The manufacturer of Bratz dolls has replaced its lawyers for the second time this year in preparation for the next phase of its long-running copyright battle with Mattel Inc., which makes Barbie dolls.
MGA is appealing a recent ruling by US District Judge Stephen Larson of the Central District of California that upheld a $100 million jury verdict reached last year against the company for copyright infringement and breach of contract. A second phrase of the case is expected to focus, among other things, on Mattel's claims that MGA stole trade secrets.
The jury concluded that the designer of the Bratz dolls came up with the idea while in Mattel's employ.
In a July 7th order, Larson approved MGA's request to replace its current attorneys — Patricia Glaser, of Los Angeles-based Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, and Russell Frackman, a partner at Los Angeles-based Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp — with Herrington & Sutcliffe led by Annette Hurst in San Francisco. Three other attorneys are also joining MGA's legal team.
The counsel swap is the second so far this year for MGA, which in January replaced Thomas Nolan, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with Glaser and Frackman. Nolan, co-chairman of Skadden's West Coast litigation practice, handled the jury trial last year.