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Jonathan Charles Balfus

Litigation Attorney at Santa Monica, CA

5.0   11 reviews

also known as Jonathan C. Balfus

  • State Years
    California - CA 31 years
    New York - NY 34 years
  • Licensed for 31 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1991
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State NY
    Acquired 1989
    Currently Registered No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Jonathan

Learn Jonathan’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Litigation
    State and Federal litigation, appeals, arbitrations and mediations

    31 years, 80 cases

  2. Intellectual property
    Trademark and Copyright litigation, strategizing and monetizing, licensing, branding, domain name disputes, brand protection, registration and USPTO issues, infringement plaintiff and defense counsel

    30 years, 60 cases

  3. Business
    All aspects of business litigation: corporate dissolutions, shareholder/partnership disputes, vendor and supplier contractual disputes, merchandise, advertising, branding, performance and personal service contractual matters

    35 years, 75 cases

  4. Entertainment
    Music, performance and broadcasting industry contracts, disputes, licensing, litigation; attribution and IP issues, royalty, profitability and accounting disputes

    27 years, 50 cases

Jonathan C. Balfus is a seasoned litigator with an emphasis in complex business and intellectual property.  Mr. Balfus has extensive experience handling copyright, trademark, fair use, and rights of publicity matters all over the country. He has counseled individual, small business and large corporate clients regarding the strategic use and licensing of all forms of intellectual property. In the entertainment field, Mr. Balfus has represented clients in the television, radio, recording, merchandising and music publishing industries. For several years, Mr. Balfus represented Clear Channel Communications 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.  More recently, Mr. Balfus has focused on new media, Internet issues, domain name and URL disputes, and copyright and trademark registration.  He regularly counsels clients regarding online transactions, commerce and advertising matters.  In his art law practice, Mr. Balfus counsels artists, galleries, collectors and curators in all aspects of the sale, provenance and reproduction of art.

Mr. Balfus graduated with honors from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences (1985) and School of Law (1988).  While at NYU Law, he clerked for New York Appellate Court Judge Frederick T. Santucci.  He is a member of the State Bars of New York and California and is admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts in the Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California.  He is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.  Prior to establishing his solo practice, Mr. Balfus was a partner with Weiss & Spees, LLP in Los Angeles.

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Jonathan C. Balfus, Esq.
100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700
Santa Monica, CA, 90401


5.0 / 5.0
  11 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Warren Shiell | February 23, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
First class intellectual property and business lawyer
I first worked with Jonny back in 2004. Since that time he is my first call for any intellectual property or business litigation consultation. A very straightforward, effective, and clear-thinking attorney that you want on your side.
Posted by Susanna | November 12, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Thoughtful and compassionate are the first two words that come to mind when I think of Jonny (along with awesome and a life saver) He is extremely helpful and guided me through the rough waters of a rather ugly situation, for which I am extremely grateful. He is genuinely interested in helping , which is refreshing and noble. Definitely someone you want on your side and defending you. I am more than happy to recommend him to anyone in need of legal assistance, especially in the area of intellectual property. I'd give him more stars if I could.
Read less
Posted by Connie and Michael | November 8, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Jonny is an excellent attorney and wonderful person to have in our lives. He has helped our company in resolving complicated IP issues, and has also helped other members of our family in their legal matters. Jonny responds to all calls and emails immediately - something that is often missing with other attorneys. Jonny has a unique sensibility: a terrific sense of humor, a wonderfully calm and reassuring manner, and a deep appreciation of the personal impact as well as the business issues involved in a litigation. We strongly recommend him!
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Posted by Nony | November 5, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer
working with Jonny has been amazing, he is smart, sharp, knowledgeable, fast and beyond helpful. I've been calling on Jonny for years with any legal issue me, my business or anyone in my family have had and he is always quick to respond and help. I whole heartedly recommend Jonny! he's an amazing Lawyer to have on your team!
Posted by Andeera | November 5, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Legal Help
Jonny was very professional and responded to all my questions promptly. He has helped me several times in various legal disputes. He is personable and efficient and I highly recommend his services.
Posted by Cindy | November 5, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Absolutely trustworthy and no-nonsense.
You will not meet a more trustworthy, straight-shooting person, let alone lawyer, than Jonny Balfus. He has represented me numerous times in contractual disputes and has always prevailed. He is extremely knowledgable, strategic, very conscientious about not wasting anyone's time or money and a fierce litigator. He is just simply someone you want, no you NEED, to have on your side no matter what the dispute.
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Posted by anonymous | November 5, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Practical, Realistic and Result Oriented
Jonny is extremely detail oriented, highly connected, efficient and gets the job done. His time lines are realistic. Jonny obtained an excellent result on my company's behalf in a business litigation matter that had been going on for years. It was refreshing to see how he tackled the task and put a successful end to a long drawn out story.
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Posted by anonymous | November 5, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Jonathan Balfus knows his stuff, period. He's concise, smart and fair. And he's funny, which can be a life-saver in many situations. It was in mine.
Posted by Lara | October 21, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The highest professional recommendation
Jonny has been my go-to IP lawyer since 2012. He handles all my trademark, branding and internet matters, expediently and carefully. Most importantly, Jonny clearly explains exactly what the issues are and how they should be addressed, so we're always on the same page and I know what to expect. And, he writes the best and funniest IP column for non-lawyers I've ever read! I trust Jonny's business savvy, his expertise, judgment and friendliness, and I'm very happy to endorse him.
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Posted by Karen | October 20, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Skilled, cost conscious and results oriented.
Jonathan is a first rate attorney, skilled in several areas of business, commercial and real estate litigation. He obtained an excellent result on my company's behalf in a complex business litigation matter in California and I recommend him without reservation.
Posted by Laura | October 8, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Review of an Excellent Intellectual Property Lawyer
Jonny is extremely well versed in the subject and is a practical guy. He returns calls immediately and he is truly interested in getting the best result for the lowest cost without sacrificing any quality. He is calm and funny, which helps to reduce the stresses that usually go hand in hand with needing legal representation.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 9.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Law Offices of Jonathan C. Balfus
  • 2013 - Present
  • Partner
  • Weiss & Spees LLP
  • 2009 - 2013
  • Attorney
  • Fainsbert Mase & Snyder
  • 2003 - 2009


  • New York University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1988
  • New York University College of Arts & Sciences
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts (cum laude)
  • 1985

Legal Cases

  • In re Karykeion, Inc., 435 B.R. 663 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2010)
  • Motion Granted
  • Citicasters Licenses, Inc. v. Cumulus Media, Inc., 189 F. Supp.2d 1372 (S.D. Ga. 2002)
  • Won bench trial
  • Wilkes v. Rhino Records, Inc., 133 F.3d 931 (9th Cir. 1997)
  • Won summary judgment


  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • 2000 - Present


  • California Bankruptcy Journal
  • “EXIDE Inside Out: New Third Circuit Decision Preserves Trademark Licensee’s Rights Following Licensor’s Rejection Under Bankruptcy Code §365”
  • 2011

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (7)
Endorse Jonathan
Litigation Attorney | Feb 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"An exceptional litigation attorney whose reputation speaks for itself. Highly recommended lawyer."
Intellectual property Attorney | Dec 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Balfus is a frequent contributor on Avvo. What I appreciate most about his responses is his candor. Because Avvo is a public forum, we frequently encounter legal issues of dubious credibility. Mr. Balfus has no problem telling someone when they have no claim. I imagine this attitude carries over to his clients. Unlike many other attorneys who just cannot say "no" to a client, you can trust that Mr. Balfus will give you an honest, candid assessment of whether and to what extent you have a valid claim or defense. Therefore, I am happy to submit my endorsement."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Balfus is a frequent contributor on the Avvo forums and provides countless great answers."
Unknown Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Lawyers who donate time on sites like this have a passion for the law and a compassion for the people they serve. Kudos."
Litigation Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Intellectual property Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Excellent knowledge of the law. I endorse this lawyer."
Litigation Attorney | Oct 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonathan is a worthy advocate with excellent presentation skills."
Intellectual property Attorney | Oct 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Although relatively new to Avvo, the answers of Mr. Balfus are consistently accurate, analytic, and customized to the needs of the Avvo asker. These are exactly the qualities that every client would look for when selecting an attorney."
Intellectual property Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Balfus is an excellent Intellectual Property Lawyer. He is through in his advice and provides very helpful information. I would recommend Mr. Balfus to my clients who need an intellectual property lawyer."
Intellectual property Attorney | Sep 29
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I was opposing counsel with Jonny in a small (dollars-wise) but very contentious business breakup involving intellectual property (the parties involved were musicians). It was much like a divorce, and the parties were very emotional about the dispute. Jonny and I were able to separate ourselves from the personal side of the case, speak frankly, trust one another, and ultimately settle a case on terms favorable to everyone so that they could go their separate ways. Despite the nature of the case, Jonny and I always got along. Jonny is a strong -- yet courteous and professional -- attorney. I certainly endorse him."
Intellectual property Attorney | Sep 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Every time I have referred a client to Jonny I have had a great experience working with him. Jonny has extensive experience handling copyright, trademark, fair use, media, and rights of publicity matters. I would not hesitate to refer my clients to Jonny because he consistently and quickly delivers expert advice and my clients have been very satisfied working with him."
View more endorsements
Intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property
Corporate and incorporation
Copyright infringement
Santa Monica Litigation Lawyer Jonathan Charles Balfus
Jonathan Charles Balfus
Litigation Attorney
Santa Monica, CA
Licensed for 34 years