Yehudah Buchweitz is a partner in Weil’s Litigation Department, where his practice focuses on a wide spectrum of complex commercial litigation and arbitration. In 2015, Mr. Buchweitz was recognized as one of just five “MVPs” nationwide for Media & Entertainment by Law360, and since 2015 he has been named a “recommended” lawyer nationwide by Legal 500, including in the areas of General Commercial Disputes and Antitrust: Civil Litigation. Mr. Buchweitz has also been named a “Rising Star” by multiple publications, including Benchmark Litigation (2016), the New York Law Journal (2014) and Law360 - Media & Entertainment (2013).
He has handled a number of contract, First Amendment, right of publicity, antitrust, and copyright matters for clients in the media, sports, and entertainment industries. Mr. Buchweitz also works closely with pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies, representing them in international and domestic arbitrations and disputes regarding milestones, contracts, and partnerships, as well as with companies facing bankruptcy litigation, investment disputes, judgment enforcement issues, and “business divorce” matters. He has represented clients across the industry spectrum and through every phase of litigation.
Mr. Buchweitz’s notable recent matters have included representing:
- multiple television programmers in disputes with cable operators concerning the implications of significant cable operator acquisitions and mergers;
- a major national broadcaster in a series of high-profile right of publicity and copyright cases;
- a major cable network in its successful early dismissal from a multi-district litigation relating to the most viewed and highest grossing professional boxing match in history;
- a major television broadcaster in its successful early dismissal from a multi-district litigation relating to professional football programming;
- global pharmaceutical companies in several contract disputes in multiple international and domestic arbitral fora arising out of drug or device development collaboration, licensing and merger agreements;
- a multi-media rights organization in a contract dispute with a major state university;
- a sports radio station in a putative nationwide class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act;
- a private university in its successful withdrawal from a Division I athletic conference;
- a radio broadcaster in an arbitration regarding the creation of a national sports radio network; and
- a portfolio company of a major private equity firm in a series of multi-jurisdictional bankruptcy and turnover litigations concerning ownership of shares of one of its minority shareholders.
In addition, several of the victories Mr. Buchweitz has been involved in have resulted in written decisions, including:
- Javon Marshall, et al. v. CBS Broadcasting, Inc., et al. (6th Cir. 2016) aff’g 2015 WL 3537053 (M.D. Tenn. June 4, 2015) (affirming dismissal with prejudice of putative nationwide right of publicity and antitrust class action regarding names, images and likenesses of student athletes in college football and basketball broadcasts);
- Diesel eBooks, LLC, v. Simon & Schuster, et al. (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2016), Abbey House Media, Inc. d/b/a BooksonBoard v. Simon & Schuster, et al. (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 22, 2016), DNAML Pty, Limited v. Simon & Schuster, et al. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2015) (won summary judgment in three separate antitrust suits brought by former e-book retailers);
- Lightbourne v. Printroom, CBS Interactive, et al. 2015 WL 4940619 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2015), 307 F.R.D. 593 (C.D. Cal. July 30, 2015), (C.D. Cal. Dec. 18, 2015) (won summary judgment, denial of class certification, and post judgment defense fees and costs in putative nationwide right of publicity class action regarding photographs of NCAA student-athletes made available for sale on universities’ athletic department websites);
- The Bookhouse of Stuyvesant Plaza Inc., et al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., Simon & Schuster, Inc., et al. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171871 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2013) (dismissal with prejudice of putative industry wide antitrust class action regarding security software for e-books);
- City of Omaha v. CBS Corp., 679 F.3d 64 (2d. Cir. 2012), aff’g 2011 WL 2119734 (S.D.N.Y. May 24, 2011) (affirming dismissal of federal securities fraud putative class action complaint concerning $14 billion impairment);
- Sanofi-Aventis v. Warner Chilcott, 50 122 T 00148 11 (I.C.D.R. July 14, 2011) (arbitral award in favor of Sanofi in multi-hundred million dollar contract dispute);
- Dan Rather v. CBS Corp., 68 A.D.3d 49 (1st Dept. 2009) (dismissal on appeal of a breach of contract, fiduciary duties and fraud complaint brought by the newscaster);
- Don King v. ESPN, Inc., 40 So.3d 40 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (affirming summary judgment in defamation and false light case brought by the boxing promoter);
- Kendall v. Employees Retirement Plan of Avon Products, 561 F.3d 112 (2d Cir. 2009), aff’g 2007 WL 2728430 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 14, 2007) (affirming dismissal of ERISA putative class action complaint);
- Madison Square Garden, L.P. v. Metropolitan Transp. Authority, 19 A.D.3d 284 (1st Dept. 2005) (rejecting Article 78 Petition); and
- Modi Enterprises v. ESPN, Inc., 12 A.D.3d 1203 (1st Dept. 2004) (dismissing appeal following complete defense verdict at trial in $231 million breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, and misappropriation case)
Mr. Buchweitz also has an active pro bono practice. He successfully represented the East End Eruv Association in a series of high profile federal civil rights cases brought against certain Long Island municipalities regarding the establishment of an eruv. His notable victories in these matters have included affirmance of a lower court’s dismissal of a complaint that alleged that the installation of lechis on public utility poles violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Jewish People for the Betterment of Westhampton Beach, et al. v. The Village of Westhampton Beach, et al., 778 F.3d 390 (2d. Cir. 2015)) and the reversal of a town zoning board decision that lechis were signs that could not be placed on utility poles under a municipal ordinance, with the Court holding that, since lechis are not even discernible, it is unreasonable not to accommodate the religious practice (East End Eruv Association, Inc. v. The Town of Southampton, et al., 2015 WL 4160461 (NY Sup. Ct. June 30, 2015)). Earlier, among other matters, he obtained a full defense jury verdict as lead trial counsel in a case on behalf of the New York City Law Department; served as lead counsel in an appeal where the court vacated a first degree robbery conviction of a client on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel (People v. Cyrus, 48 A.D.3d 150 (1st Dept. 2007)); and was co-lead counsel on the submission of an amicus brief on First Amendment issues with the United States Supreme Court.
Outside of his active practice, Mr. Buchweitz publishes and speaks on a wide variety of legal issues, including disputes concerning commercially reasonable efforts in pharmaceutical license and acquisition deals, attachment and execution issues in New York State, electronic discovery, minimizing litigation risks in contract drafting, and managing pre-litigation disputes. Additionally, for the past several years he has co-authored “Chapter 6: Marketing to Potential Corporate Clients” in Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel (Thomson Reuters/Association of Corporate Counsel).
Mr. Buchweitz graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 2002, where he was a staff member of the Fordham Law Review and Fordham Moot Court. Mr. Buchweitz graduated from Brandeis University in 1999, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a BA in Politics, History and Legal Studies, and received high honors for his Senior Thesis, “The Creation of the First Majority-Minority Congressional District in New York.”
Mr. Buchweitz joined the Firm as a summer associate in 2001. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Buchweitz worked as a legal intern for Justice Ira Gammerman of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, New York County, and for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Buchweitz served as a Legislative Intern for United States Representatives Peter T. King of New York and Martin Meehan of Massachusetts.