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Michael A. Kahn

Senior Counsel

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” – Yogi Berra

Areas of Concentration

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Media and Entertainment
  • First Amendment

Experience at Work

Mike concentrates his practice in copyright, trademark, First Amendment and media law, including libel and privacy rights. He is a widely recognized trial lawyer in the area of general commercial litigation, and regularly advises clients on a range of intellectual property matters.

A veteran of numerous jury trials, Mike has handled lawsuits and arbitrations in various venues across the nation. He has served as a court-appointed mediator in a variety of intellectual property lawsuits, including copyright, trademark, patent and libel cases. 

In the Community

In addition to his active practice, Mike is an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law, where he teaches an upper level course on Censorship and Free Expression. He is also the award-winning author of numerous novels and short stories.

Mike serves on the Board of Advisers of the Gateway Journalism Review and is active in the Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.

Memberships and Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • The Authors Guild
  • Mystery Writers of America
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • The Copyright Society of the USA

Awards & Designations

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • St. Louis Small Business Monthly, “Best IP Attorney”, 2021
  • Legal Champion, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2020
  • St. Louis Small Business Monthly, “Best Patent Attorney”, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year: Copyright Law, St. Louis, 2012, 2014, 2018, & 2020
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year: Litigation – First Amendment, St. Louis, 2015
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year: Litigation – Intellectual Property, St. Louis, 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Copyright Law, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law – Music, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, First Amendment Law, St. Louis, 2001 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – First Amendment, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Intellectual Property, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Media Law, St. Louis, 2009 – Present
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers List, Super Lawyer, 2005 – Present
  • St. Louis Book Award


  • Scary New World,” Best Lawyers® Business Edition, Summer 2017
  • “Worse Law School Advice Ever,” 53 Wash. U. Journal of Law & Policy 147 (2017)
  • “From Shylock to Billy Budd: The Literary Headline Trial,” St. Louis University Law Journal Vol 54, Issue 4 (2011)
  • “Bulls in the China Shop,” Belles Lettres: A literary Review, Vol. V, No., 2, December 2004
  • “The Missouri Franchise Act: Much Ado About Nothing,” St. Louis Bar Journal, 1991
  • Award-winning author of The Sirena Quest, Face Value, and several other mystery novels and short stories


  • Rebranding Trademarks: Challenges of Walking Away and Choosing a New Mark,” Strafford Publication, Webinar, January 2021
  • Copyright Myth Busters,” Business Edge Workshop, Volunteer Attorneys and Accountants for the Art, April 2019
  • “Lawsuits of the Rich and Famous: The Hazards of Celebrity Promotions,” Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, May 2013
  • “ABCs of Intellectual Property,” St. Louis County Law Library, April 2013
  • “New Wine in Old Bottles: Fair Use in an Era of new Use,” Missouri Bar Association, Oct. 2007
  • “Weird Issues in Copyright Law,” Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Jul. 2007

Significant Representations

  • The musicians who created the “Joyful Noise” song in their copyright infringement lawsuit against Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke), Capitol Records, and other defendants over the Katy Perry song “Dark Horse.” (Gray, et al. v. Perry, et all, Civil Action 2:15-cv-5642 (C.D.Cal.))
  • The Mike Tyson tattoo artist in his copyright infringement lawsuit over the use of his facial tattoo artwork on another character in the motion picture The Hangover Part II. (Whitmill v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:11-cv-752 (E.D. Mo.)
  • International photographer Michael Eastman in his copyright infringement lawsuit against NBCUniversal and Bravo TV over use of one of his photographs in an episode of Million Dollar Decorators (Eastman et al v. NBCUniversal Media, LLC et al, Civil Action No. 4:11-cv-1296 (E.D. Mo.).
  • Successfully represented various firms (including professional sports teams, radio and TV stations, and newspapers) and individuals (including authors, artists and professional athletes) in connection with copyright, trademark, First Amendment and general commercial litigation.
  • Has been counsel of record for the National Basketball Association, Oprah Winfrey, Lions Gate Entertainment, Mark McGwire, McFarlane Toys, Radio One, Emmis Communications, the St. Louis Business Journal, Eveready Battery Company, The New York Yankees, Paramount Pictures, and The Topps Company in various disputes.
  • Has negotiated intellectual property licenses with professional sports leagues, publishers, musicians, and others.
  • Oversees the intellectual property portion of the due diligence process in mergers, acquisitions, and joint venture deals for the firm’s clients.
  • Awarded for services as special counsel to the Examiner in a major bankruptcy proceeding in St. Louis, the only bonus ever given by a bankruptcy court to an examiner’s counsel.

Licensed to Practice

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri


  • J.D., Harvard University, cum laude (1979)
  • M.A., Northwestern University (1975)
  • B.A., Amherst College, magna cum laude (1974)
Eighteen Capes Sokol Attorneys Recognized as 2022 Best Lawyers in America
Kahn Elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Tonto, Chief Noc-A-Homa, and Oblivious Bias: Is There a Vaccine for That?