Our crisis work includes managing the following types of crisis:
Banking institution fights with governmental agencies, alleged executive malfeasance, labor union fights, high-stakes family law disputes, financial investigations and hearings, reputation management issues, alleged white-collar criminal incidents, and workplace issues.
Clients include the National Association of Theatre Owners in their war with the studios over theatrical windows, venture capital leader Montgomery and Co., the Pacific Council on International Policy, talent management firm Circle of Confusion, Terry Christensen, the former law firm of Bloom Hergott, the Carroll Shelby estate, Kovac Music Group and client Motley Crue, Commerce Home Mortgage, private equity firm AFV Partners, Maverick Artists Agency, and many others.
CRISIS CASE STUDIES
Defending the “Comic-Con” Trademark
In 2017, San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s leading fan convention, hired JPR to assist its law firm in a four-year long trademark battle with a Salt Lake City competitor. The Salt Lake City defendant was then waging a very public online and media campaign, which included fund raising, viciously attacking San Diego Comic-Con for trying to protect San Diego’s registered “Comic-Con” trademark.
Before launching a bet-the-ranch counter-assault, JPR made a critical discovery in going through trial records involving the presiding judge of the upcoming infringement trial: The judge abhorred parties in his court who waged pre-trial and trial publicity campaigns. JPR advised San Diego that reporters almost never cover tedious trademark jury trials after opening statements, and that the Salt Lake City legal team’s pre-trial media assault was a strategic mistake.
The result? After the San Diego federal jury unanimously ruled in favor of San Diego Comic-Con, the judge ruled that Salt Lake City would have to pay San Diego’s $4 million legal costs (the fee was reduced recently after a post-trial settlement).
JPR & Theatre Owners
In 2010, as the major film studios began to tout a new distribution window and disruptive technology that would cannibalize revenues to the movie theaters, Johnson Public Relations was retained by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the trade lobby for theater owners, to begin an extensive outreach to the Hollywood creative community.
JPR then spearheaded a recruitment effort that eventually enlisted 28 of the industry’s leading film directors and producers — including James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan – to stand behind NATO.
The result? Every proposed shortening of the theatrical window by the major studios in lieu of home video releases was stopped dead in the water for the next five years. In 2018, as studios continued their assault on theatrical windows, JPR was brought in to set up an outreach program for NATO at leading film festivals. For the first time at media-saturated film festivals, NATO executives staged an event with The Hollywood Reporter and mixed with independent filmmakers who are so vital to the art of American cinema.