Ilissa Samplin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Ms. Samplin serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets Practice Group. She also is a member of Gibson Dunn’s Litigation, Media, Entertainment and Technology, and Intellectual Property Practice Groups.
Ms. Samplin’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, entertainment and technology disputes, and intellectual property litigation and counseling. She has represented corporate and individual clients in the media, entertainment, and technology industries in a wide range of litigation in both federal and state court, including breach of contract, unfair competition, copyright, trademark, and trade secret matters. Ms. Samplin also regularly advises clients on website policies and copyright, trademark, and privacy compliance. In addition, she has experience drafting life rights, intellectual property, and licensing agreements and cease and desist letters for clients in the entertainment and technology sectors, as well as advising entertainment clients on profit participation and related accounting practices.
Ms. Samplin has been recognized as an “Up and Coming” California commercial litigator by Chambers USA and as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation. Lawdragon named Ms. Samplin to its 500 Leading Litigators in America 2022 guide, and the Daily Journal named Ms. Samplin one of the top 40 lawyers in California under 40 in 2022. For her media and entertainment work, Ms. Samplin was recognized as a “Rising Star” in Media and Entertainment by Law360 and Euromoney in their 2022 publications, has been featured in Variety’s Legal Impact Report in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as “One to Watch” in Entertainment and Sports Law. Ms. Samplin was also named by Euromoney Legal Media Group at its Women in Business Law Awards as the national 2021 Litigation Rising Star, and Super Lawyers has consistently named Ms. Samplin a “Rising Star” in General Litigation in Southern California. In addition, Ms. Samplin was part of the team that earned recognition in the Daily Journal’s 2020 “Top Verdicts” for a bench trial win for AMC in a profit participation case concerning The Walking Dead.
- Member of the trial team that achieved a complete victory for AMC on all issues tried in a first phase bench trial in Los Angeles, in a long-running profit participation and breach of contract litigation concerning the television series, The Walking Dead. Represented AMC in related profit participation and breach of contract litigations in New York.
- Member of the trial team that represented VOOM HD Holdings, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, in a multibillion dollar breach of contract action against DISH Network. The four-week jury trial ended in a lucrative settlement valued at over $1 billion, one of the largest settlements in a breach of contract case in New York State Court history.
- Member of the trial team that represented a confidential client in a multimillion dollar breach of contract and conversion action in California State Court. The team’s aggressive pre-trial briefing strategy secured significant victories for the client, and ultimately a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
- Member of the trial team that achieved a favorable verdict under the Fair Labor Standards Act for an individual client in New York Federal Court.
- Securing summary judgment for a major digital download service provider in a copyright infringement litigation based on a successful fair use defense.
- Securing dismissal with prejudice, on behalf of Verizon Media, Yahoo, and Oath Holdings in litigation brought by Evox in California Federal Court, in which Evox sought $300 million in damages in connection with alleged copyright and trademark infringement. Currently representing Verizon Media, AOL, and Oath Holdings in another litigation brought by Evox in California Federal Court for alleged copyright and trademark infringement—having secured dismissal with prejudice of the trademark claim thus far.
- Securing dismissal with prejudice, on behalf of SoundCloud Limited and SoundCloud Inc., of a trade secrets dispute brought by Beatport concerning online music streaming platforms.
- Securing dismissal with prejudice, on behalf of Hewlett-Packard, of a nationwide consumer class action brought on behalf of purchasers of numerous models of HP printers, asserting unfair trade practices, misrepresentations, tortious interference, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and trespass to chattels based on firmware updates to the printers.
- Securing dismissal, on the grounds of forum non conveniens, on behalf of General Electric and subsidiaries in a tortious interference action filed in the Southern District of New York, arising from prior proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal on appeal.
- Securing dismissal of trade secret and related claims against Oath Holdings, a subsidiary of Verizon Media, in a lawsuit filed by Investment Science in New York Federal Court.
- Securing dismissal with prejudice on behalf of CBS board members in a putative securities class action.
- Successfully obtaining 28 U.S.C. § 1782 discovery (discovery in aid of a foreign proceeding) on behalf of hedge fund manager, Louis Bacon, the founder of Moore Capital Management, and deposed key witnesses in a subsequent $100 million defamation action brought by Mr. Bacon.
- Successfully convinced district court to grant Campari America’s motion to stay a trademark litigation filed by the plaintiff pending resolution of the parties’ ongoing proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
- Achieving a favorable settlement for a social media application and its two co-founders in a bet-the-company dispute that included claims for breach of joint venture agreement, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Achieving a favorable settlement for a digital advertising and technology company in a breach of contract action.
- Achieving a favorable settlement for a leading mobile gaming company in a breach of contract, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets litigation.
- Achieving a favorable settlement for a leading executive search firm in a breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets litigation.
- Achieving a favorable settlement for a cosmetics company in a misappropriation of trade secrets litigation.
- Achieving default judgment for CrossFit in two trademark infringement and breach of contract litigations arising out of the activities of former CrossFit licensees in Mexico.
- Representing Hewlett Packard Enterprise against claims of copyright infringement, tortious interference, and unfair competition brought by Oracle in a lawsuit relating to a subcontractor’s handling of components of an Oracle Operating System. Achieved summary judgment in part, based on statute of limitations arguments, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit on appeal.
- Representing Korn Ferry against claims of trade secret misappropriation and tortious interference brought by competitor, Spencer Stuart.
- Representing a major digital download service provider in multiple copyright infringement litigations related to musical compositions.
- Representing a major technology firm in a breach of contract and breach of loyalty dispute against a former executive.
- Representing a major technology firm in a trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement litigation.
From 2012 to 2013, Ms. Samplin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph F. Bianco, then of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Samplin received her Juris Doctor degree in 2011 from Stanford Law School. While at Stanford, she served as a Managing Editor of the Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance, President of the Stanford Entertainment and Sports Law Association, and a member of the Cyberlaw Clinic. Ms. Samplin received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 2008, where she graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Ms. Samplin is admitted to practice in the States of California and New York and is a member of the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Second Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California and the Southern District of New York. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Friends of the Children, an organization that provides mentoring for children of youth who have been in the foster care system. She also serves as a committee member of Women in Film, a Los Angeles-based organization that advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries.