Lawyers

Attorney Profiles

E. Lacey Rice

E. LACEY RICE

Partner — Los Angeles

EXPERIENCE

E. Lacey Rice is a partner whose practice focuses on Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property, and Business and Commercial Litigation at Ropers Majeski.  Ms. Rice advises her clients on a wide range of litigation and entertainment matters involving film and television production, copyrights, trademarks, contract disputes, and related insurance coverage matters.
 
Ms. Rice has extensive experience in all facets of federal and state court litigation.  She also has significant experience with large scale electronic discovery projects.  She has handled matters for producers, studios, gaming conventions, and interactive media companies.
 
Prior to pursuing her legal career, Ms. Rice was a project director and new media producer at Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during which she formed the foundation for her extensive practice in entertainment industry transactional matters, including the negotiation and drafting of all forms of film, television, and new media agreements.  She is also often retained by gaming and social media companies for their various legal needs.
 
Recently, Ms. Rice has assisted clients in high-stakes copyright and other IP counseling and litigation.  Highlights of recent litigation matters include:
 
  • Represented the defendant in a case involving a copyright and trademark infringement action related to the use of the “Conan” character. We were able to obtain a favorable settlement for our client.
     
  • Represented plaintiffs who were writers, directors, producers and actors in an Academy Award winning motion picture. The distributor of the picture broke his promise to pay profits to our clients, and we filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court. After 4 years of litigation and two trial phases, we secured more than $12,000,000 for our client.
     
  • Represented an entertainment industry client in a trade secret and breach of loyalty case. The plaintiff’s insistent demand for an injunction prevented the case from settling and the matter was tried before a jury in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Pursuant to the firm’s motion, seven of plaintiff’s nine claims were dismissed before the case went to the jury. The jury’s verdict was one half of plaintiff’s request and, significantly, the court denied the plaintiff’s request for a permanent injunction.
     
  • Represented the defendants in a matter involving allegations of fraud, copyright and trade dress infringement related to the web design of two competing companies. We achieved a favorable settlement for our clients.
     
  • Represented a t-shirt manufacturer that entered into a contract with a screen printing and licensing company which held licenses for popular comic strip characters. Our client sued a screen printing and licensing company for breach of contract under the agreement to make t-shirts with the characters on them. The screen printing and licensing company cross-complained including a claim of defamation for statements made by our client to other t-shirt manufacturers. The case settled for a confidential sum, and our client received a favorable settlement on the breach of contract claim.
     
  • Represented an internationally known fashion designer and his companies in an action in federal court in Los Angeles in which an artist claimed that more than 50% of the garments sold by the designer infringed his copyrighted designs. Significant issues in the case included whether an oral license agreement permitted the designer to sublicense the subject works and whether the failure to prominently display the artist’s logo on each garment sold by the designer constituted an infringement of copyright or merely a breach of contract. The artist demanded several million dollars to resolve the case. Shortly before trial, the case settled on terms favorable to the client designer.
     
  • Represented a company who owned and licensed a patented technology for sunscreen in a case in U.S. District Court in which a licensee of the technology claimed that the patent owner had breached the licensing agreement by terminating it due to the licensee’s failure to perform.  Significant issues in the case included whether a failure to perform certain conditions allowed for termination and whether canceling a contract interfered with business expectancies with potential investors.  The case settled for a confidential sum, and our client received a favorable settlement on the claims.


Ms. Rice received her J.D. in 2009 from Loyola Law School, where she was Chief Production Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review.  She also served as an extern to the Honorable Samuel L. Bufford of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Ninth Circuit and she is admitted to practice in California and the United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts.

Ms. Rice received her B.A. in Film Studies from Emory University in 2003, where she earned her varsity letter in soccer as goalkeeper.