Merino Yebri LLP



   Of Counsel

Tel: 310.551.2000

Tel: 310.551.2000

Tel: 310.551.2000

Tel: 310.551.2000

Alexander M. Merino is an experienced litigator, concentrating on business litigation, entertainment law, internet and media law, real estate and intellectual property, including copyright and trademark law. He also has extensive experience counseling start-up and emerging businesses with their corporate, real estate, and intellectual property needs. Alex has served as a research associate at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, two of the nation's foremost internet law research centers. Prior to founding MERINO YEBRI LLP, Alex was an associate at Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Schulman & Rabkin, LLP, and Toberoff & Associates, PC.

• University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D. (2005)
• Carnegie Mellon University, B.S. (2002)
• London School of Economics (2002)

Bar & Court Admissions
• California
• U.S. District Court, California, Central District

Representative Cases

• Obtained a favorable settlement in a copyright ownership dispute involving an author/filmmaker's motion picture and underlying screenplay in a case implicating idea submission and joint authorship issues.
• Assisted in the successful appeal and reversal of summary judgment in a case involving a famous branded property and related trademark and copyright principles.
• Helped a European technology firm obtain judgment against a California distributor in a breach of contract case.
• Won summary judgment in a copyright case involving trademark infringement, copyright recapture, profit participations and vertical integration issues.
• Helped a Southern California real estate developer in the successful defense and settlement of claims by investors and homebuilders.

Civic, Community, & Pro Bono Activities
• Volunteer, civil rights matters
• Pro Bono counsel, real estate matters / foreclosure prevention

Sam S. Yebri is an experienced and aggressive business lawyer. He has obtained successful results in a broad range of significant multi-million dollar commercial litigation matters, including real estate, employment, intellectual property, entertainment, and general business disputes. He is also a prominent employment lawyer, having represented aggrieved employees and defended employers in state and federal court. Sam also serves as outside general counsel for a broad range of mid-size companies, including start-up media, technology, and entertainment firms, real estate developers and investors, and electronics and clothing manufacturers. Prior to founding MERINO YEBRI LLP, Sam worked at two prestigious national firms, Proskauer Rose and Jones Day, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. A. Howard Matz and an extern to the Hon. George H. King of District Court for the Central District of California. Sam has been named a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2012. Sam served as a member of the Board of Civil Service Commissioners for the City of Los Angeles from 2010 until 2014. In 2013, he served on the Transition Team and Gun Violence Prevention Task Force for Los Angeles City Attorney-Elect Mike Feuer.

• University of Southern California Law School, J.D. (2006)
• Yale University, B.A. (2003)

• U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Judge A. Howard Matz (2007-2008)
• U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Judge George H. King (2004) (externship)

Bar & Court Admissions
• California
• U.S. District Court, California, Central District
• U.S. District Court, California, Northern District
• U.S. District Court, California, Eastern District
• U.S. District Court, California, Southern District

Representative Cases
• Obtained a million-dollar settlement during trial for a music management company in a breach of contract lawsuit against a prominent music artist.
• Obtained a million-dollar settlement for aggrieved employee asserting wrongful termination and age discrimination claims against a public company.
• Prevailed at trial in a complicated real estate dispute involving international parties.
• Prevailed at trial in real estate fraud and quiet title action.
• Obtained a favorable settlement in a fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and elder abuse litigation involving real estate.
• Prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of a university against claims of discrimination and wrongful termination in federal court.
• Obtained favorable settlement for toy manufacturer in a dispute involving copyright infringement claims.
• Obtained favorable settlement for a client in a lawsuit involving claims for unfair competition, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets arising from the client’s hiring of a competitor's employees.
• Obtained six-figure settlement for clients against national department store in connection with workplace harassment and wage and hour violations.
• Prevailed in complex trade secret and copyright infringement litigation in federal court.
• Negotiated and helped close numerous complex commercial real estate transactions.

Civic, Community & Pro Bono Activities
• President and Co-Founder of 30 Years After, a leading Iranian Jewish civic action organization
• Board of Trustees, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles
• Regional Cabinet, American Israel Public Affairs Committee
• New Leaders Council and Recipient of 2016 Award, Bet Tzedek Legal Services
• Community Engagement Executive Committee, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles
• Represent clients on a pro bono basis in immigration and civil rights matters
• Commentator on legal and policy matters in prominent print and radio media

Suzanne Raina Natbony is an experienced third generation lawyer with a diverse background practicing transactional, regulatory-compliance and dispute resolution law, across multiple business sectors, from startup to acquisition. She has advised physicians, allied health professionals, entertainment talent, architects, business executives, nonprofits and other professionals on a variety of business matters. In addition to serving as Of Counsel for Merino Yebri LLP, Ms. Natbony is cofounder and CEO of LawTake, an online legal services platform, and principal of the Law Office of Suzanne Raina Natbony.

• Southwestern University School of Law, J.D. (2008)
• University of Southern California, B.A., Magna Cum Laude (2005)

Bar & Court Admissions
• California

Representative Matters
• General Counsel for a multi-state medical facility, including advising on corporate governance issues, healthcare regulatory compliance, optimizing intellectual property, and employment law issues.
• Legal Advisor for a think tank and design-innovation incubator focused on neuroscience and gaming.
• Obtained a settlement on behalf of a physician inventor regarding a million dollar contract for a technology business.
• Represented New York hedge fund regarding corporate governance, employment law, and legal considerations related to expansion to California.
• Settled case for a healthcare client who was sued by one of the nation’s largest retailers involving breach of contract and insurance claims, for only a fraction of the amount of the claim, including legal costs.
• Resolved multi-million dollar personal dispute that involved negligence, concealment/misrepresentation, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and domestic violence.
• Resolved various employment and partnership disputes on both sides of the table, through representing business owners/employers, employees and independent contractors.

Civic, Community & Pro Bono Activities
• AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale Hubbell®, 2016.
• Legal Advisor to Rotolab, a startup incubator in downtown Los Angeles.
• West Los Angeles Ambassador, National Association of Women Business Owners, January 2016 – present.
• Avvo Clients’ Choice Award, Business Law, 2015.

John M. Begakis is an associate at Merino Yebri LLP. John's litigation and transactional practice focuses on entertainment, intellectual property, and employment matters.

John earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School where he was President of the Southwestern Entertainment and Sports Law Society. He was a member of the Southwestern Journal of International Law and the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. John also received the Paul Miller Memorial Fund Award presented by the Los Angeles Copyright Society to outstanding students of copyright law. Additionally, John has worked in the entertainment industry, including at Lions Gate Films, and co-authored an article for the publication Entertainment and Sports Lawyer addressing copyright's work-for-hire doctrine and its implications in the music industry.

• Southwestern School of Law, J.D. (2011)
• Pennsylvania State University, B.A. (2008)

Bar & Court Admissions
• California

  » Business/Commercial Litigation
» Intellectual Property ( Copyright,
   Trademark, Trade Secrets)

» Entertainment
» Labor and Employment
» Real Estate
» Consumer Law/Tort Law
» Unfair Competition/Antitrust

» Elder Law
» Business Formation
» Government Relations/Election

» Non-profit Formation
» Collection Actions

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