Louise Sommers has over thirty-five years’ experience handling litigated matters involving mass media, new media, art law and intellectual property (copyright, trademark, unfair competition), defamation and publication torts. Her broad civil, commercial and regulatory litigation practice in state and federal courts, arbitrations and before administrative agencies has also involved contracts, insurance, employment, real estate, securities, foreign currency, business torts, and other types of business issues. She also handles intellectual property transactions and pre-publication review as well as counseling and commercial claim prevention strategies.
She has represented a wide range of corporate and individual clients, from media and publishing companies, financial services firms, internet start-ups and other commercial businesses to artists, photographers, authors, entrepreneurs and employees. A trained mediator, Ms. Sommers also served on the Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and handled private mediations involving copyright, employment and other intellectual property and commercial matters.
Louise Sommers began her career at the international law firm of Rogers & Wells LLP (now Clifford Chance US LLP), where she practiced as a litigation partner from 1985-1998, and earlier as an associate. While there, among other matters, she handled federal/state/bankruptcy court and administrative agency litigation, including complex, multi-district and class action litigation, for major financial services, media, insurance, banking and other clients.
She also managed that firm’s pro bono program for 10 years. Prior to becoming associated with Rogers & Wells, Ms. Sommers served as law clerk to Hon. Kevin Thomas Duffy, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York (1976-78). An author and lecturer, Louise Sommers taught Entertainment and Mass Media Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2001, and Communications Law (1987-91) and Trial Advocacy (1986) as an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School.
She is a member of the Copyright Society and New York Women in Film and Television, and a former board member of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. She is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the New York State Bar Association, and a former member of the NY Women’s Bar Association, where she served as Co-chair of its Committee on Communications and Entertainment Law (1995-99).
Louise Sommers received a B.A. with honors from Douglass College and her law degree magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, where she served as a Senior Editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. She is admitted to practice law in the courts of the State of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and has practiced on a pro hac vice basis in numerous other courts throughout the country.