Michele Harrington Murphy is a Partner with Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP. As a litigator of complex civil cases for over 25 years, Michele’s practice is primarily focused on copyright and trademark litigation. Since joining O + Z in 2012, Michele has represented publishers and record companies in federal litigation involving counterfeiting, digital rights enforcement, licensing, and royalties disputes. Michele was trial counsel to educational publishers in a 2018 landmark counterfeiting case resulting in a $34 million jury verdict for the publishers.
Michele also handles anti-piracy investigations and other pre-litigation IP enforcement matters, and counsels clients concerning licensing, royalties, and rights clearances. In this capacity, she has worked directly with content creators in the fine arts and entertainment fields, as well as publishers and music companies.
In addition to IP litigation and counseling, and with a deep background in corporate policy development, Michele partners with clients to create and implement workplace policies, such as those involving confidentiality, trade secrets, technology usage, and non-competition. Michele has over 20 years’ experience training executives and employees on policy compliance and enforcement.
Prior to joining O + Z, Michele practiced law with the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP. There her practice focused on the representation of national corporate clients in litigation matters, particularly defending employers in class actions and individual cases brought under the federal employment laws.
Cengage v. Book Dog Books
Successful litigation against a U.S. commercial distributor for willful copyright and trademark infringement, resulting in a $34.2 million jury verdict, fee award, and permanent injunction. Represented Cengage, McGraw Hill, Pearson, and John Wiley & Sons. (Southern District of New York)
Pearson v. RentU.com
Negotiated favorable, multi-million dollar resolution of copyright and trademark counterfeiting litigation against a U.S. commercial distributor and major Amazon seller. Represented Pearson, Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, and McGraw Hill. (Eastern District of Kentucky)
Cengage v. Morena for International Trading
Successful copyright and trademark litigation against an international counterfeiting ring, resulting in a $28 million default judgment, permanent injunction, and coordinated international judgment enforcement effort. Represented Pearson, Cengage, Macmillan Learning, and McGraw Hill. (Northern District of Illinois)
Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group v. Does 1-30 and Cengage v. Does 1-48
Successful applications for TRO, Expedited Discovery, and Preliminary Injunction in copyright litigation against operators of websites using Google advertising to engage in digital piracy, and management of voluminous discovery involving numerous internet intermediaries and financial institutions. Representing Pearson, Cengage, Elsevier, Macmillan Learning, and McGraw Hill. (Southern District of New York)
Pearson v. Boundless Learning
Successful representation of publishers, with an emphasis on expert witness work, in copyright litigation against a technology company for developing and marketing versions of publishers’ leading products. Represented Pearson, Cengage, and Macmillan Learning. (Southern District of New York)
HTC v. Universal Music Enterprises
Successful representation of recording company in litigation over the use of Nina Simone recordings in a major advertising campaign. Represented Universal Music Enterprises. (Southern District of New York)
Jackson v. Rhino Entertainment Co.
Prevailed on motion to dismiss and motion to stay in litigation concerning dispute over Sugarhill Gang royalties, with implications in multiple litigations, and involving coordination with multiple artists and recording companies. Represented Rhino Entertainment Group. (Central District of California)
Community Education Group v. Videntity Systems, Inc.
Negotiated favorable resolution of breach of contract litigation involving technology-related contract. Represented non-profit Community Education Group. (District of D.C.)
Prior to O+Z
Defended two of the ten largest U.S. retailers in numerous employment discrimination and wage an hour lawsuits, including class and individual actions, in federal courts throughout the United States for over ten years.
Represented a national grocery store chain in multiple phases of MDL collective action litigation, including the negotiation, approval process, and implementation of a complex favorable settlement.
Counseled corporate clients, large and small, on compliance and workplace policy matters. Directed and conducted workplace investigations and executive and employee trainings.