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


Hon. Stephen E. Haberfeld (Ret.) brings a wealth of talent and accomplishment and more than 30 years of ADR or judicial experience to each entertainment and sports engagement. He 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 successfully mediated and arbitrated numerous disputes in the entertainment industry -- including theatrical and commercial motion picture, television, and music disputes, and involving famous celebrities as well as companies. Judge Haberfeld has taught entertainment law and intellectual property rights at Pepperdine Law School and has been a featured speaker on entertainment law and ADR and related subjects at legal symposia and other professional gatherings, including before fellow experienced entertainment arbitrators.

Prior to joining JAMS, Judge Haberfeld was on the entertainment panels of other ADR organizations and remains on the Writers Guild of America's panel of arbitrators. As a lawyer, Judge Haberfeld was in day-to-day charge of the plaintiffs' "MDL'd" cases in the Professional Hockey Antitrust Litigation -- in which the NHL "reserve clause" was enjoined -- and was the team lawyer for the WHA Philadelphia franchise.

Representative Mediations

  • Mediator of dispute between well-known actor and production company over co-ownership and value of co-ownership of copyright to hit network TV series
  • Mediator of audits challenging accountings and accounting methods used to compute royalties due company of famous American composer of many Frank Sinatra "standards"
  • 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
  • Mediator of copyright infringement action against famous celebrity blogger's posting of famous musical celebrity's "single" in advance of release date
  • Mediator of dispute concerning alleged misappropriation of concepts central to internationally famous director's theatrical motion picture production
  • 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 dispute concerning rights to commemorative miniature replicas of Wheaties 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 over control of commercial exploitation of IP rights of nationally-known former rock band
  • Mediator of entertainment/sexual harassment dispute
  • Mediator of nationally reported court dispute between East Coast and West Coast organizations bearing similar names, famous for their nationally famous celebrity "roasts"

Representative Arbitrations

  • Chair of three-person arbitration panel, contract dispute concerning famous TV comedy star's video distribution rights to favorite skits from famous "Golden Age of Television" shows
  • Chair of three-person arbitration panel, contract dispute concerning international pop star's eleventh-hour cancellation of concerts abroad
  • Sole arbitrator in "Bond girl" contract dispute
  • Sole arbitrator in action 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
  • Sole arbitrator in contract dispute involving famous actress’s compensation as celebrity spokesperson for brand of beauty products
  • Arbitrator of contract dispute over abrupt departure to a rival Spanish-language radio station of popular "morning drive" radio personality
  • Sole arbitrator in contract dispute over major sports event fulfillment
  • Sole arbitrator in contract dispute involving internationally famous cable TV host
  • Sole arbitrator of dispute between suddenly successful actress/screenwriter and her former personal manager
  • 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 composer's claimed rights to additional compensation for re-released recorded works
  • 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
  • Sole arbitrator of trademark, cyber-squatting, and unfair competition dispute over source identification and marketing of highly specialized motion picture camera equipment

Special Master/Discovery Referee, Representative Matters

  • Discovery referee of nationally reported court dispute over allocation of interests in $107 million judgment against well-known rapper and record label
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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