Nabil Abu-Assal is seasoned in many areas of civil litigation, having spent more than 20 years helping technology, entertainment, real estate, and other business clients efficiently and successfully resolve complex business problems. He has conducted highly complex real estate, banking, partnership, and probate trials. Clients seek his general counsel and advice as a legal and business troubleshooter.
Nabil believes that in complex, high-stakes, and highly technical intellectual property litigation, the rational, analytical approach doesn’t always succeed. “Opposing lawyers are often equal on the facts and analytical aspects,” says Nabil. “I work to move the judge or jury psychologically, to elicit a visceral response that makes them see things our way and ‘re-envision’ what’s being battled over.”
Nabil also loves the intellectual challenges presented by IP litigation. Some of his favorite cases involve what many lawyers might consider “unbelievably complicated” software issues. “It often requires lawyers to put on a new brain to grasp how the functionality of software can be copied without copying the actual software,” says Nabil, “to understand how others can expropriate ideas embedded in the software.”
In addition to handling complex business litigation and IP matters, Nabil has a thriving family law practice which began in 1992 when several of his well-known entertainment and business clients asked him to guide them through their divorces. His clients appreciate the rich and diverse trial background he brings to the table, especially when matters involve complex asset distribution and valuation of IP.
Nabil cites his Egyptian background (he came to the U.S. at age seven) as a “huge advantage” in his trial approach, enabling him to see issues from two different cultural traditions.
Brent Bradley is an experienced mergers and acquisitions lawyer who provides strategic legal advice and expert, highly personalized representation to entrepreneurs and private equity sponsors as they plan and execute acquisitions, divestitures and financings of middle market private companies. He provides instrumental advice and oversight to private companies and their owners with respect to their operations, strategic transactions and exit planning.
Brent also applies his skills and experience representing business clients to help guide nonprofit and social impact organizations in their formation, governance, operations and strategic planning. For newer businesses, he is well-versed in the mechanics of business entity and capital formation and frequently advises the firm’s stable of start-up clients on how to launch, manage and protect their businesses.
Prior to founding Cypress, Brent served as Fund General Counsel of The Gores Group, a prominent Los Angeles private equity firm. Before joining Gores in 2002, Brent was a lawyer in the corporate and securities group at the Los Angeles law firm Christensen, Glaser, et. al., for five years.
Brent finds time, when not serving clients and running a law firm, to play tennis, cook, travel and eat good food with his wife and two teenage sons, and even occasionally finish one of the books that he is constantly starting.
Bob is a business and intellectual property litigator and trial attorney admitted by the State Bars of California, New York, and Washington. Bob represents clients in Federal and State court cases and arbitration hearings throughout the United States, and he serves as a trusted advisor to C-suite executives, employees, and independent creators looking for experienced, strategic, and effective legal support in complex business and litigation matters. He is also a frequent lecturer and published author of numerous articles on the topics of intellectual property, trade secrets, and media/art law.
Bob takes a 360-degree approach to understanding his client’s business, and his 20-plus years of legal expertise cover a diverse area of business and intellectual property law, including patent litigation and PTAB proceedings, copyrights and trade secrets, partnership and corporate disputes, trade libel and defamation, and employment disputes. “I always do what it takes to really get my arms around the technology as well as the legal issues,” states Bob. “It is what makes working with creative people and IP-rich companies so immensely fulfilling.”
Bob lives in Los Angeles and in Rio de Janeiro with his wife, Mariana. He is a strong supporter of the visual arts and music. Bob is also a novice surfer and enjoys sculling. Prior to practicing law, Bob worked as a commercial fisherman in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and he was an investigator with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Laura Premi is a skilled trial lawyer with over 15 years of experience. She excels in safeguarding clients’ intellectual property and resolving partnership, employment and contract disputes. Her best-fit clients are entrepreneurs and innovative companies focused in the technology, manufacturing, real estate and consumer goods industries.
Over the course of her career, Laura has litigated a diverse range of cases including obtaining early resolution of a claimed trademark infringement case against a baby products manufacturer, achieving a defense verdict at trial in a wrongful termination case against a Hollywood studio and successfully enforcing a partnership buy-sell agreement obtaining a judgment of specific performance at trial. She has represented owners of commercial property in complex construction defect cases and obtained multi-million dollar settlements for them in each case. Her clients value her ability to develop successful and creative litigation strategies early in a case, her commitment to communicating clearly with all sides and her steadfast dedication to client service.
In addition to her litigation practice, Laura frequently counsels her clients in managing risk and thinking critically about day-to-day legal and business issues in an effort to resolve disputes to avoid litigation. “It’s really important to me to establish meaningful relationships with my clients so I can fully understand their business goals and risk tolerance and provide them with advice tailored specifically to their needs. I am honored to be a trusted member of their team.” Laura draws on her litigation experience to help clients avoid disputes. “I’ve seen the ugliness that can result from protracted litigation. It is worth taking time at the outset of a business relationship to make sure expectations between the parties are clear to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation down the road.”
As the head of the family law department at Cypress LLP, Stacy represents clients engaged in high-stakes divorce proceedings involving complex property issues and custody disputes. Stacy brings 13 years of sophisticated civil litigation and family law experience to the firm in the areas of asset division, spousal and child support, and division of complicated business entities. She also concentrates much of her practice in the areas of high conflict child custody matters, parenting issues, guardianship of a minor, and post judgment modification.
“Who you hire in a family law matter can be the most the important decision of the entire case. It’s crucial to have a lawyer who knows how to work towards settlement when feasible, and who is also willing to fight for your goals when you need it. I always tell my clients, it’s a gut instinct. You should feel that your lawyer will handle your case in the same way your closest friend or family member would–with careful consideration to your needs and wants while guiding you towards the best decisions you can make for yourself.”
Stacy also provides legal services in the area of pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, and cohabitation agreements. Stacy works with each client to hand-craft an agreement, making sure they understand the agreement and how it impacts their rights under California law. In addition to her regular law practice, Stacy offers mediation services, working with both spouses to help them through the dissolution process and find common ground for settlement.
Prior to joining Cypress, Stacy practiced family law at Oates, Knezevitch, Gardenswartz & Kelly PC, a prominent Aspen, Colorado law firm where she handled divorce litigation involving division of assets of high net worth individuals, complex business valuations, drug and alcohol related custody concerns, and child support/spousal support contempt issues. Before that, Stacy was an associate at the Los Angeles law firm Christensen, Glaser, et. al., where she practiced business litigation.
Stacy is a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
A partner in the firm’s transactional practice, Carlo D’Itri is passionate about working with all types of entrepreneurs. His clients include individuals, startups and emerging growth companies, middle market companies, private equity firms, and nonprofits and social impact organizations.
“I like to gain a deep understanding of each client’s business, mission, and long-term objectives and to develop enduring, meaningful relationships with each of them,” Carlo says. “This allows me to create value for my clients beyond solving the issue at hand.”
Carlo draws upon a diverse range of business and legal experience to successfully guide his clients through all stages of the business lifecycle, and he specializes in helping his clients identify, secure, and exploit their intellectual property. In the course of providing outside general counsel services to his clients, he handles a wide range of matters, including business formation and governance, commercial and intellectual property transactions, employment matters, venture financing, and mergers & acquisitions. Carlo works with clients in many industries, including software, mobile apps, fintech, media, content production and delivery, e-commerce, crowdfunding, consumer products, and B2B and IT services.
Before joining Cypress in 2008, Carlo handled real estate transactions at the law firm Pircher, Nichols & Meeks. Prior to that, he practiced complex business litigation in the intellectual property practice group at Glaser Weil et al.
Mark Labaton is an accomplished litigator experienced in prosecuting and defending Qui Tam and other whistleblower actions, securities class actions, corporate governance actions, consumer actions, civil penalty actions, civil fraud actions, bankruptcy fraud actions, forfeiture actions, and a variety of other litigation and regulatory matters.
A former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Labaton is nationally recognized for helping secure substantial settlement and judgments, and for establishing significant precedents in federal and state courts and in Courts of Appeal in several circuits, including the First, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, where he briefed and argued cases described in legal media as “ground-breaking” – including a 2016 en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit that changed 23 years of whistleblower law. See representative cases here and awards here.
Mr. Labaton is an elected member of the American Law Institute, an organization comprised of judges, professors, and lawyers who write model legal codes and legal restatements. He also serves as a Vice President for the Institute of Law and Economic Policy, a non-profit organization that promotes academic securities law research. Previously, he served on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. See leadership positions here.
Mr. Labaton has written dozens of articles for legal and non-legal publications including (see representative publications here) and has spoken, moderated or served as a panelist at leading industry events sponsored by bar associations, law and business schools, professional organizations, and governmental agencies.
Prior to becoming a partner at Cypress, LLP, Mr. Labaton was a partner of Isaacs Friedberg & Labaton, LLP and before that was managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Motley Rice, LLP and LLC and the managing partner of the securities litigation and whistleblower practices at Kreindler & Kreindler, LLP.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Labaton primarily prosecuted white-collar fraud cases against officers, directors, and senior executives of federally-insured financial institutions. He also spearheaded False Claims Act investigations and actions against healthcare providers, defense contractors, financial institution executives, and other government contractors.
Mr. Labaton has served as health-care counsel for a mayoral transition team, and as special outside counsel to a District of Columbia mayor. (On a dare, he has performed stand-up comedy at several Los Angeles nightclubs, but he has no illusions of quitting his day job to become an entertainer.)
He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law, where he served for two years as a staff member and editorial board member of the Duke Law Journal, won the Hervey M. Johnston for the best law review article, and worked for two years as the research assistant for the school’s dean.
Daniel specializes in art and cultural property law working with different sectors of the international art market. He is admitted by the state bar of California and is a qualified solicitor in England, where he is a consultant to the London law firm, Howard Kennedy LLP.
His international network of clients includes: advisors, artists, artists’ estates, foundations, galleries, governments, museums, photographers, private dealers and public arts organizations. With a background in the art world before training as a lawyer, Daniel understands the objectives of his clients and provides creative solutions tailored to their needs.
He advises clients in the following core areas: transactions and agreements (including sale and purchase, finance, escrow, consignment and loan); dispute resolution and litigation (including claims relating to authenticity, ownership and unlawful export); due diligence (including advising on provenance, title and risk mitigation) and intellectual property and artists’ rights (including copyright and moral rights). He also works closely with tax and private client advisors to advise artists and estates on legacy planning and estate management.
Daniel is actively involved in the art world as a writer and independent curator. He is the commissioning editor of ‘Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture’ (2002) and ‘The Trials of Art’ (2007) and co-wrote ‘Commissioning Contemporary Art: A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists’, with Louisa Buck (2012). He contributes regularly to the leading art magazines, Artreview and Frieze.
He is a member of the International Bar Association (Arts and Cultural Heritage Law Committee) and speaks regularly at conferences. He also lectures; including at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art (Los Angeles and London).
Doug Roy handles litigation, employment and HR issues, contract negotiation, and serves as outside general counsel. Before joining Cypress, Doug practiced complex business litigation at Glaser, Weil, et al. He helps creative people—from artists to inventors, from high-profile entertainers to young entrepreneurs—be more creative. By economically resolving critical intellectual-property, business, and HR issues, he takes pressure off his clients so they can focus on their creative work.
Handling intellectual property business and legal issues is creative work for Doug. “There is no script and there are a hundred different ways to approach an issue. I work hand-in-hand with my client to find what makes the best sense financially. I am here to help my clients get their product to market, and help them protect it once it’s there.”
Doug works closely with artists and photographers, as well as with the agents, managers, and producers who team with them, to understand the issues, objectives, and challenges that are unique to the business of art. “My clients trust that I understand them and their business well enough to catch issues without having to be asked. With every case I get to immerse myself in a new creative world.”
Ada Berman, who helped launch Cypress LLP in 2008, serves as the firm’s Executive Director and Controller. She is responsible for helping oversee the firm’s finances, administration, and support teams.
Ada also plays an integral role in helping define the firm’s strategic vision and in managing its donor-advised fund and giving campaigns. “We take our work beyond the law to better our Los Angeles community. Through our donor circle, we use our unique problem-solving skills and financial resources to contribute to a thriving community.”
Prior to joining Cypress, Ada practiced at the law firms Jacoby, Capogrosso & Wahl, and at Stevens, Kramer, Averbuck & Harris, where she specialized in handling complex litigation in the areas of trade secrets, insurance bad faith, premises liability, and contract and general business disputes. She also served as pro bono counsel before the California Board of Prison Terms, where she represented a battered woman serving a life sentence for the murder of her abusive spouse.
In pursuit of her dual passions for gardening and food justice, Ada serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC), helping to foster, build, and advocate for community gardens, green space, and yard-sharing projects across Los Angeles.
Ada was born in Odessa, Ukraine and is fluent in Russian. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Brent Bradley and their two sons, and enjoys traveling, reading, and eating good food.
Hyura Choi is a litigation associate at Cypress LLP where she specializes in helping innovative companies and individual entrepreneurial clients with intellectual property matters, issues related to trade secrets, and general business disputes.
Prior to joining Cypress, Hyura was an associate in the Los Angeles office of the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where she practiced in the real estate litigation section. In the summer of 2003, Hyura served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Norman L. Epstein, California Court of Appeal. In the fall of 2005, she was a judicial extern to the Honorable R. Gary Klausner, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Hyura is fluent in Korean and loves going to restaurants in Koreatown. She also enjoys hiking, playing tennis, live music, and movies.
As an associate in the litigation and bankruptcy practices at Cypress, Dan Corren applies his diverse legal background to the individual challenges of each case. He is equally comfortable representing individuals navigating a lawsuit for the first time as he is representing sophisticated corporate clients.
Dan excels at understanding both sides of a dispute and focuses his efforts on helping clients bring matters to prompt, satisfactory resolutions. While litigation has a reputation for inefficiency, Dan’s collaborative approach streamlines the process:
“Civil litigation is a puzzle with multiple solutions. When I’m working on a case, my goal is to make sure that the picture being formed with each piece matches my client’s objectives.”
Dan loves craft beer, movies, and trying new restaurants. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Jen, and two cats.
Christie Hind develops and supports the firm’s strategic initiatives, client experience, and development programs and oversees a client service program which provides business and marketing support to the firm’s clients. She has extensive experience as a business development and strategic advisor to CEOs, general counsel, and law firm management, and she has conducted numerous programs related to law firm innovation, leadership, and communications.
Prior to joining Cypress, Christie served as counsel at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop where she managed large-scale corporate investigations in the firm’s securities regulatory and litigation practice group in Los Angeles. Prior to Pillsbury Winthrop, Christie was an associate at Morgan Lewis in Los Angeles where she was lead attorney on numerous complex litigation and environmental compliance matters. Christie also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Manual L. Real of the US District Court for the Central District of California.
Karen Lalo serves as of counsel to Cypress. She was admitted to practice law in Paris, France, in 2000, and in California in 2009.
Karen handles corporate and transactional matters for individuals and emerging growth companies from Europe looking to gain access to the US markets. Her areas of practice include corporate law, contracts, shareholder agreements, and IT and IP law.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Karen’s practice focused on Corporate, IP, and Technology Law for start-ups, middle market companies, and private equity firms at Mascre-Heguy & Associes law firm in Paris.
Mark Lynch is a noted litigator who works hard not to get his clients involved in litigation.
“I counsel folks in many areas, including in the employment arena, to keep them from suffering lawsuits. I encourage clients not to dismiss the significance of a small problem,” says Mark, “and help them manage the problem from the moment it shows itself.”
“My clients know they can count on me anytime, anywhere, for any matter—big or small,” says Mark. “They know I want to be contacted to help them, particularly when the matter has yet to explode. In addition, my clients are confident that if their issues can’t be solved with mediation or settlement, they have a reliable and extremely experienced team on their side.”
Mark boasts more than two decades experience successfully litigating employment- and business-related disputes for clients large and small—from Fortune 500 companies to individuals. Nonetheless, he’s happiest when he helps keep his clients out of court and out of trouble.
His client base includes one of the nation’s largest privately owned non-sectarian school systems for whom he has effectively handled employment-related issues ranging from wage and overtime claims to wrongful termination litigation to allegations of discrimination. For this and other clients, Mark is also an invaluable resource in helping to handle the variety of crises that arise in day-to-day operations of a business.
His vast litigation experience includes actions involving television station affiliation agreements, natural gas sales contracts, defense of directors and officers of financial institutions, construction defect and project management, securities and regulatory matters, business torts, partnership disputes, insurance coverage claims, and private trusts.
“I practice law,” says Mark, “because I learned early on that I was very good at fixing problems.”
Tracy M. Ransom joined Cypress LLP shortly after its inception in 2008, and supports the office in many areas of the day-to-day office administration. Tracy works closely with, and assists, our litigation and family law attorneys with many nuances in those areas of law.
Tracy is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. which is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys the tranquility of the beach, traveling abroad to learn and experience different cultures and architectures of the world, shopping, and living life in the moment and the journey it presents.
Sharmila Singh is of counsel to Cypress LLP and supports the firm’s family law practice. She brings with her over 19 years of family law experience helping clients through the dissolution process. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2001, she had her own practice in New York City where she focused on family law matters.
With extensive experience in all areas of family law including complex, highly contested cases involving custody, visitation and support disputes and complicated asset division, Sharmila’s primary goal is to calmly guide her clients through the emotional turmoil of divorce.
“Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster. Often times, your attorney is the only consistent person you can talk to about your divorce. I strive to be the calm during the storm – to help my clients get through this emotional time as quickly and as efficiently as possible so that they can move on and rebuild their lives.”
She also has significant experience in domestic violence cases, paternity suits, and drafting and negotiating marital settlement agreements.
Sharmila volunteers as a daily settlement officer at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles and assists attorneys and litigants in resolving their family law cases. She was born in Georgetown, Guyana and grew up in New York City.
Jared Watkins represents a wide range of clients in business, intellectual property, and employment disputes. He prides himself on helping clients see the big picture and tailors a litigation strategy to meet the client’s individual goals.
Prior to joining Cypress, Jared practiced with the New York office of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, a leading plaintiff’s aviation firm. Along with commercial and general aviation cases, Jared represented clients in product liability, maritime, and general negligence matters.
Jared has lived abroad in Spain and in Brazil. He has full professional proficiency in Spanish and professional working proficiency in Portuguese. He is originally from Croton-On-Hudson, New York and now lives in Santa Monica with his wife, Annie, and their son.
Jason Zedeck is a seasoned expert in the selection, acquisition, protection, prosecution and enforcement of trademarks and domain names and serves as of counsel to Cypress.
“My clients appreciate my ability to think creatively and present them with options and strategies that they may have never considered in selecting and protecting their intellectual property,” says Jason. “I learn as much as I can about their business, where it is and, more importantly, where they want it to go in both the short and long term.” Furthermore, Jason says, “with my experience as an in-house lawyer, I appreciate the bottom line and I am better able to communicate cost-effective strategies to accomplish what is necessary, as opposed to what may have been originally intended.”
Jason strives to craft customized, all-encompassing trademark strategies that advance companies’ goals now and in the future. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all process,” he says. “We engage in an ongoing dialogue that helps ensure flexibility and durability.”
Jason’s clients come not only from the entertainment industry, but include software developers, consumer product manufacturers, apparel companies, restaurants, resorts and more.
Prior to joining Cypress, Jason was in-house Senior Intellectual Property Counsel and a trademark law expert for Fox Entertainment Group. While at Fox Entertainment, Jason handled all facets of trademark, copyright and domain name matters for film and television production divisions, cable and broadcast television channels, licensing and merchandising departments, and interactive and internet units including gaming and social networking websites. He also practiced litigation at a prominent Los Angeles-based firm, handling a variety of litigation matters, including defamation and rights in publicity cases, and he was responsible for the firm’s trademark prosecution practice.
Jason has served on the Board of Friends of Castle Heights Elementary School and serves on other volunteer committees for the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and Castle Heights Elementary School, where his three daughters attend.