“Latin Justin Bieber” prevails in California copyright infringement lawsuit
LOS ANGELES – A California federal court has issued a complete dismissal of copyright infringement and breach of contract claims filed against Luis Coronel, the 2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards New Artist of the Year, and his record company, Empire Productions Inc.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles found no basis for any of the claims brought by former Empire music producer Manuel Ledesma and his business partner Louis Barraza. The suit cannot be refiled based on yesterday’s ruling.
Mr. Coronel and Empire CEO Arturo Corral previously worked with Mr. Ledesma and Mr. Barraza before the two producers left Empire in 2014. The following year, Mr. Coronel, Mr. Corral and Empire were sued for allegedly infringing copyrights on two songs that Mr. Ledesma composed. They were successfully represented by veteran entertainment copyright attorney Robert E. Allen of McKool Smith in Los Angeles.
The plaintiffs alleged that they were responsible for Mr. Coronel’s reputation as the “Latin Justin Bieber,” and for helping him and Empire land a contract with the larger Del Records to produce the singer’s more mainstream recordings.
In the March 2 ruling by Judge Otis D. Wright II, the court held that the case made by Mr. Ledesma and Mr. Barraza involved nothing more than “threadbare assertions” and that their copyright infringement claims were “simply stating legalese in lieu of offering supporting facts.” The final ruling dismissed all claims with prejudice, preventing the lawsuit from being filed again in any court.
“This lawsuit should never have been filed in the first place, and the court’s ruling shows that there were no facts to support any of the allegations against my clients,” says Mr. Allen, who regularly represents clients in significant copyright issues. “Luis Coronel is one of the most talented and dynamic recording artists anywhere, and the plaintiffs have no right claiming they’re the reason for his success.”
With more than 175 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured nine nine-figure jury verdicts, and ten eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last eight years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.