James Sammataro is the Managing Partner of Stroock’s Miami office. His national entertainment practice is split between high-stakes litigation; negotiating a broad spectrum of film, television, music, theatrical, live stage and new media transactions; and counseling media entities on both day-to-day business matters and strategic acquisitions.
Mr. Sammataro has been recognized by Law360 as one of the top entertainment attorneys in the country, ranked by Best Lawyers in America in the category of Motion Pictures and Television and named as "Top 40 Under 40" by the South Florida Business Journal. He has also been named Florida Entertainment Attorney of the Year, repeatedly recognized as a "Super Lawyer" in the field of Entertainment and Sports, and has been billed as the leading legal resource for "Hispanic Hollywood." The Legal 500 United States has also recommended Mr. Sammataro for his work in commercial litigation.
Mr. Sammataro has litigated several cases with industry-wide ramifications, including matters regarding the efficacy of the Portable People Meter, and the fairness of the Radio Music License Committee's allocation of ASCAP and BMI fees. He has also litigated several high profile entertainment matters involving media companies, professional sports teams and celebrities.
In addition to litigating, Mr. Sammataro handles an array of transactional matters for media clients, which include television and radio stations, touring companies, publishers (magazines, newspapers), content providers, production companies, distributors and financiers. Mr. Sammataro has, for example, represented two television stations from their infancy, assisting in their growth from local independent stations to ones with national footprints by negotiating their talent, content, production, affiliate, syndication and distribution agreements. Mr. Sammataro has also negotiated television agreements with many major networks and prominent artists.
Additionally, he counsels motion picture clients in managing their valuable intellectual property rights, including acquiring, financing, producing and distributing films. Mr. Sammataro also represents several prominent production companies viewing their film footage, television shows, screenplays and related content for both legal risk and potential brand integration. He is also heavily versed in the live stage and concert promotion industries and has represented a number of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as well as prominent promoters in organizing concert events, featuring Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Chris Brown, Romeo Santos, Alejandro Sanz, Laura Pausini, Ricardo Arjona, Daddy Yankee and Dom Omar.
— REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
- Represented Lee Daniels, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Simone Sheffield and Canyon Entertainment in a defamation action brought by Damon Dash.
- Defeated America-CV Network, LLC's Emergency Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, which sought to enjoin SBS’s broadcast Ahora Con Oscar Haza.
- Successfully represented the San Antonio Spurs in a putative class action lawsuit securing the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
- Represented Fremantle Media and Fremantle Latin America in a copyright infringement action initiated by Codigo Music.
- Represented Top Stop Music, Inc. and Top Stop Publishing, Inc. and its principal, Sergio George, in a lawsuit involving Prince Royce, which resulted in the dismissal of Prince Royce's $5 million dollar defamation claim, and Prince Royce writing a six-figure check to buy his release.
- Obtained a $7.5 million settlement on behalf of Trans Continental Television Productions, Inc. in a complex litigation against MTV Networks, Viacom International Inc., Viacom, Inc., Bad Boy Films, Inc. and Bad Boy Records, LLC involving novel issues of copyright law, relating to the television franchise, Making the Band.
- Prevailed on summary judgment on a fair use doctrine on behalf of Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc., Mega Media Holdings, Inc., Telemotion Productions, Inc. and MES Productions in a copyright infringement action brought by author Norberto Fuentes.
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2008
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2001
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2001
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2011
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2011
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2009
U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1999
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1999