George Caplan is a preeminent commercial litigation lawyer who represents major corporations in large complex litigation matters related to unfair competition, intellectual property, copyright, trademark infringement and First Amendment issues, as well as energy industry litigation, including the effect of federal environmental laws on energy project development.

George also handles securities fraud, employment contracts, and directors and officers liability, in addition to errors and omissions defense. At the cross section of business and entertainment, George has a notable record of successes in these and other seminal cases:

  • Fremont Indemnity Co. v. Fremont General Corp., et al. Defended two actions on behalf of the California Insurance Commissioner, as liquidator, alleging damages in excess of $450 million based on alleged misappropriation of assets and net operating losses (cases settled favorably after the filing of comprehensive motion for summary judgment)
  • Defended consolidated class actions alleging breach of fiduciary duties under ERISA, claiming damages based upon, among other things, the fall in market price of shares (claims exceed $100 million)
  • In re 1995 Cook Family Trust, et al. Defended the trustee in one of the largest trust litigations ever in the state of Nevada concerning the distribution of trust proceeds (approximately $500 million) arising from the sale of Kelley Blue Book
  • Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. v. Cardinali, et al. Prosecuting an action in the Southern District of New York concerning the world-wide copyrights to the Porgy and Bess compositions
  • Represented the Bankruptcy Trustee in the involuntary bankruptcy of Georges Marciano as special counsel to settle or serve as appellate counsel to resolve trial judgments against Georges Marciano in excess of $300 million for defamation and libel of eight people serving as his employees or accountants
  • Prosecuted an inverse condemnation claim against the State for the Governor’s commandeering of the Block Forward energy contracts in February 2001, seeking approximately $1 billion in damages
  • Prosecution of a fraud claim for $130 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages involving misrepresentations concerning the mismanufacture of components for communications satellites
  • Prosecuted a contract claim involving the music publishing rights of the pre-1982 MGM film library
  • Credit Lyonnais v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, Inc., et al., representing Houlihan Lokey in an action claiming $2 billion in damages as a result of Houlihan Lokey’s rendering a solvency opinion in connection with the sale of MGM to Paretti
  • Kelley Blue Book v. Primedia, Kelley Blue Book v. Stoneage, Kelley Blue Book v. Orion, prosecuting actions for trademark infringement and Internet domain name abuse involving Kelley’s trademarks and domain names
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., representing Disney against MGM, which claimed that Disney no longer had the right to use the MGM name in connection with motion picture theme parks in Orlando and France
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg v. The Walt Disney Co., representing Disney in Katzenberg’s claim in excess of $500 million for the value of productions for which he was responsible
  • TriStar Pictures, Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., et al., representing Disney in a copyright infringement claim brought by TriStar, claiming that the screenwriters of the motion picture While You Were Sleeping had infringed TriStar’s rights in a 1940s novel
  • Helen Gorman Kushnick v. Disney Book Publishing, Inc., et al., representing Disney in a defamation claim arising out of Hyperion’s book, The Late Shift
  • Michael Sidney Luft v. Hyperion, et al., represented Hyperion in a defamation case involving a book written about Judy Garland (summary judgment granted in favor of Hyperion, affirmed on appeal)
  • Clark v. The Walt Disney Co., represented Disney in an idea submission case (case withdrawn after production of definitive evidence demonstrating idea developed earlier in-house)
  • Juda Alszeh, et al., v. Home Box Office, et al., represented Home Box Office in a defamation case growing out of a documentary about Heidi Fleiss (summary judgment obtained for HBO, affirmed on appeal)
  • Sony Retail Entertainment (now known as Metreon, Inc.) in a multimillion-dollar construction dispute with Bovis Construction Corp., et al., concerning the Metreon Center in San Francisco.
  • Representation of MedPartners, Inc., (now known as Caremark Rx, Inc.) in a series of contract disputes with physician groups that it managed
  • Represented public computer software development and network company in numerous contract disputes, including major software development contract litigation
  • Defended two clients in several air pollution matters involving the Air Quality Management District including numerous administrative trials
  • Represented client in a lawsuit for declaratory relief to resolve disputes concerning a contract to develop a militarized dune buggy
  • Extensive litigation involving claims that thousands of teachers and administrators were defrauded by real estate investment schemes. Represented the court-appointed Receiver in litigation, which eliminated the applicability of the arbitration clauses contained in the investment prospectuses and agreements
  • Represented the inventor/distributor (Omninet) of new telecommunications products in a dispute with the supplier of those products. Settled by way of business transaction in which principal Omninet investors became major investors in Qualcomm. Qualcomm purchased the assets of Omninet
  • Represented CIGNA Healthplans (California) in capitation rate-setting litigation with the State of California

Construction, Energy, Environment and Real Estate Litigation

With the proliferation of environmental legislation and popular movements that can affect the way business is done, George continues to amass a successful body of work forged in these and other cases:

  • Colorado River Indian Tribes v. United States Dept. of the Interior, et al. Defended an action brought by a Tribe for alleged NEPA, NHPA and FLPMA violations to vacate the approvals of the Modified Blythe Solar Power Project and enjoin the project’s development (obtained summary judgment)
  • Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell, et al. Defended an ESA and NEPA action seeking to enjoin the Silver State South Project located near Las Vegas, Nevada (obtained summary judgment)
  • La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle Advisory Committee, et al. v. United States Dept. of the Interior, et al. Defended an action brought by a Native American group for alleged violations of NEPA, NHPA, and RFRA to stop the construction of the Genesis Solar Energy Project (obtained dismissal and summary judgment of all claims; affirmed by Ninth Circuit)
  • Coalition for Responsible Solar, et al. v. City of Adelanto, et al. (Aries Solar Holding, LLC) Defended a writ petition for alleged CEQA violations seeking to overturn the City’s approval of the Aries Solar Project (obtained denial of writ)
  • Colorado River Indian Tribes v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, et al. Defended an action brought by a federally recognized Native American Tribe against the Federal Government to enjoin the development of the Genesis Solar Energy Project for alleged violations of NEPA and the NHPA (obtained denial of preliminary injunction motion in district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)
  • LIUNA v. Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, et al. Defended an action brought by a coalition of labor unions against the California Energy Commission for alleged CEQA violations concerning the CEC’s certification of the Blythe Solar Energy Project in the California desert (obtained dismissal of all claims)
  • Wind Energy Partnership, et al. v. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, et al. Defended an action brought by a wind energy company against the City of Palm Springs and NextEra for alleged nuisance and due process violations (obtained dismissal of all claims against NextEra, summary judgment on the remaining claim against the City)
  • Defended two actions brought by environmental groups in California Superior Court against the County of Kern to enjoin the development of the 162-megawatt North Sky River Wind Energy Project in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area for alleged violations of CEQA (obtained denial of preliminary injunction motion and writ in both actions)
  • California Unions for Reliable Energy v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, et al.: Defended an action brought by a coalition of labor unions against the federal government to enjoin the development of the Genesis Solar Energy Project for alleged NEPA violations (obtained dismissal of all claims)
  • Defended landowner actions in Iowa and Illinois for alleged nuisance and contract claims concerning wind energy projects
  • Center for Biological Diversity, Inc. v. FPL Group, Inc., et al. Defended, on behalf of renewable energy development companies, a multimillion-dollar unfair competition and public trust case brought by an environmental group based on the alleged avian impacts at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (obtained dismissal of the action, which was affirmed on appeal). This is a landmark case interpreting Proposition 64
  • Luz Solar Partners Ltd., III, et al. v. San Bernardino County et al. Prosecuting on appeal a multimillion-dollar property tax action against the County concerning the California Revenue and Taxation Code’s solar project exemption
  • Zuni Solar, LLC v. Swinerton Builders Prosecuting an action for breach of an EPC agreement in the Southern District of New York
  • Prosecuted a breach-of-contract claim for damages resulting from the government’s early termination of a contract granting the right to build approximately 550 wind turbines on the Nevada Test Site (partial summary judgment for liability under the contract granted against the government)
  • Construction defects litigation involving the enforcement of an arbitration clause. Case settled after motion practice raised serious statute of limitations issues that impeded plaintiff’s claims
  • Construction defects litigation involving a cogeneration plant in Oregon. Case resolved by enforcing a claim against an insurance carrier that had issued an “efficacy” policy guaranteeing the performance specifications of the plant


George Caplan is a veteran community leader and former president of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. In June 2003, George established The Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din of Southern California, which supports a unified conversion process, believed to be the first of its kind, for the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements, in memory of his late wife, Sandra Caplan, a Jew by choice. George is also committed to education and has served as the President of the Board of Governors of the statewide California Community Colleges for two years during which he initiated the first strategic plan for the community college system.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California


Columbia Law School

University of California, Berkeley
A.B. Honors: Delivered Baccalaureate Address

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • California Community Colleges, Board of Governors (Past President, 2005-2006; Past Member, 2001-06)
  • California Postsecondary Education Commission (Past Commissioner, 2007-11)
  • Foundation of California Community Colleges, Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman
  • Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles (Past President, July 1988 – June 1990)
  • Jewish Television Network, Board (Past Chairman, 1998-2000; Past President, 1994-98)
  • United Jewish Fund Campaign of Greater Los Angeles (Past General Chair, 1985-86) 
  • University of California at Berkeley, College of Letters and Science, Executive Board (Past President, 2000-03)
  • University of California, Berkeley Foundation, Board of Trustees (Past Member, 2001-03)


  • Super Lawyers — 2004, 2006-11
  • Columbia Law School, Legislative Drafting Research Fund; Dean’s List
  • University of California, Berkeley, delivered the Baccalaureate address for his class; member of the Order of the Golden Bear (honor society); Dean’s List
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