Rhonda R. Trotter is a trial lawyer who represents businesses around the country in a variety of commercial disputes, including complex commercial, intellectual property, products liability, employment, business torts, breach of contract, and false advertising. She is Co-Head of the firm’s Trademark, Copyright and False Advertising Group and Office Managing Partner of the firm's Los Angeles office.
Rhonda has tried several cases to verdict as “first chair,” including a January 2011 jury trial in which she obtained on behalf of the owner of the freecreditreport.com trademark a seven-figure cybersquatting verdict, and successfully defended counterclaims for fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office and antitrust violations.
Rhonda’s track record and experience has garnered significant recognition and praise. Most recently, Daily Journal, a California legal publication, selected Rhonda for its annual list of the “Top Women Lawyers in California,” recognizing Rhonda’s impact on the California legal community. In a recent jury trial, opposing counsel described her to U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2013 as “an excellent lawyer and professional. She was a worthy adversary and presented her case in a very persuasive manner.” Rhonda is regularly acknowledged by World Trademark Review 1000, which notes that she “enjoys the patronage of a diverse range of clients” (2015) and that clients describe her as an “excellent trial lawyer” with “a real knack for communicating complicated concepts to a judge or jury” (2014). She was also named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Angelenos to Know in Intellectual Property Law” list―one of 40 Los Angeles County lawyers to be selected for their outstanding achievements in the field. Rhonda has also been recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing IP Handbook 2015, and in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 for Trademark Law. She is featured in Managing IP’s IP Stars-Top 250 Women in IP 2013 as a leading female IP lawyer.
Some highlights of Rhonda’s litigation experience include:
- Lead trial counsel and obtained seven-figure jury verdict after five-week trial on behalf of Experian subsidiary for cybersquatting and trademark infringement of FreeCreditReport.com® trademark. Obtained complete defense verdict on counterclaims for cancellation based on alleged genericism, fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office, and antitrust violations. ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. v. Chang, et al. (C.D. Cal.).
- Lead trial counsel and obtained favorable ruling on behalf of the Allegiance Telecom Liquidating Trust against Carl Icahn’s XO Communications, Inc. in a bench trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The dispute arose out of a $600 million telecommunications asset purchase. In re Allegiance Telecom (S.D.N.Y.).
- Co-trial counsel in a lawsuit filed by an independent record label against a media conglomerate involving claims of fraud, willful copyright infringement, tortious interference with contract and breach of contract. A federal jury returned a verdict that was subsequently listed by The National Law Journal as number 17 on its list of the “Top 100 Verdicts of 2003.” TVT Records v. The Island Def Jam Music Group (S.D.N.Y.).
- Lead counsel on behalf of independent record distributor Central South Distribution, Inc., in breach of contract and copyright infringement action concerning recordings of popular recording artist Adam Lambert. Burtscher, et al. v. Moore, et al. (C.D. Cal.).
- Lead counsel on behalf of Experian subsidiaries SafetyWeb, Inc. and ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. in trademark infringement matter in Central District of California. After discovery in the case, Rhonda successfully negotiated a co-existence agreement with Intercede, permitting Safety Web and Experian to continue using their marks. SafetyWeb, Inc. v. Intercede, Ltd. (C.D. Cal.).
- Co-trial counsel and obtained favorable settlement during jury trial in defending major hotel chain against sexual harassment and discrimination claims in San Diego Superior Court. Wright v. Wyndham Hotels, Inc. (San Diego Superior Court).
- Lead counsel in numerous adversary proceedings on behalf of the Chapter 11 Trustee of Death Row Records, Inc. (C.D. Cal.).
- Lead counsel and obtained summary judgment on behalf of Experian subsidiary for infringement of Plus Score® trademark. ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. v. Money Management International, Inc. (C.D. Cal.).
- Lead trial counsel and obtained stipulated injunction and favorable settlement on first day of trial on behalf of Experian subsidiary in trade dress and trademark infringement case. ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. v. Mighty Net, Inc. (C.D. Cal.).
- Co-trial counsel in one of the first in a series of copyright infringement lawsuits by record labels against digital music distributors. Obtained favorable settlement on first day of trial. TVT v. MP3.com, Inc. (S.D.N.Y.).
Rhonda’s other significant trial experience includes:
- Lead trial counsel as volunteer prosecutor in criminal cases, handling several jury trials involving domestic violence charges.
- Co-trial counsel and obtained defense verdict on behalf of Ferro Corporation after two-week jury trial involving breach of contract and environmental claims. Price v. Ferro Corporation, Los Angeles Superior Court.
Rhonda received her JD from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where she was Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review, winner of the McBaine Moot Court Honors Program, and recipient of the Stephen Finney Jamison Award for outstanding scholarship and advocacy. She received her BA in Political Science from Stanford University.
Rhonda is a member of the National Board of Directors of A Better Chance, Inc., a former board member of the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and a former board member of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.
In the Market
- Trademark, Copyright & False Advertising Newsletter | Spring 2015 Spring 2015
- Frankle, Trotter, Yates Among Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers May 13, 2015
- Trademark Alert: Supreme Court Ruling on Potential Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions Raises Numerous Legal and Practical Questions March 25, 2015