Profile

Michael Kump

Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, LLP
808 Wilshire Blvd.
Ste. 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-566-9800
www.kwikalaw.com


For the past twenty-five years, Michael Kump has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a broad and sophisticated litigation practice, with extensive experience in all aspects of intellectual property, antitrust and trade practices law. His representative clients include USI Holdings Corporation ("USI"), Vivendi Universal ("VU"), Starz Encore Group LLC ("Starz") and Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc. ("Merle Norman").

Over the past several years, Mr. Kump has represented USI, a publicly held diversified insurance and financial services firm that is the 9th largest insurance brokerage in the United States, in several actions. In separate actions brought in Los Angeles and Northern California, Mr. Kump filed suit against top producers who resigned to start competing firms after signing covenants not to compete. Mr. Kump conducted expedited discovery and then obtained TROs enforcing the covenants, after which each case was resolved favorably for USI.

In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Kump represented Vivendi Universal in a breach of contract action filed by USA Networks in the Delaware Chancery Court, which sought over $600 million in damages arising out of the parties' creation of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE). This dispute was resolved favorably when InterActive Corp. f/k/a USA Networks sold its stake in VUE to NBC Universal.

Mr. Kump also represented Starz, which provides nationwide premium programming to cable and satellite television systems, in a federal action filed against Disney subsidiaries that introduced the "MovieBeam" on-demand television service. Starz asserted that this new service violated the parties' output agreements, which granted Starz the exclusive right to exhibit Disney movies during certain periods. The parties reached an amicable resolution of their disputes. Mr. Kump continues to represent Starz in connection with intellectual property issues, including matters concerning Starz's rights to distribute licensed movies over the internet.

In 2001, after years of multi-state discovery, Mr. Kump successfully represented plaintiff Merle Norman in a four-week civil RICO and fraud trial filed in New York federal court against an advertising company. The presentation of Merle Norman's case involved the testimony of eighteen witnesses and over 700 exhibits presented digitally. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded over $7.5 million to Merle Norman.

Mr. Kump represented International E-Z Up, Inc., the originator and manufacturer of instant portable canopies, against antitrust counterclaims filed in the company's patent infringement case. After creating and implementing a targeted discovery plan, Mr. Kump brought a motion for summary judgment, which the federal court granted in a published opinion. (Carter v. Variflex, Inc., 101 F.Supp.2d 1261 (C.D. Cal. 2000).)

For twelve years in the 80's and 90's, Mr. Kump successfully represented Merle Norman in a series of related state and federal actions, defending the company against alleged violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts, while prosecuting the company's trademark and Lanham Act claims. (Acton v. Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc., 163 F.3d 605 (9th Cir. 1998) (Table, Text in WL, No. 97-56269); Acton v. Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc., 1995-1 CCH Trade Cases 71,025 (C.D. Cal. 1995); Acton v. Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc., 1994-2 CCH Trade Cases 70,784 (C.D. Cal. 1984); Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Ct., Cent. Dist. of Cal., 856 F.2d 98 (9th Cir. 1988.) During this litigation, Mr. Kump successfully defended the company in a five week jury trial on antitrust issues and in a bench trial on causation and damages, while also recovering favorable settlements in two bad faith actions brought against the company's insurers.

Over the years, Mr. Kump has confidentially counseled domestic and international companies in a wide variety of industries on the full spectrum of antitrust and competition issues, including pricing decisions, distribution practices, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Kump has spoken and written extensively on current topics in his areas of expertise. Over the past three years, he has been invited to speak on recent developments in contract litigation at the annual CLE Film and Television Conference. Mr. Kump presently serves on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business trial Lawyers (ABTL).

Mr. Kump is a graduate of Grinnell College (B.A. 1974, Phi Beta Kappa), University of Michigan (Ph.D. in Philosophy, 1979), and University of Michigan School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1981).