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About me

DAVID M. GIVEN, partner and co-founder of the firm, began his career with the esteemed New York trial attorney Louis Nizer. His current practice spans both commercial and class action litigation as well as transactional matters, the latter with a special emphasis on entertainment, technology and intellectual property law.

David has served as counsel in a number of high-profile cases, including in the copyright infringement case against pop-star AVRIL LAVIGNE; in the long-running dispute among members of the iconic punk rock band DEAD KENNEDYS; and in the battle over the right to use the moniker to the popular classic rock act THE DOOBIE BROTHERS. Following his representation of Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia in a highly publicized case involving the estate of the legendary JERRY GARCIA, David was instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy for the post-estate administration of Jerry's invaluable intellectual property rights.

David has also counseled clients like LUCASFILM LTD., SONY PLAYSTATION and VIZ MEDIA as well as a host of online companies and startups on a range of transactional matters, including on such issues as digital rights management and licensing, digital distribution of entertainment-related content, and international copyright law. Among other things, David was responsible for crafting one of the first online music licenses in his capacity as outside counsel to what was then known as More recently, David has given advice to developers of content applications for various consumer-oriented device platforms like the Apple iPhone.


Practice areas


  1. Insurance: 20%
  2. Intellectual Property: 20%
  3. Entertainment: 20%
  4. Employment: 20%
  5. Commercial Real Estate: 20%

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Contact info

Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLP

39 Mesa St
Ste 201
San Francisco, CA, 94129


NYCurrently registered 198703/07/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top Lawyer - Commercial LitigationAmerican Lawyer2013
Finalist - Consumer Attorney of the YearConsumer Attorneys of California2012
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Co-Founder & PartnerPhillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLP1997 - Present
AttorneyGoldstein & Phillips1993 - 1997
AttorneyCollette & Erickson1990 - 1993
AssociatePhillips Nizer Benjamin Krim & Ballon1986 - 1989
Summer AssociatePhillips Nizer Benjamin Krim & Ballon1985 - 1985
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar of CaliforniaMemberN/A
Pepperdine Law SchoolGuest LecturerN/A
University of San Francisco School of LawGuest LecturerN/A
Bar Association of San Francisco, Sports and Entertainment Law SectionMemberN/A
American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports IndustriesMemberN/A
American Bar Association, Section on Intellectual PropertyMemberN/A
American Bar Association, Litigation SectionMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Stanford Law SchoolGuest LecturerN/A
American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports IndustriesChair2000 - 2002
University of California at Berkeley School of Law -- Boalt HallLecturer1999 - 2002
Bar Association of San Francisco, Sports and Entertainment Law SectionChair1997 - 1999
Publication nameTitleDate
Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, Volume 29, Number 4Music in the Cloud -- A Business and Legal Primer2012
Daily JournalClash of the Titans: Viacom v. YouTube2010
Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, Volume 26, Number 3A Modern Pandora's Box: Music, the Internet and the Dilemma of Clearing Public Performance Rights2008
Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Volume 18, Number 3Online Music Comparisons, A Practical Guide (co-authored)2000
www.phillaw.comFirst Amendment Protection for Trademark Use1998
Entertainment and Sports Lawyer"Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose": European Coproduction Remains Viable, For Now1995
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Virginia School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1986
University of Virginia School of LawFrenchAB1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
30th annual Music Business SeminarFast Forward -- Protecting and Selling Music in the Digital Age2013
Meeting of the Nothern California Chapter of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.Is Copyright Law Harming or Helping the Music Industry?2011
2011 SXSW Music ConferenceThe Impact of Recent Big Music Cases2011
American Bar Association's 2010 Annual MeetingClash of the Titans: Viacom v. Youtube -- Will Copyright Law Undo Google's Internet Juggernaut?2010