171433_bioimage

Staci Jennifer Riordan



Staci 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.

What do you focus on?

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.

Fashion

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.

Entertainment

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.

Trusted Advisor

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 addition, I have advised and counseled clients on privacy matters, including those involving the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as privacy policies for websites and biometrics, and other personal identifying information, biometric litigation, and data breach work.

Legal Educator

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.

What do you see on the horizon?

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.

Previous Experience

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).

Representative matters

  • Represent The Regents of the University of California in a groundbreaking patent enforcement campaign to protect its rights in a revolutionary new generation of light bulb technology known as filament LED that was invented by a Nobel laureate-led team at UC Santa Barbara. The campaign includes litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California and Eastern District of New York, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Successfully defended the Estate of the Notorious B.I.G. in a copyright infringement case based on the lyrics of the artist’s song, “Party and Bullsh*t.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of fair use. This is the first fair use ruling for music lyrics and is the first fair use ruling affirmed with a written decision. Abiodun Oyewole v. Rita Ora et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Defending a national retailer against a class action privacy lawsuit, where its timekeeping system is alleged to improperly collect biometric information
  • Defended and counseled numerous clients on website Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and related claims
  • Co-chaired federal copyright trial on behalf of large clothing retailer that dealt with numerous novel copyright and damages issues and resulted in significant post-trial relief
  • Lead trial counsel in a federal jury trial resulting in transfer of trademark to client and significant money judgement
  • Successfully resolved numerous enforcement actions brought by the FTC involving social media and traditional marketing
  • Guided several well-known brands in response to high-profile data breaches as well as other situations requiring “crisis PR”
  • Representation of a well-known celebrity in a federal court case involving the intersection of copyright laws and the right of publicity
  • Representation in a patent infringement case involving distressed denim jeans
  • Representation of a lifestyle brand in a partnership agreement with a national financial institution that included a national co-branded television commercial
  • Representation in a copyright infringement case involving fabric designs
  • Representation of a major international fashion retailer in establishing its U.S. operations, including drafting employee handbooks, negotiating and drafting marketing, advertisement and promotion agreements as well as hiring talent to endorse its brand; currently facilitating its first U.S. benefit concert
  • Representation of a well-known rap artist in a copyright infringement case involving music sampling
  • Representation of a publically traded company in launching a fashion brand as a brand extension, using its internationally known trademarks and reputation
  • Representation of a brand owner in a trademark infringement, dilution, fraud and cyberpiracy case
  • Representation of a licensor in a direct-to-retail licensing deal with a major specialty retailer
  • Representation of a celebrity in an endorsement/sponsorship deal, that included a Super Bowl commercial
  • Representation of a licensor in a fashion licensing agreement to create a diffusion line
  • Representation of a celebrity in a hybrid licensing/endorsement deal that utilized social commerce and geo location
  • Representation of a celebrity seeking both financing and a partner to start a branded clothing line
  • Representation of the fastest growing accessory retailer in establishing its own entertainment division and forming its own record label as well as event production work for a branded event including securing talent, venue and sponsorship
  • Representation of a publically traded company in launching a fashion brand using its internationally known trademarks and reputation
  • Representation of partners in negotiations and forming a new fashion business
  • Representation of lifestyle clothing fashion designer in a co-branding agreement with a well-known entertainment venue.

Publications and Presentations

  • Co-author, “How Fashion Companies Can Reduce Litigation Risks and Strengthen Compliance,” New York Law Journal, July 22, 2020
  • Presenter, “Patterns for Success: Law & Business in the Fashion Industry,” UCLA Law School, November 13, 2019
  • Presenter, “Prints, Patterns, and Protection: A Fashion Law Luncheon,” Loyola Law School, March 27, 2019
  • Moderator, “Taking Our New Seattle Coffee Pot to the World—Design (Patent) and Trademark Protection for Our New Brewer,” INTA Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 21, 2018
  • Panelist, “Fashion & Art Law Attorney Panel,” Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society and the Art Law Society, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, January 30, 2018
  • Moderator, “Copyright in Fashion Designs: Star Athletica and Going Forward,” AIPLA Annual Meeting, Washington DC, October 19, 2017
  • Moderator, “The Proof: Copyrightable Subject Matter in Apparel and Establishing Infringement Claims,” AIPLA Annual Meeting, Washington DC, October 19, 2017
  • Moderator, “Fashion Design Protection Around the World: What’s Available Now and What’s Under Consideration?” AIPLA Annual Meeting, Washington DC, October 19, 2017
  • Moderator, “Hot Trademark and Advertising Issues in the Entertainment and Sports Industries”, 2017 Annual Meeting for the ABA Forum on the Entertainment of Sports and Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 7, 2017
  • Panelist, “Social Media Influencers: How to Rein Them In”, INTA Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain, May 23, 2017
  • Moderator and Chair, “Creative Industries Response to Political Disruption”, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA, April 7, 2017
  • “My company was hacked, now what?!” Moss Adams’ Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, October 19, 2016
  • “Outside the Box: Trademark and Copyright Litigation Before the ITC,” DRI Intellectual Property Litigation Seminar, Nashville, TN, May 5, 2016
  • Moderator and Conference Chair, “Technology: The Disruption Of Fashion Or The Next Big Thing?” Loyola Law School Fashion Law Project’s 2016 Fashion Symposium, Los Angeles, CA, April 15, 2016
  • “Litigation Trends Every Transactional Lawyer Needs to Know,” Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, Montego Bay, Jamaica, October 22, 2015
  • “Fashion 101: Growing Successful Fashion Brands,” CLE Presentation, Nixon Peabody LLP, October 15, 2015
  • Keynote Speaker and Conference chair: “Sketch Goes Tech: The intersection of Fashion Law and Data Privacy,” Loyola Law School Fashion Law Project’s 2015 Fashion Symposium, Los Angeles, CA, March 27, 2015
  • “Project Runway: The Intersection of Fashion Law and Entertainment,” Harvard Law School, November 20, 2014
  • “Fashion Law & the Global Runway,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA, October 9, 2014
  • Response To: The Most Fascinating Kind of Art: Fashion Design Protection as a Moral Right ,” Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law (April 1, 2013)
  • “Fashion Licensing: What You Need to Know to Succeed in this 350 Billion Dollar Industry,” International Trademark Association 136th Annual Meeting, Hong Kong, May 12, 2014
  • “Charting the New Frontiers of Intellectual Property Protection of Fashion Brands and Designs,” University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Hong Kong, May 10, 2014
  • “One Channel Does Not Fit All: The Fashion Law Implications of Omni-Channel Marketing,” Loyola Law School Fashion Project’s Fashion Symposium, Los Angeles, CA, March 22, 2014
  • Keynote Speaker, Fashion Law Symposium, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA, February 28, 2014
  • Keynote Speaker, “Fashion Tech: The Law of Fashion in a Digital Marketplace,” Howard University School of Law’s Fashion Law Week, Washington, DC, February 26, 2014
  • Moderator, “Crafting Hollywood: How Costume Designers and Wardrobe Stylists Source Characters,” MAGIC, February 19, 2014
  • Keynote Speaker, “The Future of Fashion Law: Blurring the Seams Between the Academy and the Runway,” Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, Charlottesville, VA, February 7, 2014

How fashion companies can reduce litigation risks and strengthen compliance

New York Law Journal | July 22, 2020

New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Schnapp and Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan co-authored this article on developing robust compliance programs for fashion companies, especially as COVID-19 has created disruptions in supply chain management.

Marijuana Social Clubs: How Colorado is Setting the Pace

Cannabis Business Executive | June 17, 2020

This article, on the reopening of Colorado’s marijuana hospitality industry, cites a recent NP alert that details guidelines for cannabis retailers to consider for revamping operations without spreading communicable illnesses. Cannabis Business Executive also re-published the complete NP alert, written by San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt; Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Hillary Baca and Rachel Conn.

9th Circ. Says Suit Against H&M Hinges On Copyright Validity

Law360 | May 29, 2020

This article mentions Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan, Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of Los Angeles, for representing H&M in a dispute involving allegations of fabric design copyright infringement. The NP team secured a unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to reverse the trial court’s decision.

As COVID Imperils Deals, M&A Contracts May Include More Backstops

Women’s Wear Daily | April 23, 2020

This article about the how the coronavirus era has impacted the future of dealmaking in the fashion industry quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan.

Service Providers - Fashion and Retails Lawyers

Women’s Wear Daily | March 25, 2020

This article about the types of matters and questions that fashion and retail attorneys are handling for their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan.

Peloton case an example of intellectual property rights of copyright owners

Rochester Business Journal | March 20, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk contributed this column analyzing a copyright dispute between home exercise giant Peloton and the National Music Publishers Association regarding the use of popular music in Peloton video workouts. This column was adapted from an NP alert by Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan, New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Schnapp, and associate Catherine Savio.

Tekashi 6ix9ine hit with $2M suit alleging vanished advance

Law360 | March 18, 2020

This article mentions Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and Los Angeles Complex Commercial Disputes associate Ryan Duckett for their representation of Fashion Nova in a breach-of-contract claim against incarcerated rap star Tekashi 6ix9ine.

To avoid lawsuits, companies should make websites ADA complaint

Rochester Business Journal | December 20, 2019

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk co-wrote this contributed article analyzing the recent wave of lawsuits against companies whose websites and mobile apps are alleged to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The column draws on an NP Alert written by Boston Complex Commercial Disputes partner Matt McLaughlin, Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan, and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Marx Calderon.

'Party and Bulls--t': NY judge rules phrase is fair use in Notorious B.I.G., Rita Ora songs

Billboard | September 05, 2019

This story highlights Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, all of Los Angeles, who successfully defended their client, the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

Law360 | September 05, 2019

This story highlights Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, all of Los Angeles, who successfully defended their client, the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

2nd Circuit says Biggie's “Party And B*******” is fair use

Law360 | September 04, 2019

This story quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan discussing the successful defense of the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Intellectual Property associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, both of Los Angeles, also worked on this matter.

At your service: The helping hands in fashion

Women’s Wear Daily | August 23, 2019

Women’s Wear Daily, a leading publication covering the fashion industry, has named Nixon Peabody one of the top law firms for fashion clients. This story quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan, who leads NP’s fashion practice.

Three steps to developing a successful legal niche

Forbes | May 23, 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.

Daily Dicta: Nixon Peabody’s B.I.G. Win

AmLaw Daily | March 11, 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.”

Copyright Lawsuit Against Rita Ora, Notorious B.I.G. Estate Dismissed

Billboard | March 08, 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.

Notorious B.I.G. Shakes Copyright Row Over 'Party' Song

Law360 | March 08, 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.”

H&M, Unicolors face off on Day 1 of fabric copyright trial

Law360 | December 04, 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.

Contact

Staci Jennifer Riordan

Partner
Vice-chair, Litigation Department
Leader, Fashion Practice

Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6041


Fax: 844-722-9604

Loyola Law School, J.D.

Emory University, B.A.

U.S. Supreme Court

California

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

  • Recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2020.
  • Selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in the field of Litigation—Intellectual Property; Staci has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2019
  • Ranked in 2020 as a leading California lawyer for trademark prosecution and strategy and trademark litigation and enforcement by the World Trademark Review 1000
  • Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine in 2013-2014 and 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
  • Named to the Recorder’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track”
  • California Fashion Association (CFA), Executive Board Member
  • International Trademark Association (INTA), Academic Committee
  • Fashion Group, International (FGI), nominating chair 2012-present; Regional Director, 2010-2011; Director of Programming 2007-2010
  • California Fashion Association (CFA), Executive Board Member
  • Apparel Industries Group for the City of Hope, Board Member and Fundraising Committee
  • UCLA Extension, Business of Creativity, Advisory Council
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
Back to top