Jonathan Balfus Of Counsel



Jonathan Balfus is a seasoned litigator with an emphasis in complex business, intellectual property and insurance matters. He focuses on new media, internet issues, and domain name and URL disputes. Jonathan regularly counsels clients in the cannabis industry on advertising, compensation, licensing and regulatory issues.

Jonathan also has extensive experience handling copyright, trademark, fair use and rights of publicity cases across the country. He has counseled individual, small business and large corporate clients regarding the strategic use and licensing of all forms of intellectual property. For several years, Jonathan represented a leading global media and entertainment company in a series of successful infringement actions over the expansion of national radio brands in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Nevada and Texas.

Prior to rejoining Wilson Elser in 2022, Jonathan was a partner in a Los Angeles firm before establishing a solo practice. While at NYU Law, he clerked for New York Appellate Court Judge Frederick T. Santucci.

Areas of Focus

Commercial Litigation
Jonathan represents clients in complex business disputes including contracts, partnership rights, unfair competition, unfair business practices, trade secret and non-compete actions. He also has particular experience in business and intellectual property litigation for clients in the art, music and entertainment industries.

Intellectual Property
Jonathan’s intellectual property practice focuses on litigation involving trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement claims; trade libel, trade secret and unfair competition claims; internet domain disputes; and license agreements. He has extensive experience counseling individuals and businesses on the registration, licensing, use and enforcement of trademarks. Jonathan also has litigated numerous matters across the country concerning media brands, rights of publicity and privacy rights.

Art Law
Jonathan counsels artists, galleries, collectors, fabricators and curators regarding the sale, provenance, attribution, licensing, installation and reproduction of art. He has advised consignors and buyers in public auctions by houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s concerning premiums, transfer of title, condition, viewing and proof of funds. Jonathan also has advised publishers, living artists and the estates of artists regarding their respective rights and obligations under contracts with each other and with third parties. Jonathan has handled litigation involving the authenticity and right to reproduce works by such masters as Auguste Rodin and Salvador Dali, as well as cutting-edge artists working in 3D and virtual space.

Cannabis & Hemp Law
Jonathan is part of a national multidisciplinary team of lawyers who serve all aspects of the cannabis and hemp industries, as well as financial institutions and insurance companies that service those industries. Jonathan works with licensed cannabis operators throughout the country to comply with their obligations under the law and to develop risk management best practices. He has litigated several matters involving cannabis retailers, distributors, transportation and advertising companies as well as disputes between shareholders and executives of such companies.

Professional Liability
Jonathan represents and counsels law firms and lawyers in professional liability and related matters, including actions involving malpractice claims, fee disputes, dissolution, withdrawal, conflicts and fiduciary obligations.

Jonathan represents numerous general contractors in residential construction litigation matters involving property owners, developers and managers, subcontractors, equipment vendors and materials suppliers. He has particular experience negotiating, drafting and enforcing construction agreements for residential builds totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Representative Matters

Trowbridge Sidoti LLP v. Taylor, 8:16-cv-00771-ODW-SK (D.C. Cal. 2018)

In re Karykeion, Inc., 435 B.R. 663 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2010)

Rosen v. Franklin Mint Company, 2004 WL 728718

In re Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hosp., 282 B.R. 444 (9th Cir.BAP Cal.) (2002)

Citicasters Licenses, Inc. v. Cumulus Media, Inc., 189 F. Supp.2d 1372 (S.D. Ga. 2002)

PLCM Group v. Drexler, 22 Cal.4th 1084 (2000)

Wilkes v. Rhino Records, Inc., 133 F.3d 931 (9th Cir. 1997)