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Stephen J. Zralek

Attorney

Stephen is recognized in the business and creative communities as a litigator who helps clients solve their most complex problems involving intellectual property, entertainment and business issues. For almost two decades, clients have sought Stephen’s advice as a result of his experience in the courtroom, his creative problem solving, his tenacity and his engaging approach.


Location:

Nashville
P: (615) 238-6305
F: (615) 687-2763

Stephen Zralek helps clients resolve disputes through intellectual property (IP) litigation, business litigation and entertainment litigation.  His IP cases involve copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, trade secrets, non-compete violations, defamation and domain disputes, and his entertainment disputes cover everything from royalty disputes, estate disputes, disputes between celebrities and managers, and fights over who gets to keep the band name. In addition to representing clients from the Nashville area, Stephen is routinely called on by clients, lawyers and in-house counsel from other cities to represent them here or to serve as local counsel in Tennessee state and federal courts.  Additionally, clients in the political realm call on Stephen to advise them on legal issues, campaign finance and election contests.

Stephen on… law, life and passion.

Stephen is a frequent speaker and author on copyright law and other IP and social media law.  In May 2016 he presented “Infringement or Homage: It’s All Blurred Lines: Copyright Fair Use in 2016” at the MusicBiz Law & Technology Conference.  He has been quoted by USA Today, Managing IP and Young Entrepreneur; and featured in the ABA Journal.  He co-authored “The Pro-IP Act: Another Weapon Against a Failing Economy,” published by the ABA’s Landslide magazine, as well as “Race is On to Recapture Copyrights,” published by the Tennessean. He previously chaired the American Bar Association Copyright Litigation Committee for the IP Law Section.

Upon graduating from law school, Stephen served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Stephen was born and raised in Nashville. He and his wife, an interior designer, have two children.

Recent Representative Cases

  • Kenyon v. Clare (M.D. Tenn. 2016): Copyright and trademark dispute involving books, movie and television programs.
  • Nashville Latino TV Broadcast Group LLC v. JKB Associates, Inc. (TN Business Court 2016): Breach of contract and trade secret case; Obtained TRO, preliminary injunction and award of contempt over Defendants.
  • Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LC v. Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp. (M.D. Tenn. 2014-15): copyright infringement case regarding Karaoke.
  • Estate of Kosie Gardner (probate court Nashville – 2014): Estate dispute involving royalties.
  • Iroquois Group, Inc. v. Iroquois Capital Group, Inc. (M.D. Tenn. 2016): trademark dispute.
  • Resnik v. Fuji Music Group, Inc. (state court TN 2015): obtained dismissal under doctrine of forum non conveniens; royalty dispute.
  • Prichard’s Distillery, Inc. v. Sazerac Company, Inc. (M.D. Tenn.2014): trademark infringement dispute.
  • Critter Control, Inc. v. Elite Critter Control (6th Cir. 2015): obtained affirmance of summary judgment for plaintiff in service mark infringement dispute.
  • Cassetty v. McCreery (state court Nashville 2014): obtained jury verdict for plaintiff in breach of contract action in entertainment dispute.
  • Nason Homes, LLC v. Singletary Construction, Inc. (M.D. Tenn. 2015-16): copyright dispute; obtained summary judgment for defendant.
  • Reinsdorf v. Academy Sports Ltd.  (M.D. Tenn. 2013): copyright infringement over photographs used on apparel.
  • Mars, Inc. v. Bil-Jac Foods, Inc. (M.D. Tenn. 2013): trade dress dispute.
  • Wells v. Chattanooga Bakery & Dr Pepper Snapple Group (Tenn. Ct. App. 2013): Obtained affirmance on appeal and dismissal in trial court by successfully showing that right of publicity dispute against maker/distributor of MoonPie and RC Cola was preempted by copyright.
  • SRI v. Bealls, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 2013): trademark dispute.
  • Estate of Vern Gosdin v. Potvin (state court Nashville 2012): obtained dismissal after convincing court that dispute was preempted by Copyright Act.
  • Righthaven v. Newman (D. Nev. 2011): obtained dismissal in copyright infringement dispute involving blog posting of newspaper article.
  • Schacht v. DreamFire LLC (M.D. Tenn. 2011): obtained preliminary injunction in cybersquatting dispute.
  • Locorriere v. Sawyer (state court Nashville 2011): Dissolved TRO in dispute over which former lead singer had right to use the band name in touring and merchandise.

Community Involvement

  • Nashville Bar Association: Board of Directors (2017-present)
  • Conexión Américas: Chair of the Board (2013-2015); Board Member (2009-2016); Board of Ambassadors (2016- present)
  • Percy Priest Extended Day Program: Board (2016-present)
  • Family & Children’s Service: Advisory Board (2015-Present)
  • The Children’s House of Nashville: Board Member (2013-2016)
  • Nashville For All of Us: Immediate Past Chair
  • Family & Children’s Service: Chair of the Board of Directors (2007-08); Board Member (2001-09)
  • WaterCooler, monthly networking group that highlights Nashville’s cultural richness and entrepreneurial spirit: Co-Founder and Co-Chair (2009-2013)
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Practice Areas

  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Entertainment Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Client Testimonials
  • "Quick, articulate, extremely smart, and one of the most thoughtful lawyers I've ever worked with." – Katy Varney, Partner of McNeely Piggott & Fox
  • “With Stephen, we’ve got more than a lawyer - we’ve got a true advisor.” – Clint Smith, Co-founder & CEO of Emma, Inc.
  • “Great win, great job.” – Tory Johnston, VP of Sales and Marketing at Chattanooga Bakery, Inc.

Education

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1997
    • Dean's Citation for Outstanding Contributions
    • Tennessee Law Review editorial board
  • Xavier University, B.A., cum laude, 1994
    • University Scholar
    • Student Body President
    • Alpha Sigma Nu officer
  • Oxford University, Oriel College, 1996; Rowing Team

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • Tennessee Supreme Court

Awards

  • Leadership Nashville, Class of 2014-15
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Best of the Bar, Nashville Business Journal, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2006
  • AV Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers - Mid-South for Intellectual Property Litigation, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011
  • Super Lawyers - Tennessee: The Top 100 Attorneys, 2014
  • Avvo 10 out of 10

Membership

  • American Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Copyright Litigation Committee
    • Trademark Litigation Committee and Sections of Litigation and Intellectual Property
  • Nashville Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
    • Federal Courts Section
  • Tennessee Bar Association: Member & 2007 Leadership Law Program graduate