Recent & Notable Cases
Throughout the years, Y&S and the cases it handles have received much recognition in the legal and entertainment communities.
In February 2019, Yanny and Smith successfully defended the Mongol Nations MC, in USA v. Mongol Nation, a multi-month Federal Criminal Racketeering case in which the Government sought forfeiture of the collective membership marks amongst other remedies. The Government presented evidence on over 15 homicides and attempted homicides and various alleged drug transactions. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Mongols on nearly all of the predicate acts and the Court ruled that the collective membership mark could not be forfeited as such would be in violation of the First and Eighth Amendments of the US Constitution. For further coverage please read the article from Washington Post.
In 2015, Yanny represented the Mongols Motorcycle Club in the United States of America v. Mongols Nations, a case in which prosecutors brought a criminal RICO action that sought as a remedy the forfeiture of the Mongol Nation's trademarks. In September 2015 Yanny obtained the dismissal of the indictment.
In October 2011, in the case Chaney V. Grigg, the California Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a judgment in excess of $3 million that Y&S obtained for a client against his former lawyer. The case was argued by Y&S partner Joseph A. Yanny. Prior to the appeal, Y&S obtained a permanent injunction in aid of enforcement of the judgment and then a finding of contempt against the defendant for violation of the permanent injunction.
Y&S successfully defended television personality Jesse James in a lawsuit brought by a manufacturer of custom-embellished sportswear. The plaintiff sought $6 million and an award of punitive damages for violations of an alleged joint venture that the company claimed to have formed with James. The action, entitled Fortune Fashions Industries, LLC v. James, et al., concluded in the summer of 2010 after a six week trial with a swift verdict in favor of James.
In 2009, Y&S successfully resolved a patent infringement case between two lead players in the plumbing supply industry. The case involved novel legal issues in the patent arena and resulted in two published opinions for the firm.
Other Y&S cases of interest include:
- Persistence of Vision v. Ziffren, et al. – This case involved a dispute between a renowned television writer-producer, on the one hand, and his former law firm, Columbia Pictures, and CBS Television, on the other. The case brought to light the serious problems associated with conflicts of interest in the legal profession, especially as they pertain to the entertainment industry, and touched off a series of disputes between artists and their attorneys concerning such conflicts.
- Kamar Int'l, Inc. v. Russ Berrie & Co. - Y&S successfully represented plaintiff Kamar. The case is discussed by legal treatise writers as one of the leading cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding damages under the copyright laws.
- Cerveceria Modelo, S.A. de C.V. v. Parallel Products, Inc. – Y&S represented the makers of Corona Extra beer in a trademark dispute over the unlawful importation of "grey market goods."
- Cerveceria Modelo v. CORONA.NET - Y&S represented the makers of Corona Extra Beer in a domain name dispute regarding the application of provisions of the Cyberpiracy Prevention Act.
- The Raytheon Company v. Kenneth A. Hay, et. al. – This lawsuit involved trade secrets in the confidential, high-technology area of infrared vision devices.
- Bob Dylan v. Apple Computer - Y&S represented Bob Dylan in a dispute over the use of the "Dylan" name by Apple.
- Gallo v. Gallo – This case involved a heated dispute between winemakers Ernest and Julio Gallo and their younger brother Joseph regarding Joseph's right to use the Gallo name in his own business. The case was later the subject of a book entitled Blood and Wine.
- Joseph C. Montana, Jr. v. Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. - Y&S represented Acclaim in a dispute with the football player over the alleged use of his likeness in a television commercial.
- Deborah DiNardo v. Beresford Romeo, et al. - Y&S handled the successful defense of Virgin Records and others in a copyright infringement action involving a dispute over a composition by the musical group Soul II Soul.
- Dallas Taylor v. David Crosby, et al. – In this case a drummer who once worked with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sued the band for an alleged breach of contract.
- Virgin Records Ltd. v. Cindy Crawford, et al.- This lawsuit involved a dispute over the use of a composition and recording in Ms. Crawford's workout video.
- Gene Hines, et al. v. Michael France, Carolco Pictures, et al. - Y&S represented two of the producers of the motion picture Cliffhanger regarding, among other issues, a dispute over "back end" compensation.
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