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Partners Melanie Howard and Rodney Lee Named to 2023 Top 100 Lawyers in California List by Daily Journal

Loeb & Loeb is pleased to announce that Melanie Howard, chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Protection and Luxury Brands practices and deputy chair of the Advanced Media and Technology department, and Trusts & Estates partner Rodney Lee have been selected by the Daily Journal for their inclusion in the publication’s annual “Top 100 Lawyers” list for 2023, which honors leading lawyers on the front line of the legal industry in California.

In an accompanying profile, Melanie is highlighted for her role in developing Loeb's Luxury Brands practice almost three years ago, which focuses on corporate, employment, real estate, bankruptcy, litigation and her own department, which focuses on advertising, marketing, intellectual property and privacy matters. "Everybody who has clients in that space or has expertise that is relevant for clients ... in the luxury space now collaborate more regularly in this group," Melanie says on the cross-departmental expertise in the group. Additionally, Melanie is featured for her representation of luxury clients, including Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and Saks. She is specifically featured for advising HBC two years ago on intellectual property issues when it established Saks as a standalone luxury e-commerce business, distinct from its brick-and-mortar stores. She is also noted for representing clients like Gap's Athleta, Kobe Bryant, and the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, as well as ChrichtonSun LLC on a variety of brand protection matters.

Rodney Lee has over two decades of experience in litigating private wealth matters, particularly involving athletes, celebrities, and business moguls. In an accompanying profile, Rodney discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic allowed him to reflect on several Black entertainers who died without "ironclad" estate plans. "It was a little bit troublesome for me to be in this situation and see John Singleton's estate where he's dying without an updated estate plan or Prince who's dying without an estate plan or the circumstances even surrounding Aretha Franklin's estate plan," Rodney said. This prompted Rodney to reach out to several high-net-worth individuals to provide estate plans, including the family of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Rodney is highlighted for his representation of client Tom Whalley in contesting a takeover by Tupac’s half-sister, Sekyiwa Shakur, and the validity of the trust terms. Rodney is also noted for advising the estates of singers Steve Lawrence and Leonard Cohen, actor Dennis Hopper, and the vast wealth of philanthropist Norton Simon.