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Mitchell A. Kamin

  T: 310.201.2100
  F: 310.201.2110
  E: mak@birdmarella.com


EDUCATION

    • Harvard Law School, J.D. cum laude, 1993
    • U.C. Berkeley, B.A. with highest honors, 1989, phi beta kappa


ADMITTED TO PRACTICE

  • California 1999
  • New York 1994


FORMER POSITIONS

    • President/CEO, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, 2003-2010
    • Partner, O’Neill, Lysaght & Sun, 1999-2003
    • Staff Attorney, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1993-1994


Principal

Co-managing partner and trial attorney Mitch Kamin represents clients in complex commercial and white-collar criminal cases in both state and federal courts.

In the commercial arena, he has litigated and counseled companies and individuals across a range of industries regarding regulatory and policy matters, contract disputes, copyright, class actions, labor and employment, and professional liability, with particular expertise working with entertainment and gaming enterprises and talent. From a criminal defense perspective, he has national white-collar experience leading litigation and internal investigations involving issues such as FCPA, securities, taxes, money laundering, bank fraud and wire fraud. Mr. Kamin recently represented top senior executives of three separate Fortune 500 companies in FCPA investigations by the SEC and Department of Justice.  The media and various professional and industry organizations regularly call on him to comment or present on FCPA issues.

Mr. Kamin’s expertise and experience in the conventional gaming industry has put him at the leading edge of law relating to the rapidly emerging world of online social gaming. He has represented gaming industry clients being prosecuted and investigated for potential violations of federal law, including the federal wire act. Mr. Kamin now advises gaming companies and online social gaming entrepreneurs on regulatory issues and risk avoidance, and provides representation in business and regulatory matters.

Mr. Kamin’s recent institutional clients include 20th Century Fox, International Game Technology (IGT), Konami Digital Entertainment, Double Feature Films, Azusa Pacific University and more.

For nearly eight years prior to joining Bird Marella, Mr. Kamin served as President and CEO of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, one of the largest and most successful non-profit law firms in the United States. There he led a 70-person full-time staff and was responsible for major policy initiatives and overseeing significant litigation in both trial and appellate courts. He also spearheaded the largest pro bono initiative in U.S. history, garnering multiple national awards, including the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award.

Actively involved in the community, he serves on the board of directors for the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and the Breed Street Shul Project. He has served as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, which provides public housing and rental assistance programs for thousands of low-income families.

EXPERIENCE
  • Following pro bono trial in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, obtained declaratory and injunctive relief for three Death Row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.  Court found that excessive summer heat conditions in confinement on Angola’s death row constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Read full Angola press release.
  • Successfully defended 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Chernin Entertainment in a federal copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the Central District of California. After extensive litigation, the case settled, with a complete walkaway and limit on future suits.
  • Managed the legal aspects of the national and international introduction of gaming and social gaming products for an S&P 500 company. Assessed legality of products in the U.S. and abroad, which included analysis of federal law, such as the Wire Act, as well as various regulatory authorities in U.S. states and other countries.
  • Served as co-lead counsel representing dozens of executives and employees of a Fortune 500 technology company under investigation for potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Coordinated three parallel investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the company’s audit committee. Also represented senior executives from other companies in similar investigations.
  • Successfully moved a residential real estate transaction case from court to arbitration after a pre-emptive suit from the plaintiff and prevailed on all claims, including breach of contract and fraud, at arbitration. Notwithstanding adversary’s claim that a liquidated damages provision limited recovery, obtained an award more than three times the amount of the provision, as well as punitive damages for fraud.
  • Represent ballot initiative sponsors in a high-profile First Amendment case on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case concerns Measure B, a Los Angeles County ballot initiative passed by voters in 2012 that aims to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Conducted an internal investigation and persuaded the Department of Justice to decline prosecution of an international gaming company for alleged violations of the Federal Wire Act.
  • Represented Azusa Pacific University in a variety of matters, including a current civil suit against a former asset manager who misused his position and violated his fiduciary duties to the university.
  • Achieved a walk-away settlement for a national law firm in a professional negligence case.
  • Represented Double Feature Films in a number of matters, including a professional negligence case against the business manager, who woefully mishandled finances and taxes for the company’s principals. Achieved a significant settlement quietly and efficiently without ever filing the case.
  • Counseled European cable network on legal issues arising from deals with domestic movie studios, enabling it to protect its rights and avoid litigation.
  • Achieved an unprecedented settlement—on the eve of trial—in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Orange, California and Orange County concerning the 19-year wrongful imprisonment of Dewayne McKinney for a crime he did not commit. Handled all depositions, briefing and court appearances.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for the former president of a production company who had been improperly denied contingent severance benefits.
  • Filed amicus briefs in significant California and U.S. Supreme Court cases, including two that represented the interests of indigent Holocaust survivors: Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004) and American Insurance Association v. Garamendi, 539 U.S. 396 (2003).
  • Represented at trial numerous individuals charged with serious crimes and offenses in New York state courts. Representative work includes a three-week jury trial that incorporated novel litigation around the use of experts in eyewitness identification and another jury trial in which acquittal was achieved for an elderly foster mother.
  • Shut down proceedings by a government agency that was attempting to take the child of an international celebrity on false allegations of abuse. Quickly, effectively and discreetly defused the situation by proving that the filing of the investigation was made with inaccurate medical information.
  • Represent international video game publisher in copyright infringement claims by major record labels and publishing companies regarding licensing of sound recordings and compositions.
PUBLICATIONS

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
  • Bird Marella Principal Mitchell A. Kamin is speaking at the Practicing Law Institute (PLI)  seminar Representing the Games Industry Client 2013.  The topic – “Social Mobile Gaming 2013″ (October 23, 2013, San Francisco)

  • Mitch Kamin is speaking on a panel at the Ethics Plenary Session of the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.  The topic –  ”Hand in Someone’s Pocket (Head in the Sand): Representing Sports and Entertainment Clients in a World of Corrupt Practices” (New York, NY, October 4, 2013)

  • Mitch Kamin is participating in a mock trial on Social Gaming at the15th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking (May 29, 2013)

  • Mitch Kamin spoke to the Twentieth Century Fox Legal Department on the topic “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:  Recent Developments and the Entertainment Industry.” (April 25, 2013)

  • Terry W. Bird and Mitchell A. Kamin are giving an MCLE presentation to the Southern California Edison legal department on the topic “The FCPA:  Recent Developments and the DOJ/SEC Resource Guide”(March 5, 2013).

  • Mitchell A. Kamin spoke in Las Vegas, NV to the GLI Gaming Regulators’ Conference on the topic “Socially Regulated: Does Social Gaming Need to be Regulated, and Can It Be?” (February 27, 2013)

  • “A Short History of the Federal Wire Act,” March 14, 2012, IGT Legal and Compliance Departments, Las Vegas, NV
  • “Gaming Regulation in an Evolving Global Industry: Striking the Balance,” November 3, 2011, IGT Legal Department Retreat, Reno, NV
  • “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Recent Developments and Best Practices,” August 1, 2011, Southern California Edison Legal Department, Rosemead, CA




AWARDS/RECOGNITION
    • Living the Legacy Award, JFSJ/PJA, 2011
    • Opening Doors to Justice Award, Public Interest Clearinghouse, 2009
    • Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2005, 2006, 2008
    • Named a Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine, 2007 – 2013
    • Skadden Fellowship, 1994-1996


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

    • Jewish Federation of Los Angeles – New Leaders Project, Co-Leader, 2014
    • UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Board of Directors, 2013-present
    • Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, 2011-2012
    • Breed Street Shul Project, Board of Directors, 2011-Present
    • Attorney General Kamala Harris, Transition Team, Civil Rights Enforcement, 2011
    • Liberty Hill Foundation, Board of Directors, 2008-2011
    • The GRAMMY Museum, Community Advisory Committee, 2008-2009
    • Legal Aid Association of California, President of the Board, 2006-2008
    • California State Advisory Task Force on Legal Representation Pilot Project, appointed by State Bar of California, 2007
    • California State Task Force on Lawyer Support for Legal Services, appointed by State Assembly, 2006-2008
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Board of Trustees, 2004-2006
    • White House Conference on Aging, appointed by U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, 2005