John Stephens is chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Group, vice chair of the Sports and Entertainment Practice Group, and leader of the firm’s Los Angeles office and west coast operations. Standing at the forefront of data privacy, digital marketing, new media, and entertainment-related legal issues for over two decades, John is known for his wide-ranging practice, covering data and cyber risks, intellectual property licensing and related transactions, specialty insurance coverage and litigation, and media and entertainment transactions and litigation, including matters involving live music festivals. John represents media entities, national and worldwide entertainment and sports companies, magazines, television and radio stations, production companies, entertainment technology companies, computer technology companies, online content and software providers, and talent. He has also served clients in manufacturing and the financial and insurance industries.

Clients across numerous industries — from media, entertainment, and technology to retail, health care, and finance — turn to John for counsel on data protection and privacy laws. His experience covers the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, breach of notification laws, and other federal and state laws. An International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Certified Information Privacy Professional in the U.S. (CIPP/US), John’s practice includes helping companies to draft or revise privacy policies to comply with new laws and regulations and to adapt to advancing technologies, patterns of use, and standard business operations. He also advises companies on the data privacy and security implications of mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, and other arrangements.

John trains clients in data breach preparedness, preventive measures, and response protocols, and performs privacy and security assessments to help companies improve data management and privacy practices and incident response. When breaches do occur, he provides rapid and globally minded incident response counsel under attorney-client privilege. He is adept at determining the source and scope of a breach, identifying related risks, assessing regulatory compliance requirements, managing notifications and call centers, and conducting after-action review. His clients have included management consulting companies, health care companies, and large multinational retail companies.

In the intellectual property realm, John’s practice covers litigation of copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and false advertising matters. He counsels clients on protecting intellectual property rights and handles intellectual property transactions, including software and product licenses, rights-sharing agreements, and merchandising and branding deals. With extensive experience in the various complex legal aspects of live entertainment events, both nationally and internationally, John also brings to his clients a deep understanding of First Amendment issues, defamation, and related matters.

In addition, John provides insurers with comprehensive representation encompassing all aspects of coverage. His experience includes defense, preparation of coverage opinions, claims investigation, litigation, and trial. He counsels insurers on claims-handling procedures, loss prevention, and other issues, and leverages his extensive background in cyber risk and emerging technologies to assist with drafting media and data privacy policies.

John earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Rutgers University, graduating in the top five percent of his class and starting his career as an auditor at a “Big Five” accounting firm. He returned to Rutgers for his law degree, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class and serving as editor of the Rutgers Law Journal. He went on to serve as clerk for the Hon. Stanley Brottman in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

A prominent leader in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley region as well as in the larger legal community, John has served in governance roles in numerous legal, business, and civic organizations. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC), teaching classes in Media, First Amendment Issues, and Privacy at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

Representative Matters
  • Represented a major film producer as well as distributors against the subject of a documentary alleging defamation and breach of contract.
  • Defended a landlord in a suit brought by multiple tenants alleging mold in the plaintiffs' units.
  • Represented a major insurance carrier in a $20 million claim for errors and ommisions in an allegation maintaining failure to properly schedule locations for an airplane wing assembly facility.
  • Defended investors of a home remodel in Beverly Hills on a construction defect claim in excess of $1 million in alleged damages.
  • Defended a city following a helicopter crash at city fairgrounds.
  • Represented a top airplane leasing company in defense of a wrongful death and improper maintenance allegation following a plane crash.
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Super Lawyers, 2014–16
  •      Rising Stars, 2005
  • Los Angeles Business Journal, Most Influential Lawyers
  •           White Collar and Cyber Crimes Law, 2015
  •           Digital Media and E-Commerce Law, 2014
  • Leaders in the Law — Los Angeles, 2018
Training and Certifications
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional, United States (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Professional Affiliations
  • California Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Los Angeles Copyright Society
  • American Bar Association
  •      Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  •           Law and Public Service Committee, Chair
  •           Diversity Committee, Chair, 2010–12
  •           Intellectual Property Committee, Chair; Co-Editor of the Committee’s Newsletter, 2009–11
  •      TIPS Leadership Academy (one of only 21 admitted from the ABA), 2009–10
  • National LGBT Bar Association, Board Member, 2015
  • Lambda Legal 
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Community Involvement
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), National Board of Directors, Co-Chair and Treasurer, 2010–13 
Admitted to Practice
  • California
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Rutgers University, B.S., 1990
  • Co-Author, “Lawyers Still Lag in Information Security Risk Management,” The ABA Brief, Vol. 34 No. 6, Nov/Dec 2017
  • Co-Author, “Radio Frequency Identification: The Benefits + The Risks,” Law360, July 12, 2016
  • Author, “Binge... Off? FCC Net Neutrality Challenged by T-Mobile Program,” Legaltech News, January 21, 2016
  • Quoted, “What the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Means for Organizations,” Legaltech News, November 3, 2015
  • Author, “When Hackers Take Your Digital Data Hostage,” The National Law Journal, October 5, 2015
  • Author, “The Rise of Cyber-Extortion, and How to Fight Back,” Corporate Counsel, September 23, 2015
  • Author, “Viewpoint: Net Neutrality Will Benefit Consumers and the Economy,” The Recorder, March 4, 2015
  • Co-Author, “Does the EU’s Right to Be Forgotten Pose a Threat to Companies in the U.S.?” The Privacy Advisor, February 24, 2015
  • Interview, “What’s Next for Net Neutrality?” The Recorder, February 4, 2015
  • Author, “Turtles Copyright Battle Gets Sirius,” Daily Journal, December 8, 2014
  • Author, “The Turtles and Pandora Media Are Not ‘Happy Together,’” Daily Journal, November 5, 2014
  • Co-Author, “FCC Axes Sports Blackout Rule, What Now?” Daily Journal, October 9, 2014
  • Author, “Public Comment Will Push FCC to Move on Net Neutrality,” Law360, August 11, 2014
  • Co-Author, “Can FCC Help Deliver the Dodgers to Hometown Fans,” Daily Journal, August 7, 2014
  • Author, “What to Expect from Growing AIA Patent Challenges,” Law 360, June 30, 2014
  • Author, “In Practice: The FCC and the Open Internet,” The Recorder, April 3, 2014
  • Author, “Wake Up Call for Mobile App Developers,” Daily Journal, February 14, 2014
  • Author, “FCC Indecency Standards Remain Murky,” Law360 Media & Entertainment, Dec. 18, 2013
  • Author, “Calls Grow to Unlock Our Phones,” Daily Journal, October 3, 2013
  • Author, “Legislation Key in Battle to Unlock Cell Phones,” Daily Journal, July 10, 2013
  • Author, “How Crowdfunding Could Impact Film Financing,” Law360 Media & Entertainment, May 6, 2013
  • Author, “AIA’s ‘First to File’ Patent System Looms on the Horizon,” Daily Journal, February 28, 2013
  • Author, “How Gender Disparities in Film Impact Juror Perceptions,” ABA TIPS Diversity Committee Newsletter, January 15, 2013
  •  Author, “FCC Approves Liberty Media’s Long-Awaited Sirius Takeover,” Law360 Media & Entertainment, January 7, 2013
  • Author, “Top 5 Media & Entertainment Cases Of 2012,” Law360, January 4, 2013
  • Author, “FCC Rethinks Indecency,” Daily Journal, October 15, 2012
  • Author, “High Court Punts Free Speech Issues in FCC v. Fox,” Daily Journal, July 2, 2012
  • Author, “CBS’ Eight-Year ‘Wardrobe Malfunction,” Daily Journal, April 30, 2012
  • Author, “Viacom Keeps YouTube Fight Alive,” Daily Journal, April 17, 2012
  • Author, “Halftime Glitch: Giving the FCC the Finger — Literally,” Daily Journal, February 22, 2012
  • Author, “FCC Broadcast Indecency Case: Which Gets Protected — First Amendment or Children?” Daily Journal, January 23, 2012
  • Author, “Attack on Net Neutrality, What Gives?” Daily Journal, March 17, 2011
  • Co-Author, “Verizon-Google’s Proposal to Limit Net Neutrality Will Hurt Consumers,” Daily Journal, September 2010
  • Author, “The Shifting Tide: Courts Favoring ISPs in Copyright Infringement Battles,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 2010
  • Co-Author, “Net Neutrality: Opposing Sides Divided Over Meaning, Impact — Part 2,” San Francisco Daily Journal, June 2010
  • Co-Author, “Net Neutrality: Opposing Sides Divided Over Meaning, Impact — Part 1,” San Francisco Daily Journal, June 2010
  • Co-Author, “The Future of the FCC’s New Indecency Policy,” Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Los Angeles Lawyer, May 2010
  • Author, “Leading By Example: Diversity in Corporate America,” DRI’s For the Defense, May 2010
  • Co-Author, “In the UK, Libel Tourist Attractions May Be Closing,” San Francisco Daily Journal, March 2010
  • Co-Author, “Intellectual Property Law Committee: Merging Competency with Conscience,” American Bar Association’s The Brief, Winter 2010
  • Author, “Swear Tactics,” Daily Journal, July 2009
  • Author, “Britain’s Speech Impediment,” Daily Journal, June 2009
  • Author, “Value on the Brain,” Daily Journal, April 2009
  • Author, “Valuing Intellectual Property Assets,” IP Today, April 2009
  • Author, “Cross Words,” Daily Journal, December 23, 2008
  • Author, “Technical Difficulties,” Daily Journal, October 31, 2008
  • Author, “Sword and Shield: New Media’s Legal Savior?” Valley Lawyer, October 2008
  • Co-Author, “Online Privacy’s Disappearing Act,” Daily Journal, August 29, 2008
  • Co-Author, “An Obscene Limit on Speech,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 19, 2008
  • Co-Author, “Caught Without a License,” Marketing Law, November/December 2007
  • Author, “Anti-SLAPP Statutes: California Moves Toward the National Consensus,” TortSource, Fall 2007
  • Author, “Blame It on the Boogie: ‘Electric Slide’ Inventor Sued,” IP Law360, June 7, 2007
  • Author, “Sword and Shield: New Media’s Legal Savior?” The Hollywood Reporter, ESQ, January 11, 2007
  • Author, “2006 Media Year in Review,” Media Law Bulletin, December 2006
  • Co-Author, “Courts Must Rein in FCC’s Harmful Indecency Enforcement,” San Francisco Daily Journal, November 14, 2006
  • Author, “The Juice Squeezed? Fred Goldman Sues for O.J. Simpson’s Publicity Rights,” Media Law Bulletin, October 2006
  • Quoted, “Designers Hitting Target With Suits Over Trademarks,” Los Angeles Business Journal, October 23, 2006
  • Quoted, “Thought Leadership,” Inside the Minds: Winning Legal Strategies for Advertising and Marketing: Top Lawyers on Best Practices for Success, Aspatore Books, Boston, Summer 2006
  • Editor, “Conducting Discovery in an Electronic World: Electronic Data and Discovery,” Continuing Education of the Bar — California Civil Discovery Process, Chapter 4, Summer 2006
  • Mentioned, “The I.P. Year in Review,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Encino, CA, December 2005
  • Author, “Media Insurance Policies,” Rutter Guide on Media Insurance, 2005
  • Author, “Viva Los Compilaciones: Fair Use or Return to Sender,” ABA/TIPS Media, Privacy and Defamation Law Committee Newsletter, Winter 2004
  • Panelist, "Discussion Panel and Mock Interview," ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and Western State College of Law's Tort Law Society, Irvine, CA, October 20, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, "Hot Topics in Media and Cyber Law Impacting Underwriters Evaluating Risks," GS Lunch and Learn, Overland Park, KS, July 20, 2018
  • Speaker, “Reduce Cyber Risk!” San Fernando Valley Bar Association Annual Judges’ Dinner, April 4, 2017
  • Radio Interview, “Privacy Piracy” 88.9FM and, June 9, 2014
  • Speaker, “Latest Developments in Marriage Equality,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association 17th Annual MCLE Marathon, January 17–18, 2014
  • Guest Lecturer, “Freedom of Speech, Obscenity and the Law,” Cal State University, Northridge October 22 and 29, 2013
  • Speaker, “IP 101,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Tarzana, CA, January 19, 2013
  • Speaker, “Data Privacy and the Internet,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, April 13, 2012
  • Speaker, “IP 101,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Tarzana, CA, January 14, 2012
  • Speaker, “IP Year in Review 2011,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, December 14, 2011
  • Speaker, “Patent Litigation and Damages,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, September 9, 2011
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property 101,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, April 20, 2011
  • Speaker, “IP 101: What Every Practitioner Should Know,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, March 10, 2011
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property Year in Review,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, January 21, 2011
  • Speaker, “Hot Topics in Entertainment Litigation,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, September 24, 2010
  • Moderator, “Art and Law in the 21st Century,” American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 8, 2010
  • Speaker, “When You Turn 18,” California State University Northridge Academy, Los Angeles, CA, March 17, 2010
  • Speaker, “Hot Topics in IP for the Live Entertainment Industry,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, San Fernando Valley, CA, December 11, 2009
  • Speaker, “The Diversity Factor: Capturing the Competitive Advantage,” American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, San Diego, CA, October 8, 2009
  • Speaker, “Electronic Information: How to Find It, How to Protect it, and What to Do After the Worst Happens,” American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2009
  • Speaker, “Hot New Issues in Trademark Litigation,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, July 10, 2009
  • Speaker, “IP 101,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, January 17, 2009
  • Moderator, “Ordering Liberty in an International Economy,” ABA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, August 8, 2008
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property Year In Review,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Woodland Hills, CA, January 9, 2008
  • Speaker, “Deposition Workshop,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Midyear Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, February 8, 2008
  • Speaker, “Intellectual Property Valuation for Tax Purposes,” California Society Certified Public Accountants, Los Angeles, CA, August 14, 2007
  • Speaker/Program Co-Chair, “Intellectual Property Insurance Coverage: How to Get It; How to Keep It,” ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 10, 2007
  • Speaker, “Electronic Discovery: The New Rules,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association Intellectual Property, Entertainment, & Internet Law Section Breakfast Program, Encino, CA, March 16, 2007
  • Co-presenter, “The Litigation Gamble: How to Increase Your Odds,” Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West 15th Annual Palm Springs Getaway Seminar, Palm Springs, CA, January 26–27, 2007
  • Speaker, “Presentation to the General Committee Board Meeting,” American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practices Section (TTIPS), Pinehurst, N.C., October 22, 2006
  • Speaker, “E-Commerce in the 50 States,” Conference on Past, Present and Future of E-Commerce, Internet Distribution and Competition Law, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2005
  • Speaker, “Jurisdictional Issues in E-Commerce,” San Fernando Valley Bar Association, San Fernando, CA, April 2005
  • Speaker, “10 Tips for a Successful Deposition,” Los Angeles County Bar Association, Breakfast at the Bar Series, March 2004