Stephen Haberfeld

Hon. Stephen E. Haberfeld (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master


Case Manager
Joshua Kroll
T: 310-309-6206
F: 310-396-7576
1925 Century Park East, 14th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067

Stephen E. Haberfeld is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.

Biography

Hon. Stephen E. Haberfeld (Ret.) is widely respected as a charismatic, accomplished and effective mediator, arbitrator and special master, who brings a wealth of talent and three decades of judicial and ADR experience to resolution of a broad range of complex and highly contentious matters --- including class actions, business/commercial, intellectual property, entertainment, employment, civil rights and professional sports. Judge Haberfeld enjoys a reputation among seasoned practitioners for making thoughtful, incisive and well-reasoned decisions and for conducting all proceedings fairly, civilly, and efficiently.

Judge Haberfeld is a former U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and was an Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor in Washington, D.C.  

Judge Haberfeld has taught entertainment law, intellectual property rights and land use planning at Pepperdine Law School and has been an invited panel moderator and featured speaker at law schools, legal symposia and other professional gatherings.

Representative Matters

Business/Commercial

  • Chair of three-federal-judge arbitration panel in copyright and contract dispute between internationally renowned celebrity sisters and venture capitalists over failed beauty products business
  • Arbitrator and mediator of business disputes concerning corporate governance and alleged violations of duties of loyalty and care (e.g., corporate opportunities doctrine, "freeze outs," "insider" transactions, business judgment rule, etc.), economic damage analysis 
  • Arbitrator of business disputes involving alleged violations of covenants not to compete, trade secrets, and unfair competition by sellers and former employees of professional practices and businesses (e.g., medical, legal, architectural, insurance brokerage, motion picture equipment, legal document copying services, etc.)
  • Arbitrator of "Enron"-type action, based on allegedly false and misleading financial information in connection with "for stock only" sale by seller of closely-held private company to public company 
  • Chair of three-person commercial panel in dispute concerning "freeze out" of a partner by other partners in connection with construction of a famous Las Vegas hotel
  • Chair of tripartite arbitration panel in contract dispute focusing primarily on alleged violations of non-competition agreements involving major providers of medical imaging services in Southern California
  • Chair of tripartite commercial arbitration panel in dispute concerning responsibility for large insurance deductible in connection with sale of division by one major corporation to another
  • Arbitrator of claims of fraud allegedly committed by insiders in connection with offer and sale of LLC membership units of new hotel venture
  • Arbitrator of business dispute over non-renewal of leading sub-prime unsecured credit card issuer bank's contract for direct marketing services
  • Mediator of dispute involving importation, distribution, and trademark ownership of brands of foreign wine
  • Mediator of dispute involving suspension and/or adequacy of business software modules installation and training
  • Arbitrator of business dispute between competitor/former partners in on-line day trading educational services
  • Member of three-person commercial panel concerning corporate limited partners' allegations of mismanagement against general partner of wind energy limited partnerships
  • Arbitrator of international dispute concerning termination of CEO of cosmetics subsidiaries of renowned multinational luxury goods corporation
  • Arbitrator of contract dispute involving internationally famous cable TV host
  • Arbitrator of disputes involving departing former managing LLC member, who formed business competitive with LLC of remaining LLC members -- concerning corporate opportunity doctrine and business tort issues
  • Arbitrator of business disputes involving alleged violations of covenants not to compete, trade secrets, and unfair competition by sellers and former employees of professional practices and businesses (e.g., medical, legal, architectural, motion picture equipment, legal document copying services, etc.)
  • Arbitrator in contract dispute involving famous actress' compensation as celebrity spokesperson for brand of beauty products
  • Arbitrator of dispute concerning whether purchaser could rescind auction purchase of thoroughbred horse discovered to be unfit for racing

Employment

  • Sole arbitrator of dispute over retaliatory termination of C-suite executive whistle-blower of national trade association
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute whether rapidly-rising star employee who "jumped" to main competitor in insurance brokerage conspired with his new employer to steal alleged trade secrets of former employer
  • Arbitrator of California statewide and multi-county wage-and-hour class actions
  • Arbitrator of dispute over allegedly discriminatorily coerced departure of nationally-known attorney from famed international law firm
  • Chair of three-person panel in mock arbitration in connection with nationwide class action employment sex discrimination litigation
  • Mediator of class action wage and hour dispute and arbitrator of class action antitrust settlement fund allocations
  • Mediator of collective bargaining grievances for federal agency, which were also employment discrimination claims
  • Settlement Judge over dispute between physicians bargaining unit of hospital employees' local union and the local and international unions, concerning the local's alleged failures to represent the physicians' bargaining unit and to arbitrate more than 20 grievances of the bargaining unit's members against the employer hospital
  • Arbitrator of contract dispute over abrupt departure to a rival Spanish-language radio station of popular "morning drive" radio personality
  • Arbitrator of dispute over termination of bond trader for insubordination in allegedly failing to timely and adequately cover hundreds of millions in exposure resulting from earlier trades
  • Arbitrator of dispute over termination of principal of well-known merged Hollywood talent agency
  • Arbitrator of disputes concerning whether termination of employment retaliatory or otherwise pretextual (e.g., discrimination, whistle-blowing, etc.)
  • Arbitrator of disputes involving claim of discriminatory and retaliatory termination, when allegedly favored employees not terminated for allegedly similar conduct or situations  
  • Arbitrator of dispute over company's allegedly discriminatory refusal to hire "temp" as permanent full-time employee, whose name appeared on U.S. Government list of people disqualified from employment involving interaction with and programs of specific governmental departments and agencies
  • Arbitrator of disputes concerning whether employee terminated "for cause" or under "morals clause" or otherwise, as affecting monetary and other substantial contractual benefits
  • Member of three-person international arbitration panel in dispute concerning termination of CEO of cosmetics subsidiaries of famous multinational luxury good corporation
  • Arbitrator of employment disputes concerning alleged violations of corporate duties of loyalty and care (e.g., corporate opportunities doctrine, business judgment rule, etc.)

Entertainment

  • Chair of three-federal-judge arbitration panel in copyright and contract dispute between internationally renowned celebrity sisters and venture capitalists over failed beauty products business 
  • Mediator of Internet copyright dispute over texts of management and leadership lessons learned from episodes of hit network reality TV show of former U.S. President
  • Arbitrator of disputed auction sale of internationally famous pop superstar's "Glove"
  • Chair of tripartite panel involving internationally famous pop superstar's eleventh-hour cancellation of concerts
  • Arbitrator of internationally famous pop superstar's disputed alleged sale to German company of his name, likeness and image
  • Arbitrator of dispute between major studio and author over prominence of placement of claimed "source material" screen credit in motion picture starring Academy award-winning actress and actor and directed by Academy award-winning director 
  • Mediator of dispute between East Coast and West Coast branches of formerly affiliated sponsors of "roasts" of comedians and other celebrities
  • Mediator of dispute between well-known film and TV actor and production company, owned by NBA team owner, over co-ownership and value of             co-ownership of copyright of hit network TV series
  • Arbitrator of dispute concerning a major studio's "prequel" rights based on a successful theatrical motion picture, for use in a television series
  • Arbitrator of dispute concerning producer credits in sequels to successful "fright" motion picture "franchise" 
  • Arbitrator of dispute over termination of principal of well-known merged Hollywood talent agency
  • Mediator of dispute concerning co-authorship credit and royalty claims between internationally known rock band and members of the group's back-up band
  • Mediator of contract dispute between leading boxing promoter and leading contender and rival leading boxing promoter over boxer's acceptance of bout with internationally renowned former boxing champion under contract with the rival promoter
  • Mediator of intellectual property and contract dispute between hockey club and hockey league over club's settlement of third-party copyright claims concerning team's logo 
  • Chair of first JAMS three-judge SafeSport arbitration panel, involving alleged predatory sexual misconduct, allegedly committed by a crew member of one team against crew members of other teams during parties in connection with international sailing competition 
  • Mediator of dispute between premier motion picture creature creator and leading video game publisher over contract provision governing motion picture deal for successful game involving creator's creatures A
  • Arbitrator of contract dispute over abrupt departure to a rival Spanish-language radio station of popular "morning drive" radio personality
  • Chair of three-person entertainment arbitration panel, contract dispute concerning famous TV comedy star's video distribution rights to favorite skits from famous "Golden Age of Television" shows 
  • Mediator of audits challenging accountings and accounting methods used to compute royalties due widow of famous Great American Songbook composer                                                            
  • Mediator of Internet copyright dispute over texts of management and leadership lessons learned from episodes of hit network reality TV show of former U.S. President
  • Mediator of dispute between famous TV comedian and game show host and form personal manager 
  • Arbitrator in contract dispute involving famous actress' compensation as celebrity spokesperson for brand of beauty products
  • Arbitrator of dispute concerning whether purchaser could rescind auction purchase of thoroughbred horse discovered to be unfit for racing
  • Arbitrator in contract dispute between suddenly successful actress and screenwriter and her former personal manager
  • Arbitrator of entertainment dispute concerning composer's claimed rights to additional compensation for re-released recorded works
  • Mediator of dispute concerning co-authorship credit and royalty claims between internationally known rock band and members of the group's back-up band
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute over whether commercial film director's return to former production company breached contract with and substantially damaged prominent production company
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute concerning a major studio's "prequel" rights based on a successful theatrical motion picture, for use in a television series
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute concerning producer credits in sequels to successful "fright" motion picture "franchise"
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute over demanded return of investment in film which went "straight to video," instead of to theatrical motion picture release
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute over demanded return of mostly diverted investment proceeds deposited in reliance on represented financing to be obtained for listed motion picture projects
  • Mediator of copyright infringement action against famous celebrity blogger's posting of famous musical celebrity's "single" in advance of release date
  • Sole arbitrator in contract dispute over major sports event fulfillment
  • Discovery referee of nationally reported court dispute over allocation of interests in multi-million-dollar judgment against well-known rapper and record label

Intellectual Property

  • Chair of three-federal-judge arbitration panel in copyright and contract dispute between internationally renowned celebrity sisters and venture capitalists over failed beauty products business
  • Mediator of Internet copyright dispute over texts of management and leadership lessons learned from episodes of hit network reality TV show of former U.S. President
  • Mediator of copyright dispute involving alleged misuse or fair use by one cable service of sister service's interview of mother of children of internationally famous superstar
  • Mediator of dispute over control of commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights of nationally-known former rock band
  • Mediator of entertainment and intellectual property dispute concerning alleged *misappropriation of concepts central to internationally famous director's theatrical motion picture production
  • Mediator of dispute concerning copyright, trademark, and trade dress violations alleged in connection with importation, marketing, and distribution of Chinese "knock-offs" of U.S. IP-protected and manufactured products
  • Mediator of dispute over control of commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights of nationally-known former rock band
  • Mediator of intellectual property and contract dispute between hockey club and hockey league over club's settlement of third-party copyright claims concerning team's logo
  • Mediator of copyright and trademark dispute involving alleged infringements of internationally famous distilled spirits brand, bottle shape, and advertising campaign
  • Mediator of copyright dispute over internet texts of management and leadership lessons learned from episodes of hit network reality TV show
  • Mediator of dispute concerning commemorative miniature replicas of cereal boxes bearing picture of one of the most famous world heavyweight boxing champions
  • Mediator of copyright dispute involving allegedly infringing use on babyware of a memorable line from a well-known movie
  • Mediator of dispute concerning ownership of U.S. trademark for imported wines
  • Mediator of dispute involving alleged infringements of distinctive copyrighted glassware
  • Arbitrator and mediator of patent and trade secrets dispute over rights to processes involved in the manufacture of synthetic wood products
  • Mediator of trademark disputes involving companies having essentially identical names and engaged in allegedly same, similar, or related business activities
  • Member of three-person arbitration panel in dispute concerning contract termination and trademark infringement claims involving former manufacturer and distributor becoming competitors in marketing, distribution, and sale of automotive flushes and lubricants
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute in which one side preliminarily enjoined from further use of slogan of competitive solar energy company
  • Sole arbitrator of trademark, cybersquatting, and unfair competition dispute over source identification and marketing of highly specialized motion picture camera equipment
  • Mediator of nationally reported dispute between East Coast and West Coast organizations bearing similar names, famous for their nationally famous celebrity "roasts"

International & Cross-Border

  • Mediator of international dispute over alleged copyright infringement alleged by designer of premium brand of high-end, celebrity-endorsed jeans over internet promotion and sale of low-end, alleged copies of plaintiff's premium jeans
  • Member of three-judge international arbitration panel in dispute over allegedly fraudulent and material accounting manipulations in connection with non-U.S. corporation's acquisition of U.S. supplier of systems and parts to U.S. defense contractors
  • Arbitrator of international contract dispute between Chinese and U.S. corporations concerning scrap iron shipments
  • Arbitrator of international contractual dispute between European and U.S. corporations, concurrently pending before JAMS and European courts
  • Arbitrator of international dispute involving exhibit of internationally-known special effects film in Republic of Korea
  • Arbitrator of international film distribution disputes under the auspices of ICC and JAMS
  • Mediator of international film distribution dispute between Taiwanese corporation and U.S. film studio
  • Arbitrator of termination of U.S. executive's employment contract by renowned European luxury goods corporation
  • Chair of three-person panel concerning U.S. bank's alleged unauthorized withdrawal of Nigerian national's funds
  • Member of panel of former federal judges concerning Asian corporation's contested U.S. patent rights
  • Mediator of international contract dispute between Israeli and U.S. corporations concerning distribution of wines

Special Master & Referee

  • CCP Sec. 638 general purpose Referee of dispute over intra-familial dispute over control and future (retention or sale) of business equally-owned by feuding siblings - including selection, appointment and overseeing tie-breaking provisional director
  • Discovery Referee involving enforcement of $17 million judgment against imprisoned well-known record producer
  • Special Master overseeing discovery in federal copyright suit over use of design used on premium jeans
  • Business Solutions Special Master
  • Special Master re amount and allocation of prevailing party attorneys' fees in federal civil rights action between journalist and city
  • Discovery referee of nationally reported dispute over allocation of interests in judgment of over $100 million

Real Property

  • Mediator of commercial and residential real estate disputes -- including contract, title, easement, and title insurance disputes
  • Arbitrator of dispute over determination of rent to be due under renewal of lease for rights at downtown Los Angeles major wholesale storage and loading facility 
  • Mediator of dispute concerning whether valuable downtown LA commercial lease expired or renewed for additional 10-year term
  • Arbitrator of dispute concerning insurance coverage issues triggered by title company's material omission in real property title reports
    Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

    • Chair of City of Los Angeles Special Committee on Investigative Oversight (2020-Present), President (2003, 2x)
    • Elected Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
    • Settlement Judge, Nevada Supreme Court, 2003-present
    • Received JAMS in-house comprehensive training in Arbitration, Mediation, Ethics, Intellectual Property Rights and Entertainment Law
    • Former arbitrator for the Writers Guild of America, West
    • U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1988-1992
    • Partner, Haberfeld & Haberfeld, Los Angeles, 1978-1988
    • Partner and Associate, Agnew, Miller & Carlson, Los Angeles, 1975-1978
    • Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, Watergate Special Prosecution Force, Washington, D.C., 1973-1975
    • Associate, Harold E. Kohn, P.A., Philadelphia, 1971-1973
    • Law Clerk to Judge Leonard P. Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2d Circuit, New York, NY, 1970-1971
    • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1970 (Article Editor, Harvard Journal on Legislation)
    • Master in Public Affairs, Princeton University, 1967
    • B.A., summa cum laude, UCLA (Valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, Regents Scholar), 1965

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    This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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