Michelle appears in
The Top 50 Attorneys in California Magazine and The Top 50 Women of 2019
Michelle Wodynski is the founder and managing attorney for MDS Premier PC. She is recognized as a leading entertainment, intellectual property and business lawyer and has earned a reputation as an aggressive and successful advocate. Her firm has strategic partnerships with highly regarded attorneys all across the United States and in 30+ countries worldwide, including the European Union, Israel, India, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Dubai and China.
Ms. Wodynski is a rare breed of lawyer due to her twenty years of experience in both litigation and transactional matters in a wide variety of complimentary practice areas. She has expertise in matters ranging from entertainment litigation and rights management; to production legal for new media/digital, TV and film projects; to intellectual property litigation, counseling and global licensing and enforcement; to her young entrepreneur’s business program where she creates new business and legal structures for emerging growth companies and counsels them in global brand protection and monetization.
As a former Division 1 college athlete, Ms. Wodynski loves to win and is a fierce competitor. She views the law as an intellectual game of soccer and a true art form. Her tenacity and passion for her clients is evident in the multitude of successful litigation matters she’s handled all over the world; for ex., in the Idaho Supreme Court, Munich Court of Appeals, Japanese Intellectual Property High Court, and Russian Court of Appeals.
The depth of her experience is evident in the high caliber of clients and matters she’s handled over the past twenty years. Ms. Wodynski’s experience includes the counseling and representation of Fortune 500 clients, Fortune 100 and emerging growth companies in complex commercial cases involving contracts, entertainment rights, new media, trademark and trade secrets, copyrights, patents, false advertising claims, antitrust and unfair competition issues, first amendment, corporate formation and partnership restructuring, employment, professional negligence and related matters.
Ms. Wodynski’s current and former client representations include: Starbucks, Victoria's Secret, V&S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag (Absolut Vodka), IBM, Eastman Kodak, Caterpillar, Mandalay Sports Entertainment, Starz Media, Power Balance, Three Dog Night, Reality TV Awards, Leepson Bounds Entertainment, Canvas Media Studios, The Theta Healing Institute of Knowledge, celebrities, artists, athletes, musicians, academy award winning editors & entertainment industry professionals, telecommunications companies, fitness brands, meditation/yoga companies and consumer products.
Ms. Wodynski has received a number of prestigious accolades and awards, which include, recognition as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for several years. For her expertise, she made several television appearances, notably, Entertainment Tonight Dubai as an entertainment law expert for the Johnny Depp case, “Nailed It” on Netflix - Big Japan episode, ABC’s “Bet On Your Baby” and PopLegalTv. Ms. Wodynski attributes her success to a zen mindset, strategic intelligence, Texas sass and grit and a very GOOD sense of humor.
Ms. Wodynski obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government/international relations from Southern Methodist University, where she was on scholarship as a Division 1 soccer player, and studied abroad in Italy. After college she played and coached soccer in Europe, which sparked her current wanderlust. Upon returning, she received a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and participated in the prestigious CUA Law Review, Inns of Court trial advocacy program and won a coveted judicial internship with the Honorable Judith Retchin. She is a proud member of the California Bar Association and the United States Supreme Court Bar.
In addition to her successful career, Ms. Wodynski is adamant about giving back to the community. She established the Wodynski Heart foundation in honor of her late husband and also contributes generously to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In her spare time, Ms. Wodynski enjoys being with her 8-year-old and activities such as yoga, soccer, scuba driving, performing stand-up comedy, and traveling internationally.
Focus Practice Areas:
Production legal for film/TV, digital/new media projects (scripted and non-scripted); litigation; distribution and licensing; revenue-sharing and rights acquisition; financing; royalty disputes; merchandising; option and purchase agreements; IP clearance; brand integration; synchronization, performance, master use and mechanical licenses; publishing agreements; international music concert agreements; sale of copyrights for music in commercial, film and television.
Management of portfolios of hundreds of famous trademarks worldwide and specializes in trademark and copyright prosecution and litigation; clearance, acquisitions and assignments; due diligence; rights of privacy; rights of publicity; new media, Internet and digital content management; royalties; film editing software licensing and also served as IP counsel for minor league baseball teams, celebrities and entertainment companies.
Handle cases (>$2-100+ million) involving entertainment rights, contracts, new media, IP, securities fraud and film finance disputes; various torts, antitrust and unfair competition, partnership and employment disputes. I recently successfully litigated: (1) multi-million dollar copyright case for scripted television series; (2) worldwide trademark, trade dress, patent and copyright disputes for famous brands in the sports, entertainment and consumer products industries; (3) naming rights dispute for famous musical group; (4) multi-million dollar distribution agreement dispute (Spain/US) in Spain; (5) multi-million dollar hotel/land dispute in Mexico; (5) trademark dispute in the Japanese High Court; (6) contract dispute in Madrid Court of Appeals; (7) trademark dispute in the Russian Court of Appeals; (8) contract/fraud case in the Idaho Supreme Court (writ to the US Supreme Court).