With 47 years of experience, Louis R. (Skip) Miller is an accomplished trial lawyer. He has tried cases in state and federal courts in California and around the country before juries and judges. He “specializes” in the art of persuasion and getting results; is highly sought out by clients in multiple areas; and is working harder and enjoying law practice more than ever.
Miller’s practice includes securities, sports, employment, corporate takeover, energy, investment banking, defamation/First Amendment, entertainment (motion pictures, television, and music), copyright, environmental, civil rights, real estate, contract, partnership, inverse condemnation, unfair competition, and other areas of law. He has been selected among “The Best of the Bar” by the Los Angeles Business Journal and among the “Top 100 – California’s Leading Lawyers” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal; and his firm – which does only litigation – has been featured as one of the top litigation firms in California.
His clients have included numerous public and private corporations: the Cities of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Carson, Anaheim, Riverside, and Monterey Park (California); entertainers such as Rod Stewart, Elton John, Nick Nolte, Bob Dylan, Sean Connery, Nile Rodgers, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Steely Dan, Lionel Richie, Don Felder (Eagles), Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses), rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, KISS, Stone Temple Pilots and others; plus publicly and privately-owned manufacturing and marketing companies; investment banks, private equity funds, banks and other financial institutions; and entertainment concerns including movie studios, cable networks, artist managers, a talent agency, sports agents, and professional athletes and coaches. Miller also has handled complex real estate litigation for California’s largest land developer, the state’s largest home builder, and for five publicly-traded banks in California.
Among other areas of the law, Miller and the firm have expertise in going up against insurance carriers in coverage disputes including claims for bad faith refusal to settle and thereby opening up the policy beyond its stated limits. He’s done this extensively for sports and entertainment individuals and companies and resolved cases with insurance money and without the client having to come out of pocket. Miller and the firm represent insureds and not insurance carriers.
Miller also represents the County of Los Angeles and members of its Board of Supervisors. He and the firm prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of the County and Board in a case challenging the County’s budgeting process; and that decision was affirmed on appeal. Miller and the firm also represented the County in litigation regarding the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, the largest gas leak ever in the United States, with over 100,000 metric tons of methane, ethane, benzene and other toxic chemicals; the case recently settled for $120 million. As a former member of the Los Angeles City Council and County Board of Supervisors, Zev Yaroslavsky, summed it up, “If you are in the legal trenches, Skip is the one you want down there with you.”
Miller is currently representing the City of Inglewood and its Mayor in litigation brought by Madison Square Garden, owner of The Forum arena in Inglewood. This representation is in connection with several lawsuits brought by, or instigated by, MSG to block the move to Inglewood by the NBA’s L.A. Clippers. The NFL’s Rams are building a new football stadium in Inglewood, and the Clippers proposed move there is part and parcel of a development to transform Inglewood into the sports capital of the West.
Other cases include defending the City of Los Angeles in a series of cases arising from the operations of the LAPD including the Rodney King civil rights damages action; First Amendment free speech/religion clause litigation brought by the then-Assistant Chief of Police; a dozen lawsuits brought against the Mayor, City Council members, Police Commissioners and City Attorneys arising from the operations of the LAPD’s Special Investigation Section, culminating in two victories in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; a $100 million inverse condemnation case brought against Los Angeles by Southern Pacific Railroad; and high-stakes litigation for private and publicly owned utilities including the Department of Water and Power, the Metropolitan Water District and the Metropolitan Transit Authority that is building rail and subway transit throughout Los Angeles County.
Miller successfully represented investors who put a billion dollars into Internet incubator Idealab; won a $7 million judgment against musician Michael Jackson in a jury trial in Santa Maria; and prevailed in the Ninth Circuit and district court in a series of civil rights cases brought against the City of Los Angeles and the City of Beverly Hills and their Mayors, Chiefs of Police and City Council members. He prosecuted trade secret/unfair competition cases for a manufacturing conglomerate and a private equity company; defended the maker of Seven Jeans in a multi-hundred million dollar partnership dispute; represented high-tech and manufacturing companies, including a public company in China with over 500,000 employees for which he won a $46 million jury verdict; won a defense verdict in a major lender liability action for the largest bank headquartered in Los Angeles; won sexual harassment trials on behalf of the City of Pasadena/Rose Bowl, a Los Angeles City Council member, and the City of Los Angeles; represented the City of Anaheim in a $50 million dispute with its telecom provider; and has handled cases in the spirits industry regarding Patron Tequila.
Miller headed up litigation in federal court involving twenty major real estate projects in multi-billion dollar litigation arising from the demise of investment bank Lehman Brothers; he represents Asian and European investors and businesses in litigation in California and internationally; and represents cable networks in multi-million dollar channel carriage disputes. Miller has a lot of experience in high-stakes, high-profile litigation matters; and knows how to deal with the media.
Miller is the former Chairman of the Board of D.A.R.E. America, the international drug, violence and alcohol abuse and education program taught by police to millions of school children in the U.S. and 50 foreign countries. He is a 1972 graduate of UCLA Law School, where he served on the UCLA Law Review. In 1972-1973, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Jesse W. Curtis, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.
He resides in Pacific Palisades with his high school sweetheart and wife of 48 years, Sherry, who has her own music company. The Millers have two sons, Dan and Jim, who are graduates of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan Law Schools, respectively, and who work with their father and the firm’s 30 other lawyers. Per Miller, “working with our sons, and the other talented lawyers in the firm, is a labor of love for me.”