KKSKL Welcomes New Associate, Jordan Ziegler

The KKSKL team is proud to announce the addition of Jordan Ziegler to our commercial litigation practice. “Jordan demonstrates a passion for the law and client advocacy, and we look forward to having him on our team,” said Alan Kluger, founding member. Read more below about Jordan and the experience he brings to the firm and its clients.

Click here to welcome him to our team.

Jordan ZieglerJordan graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law as a member of the Legal Honor’s Society and the Teaching Assistant for Advanced Trial Practice. During law school, he served as a legal intern for Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and as a legal intern for Senior Judge Paul C. Huck of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Prior to law school, Jordan worked with O’Quinn Stumphauzer & Sloman P.L. on white-collar criminal actions, federal regulatory investigations, and health care fraud actions. He graduated with honors from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics and Spanish, and a concentration in Biomedical Engineering. Outside of the office, Jordan competes in Ironman competitions and enjoys portrait photography.

Law360: Plaintiffs Bar Perspective: Kluger Kaplan’s Bruce Katzen

Bruce Katzen - kluger Kaplan

Bruce A. Katzen is chairman of the trust and estate’s litigation practice group at Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL in Miami. He focuses his practice on litigation of probate, trust and guardianship disputes as well as commercial litigation, including corporate matters, securities, accountants’ liability and stockbroker liability and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations. He has become particularly recognized for his work in the areas of financial fraud, franchise disputes, probate, trust and guardianship disputes, company purchase and sale disputes, and life insurance coverage disputes.

Katzen’s early training as a certified public accountant piqued his interest in the complex financial fraud and probate cases that he handles for his clients. Given the technical financial issues in most of his cases, his background enables him to more thoroughly understand the issues, more precisely examine witnesses and experts, and more zealously advance his client’s position.

Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of working as a plaintiffs attorney?

A: The most rewarding aspect of working as a plaintiffs attorney is assisting individuals who have been injured or harmed in some fashion. In my practice, I frequently have clients come to me facing emotional and financial hardship and are in need as a result of them being wronged. It is rewarding to work with them to right this wrong and recover damages on their behalf.

Click to read more on Law360.com.

KKSKL Top Lawyers Recognition

Kluger Kaplan is proud to announce that the firm and many of its attorneys have been recognized by major industry and state publications as some of the top Miami lawyers, recognizing their top litigation expertise and experience.

Florida Trend

Florida Trend LawyersThis is a prestigious list of lawyers from across the state of Florida.  KKSKL Founding Member, Todd Levine, has been recognized among Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite. Partner, Jamie Zuckerman, has also received the honor to be included in the Up & Comers section being one of only 137 attorneys under 40 years old who are said to represent the future of the legal profession in Florida.

 

Super Lawyers

Super LawyersDeborah Chames, Abbey Kaplan, Bruce Katzen, Alan Kluger, Todd Levine, Jason Marks and Steve Silverman have all been named to the 2017 Florida “Super Lawyers” list. This year marks over ten years of recognition by the publication for Abbey Kaplan, Alan Kluger, Todd Levine and Steve Silverman.

 

The firm’s new generation of legal all-stars have also been recognized as 2017 Super Lawyers “Rising Stars”:

Marko Cerenko

Josh Rubens

Richard Segal

Jamie Zuckerman

Super Lawyer Recognition

Business Litigation:

Abbey Kaplan

Alan Kluger

Steve Silverman

Todd Levine

Family Law:

Deborah Chames

Jason Marks

Estate & Trust Litigation:

Bruce Katzen

 

Thank you to our clients and colleagues who have supported us over the past 8 years.  It is an honor to be recognized for the work we do for our clients each and every day.

 

Timing is Everything: When Does Registration of a Copyright Occur Under the Copyright Act?

Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, Case No. 0:16-cv-60497-RNS (11th Cir. May 18, 2017)

Copyright Registration

Copyrights are a unique category of intellectual property law in that the Copyright Act does not require official registration with the Register of Copyrights in order to have a valid copyright. However, despite the seemingly voluntary nature of this regime, there are incentives for a copyright holder to apply for registration of his or her copyright – namely that you cannot file a suit for copyright infringement without doing so. The term “registration,” as it is used in the Copyright Act, is interpreted differently by the Circuit Courts and on May 18, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit weighed in on the circuit split and answered an important question in copyright infringement cases: when does registration of a copyright occur?

Background

In this case, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation, an organization that produces online journalism, brought suit against Wall-Street.com, LLC for copyright infringement. Fourth Estate licenses articles to different websites, but retains the copyrights to those articles. Fourth Estate licensed articles to Wall-Street.com and, pursuant to their licensing agreement, Wall-Street.com was required to remove all content produced by Fourth Estate when the relationship ended; however, Wall-Street.com continued to display the articles after termination of the relationship.

Consequently, Fourth Estate filed a complaint against Wall-Street.com and its owner. Fourth Estate’s Complaint, in an attempt to comply with the pleading requirements for copyright infringement, alleged that “applications to register [the] articles with the Register of Copyrights” had been filed, but pled no facts regarding the Register of Copyrights’ actions on the application. In response, Wall-Street.com filed a motion to dismiss arguing that under the Copyright Act a suit for infringement can only be brought after the Register of Copyrights approves or denies the application to register. As further discussed below, this prompted the Eleventh Circuit to finally address the question that currently splits the circuits: whether registration of a copyright occurs upon the filing of an application or after the Register of Copyrights approves or denies registration of the copyright?

Ruling

In its analysis, the Eleventh Circuit sets forth the two approaches to “registration” under the Copyright Act: (1) the “registration” approach, which “requires a copyright owner to plead that the Register of Copyrights has acted on the application – either by approving or denying it – before a copyright owner can file an infringement action,” and (2) the “application” approach, which “requires a copyright owner to plead that he has filed ‘the deposit, application, and fee required for registration’ before filing a suit for infringement.” Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.Com, LLC et al., Docket No. 0:16-cv-60497-RNS at p. 5.

The Eleventh Circuit held that, under the clear language of the Copyright Act, the registration approach is correct – a decision that aligns with the minority approach.[1] In reaching its decision, the Court relied heavily on the statutory language in the Copyright Act. For example, the Court cited to §410(a) of the Copyright Act, which states that “[R]egistration of [a] copyright . . . has [not] been made in accordance with” the Act until the Register “register[s] the claim.” Additionally, the Eleventh found that the Act’s use of the phrase “after examination” in discussing registration indicated that registration occurs subsequent to, and not instantaneously with, the filing of the application.[2] Further, the Eleventh Circuit cited §410(b) to further bolster its analysis, as this section acknowledges that the Register of Copyrights has the power to “refuse registration” if the application does not meet copyrightable standards. Clearly, “if registration occurred as soon as an application was filed, then the Register of Copyrights would have no power to ‘refuse registration.’” Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.Com, LLC et al., Docket No. 0:16-cv-60497-RNS at p. 8.

Moreover, Fourth Estate argued that the three-year statute of limitations for infringement suits, established by §507(b) of the Copyright Act, supported the application approach. The Court rejected this argument finding that the Copyright Act’s statutory plan is to encourage early registration, and thus, the three-year statute of limitations and the registration approach taken together align with this statutory scheme. The Court further stated that the statute of limitations functions as an incentive for early registration because the potential of losing the right to protect your copyright against infringement “encourages an owner to register his copyright soon after he obtains the copyright and before infringement occurs.[3]Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.Com, LLC et al., Docket No. 0:16-cv-60497-RNS at p. 10.

Impact

This decision clarifies the pleading standard for copyright infringement in the Eleventh Circuit. After this decision, in order to state a claim for copyright infringement a copyright holder must allege that the Register of Copyrights has approved or denied the application for registration. Additionally, as suggested by the Court’s interpretation of the Act’s statutory scheme, this decision has the potential to prevent copyright holders from sleeping on their rights and motivate prompt registration. However, since the Eleventh Circuit took the minority approach, copyright holders and attorneys practicing in this field should continue to follow this issue as it is likely that Fourth Estate will petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.

 

[1] The Eleventh Circuit followed the Tenth Circuit’s registration approach, whereas the Ninth, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits have all elected to follow the more lenient application approach.

[2] Section 410(a) of the Act states “When, after examination, the Register of Copyrights determines that, in accordance with the provisions of this title, the material deposited constitutes copyrightable subject matter and that the other legal and formal requirements of this title have been met, the Register shall register the claim and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration under the deal of the Copyright Office.” 17 U.S.C. §410(a) (emphasis added).

[3] The Court also cited to other provisions in the Copyright Act that reflect a statutory scheme encouraging prompt registration. See e.g., 17 U.S.C. §410(c) (stating that registration made “before or within five years after first publication of the work” will be “prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright.”)

 

Micayla MancusoMicayla Mancuso is an associate at Kluger Kaplan, focusing on general and complex commercial litigation. Before joining Kluger Kaplan as a full time associate, she served as a summer associate at the firm. Prior to this, she served as an extern for the City of Boston Law Department and served as a judicial intern in the Boston Municipal Court for Judge Debra A. DelVecchio. She also served as an intern for the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida.

Chambers USA Ranks Kluger Kaplan in 2017 Edition

Firm and Three Founding Members Ranked for General Commercial Litigation

Prominent-boutique litigation firm Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. is pleased to announce that the firm has been recognized as a leading general commercial litigation firm in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA, one of the most esteemed legal publications in the world.

Kluger Kaplan received a Band 3 ranking in the category of General Commercial. Additionally, three of the firm’s founding members, Alan J. Kluger (Band 2), Steve I. Silverman (Band 3) and Philippe Lieberman (Band 4) were recognized by the publication.

Alan KlugerPhilippe LiebermanSteve Silverman

 

 

 

 

 

The Chambers USA guide annually ranks preeminence in key practice areas, and achievements of law firms and lawyers throughout the country based on complexity of the work, firm growth and client service.

“It is an honor to have the firm’s work again recognized by one of the most prestigious legal publications in the world,” said Alan J. Kluger, founding member of Kluger Kaplan. “This recognition spotlights Kluger Kaplan’s dedication to being zealous advocates for our clients.”

The recognition by Chambers USA is the latest in a long list of accolades received by Kluger Kaplan. The firm was recently named a Top Litigation Firm by the Daily Business Review, an ALM-affiliate and sister publication to the American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and National Law Journal. The firm has also been named Best Law Firm by U.S. News and World Report, one of Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite and one of Florida’s Top 100 law firms by Florida Super Lawyers Magazine.

With a growing national litigation practice, Kluger Kaplan announced in April that it was opening a new office in Minneapolis—the first of its physical footprint outside of South Florida. The firm anticipates opening subsequent locations across the Midwest, such as Chicago and St. Louis.

Attorney rankings by Chambers USA:

Litigation: General Commercial (Band 3)

  • Alan J. Kluger (Band 2)
  • Philippe Lieberman (Band 4)
  • Steve I. Silverman (Band 3)

For full details on Kluger Kaplan’s rankings in Chambers USA 2017, please visit Chambers & Partners.