Dale Kinsella is a nationally known trial lawyer specializing in the areas of entertainment and intellectual property litigation. During his career, Mr. Kinsella has successfully tried numerous cases in state and federal courts, and in private arbitrations and administrative proceedings, involving a wide array of disputes, from copyright and trademark infringement matters to antitrust and securities litigation. Mr. Kinsella is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Kinsella has represented large domestic and international corporations, major motion picture studios, record companies, law firms, and professional athletes and actors. Most recently, he successfully defended Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, Mariska Hargitay, American Idol’s Simon Fuller, and the creators of the television show Smallville. He represented numerous individuals and companies in litigation against KPMG and other national accounting firms in connection with “tax shelter” abuses that have been the subject of Congressional investigations. Mr. Kinsella has recovered tens of millions of dollars for his clients in these matters.
Some of the specific matters Mr. Kinsella handled as lead counsel in 2012 are:
- Killara Productions, Inc., et al. v. Time Warner Entertainment, et al.
Mr. Kinsella represented the creators (Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins) and writers (Miles Millar and Al Gough) of the hit television seriesSmallvillein a profit participation and vertical integration case against Warner Bros. Television. The creators alleged that Warner Bros. Television licensedSmallvilleto its sister networks The WB and The CW for “sweetheart” deals with unreasonably low license fees, in violation of Warner Bros. Television’s contractual duties to the plaintiffs. KWIKA defeated two motions for summary judgment brought by the defendants and obtained a favorable settlement for one of the plaintiffs. The remaining plaintiffs’ action is set for trial in June 2013.
- Simon Fuller v. Fox Broadcasting Company and Fremantlemedia North America
Mr. Kinsella filed suit on behalf of American Idol creator Simon Fuller in his case against Fox Broadcasting Company and Fremantlemedia North America. In this suit, Mr. Fuller alleges that as part of the settlement of the 2004 UK litigation regarding the similarities between American Idol and X Factor, Mr. Fuller had been promised an executive producer credit and fee for the US version of the X Factor television show. This matter is still pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.
- Jeffrey Sarver v. The Hurt Locker
Mr. Kinsella took on the defense of director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal against the claims of Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, an Iraq war veteran who alleged his rights of publicity were violated and he was defamed by the movie The Hurt Locker. Mr. Boal had been embedded with Sarver’s unit and wrote about him and other bomb disposal experts for an article, “The Man in the Bomb Suit.” The film was later adapted from this article, and Sarver claimed that it was based on him, presenting him in false light, resulting in ridicule from fellow service members.
In October 2011, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen ruled that The Hurt Locker was a movie connected to an issue of public interest and that Sarver had not demonstrated a likelihood of prevailing. The suit was dismissed, with Sarver ordered to pay the attorney fees of all involved. This ruling ensured that the First Amendment rights of filmmakers are protected, reducing the effect that lawsuits such as this one would have on the creativity of the arts.
- Jaycee Dugard v. The United States of America
Ms. Dugard’s recent New York Times bestselling book detailing the horrors of her kidnapping and 18 years in captivity frames the backdrop of this litigation. On behalf of Jaycee Dugard, Mr. Kinsella filed a complaint against the federal government for failing to monitor convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, who kidnapped and held Ms. Dugard captive for 18 years. The complaint states that authorities were negligent and aware that Garrido was still dangerous, yet failed to revoke his parole and return him to prison. This filing follows the record $20 million settlement in 2010 negotiated by Mr. Kinsella on behalf of Ms. Dugard against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for alleged failure to adequately supervise Garrido during the 10 years he was under its parole supervision. This matter is still pending.
Mr. Kinsella has represented motion picture studios DreamWorks and Universal Studios, including the successful defense at trial of a multimillion-dollar claim seeking rescission of the sale of a studio division. Other clients have included numerous actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors and recording artists as well as domestic and international companies in complex licensing disputes involving copyright and trademark rights. Numerous artists as well as studios have requested Mr. Kinsella’s representation in “net profit” litigation involving prime time network television series and major motion pictures.
Mr. Kinsella successfully defended one of Canada’s largest corporations in injunction proceedings brought by Northrop Corporation seeking to enjoin the worldwide sale of the most advanced fighter jet aircraft. He also represented various members of the board of directors of Lincoln Savings & Loan in multi-district federal and state litigation involving the largest S&L failure in United States history, successfully resolving all civil claims against them.
As a “lawyer’s lawyer,” Mr. Kinsella has represented numerous law firms and individual partners of firms in complex law firm dissolution proceedings, legal malpractice, and malicious prosecution actions in both state and federal courts.
Mr. Kinsella has served on the board of directors of Kilroy Realty Corporation, a NYSE REIT, since its inception as a public company in 1997.
Mr. Kinsella is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara (B.A. 1970) and UCLA Law School (J.D. 1974, Editor in Chief, UCLA Law Review).