Staci Riordan works with designers, manufacturers, retailers and entertainers, providing strategic, business and legal advice so they can achieve their goals. A pioneer in fashion law, Staci handles both transactional and litigation matters for companies of all sizes—from startups to publically traded multi-national companies.
I grew up in the fashion industry, was an executive at an apparel company and taught at a leading fashion industry institute—all prior to attending law school. My lifetime of experience in fashion is a potent tool for my clients. This experience has not only helped me succeed, but it assists my clients’ businesses thrive in a challenging, competitive and crowded market.
I help fashion brands adapt, innovate and stay ahead of their competition. I regularly counsel clients on the creation, use and exploitation of creative content while developing strategic growth plans aimed at brand cultivation. I understand the importance of building and sustaining a brand in the fashion industry and, as such, formulate business opportunities that enable my clients to define, manage and expand their brands via traditional media such as television, film and celebrity endorsement.
I work with entertainment clients to help envision, build and execute their goals, as well as help them protect their intellectual property and rights to publicity. I regularly negotiate unscripted and scripted television, motion picture, writer, music and digital content agreements, but don’t stop there. What makes me different is my ability to help my clients find ways to engage their audiences by developing the right brand extensions, using my experience and background to help them avoid costly pitfalls, and guide brands as they expand and “cross-over” from not only one entertainment area to another, but help them reach new industry areas such as fashion, digital, consumer products and beverage.
In the courtroom or in the boardroom (or a client’s dining room), is my role as a true trusted advisor. I work with a wide variety of companies, such as well-known household names, like the Harlem Globetrotters, to up and coming companies like Houghton. Knowing your business allows me to provide cost efficient, goal oriented strategies whether for conceiving, structuring and growing your businesses or litigating disputes that often arise from day to day operations.
In spring 2012, I was invited to teach the first Fashion Law course on the West Coast at my alma mater, Loyola Law School. The program was so successful that in January 2014, Loyola launched the Fashion Law Project, which is an academic center housed at Loyola, that provides a business and legal curriculum for designers, apparel industry executives and lawyers. I am an adjunct professor, teaching Fashion Law and running the Fashion Law Clinic. Further, as the Fashion Law Project’s Executive Director, I oversee the annual Fashion Law Symposium and Fashion Law Summer Intensive.
The next step in the disruption of fashion will be the closing of malls and retails stores. Consumers want to spend less time in a store shopping, and instead spend their in-store time experiencing or interacting with a brand. Online commerce will continue to grow as technology will continue to play a large role in allowing the customer to decide when and where to consume products.
Prior to joining the firm, I was the chair of the Fashion Law Practice Group at two other national law firms. I was exposed to the combination of legal and business affairs as the first law clerk at fashion lifestyle brand, Guess?, Inc. I honed my researching and writing skills as an extern for California Appellate Court Justice Fred Woods. Prior to law school, I was the COO of a multimillion-dollar garment manufacturing company, overseas purchasing and production coordinator for a textile importer and converter, and taught in the entrepreneurship department of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM).
Forbes | May 24, 2018
Los Angeles intellectual property partner Staci Riordan is mentioned in this article about how to establish a personal niche in the legal industry. Staci combined her legal skills with her love of fashion to become a successful fashion attorney.
AmLaw Daily | March 12, 2018
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partners Staci Riordan and Julian Petty successfully defended the estate of rapper Notorious B.I.G. in a copyright suit. Riordan is quoted in this article, saying the ruling “is sure to become an influential decision on music copyright infringement cases.”
Billboard | March 09, 2018
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partners Staci Riordan and Julian Petty are quoted for their representation of the estate of rapper Notorious B.I.G. in the successful defense of a copyright suit filed by a 1960s revolutionary poet.
Law360 | March 09, 2018
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partners Staci Riordan and Julian Petty are mentioned in this article on NP’s win representing the estate of rapper Notorious B.I.G. A judge ruled the rapper’s use of a phrase from a 1960s poem was permissible under copyright law because it was “transformative.”
Law360 | December 05, 2017
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partner Staci Jennifer Riordan and counsel Aaron Brian are mentioned in this article about a copyright infringement trial in LA for representing clothing retailer H&M.
Los Angeles Business Journal | April 24, 2017
The Los Angeles Business Journal named Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan as one of the Most Influential Women Lawyers.
Law360 | March 22, 2017
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan is quoted in this article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 6-2 decision regarding copyright law and decorative elements on cheerleading uniforms.
Fashion Consciousness Magazine | February 10, 2017
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan is featured in this story that focuses on her work in fashion law.
Forbes | October 31, 2016
This story discusses a Supreme Court case about whether design elements on a cheerleader uniform can have intellectual property protection. Los Angeles partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan talks about the potential impact of this case on the fashion industry.
Los Angeles Business Journal | October 28, 2016
Los Angeles partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan is quoted in this article about SCOTUS case Star Athletica v. Varsity Brand, which could have major implications for the Los Angeles region’s fashion industry.
KPCC-FM (NPR Los Angeles affiliate) | August 10, 2016
Los Angeles IP counseling and transactions partner Staci Riordan is quoted in this article about controversies surrounding corporate sponsorships at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Law360 | July 13, 2016
Los Angeles partner and fashion practice leader Staci Riordan is quoted in this article that discusses how lawyers are embracing trendier business-casual wear as the new workday dress code.
California Apparel News | April 21, 2016
Los Angeles partner Staci Riordan is quoted in this article about a panel discussion that she moderated at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles on the topic of legal ramifications of the continuous evolution of technology on the fashion industry.
Law360 | February 25, 2016
Los Angeles partner and Fashion practice group leader Staci Riordan is quoted in this story about the four biggest legal landmines for fashion brands to avoid when celebrities wear their designs on the Oscars red carpet this Sunday.
Apparel News | January 21, 2016
Los Angeles partner and Fashion practice group leader Staci Riordan provides third-party commentary in this piece about an increasing number of class-action lawsuits against big-name department stores over markdowns allegedly made on “false” original prices.
Reuters | December 23, 2015
Nixon Peabody is mentioned in this feature article for our representation of Warner Music Group, EMI Music Publishing, Big Poppa Music, Bad Boy Records and the estate of The Notorious BIG. Our team—led by partners Staci Riordan and Julian Petty—won a dismissal of copyright infringement claims involving BIG’s 1994 debut album. Associates Neal Gauger and Seth Berman were part of the legal team. Click here to read the full article.
Law360 | December 22, 2015
Partners Staci Riordan and Julian Petty and associates Neal Gauger and Seth Berman are mentioned in this article for their representation of Warner Music Group, EMI Music Publishing, Big Poppa Music, Bad Boy Records and the estate of Notorious BIG in a case focused on alleged copyright claims involving BIG’s 1994 debut album. Staci provides commentary. Click here to read the full article.
Boston Magazine | December 01, 2015
Los Angeles partner and leader of our Fashion practice Staci Riordan is included in this feature story on how the footwear industry is dealing with intellectual property lawsuits.
Your Working Life | December 01, 2015
Los Angeles partner and leader of the firm’s Fashion industry team Staci Riordan is profiled in this podcast. Your Working Life is a series that features thought-leaders and influencers in the career and personal growth arena. Staci talks about her passion for fashion and getting into fashion law.
Commercial Litigation Law Alert | 03.27.17
NP Privacy Partner | 12.23.15
Litigation Alert | 12.21.15
05.09.18 | San Francisco, CA
04.19.18 | Chicago, IL
05.21.18 | Seattle, Washington
01.30.18 | Los Angeles, CA
10.07.17 | Las Vegas, Nevada
Loyola Law School, J.D.
Emory University, B.A.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
Staci was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Litigation—Intellectual Property. Staci was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine in 2013-2014 and recognized as a "Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney" in Los Angeles, CA in 2017-2019. Inclusion in Super Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey. She was also named to the Recorder’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track.”