Peter L. Haviland is an accomplished civil trial lawyer with a national and international practice. He has tried cases in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts and arbitral forums and has argued a wide range of appeals.
Over the course of his 30-year legal career, and prior to joining the California-certified women and minority-owned law firm The Wheaton Law Group, Peter has been an equity litigation partner with three AmLaw 100 firms: Ballard Spahr LLP, where Peter also served as Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office; Kaye Scholer, now Arnold and Porter, where Peter was the firm’s Relationship Partner with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company and co-chair of the firm’s Media & Entertainment Litigation Group; and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he coordinated the Los Angeles office Trial Training Program and also served as firm-wide Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Peter has been recognized as one of America’s “Most Influential” and “Top 100” Black Lawyers.
Peter’s docket includes defense and prosecution of cases for a number of Fortune 500 corporations on matters ranging from intellectual property to products liability, mass tort, bankruptcy, and environmental disputes. Based in Los Angeles, Peter also has prosecuted high profile entertainment matters in music, film, television, and social media.
Peter is a former law clerk to the Hon. Warren Ferguson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School.
Peter has been noted for his success in a number of high-stakes cases, including:
• Alexander v. Exxon Mobil Corporation (complete defense of Exxon Mobil in mass tort claims through Daubert/Sargon evidentiary hearings);
• Arcelik v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (defense of DuPont in international products liability claims);
• TVT Records v. The Island Def Jam Music Group ($132 million plaintiff’s jury verdict for breach of contract, copyright infringement and fraud);
• Chapgier v. Casisse de Retraite pour La France et L’Exterieur, et al. ($11.5 million plaintiff’s award against French benefits administrator);
• In re Death Row Records (representation of Trustee in adversary litigation in reorganization of record label);
• In re Tricom (representation of Liquidator of Bancredito Panama in reorganization of Dominican telecommunications company);
• Century of Progress Productions, Christopher Guest, Rob Reiner Productions, United Heathen, Spinal Tap Productions, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, and Michael McKean v. Vivendi S.A., Studiocanal, et al. (accounting fraud and copyright termination claims concerning rights in This Is Spinal Tap);
• Alpha Grp., Inc. d/b/a Red Bull Global Rallycross, v. Subaru of America, Inc. (defense of Subaru in motorsport rally car dispute);
• G&G Productions, LLC, v. Rita Rusic (summary judgment in dispute over ownership of Jean Michel Basquiat painting);
• Alberto Garcia Huerta v. Hytrol Conveyor Company, Dematic Corp., Inc., Amazon.com, Inc. (dismissal of product design/defect claim);
• National Conference of Black Mayors; Sacramento Mayor Kevin M. Johnson, in his official capacity as the former President of the National Conference of Black Mayors, et al. v. Chico Community Publishing, et al. (trial court and appellate affirmance for Mayor Kevin Johnson in reverse-California Public Records Act action);
• Jenhanco, Inc., a Utah Corporation v. The Hertz Corporation, Dollar Rent A Car, Inc., Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (defense of Hertz in franchisee claims);
• Adi Ben-Shahar v. Daniel Pickart, et. al. (trial court and appellate affirmance concerning application of California anti-SLAPP statute to real estate dispute);
• Allstate v. Driveway Software Company (representation of Allstate Insurance Company in trademark enforcement);
• Southern Christian Leadership Conference v. City of Los Angeles (right of Los Angeles Police Commission to suspend the Chief of Police following the Rodney King beating);
• Katherine Heigl v. Duane Reade, Inc. (misappropriation of artist’s name and likeness and false designation of origin);
• Garry Shandling v. Brad Grey (breach of fiduciary duty involving television rights to The Larry Sanders Show);
• Chris Rock v. Perna Communications, et al. (Lanham Act, right of publicity claims for misuse of artist’s name and likeness);
• Toni Braxton v. Lloyds of London (insurance recovery for recording artist)
• Hidden Beach Records v. Jill Scott (artist’s release from recording contract);
• Lockheed v. Crane (cost recovery in a Superfund clean-up).
• Chan et al. v. City of Pomona, et al. (defense of Sempra Energy in multiparty defense involving claims of City of Pomona employees for toxic tort injuries);
• UCANN v. Albertsons, et al. (defense of Albertsons in multiple actions alleging violation of privacy rights under federal and state laws governing medical information);
• KTNQ/KLVE, Inc. v. Humberto Luna and Spanish Broadcasting Systems (alleged theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, antitrust and breach of non-compete provisions);
• Sybersound v. UAV et al. (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and unfair competition claims arising from alleged criminal copyright infringement);
• In re Emachines, Inc. Merger Litigation (plaintiff’s securities class action recovery);
• West Coast Pictures v. Kings Road Entertainment (plaintiff’s recovery for securities fraud, officer/director liability).