Marvin Putnam is a trial lawyer who offers clients an exceptional combination of litigation experience with keen insight on the entertainment industry. He is Chair of the firm’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Industry Group and former Chair of the Litigation & Trial Department in Los Angeles.

Mr. Putnam has successfully represented clients ranging from individual authors and producers, to leading entertainment companies and investment banks. His accomplishments at trial and appellate courts, both state and federal, as well as internationally, have earned Mr. Putnam a reputation as a market-leading entertainment litigator. He has a demonstrated skill in handling a range of high-profile disputes, including intellectual property and business torts. Complementing his trial work, Mr. Putnam provides prepublication review for national news, variety, and talk show programs, national publications as well as film and television studios. Given his litigation skills, Mr. Putnam also often advises on complex entertainment and media transactional matters with an eye to limiting clients’ potential litigation or exposure.

Mr. Putnam has been recognized by a number of publications including Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Media & Entertainment Litigation, Variety “Legal Impact Report,” The Hollywood Reporter “Power Lawyers,” and The Daily Journal “Top 100 California Lawyers” and “Top Entertainment Lawyers.” In 2014 he was named one of National Law Journal’s “Winning Trial Lawyers” and Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association.

Mr. Putnam’s considerable experience has ranged from the successful defense of several class actions brought in the wake of significant oil spills to recovery of World War II-era assets from international banks. His media specific work has included successfully serving as lead defense counsel for concert promoter AEG Live in the six-month wrongful death trial brought by Michael Jackson’s family – including successfully overcoming the Jackson family's California Supreme Court challenge, which the court rejected. The resulting verdict was named one of the 10 most significant defense verdicts of the year by the nation’s leading legal journals.*

Examples of Mr. Putnam’s recent entertainment and media-related matters include representing:

  • The nation’s largest cable company, at both the trial and appellate levels, in a series of federal actions relating to violations of the Federal Communications Act*
  • International media entities in numerous federal and state defamation and invasion-of-privacy matters*
  • Film and television concerns requiring a First Amendment defense*
  • Journalists in numerous reporters’ privilege subpoena actions*
  • Media entities seeking both court and legislative access*
  • A movie producer against a breach of contract action brought by international pulp novelist Clive Cussler*
  • J.K. Rowling in her action to protect her literary rights against infringement by copycats*
  • The distributor of a reality television series in an invasion-of-privacy claim*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham.

Bar Qualification

  • California
  • New York


  • JD, Georgetown Law School, 1993
  • BA, Harvard College, 1986
    cum laude

Languages Spoken

  • English