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LOS ANGELES � Michael Garfinkel, a commercial litigator who specializes in entertainment and intellectual property, has joined Washington-based Venable’s Los Angeles office. Garfinkel, a partner at Los Angeles-based Rintala, Smoot, Jaenicke & Rees, represents entertainment companies including the William Morris Agency Inc. and ICM (International Creative Management Inc.) � both talent agencies � and SBE Entertainment Group, a Los Angeles-based developer of hotels, restaurants and independent film productions. He handles cases involving right of publicity, defamation, idea submission disputes, accounting issues and matters involving entertainment industry guilds. In 2005, he represented the creator of the book on which the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was based in a high profile trial against the Walt Disney Co. involving gross receipts. More recently, he filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Association of Talent Agents in a case pending before the California Supreme Court that addresses whether personal managers are subject to the state’s Talent Agencies Act. Garfinkel worked at the predecessor firm to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman with Douglas Emhoff, now partner-in-charge of Venable’s Los Angeles office and chairman of the Commercial West Litigation Group. Emhoff’s former firm, Whitwell Jacoby Emhoff, and Gorry Meyer & Rudd merged with Venable a year ago to open the firm’s Los Angeles office.

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