cal. 2000)

Rights of Publicity

Represented band No Doubt in the band’s suit against Activision Publishing, Inc. over the use of its likeness in a video game. No Doubt v. Activision Publishing, Inc., 702 F. Supp. 2d 1139 (C.D. Cal. 2010);  and No Doubt v. Activision Publishing, Inc., 192 Cal. App 4th. 1018 (2011)

Competitor Suits

Represented record company and recording artist Anita Baker in defending against competitor’s efforts to prevent record label from signing singer formerly under contract with competitor.
Beverly Glen Music, Inc. v. Warner Communications, Inc., 178 Cal. App. 3d 1142 (1986)

Represented radio production company in litigation relating to challenge to Top 10 song countdown format.
Watermark, Inc. v. United Stations, Inc., 219 U.S.P.Q. 31 (C.D. Cal. 1982)

Commercial Litigation and Appeals

Represented investment banking firm in litigation and appeal relating to licensing requirements for the sale of a business.
All Points Traders, Inc. v. Barrington Assocs., 211 Cal. App. 3d 723 (1989)

Represented real estate development company in action against international engineering and construction firm for damages for breach of contract to transfer real property.
Ersa Grae Corp. v. Fluor Corp., 1 Cal. App. 4th 613 (1991)

Represented judgment creditor in bankruptcy proceeding and related appeals challenging claim as time barred.
Classic Auto Refinishing Inc. v. Marino, 181 F.3d 1142 (1999)

Represented bank in action on promissory note.
Lincoln Natl. Bank v. Dworsky, 218 Cal. App. 3d 852 (1990)

Appellate and Constitutional Litigation

Represented Church in employment dispute with former minister.
Headley v. Church of Scientology International, 687 F.3d 1173 (9th Cir. 2012)

Represented concert promoter in suit against City for denying access to public forum based on content of performers’ expression, in violation of First Amendment.
Cinevision Corp. v. City of Burbank, 745 F.2d 560 (9th Cir. 1984)

Represented City of Simi Valley in connection with defense of ordinances concerning adult businesses.
Young v. City of Simi Valley, 216 F.3d 807 (2000)

Defended City in action by developer raising constitutional challenges to zoning and land use regulations and permit denial.
Litton Intl. Dev. Corp. v. City of Simi Valley, 616 F. Supp. 275 (1985)

Represented candidate for California Assembly in challenging application of state unfair competition laws to political campaign messages.
O’Connor v. Superior Court of Kern County, 177 Cal. App. 3d 1013 (1986)

Represented parties seeking to maintain confidentiality of search warrant and other pre-indictment investigation materials.
Times Mirror Co. v. United States, 873 F.2d 1210 (9th Cir. 1989)

Represented City in obtaining reversal of Section 1983 liability judgment in action by ballot measure proponent in connection with police action against proponent.
Sloman v. Tadlock, 21 F.3d 1462 (9th Cir. 1994)

Represented Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley in challenge to enactment of City ordinance.
Pulskamp v. Martinez, 2 Cal. App. 4th 854 (1992)

Pro Bono Litigation

Represented petitioner in Supreme Court action finding racial segregation in California’s prison system unconstitutional.
Johnson v. California, 543 U.S. 499, 125 S. Ct. 1141 (2005)

Submitted amicus brief on behalf of Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Supreme Court cases concerning Second Amendment challenges to firearms restrictions and criminal sanctions relating to firearms possession.
District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008); and United States v. Hayes,  129 S.Ct. 1079 (2009)

At the request of California Supreme Court, represented indigent death row defendant in appeal of conviction and habeas corpus petition. People v. Williams, 44 Cal. 3d 1127, 751 P.2d 901 (1988); and In re Williams, 7 Cal. 4th 572, 870 P.2d 1072 (1994)

Other Reported Decisions

United States v. Halbert, 640 F.2d 100 (9th Cir. 1981)

United States v. Gardner, 611 F.2d 770 (9th Cir. 1980)

United States v. Vasquez, 597 F.2d 192 (9th Cir. 1979)

United States v. General Dynamics Corp., 644 F. Supp. 1497 (1986)

United States v. Seide, 492 F. Supp. 164 (1980)



Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

American Bar Association, Litigation Section

Former Co-Chair of Financial Institutions Fraud Sub-Committee

Federal Civil Rights Panel Central District of California, Member

Los Angeles County District Attorney, Task Force on Workers’ Compensation Fraud, Member

Chancery Club, Member

Public Counsel, Member, Board of Directors

Western Justice Center Foundation, Member, Board of Directors; Member, Executive Committee

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles , Member, Board of Directors

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section

State Bar of California

District of Columbia Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Civic and Community

Citizens Commission on Jail Violence, Deputy General Counsel

Los Angeles Ethics Commission, “Cowan Commission,” Consultant

Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, “Christopher Commission,” Counsel

Rampart Independent Review Panel, Deputy General Counsel

Board of Police Commissions, “Judge Webster Study,” Special Advisor

Los Angeles Review of Books, Board Member

Temple Israel of Hollywood, Board Member

Big Sunday, Inc., Board Member

Oakwood School, Member, Board of Trustees; Member, Executive Committee

Westside Jewish Community Center, Vice President

Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Society, Advisory Board Member

American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), Commissioner

George Washington University National Council of Arts and Sciences, Member Emeritus, Past Chair

Publications, Presentations,
Appearances & Teaching

Visiting Professor, American Criminal Procedure, Biznesa Augstskola Turiba Faculty of Law, Riga, Latvia

Visiting Professor, American Criminal Procedure, University of East Sarajevo Faculty of Law, Bosnia and Herzegovia

Visiting Professor, American Criminal Procedure, Wisdom University Faculty of Law, Tirana, Albania

California Causes of Action, James Publishing, Editorial Advisory Board

University of California, Berkeley, CA, ”My Life in Prison: One Corporate Litigation Lawyer’s Experiences with California Murderers and Their Constitutional Rights.”

American Bar Association

Association of Business Trial Lawyers

National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Instructor

American Film Institute

California Accountants Society

Georgetown University

UCLA School of Law

University of Southern California


California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Award (CLAY), Pro Bono, 2006
Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the Company and Commercial Litigation, 2000–present
Super Lawyers, 2000-present

Prior to Kendall Brill Kelly

Proskauer Rose LLP, Los Angeles, Partner, 2000-2011; Managing Partner 2004-2009
McCambridge, Deixler and Marmaro, Founding Partner, 1984–2000
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Partner, 1981–1983
U.S. Department of Justice,
  • Assistant United States Attorney Los Angeles, 1978–1981
  • Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, 1981

Bar and Court Admissions

California, 1976
District of Columbia, 1982
New York, 2008
U.S. District Court, California, all districts
U.S. District Court, Michigan, Eastern District
U.S. District Court, New York, Southern District
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
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