Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2020) — Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP (“O+Z”) is pleased to announce that Michele Harrington Murphy and Jeff Gould have been named partners in the firm. As key members of O+Z’s accomplished team, both Michele and Jeff have extensive experience in high-stakes commercial litigation matters involving brand and content protection and have contributed significantly to the firm’s successes for its clients.
“We are excited to enhance the leadership team at Oppenheim + Zebrak with Michele and Jeff’s unparalleled commitment to successful outcomes for clients and their rich understanding of the law,” founding partners Matt Oppenheim and Scott Zebrak said. “Michele and Jeff have been an integral part of O+Z for years and making them partners was the obvious choice given their critical contributions on behalf of our clients. Both are skilled litigators and counselors who have tackled some of the most challenging and complicated intellectual property and other commercial litigation matters and emerged victorious.”
Both Michele and Jeff were key members of the 2018 O+Z trial team that obtained a $34.2 million verdict, plus an additional $5 million in fees, in John Wiley & Sons, Inc., et al v. Book Dog Books, LLC, et al, which held Book Dog Books accountable for selling counterfeit textbooks and infringing on the copyrights and trademarks of major textbook publishers. The result was a pivotal decision for the publishing industry to have distributors take appropriate steps to avoid counterfeits. Jeff also was a key member of O+Z’s trial team in Sony Music Entertainment et al v. Cox Communications Inc. et al, in which the firm won an historic $1 billion jury verdict in December 2019 on behalf of the music industry. The Sony verdict followed a three-week trial in which O+Z detailed how the nation’s 8th largest internet service provider had repeatedly and knowingly contributed to, and reaped substantial profits from, massive copyright infringement on its network committed by tens of thousands of its subscribers.
“I am gratified to take on this new leadership role at O+Z and continue working with some of the smartest and most dedicated attorneys in the business,” said Ms. Harrington Murphy. “O+Z’s approach of managing sophisticated and complex matters in practical, efficient, and innovative ways is the foundation of the firm’s success, and I am proud to bring my skills and expertise to bear in continuing those successes into the future.”
“O+Z’s reputation as the go-to firm for complex brand and content protection matters is a result of the firm’s success in providing compelling advocacy, experienced counseling, and decisive action on behalf of clients, and I’m pleased to continue to contribute to that hard-earned reputation as a partner,” said Mr. Gould. “O+Z’s mix of a culture of internal collaboration, integrity, and strategic thinking, along with a stellar team of top-notch attorneys, is what makes that reputation possible, and I intend to do all I can in my new role to ensure it endures.”
Michele Harrington Murphy joined Oppenheim + Zebrak in 2012 after 17 years at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP. Over the course of her more than 25 years practicing law, she has handled a wide variety of commercial litigation matters, including copyright, trademark, counterfeiting, licensing, employment, confidentiality/non-competition, and other intellectual property and contractual disputes. Michele also has handled numerous representations of content companies dealing with royalties and rights issues in the music, book publishing, and entertainment industries. She also has gained expertise representing companies in online piracy and digital enforcement.
In addition to litigation, Michele’s practice focuses on pre-litigation dispute resolution, including mediation and other resolution efforts. She also regularly counsels clients in anti-piracy, licensing, employment, and other matters in O+Z’s practice areas, and she partners with clients in developing and implementing corporate policies and training executives and employees on policy enforcement and related compliance matters.
Jeff Gould joined Oppenheim + Zebrak in 2017 and has focused primarily on complex litigation and counseling in intellectual property and commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on copyrights, trademarks, and related commercial matters. Prior to joining O+Z, Jeff was a Litigation Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where his practice focused on complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts, and enforcement matters before law enforcement and regulatory bodies.
Over the course of his nearly 15-year legal career, Jeff has secured significant victories and favorable settlements for plaintiffs and defendants in high stakes matters before federal and state courts across the country, and he successfully counsels companies, executives, and boards of directors through negotiations, transactions and, in many cases, to avoid litigation. Jeff has been named a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine multiple times, an honor given to fewer than 2.5 percent of all Washington, D.C. lawyers.
About Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP
O+Z is a dynamic litigation boutique founded by attorneys with extensive experience protecting content and brands. Top-tier clients in creative and innovative industries rely on us for compelling advocacy, strategic counseling, and decisive action in complex legal matters. Our attorneys come from prestigious firms and have litigated some of the most prominent copyright and internet matters of our time.