Ryan Lapine is a partner in the Litigation Group and a first-chair trial lawyer. Undefeated at trial, clients call on him to handle the most complex, high-stakes disputes, regardless of subject matter. Mr. Lapine has particular expertise in insurance recovery, intellectual property, trust and estate, and complex business disputes, with intimate familiarity with entertainment, cryptocurrency, and cannabis industry issues.
In his insurance recovery practice, Mr. Lapine represents corporate and high-net-worth policyholders, enforcing their rights when insurers resist valid claims for covered losses or fail to adhere to their duties regarding third-party claims. He also provides counseling to clients navigating pending and potential insurance claims. Mr. Lapine has helped clients resolve insurance recovery litigation through settlement negotiations and at trial. He won the second largest insurance-recovery jury verdict in California in 2015.
Mr. Lapine has represented cannabis industry clients for fifteen years and is keenly aware of the unique legal and regulatory matters affecting these businesses. He regularly represents growers, investors, property owners, product manufacturers, and dispensers in business disputes and regulatory issues.
Mr. Lapine also represents entertainment companies and well-known entertainers in a broad range of business and IP litigation arising from contract disputes, breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, copyright and patent infringement claims, and violations of the right of publicity.
He represents significant clients in the cryptocurrency space, including the founder and developer of a major cryptocurrency and the foundation that manages and supports a major cryptocurrency, in Federal and state litigation.
Mr. Lapine also handles a variety of business litigation for companies big and small, including breach of contract and licensing matters, defense of qui tam actions, IP infringement, and business defamation. In addition, he represents high-net-worth individuals in trust, estate, and family disputes arising from palimony actions, removal of trustees, fraudulent property conveyances, complex marital dissolutions, and more.
Mr. Lapine is proud to have served as a member of the California Committee of Bar Examiners, where he oversaw the creation, administration and grading of the California Bar Examination and all state-accredited and non-accredited law schools in California.
He is admitted to practice in California state courts, and California federal courts in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts.
Mr. Lapine’s representative matters include:
- Doublevision Entertainment, LLC v. Navigators Specialty Insurance Company (California Northern District Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel and lead trial counsel for a production company asserting breach of the duty to defend, breach of the duty to pursue settlement, and breach of the duty to settle claims against an errors and omission insurance provider. Mr. Lapine succeeded on all claims, winning a $2,280,000 jury verdict on two claims and a directed verdict in client’s favor on the remaining claim. This was the second largest insurance recovery jury verdict in California in 2015.
- Stiletto Television, Inc. v. Hastings, Clayton & Tucker, Inc. (California Central District Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for singer Barry Manilow (through his holding and management company) defending copyright claims to protect his ownership interest in two concert movies he created. Mr. Lapine defeated plaintiff’s claims in full on summary judgment, obtaining a complete defense judgment.
- Bighorn Ventures, LLC v. Lacern Performance Golf Cars, Inc., et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). As lead counsel for an investment company, Mr. Lapine won a seven-figure judgment following a bench trial, including an award of punitive damages, attorney’s costs, and fees. Earlier in the case he also obtained a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and an award of sanctions against defendants for discovery abuses.
- Lebed v. Himber Entertainment, Inc. et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine was trial counsel for a leading talent manager asserting breach of contract, conversion, and fraudulent conveyance claims against the management company for whom she formerly worked. Result: a jury verdict with significant monetary damages in Mr. Lapine’s client’s favor.
- Doublevision Entertainment, LLC v. Commercial Escrow Services, Inc. et al. (Contra Costa County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel and lead trial counsel for a production company asserting breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims against an escrow company. The three-week jury trial resulted in a more than $1,500,000 verdict for Mr. Lapine’s client.
- Fidelity National Financial, Inc., et al. v. Colin H Friedman, et al. (California Central District Court). Mr. Lapine was part of the trial team defending the Swiss branch of an international financial institution against RICO violations and fraudulent conveyance claims in a one-week jury trial. Result: a complete defense verdict.
- Entertainment League Productions, LLC v. JME, Inc. et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for an entertainment company in a fraud and breach of contract action against a vodka manufacturer and its principal. Mr. Lapine’s client won a $3,100,000 judgment.
- Navigators Specialty Insurance Company v. Commercial Escrow Services, Inc. et al. (Contra Costa County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for and successfully intervened on behalf of his client and other interested parties – vacating a purported settlement agreement and later engineering a global settlement in an insurance interpleader action.
- Rodas et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for policyholders, procuring a confidential settlement despite an initial denial of coverage.
- Hastings, Clayton & Tucker, Inc. v. Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd., et al. (California Central District Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for singer Barry Manilow (through his holding and management company) asserting Lanham Act and copyright infringement claims against a popular cruise line and its content provider. The case settled after filing of a Federal action.
- Covert v. Harris (California Central District Court). As lead counsel for plaintiff in a post-marital palimony action, Mr. Lapine obtained a global settlement after defeating defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
- In the Matter of the Mark Hughes Family Trust, dated September 3, 1987, as amended. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). As litigation counsel for the beneficiary of a trust valued at greater than $350,000,000 – a matter described as the largest probate litigation in Los Angeles County -- Mr. Lapine succeeded in suspending and removing the co-trustees of the subject trust on motion of the beneficiary.
- Inman v. Phillips et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine served as lead counsel for an heiress of advanced age in an action brought against two acquaintances under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. Mr. Lapine won injunctive relief invalidating purported conveyances to one of the defendants, and settled after mediation with the other defendant.
- Gardner v. San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, Inc. (San Francisco County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine was lead trial counsel for an individual shot by a third-party assailant at the 2013 San Francisco Pride Festival. Mr. Lapine defeated defendant’s motion for summary judgment and the matter subsequently settled.
- Atton v. San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, Inc. (San Francisco County Superior Court). Mr. Lapine was lead trial counsel for an individual shot by a third-party assailant at the 2015 San Francisco Pride Festival. Mr. Lapine helped achieve a settlement for his client after defeating defendant’s anti-SLAPP Motion.
- Perry v. Brown (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). Mr. Lapine wrote a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Love Honor Cherish In Opposition to Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the landmark litigation that ultimately invalidated Proposition 8, restoring marriage equality in California.
awards & recognition
Southern California Super Lawyer (2020-2021)
Southern California Super Lawyer “Rising Star" (2012-2015)
University of California, Hastings College of Law (JD, 2004)
-Managing Editor of the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal
University of Chicago (BA in Public Policy & Economics, 2001)
Rice University -- Max Roy Presidential Scholar
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past Speaking Engagements
news & press
On the Move: Tracking the Ins and Outs of California Lawyers
Frankfurt Kurnit Adds Entertainment and Commercial Litigation Partner Ryan Lapine in Los Angeles
Frankfurt Kurnit has added Ryan Lapine as a partner in the firm’s Litigation Group. Mr. Lapine joined the firm on June 16th. He will be based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Read more.