Skip to Content

Overview

Courtney Curtis-Ives focuses her practice on defending professionals in malpractice actions, with an emphasis on representing both large and small law firms. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Curtis-Ives was a co-founder of a boutique litigation firm in downtown Los Angeles, where her cases included claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, rights of publicity, copyright, trademark and patent infringement, false advertising, defamation, and unfair competition.

Admissions

  • California

Education

  • Southwestern Law School – J.D.
    • cum laude
  • California State University, Long Beach – B.S.,
    • cum laude

Representative Matters

  • Prevailed in binding arbitration in Los Angeles in a legal malpractice action. Defeated all allegations of professional misconduct asserted by the law firm’s former clients, and obtained a seven figure award representing lawyer client’s unpaid bonus fee.
  • Prevailed in binding arbitration in Orange County in a legal malpractice case. Before arbitration, obtained summary disposition on all of claimant’s malpractice claims against the law firm, which were alleged to have caused damage in excess of $2 million. Arbitrated the law firm’s fee claim and obtained an award in our favor for every cent the law firm was owed.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a legal malpractice case, in which the plaintiff sought over $6 million in damages as the result of alleged errors and omissions in connection with an estate plan prepared by our lawyer clients.
  • Prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion involving alleged criminal activity by the lawyer client. The plaintiff appealed, and Ms. Curtis-Ives handled oral argument at the Second District Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal affirmed all orders by the trial court, which also enabled the lawyer client to recover attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a legal malpractice case involving complex mediation confidentiality issues, in which the plaintiff sought 7-figure damages from the law firm clients.
  • Prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion involving “mixed” claims, including alleged criminal conduct by the lawyer client, achieving dismissal of the entire complaint against the law firm. Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, and other repeated efforts to attack the judgment, were all denied.
  • Prevailed on complex motion to compel arbitration in legal malpractice case, involving allegations of conflicts of interest that allegedly invalidated the attorney’s retainer agreement, and thus, the arbitration provision. After successfully compelling arbitration, plaintiff’s lawyer withdrew and plaintiff abandoned the case.
  • Defended a start-up test preparation company against claims for false advertising, breach of loyalty, internet defamation, and unfair competition during a three month jury trial where the plaintiff sough $18 million in damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff less than 1 percent of the damages sought.
  • Represented a high-end furniture design company in a matter involving trade dress and trademark infringement of furniture designs, and trade secret misappropriation of client lists. Prevailed on summary judgment on the trade secret claims. The remaining claims were dismissed on the first day of trial for lack of prosecution by the plaintiff, who largely abandoned the case after being defeated on summary judgment.
  • Represented a well-known tea company in a highly contentious two-week binding arbitration where the clients were being sued by the widow of their mentor for trademark infringement. Prepared a winning brief on a complex issue involving extra-territorial application of the Lanham Act which completely shielded the clients from over $10 million in exposure for foreign sales.
  • Olander Enterprises, Inc. v. Spencer Gifts, LLC, et al., 812 F. Supp. 2d 1070 (C.D. Cal. 2011) – Represented a novelty goods manufacturer in a copyright and trademark infringement case. Wrote, argued, and prevailed on summary judgment on an issue of first impression in the Ninth Circuit, which is now an oft-cited published opinion.
  • Represented a frozen yogurt chain being sued for trade dress infringement by a popular competitor, where the plaintiff sought protection in the interior décor of its yofurt shops. Negotiated extremely favorable settlement for clients resulting in payment of money by the plaintiff to the defendants.
  • Represented an international watch manufacturer being sued by an – celebrity actress for using her name and image in connection with advertisements. Negotiated settlement at a fraction of the Oscar-winning actress’s initial demands.
  • Represented the licensing arm of the NCAA in a putative class action case involving alleged misappropriation of likeness in video games, a case that has made national news headlines.
  • Represented well-known national retail chain store in a case involving copyright infringement of – necklaces. Negotiated dismissal of over 10 claims of infringement at the pre-answer stage of litigation, with no payment of money by the client.
  • Represented client being sued for alleged right of publicity violations by a company that claimed to have obtained assignments from various models. Court granted demurrer on the grounds that the assignments were invalid as a matter of law. The client was able to recover fees as the prevailing party.
  • Represented social networking client being sued for violation of the California anti-SPAM laws and other related Internet communication claims. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed nearly every claim after seeing the draft motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented appliance recycling center in which the plaintiff sued defendant for patent invalidity (involving a complex recycling process and machinery), and false advertising as to patent rights. After discovery efforts, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the patent invalidity claims. The client then prevailed on summary judgment as to the false advertising claims. The Ninth Circuit affirmed.
  • 2021 Southern California Super Lawyers
  • 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers
  • 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers
  • 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers
  • 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers
  • 2016 Southern California Rising Stars

Recent Publications

  • Curtis-Ives, C. (2011) “Does a Stock Photography Agency’s Copyright Registration Extend to Each Photograph Contained in its Database?” New Matter, Vol. 36
  • Curtis-Ives, C. (2006) “Under the Section 2 Microscope: Do Pfizer’s Bundled Rebates and Exclusive Dealing Contracts Violate the Sherman Antitrust Act?” Southwestern Law Review, Vol. 35

Presentations

  • “Legal Considerations for Attorneys Working Remotely During a Pandemic,” Live Webinar for Lorman on 5/1/2020
Super Lawyers Martindale Hubbel AV Preeminent Law 360