George T. Caplan is a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group, based in the firm's office in Century City. After clerking for the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, George spent the first 22 years of his career at Irell & Manella LLP, where he had been a partner since 1974. In 1992, he joined Dewey Ballantine LLP's Los Angeles office, where he became the managing partner of the office for approximately six years. George later joined Kaye Scholer LLP's Los Angeles office, where he chaired the Litigation Group for approximately eight years.
George has represented major corporations and motion picture studios in a litigation career that began in 1969. His general business and entertainment litigation experience includes general commercial matters, energy industry litigation, unfair competition, intellectual property, trademark infringement, First Amendment issues, domain name infringement, securities fraud, employment contracts, directors and officers, as well as errors and omissions defense, real estate, power plant construction and defect litigation, general construction defect litigation, hotel industry disputes, and computer software development contract litigation.
In General. As one of the managing general partners of Santa Monica Hotel Associates, Ltd., George developed, owned and managed the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, California.
George earned his LL.B from Columbia University Law School and his A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley.
· Defending a 17200 case seeking to shut down one of the largest wind turbine energy operations in the U.S. because of alleged violations of various Federal and State environmental statutes that protect raptors (case dismissed on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and affirmed on appeal). This is a landmark case interpreting Proposition 64;
· Defending two actions on behalf of the California Insurance Commissioner, as liquidator, alleging damages in excess of $450 million based on alleged misappropriation of assets and net operating losses (cases settled favorably after the filing of comprehensive motion for summary judgment);
· Defending consolidated class actions alleging breach of fiduciary duties under ERISA, claiming damages based upon, among other things, the fall in market price of shares (claims exceed $100 million);
· Prosecuting a breach of contract claim for damages resulting from the Government's early termination of a contract granting the right to build approximately 550 wind turbines on the Nevada Test Site (partial summary judgment for liability under the contract granted against the Government);
· Prosecuting an inverse condemnation claim against the State for the Governor's commandeering of the Block Forward energy contracts in February 2001, seeking approximately $1 billion in damages;
· Prosecution of a fraud claim for $130 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages involving misrepresentations concerning the mismanufacture of components for communications satellites;
· Prosecuting a contract claim involving the music publishing rights of the pre-1982 MGM film library;
· "Credit Lyonnais v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, Inc., et al.," representing Houlihan Lokey in an action claiming $2 billion in damages as a result of Houlihan Lokey's rendering a solvency opinion in connection with the sale of MGM to Paretti;
· "Kelley Blue Book v. Primedia, Kelley Blue Book v. Stoneage, Kelley Blue Book v. Orion," prosecuting actions for trademark infringement and Internet domain name abuse involving Kelley's trademarks and domain names;
· "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co.," representing Disney against MGM, which claimed that Disney no longer had the right to use the MGM name in connection with motion picture theme parks in Orlando and France;
· "Jeffrey Katzenberg v. The Walt Disney Co.," representing Disney in Katzenberg's claim in excess of $500 million for the value of productions for which he was responsible;
· "TriStar Pictures, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., et al.," representing Disney in a copyright infringement claim brought by TriStar, claiming that the screenwriters of the motion picture, While You Were Sleeping, had infringed TriStar's rights in a 1940s novel;
· "Helen Gorman Kushnick v. Disney Book Publishing, Inc., et al.," representing Disney in a defamation claim arising out of Hyperion's book, The Late Shift;
· "Michael Sidney Luft v. Hyperion, et al.," representing Hyperion in a defamation case involving a book written about Judy Garland (summary judgment granted in favor of Hyperion, affirmed on appeal);
· "Clark v. The Walt Disney Co.," representing Disney in an idea submission case (case withdrawn after production of definitive evidence demonstrating idea developed earlier in-house);
· "Juda Alszeh, et al., v. Home Box Office, et al.," representing Home Box Office in a defamation case growing out of a documentary about Heidi Fleiss (summary judgment obtained for HBO, affirmed on appeal);
· Sony Retail Entertainment (now known as Metreon, Inc.) in a multi-million dollar construction dispute with Bovis Construction Corp., et al. concerning the Metreon Center in San Francisco;
· Construction defects litigation involving the enforcement of an arbitration clause. Case settled after motion practice raised serious statute of limitations issues that impeded plaintiff's claims;
· Construction defects litigation involving a cogeneration plant in Oregon. Case resolved by enforcing a claim against an insurance carrier which had issued an "efficacy" policy guaranteeing the performance specifications of the plant;
· Representation of MedPartners, Inc. (now known as Caremark Rx, Inc.) in a series of contract disputes with physician groups that it managed;
· Represented public computer software development and network company in numerous contract disputes, including major software development contract litigation;
· Defended two clients in several air pollution matters involving the Air Quality Management District including numerous administrative trials;
· Represented client in a lawsuit for declaratory relief to resolve disputes concerning a contract to develop a militarized dune buggy;
· Extensive litigation involving claims that thousands of teachers and administrators were defrauded by real estate investment schemes. Represented the court-appointed Receiver in litigation which eliminated the applicability of the arbitration clauses contained in the investment prospectuses and agreements;
· Represented the inventor/distributor ("Omninet") of new telecommunications products in a dispute with the supplier of those products. Settled by way of business transaction in which principal Omninet investors became major investors in Qualcomm. Qualcomm purchased the assets of Omninet; and
· Represented CIGNA Healthplans (California) in capitation rate setting litigation with the State of California.
Commissioner, California Postsecondary Education Commission (2007-2011)
President, Board of Governors of California Community Colleges (2005-2006); Member (2001-2006)
President, Executive Board, College of Letters and Science, University of California at Berkeley (2000-2003)
President, Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles (July 1988-June 1990)
Board of Trustees Vice Chairman, Foundation of California Community Colleges
Member, Board of Trustees, University of California, Berkeley Foundation (2001-2003)
Chairman, Board of the Jewish Television Network (1998-2000); President (1994-1998)
Chairman, Scholarship and Educator Awards Committees, Bureau of Jewish Education
General Chair, United Jewish Fund Campaign of Greater Los Angeles (1985-1986)