Judge R. Gary Klausner

Robert Gary Klausner is the United States federal judge overseeing Axanar’s copyright infringement case‭. ‬He serves on the U.S‭. ‬District Court for the Central District of California‭. ‬Klausner was nominated by President George W‭. ‬Bush on July 18‭, ‬2002‭, ‬and was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14‭, ‬2002‭, ‬and received his commission on November 15‭, ‬2002‭.‬

Federal Judge R‭. ‬Gary Klausner‭

Judicial Profile

Here are some of the opinions expressed by attorneys on the website‭, The Robing Room, “where judges are judged‭”:‬

[‬Judge Klausner is‭] ‬pro-government and pro-institution‭, ‬not so much pro‭- ‬no-name litigants‭. ‬If you’re up against a large corporation or the government‭, ‬you will have a tough mountain to climb‭. … ‬If an institutional party or a governmental party gets caught lying or misleading in the case‭, ‬that’s the death knell with him‭. … ‬There is no hint of any liberal or judicial activism in his rulings generally but‭ … ‬he is more conservative than most judges in‭ [‬California‭] ‬so you know where most of his rulings are headed‭.‬

LAWSUIT PRIMER Get an overview of the copyright lawsuit, including a timeline of the case, as well as downloadable pleadings made by the plaintiffs, CBS and Paramount, and defendants Alec Peters and Axanar Productions Inc. » Lawsuit Primer

He is known for holding attorneys to deadlines and keeping things running smoothly‭:‬

‬He is also not hesitant on granting motions for summary judgment‭, ‬which is helpful when your client is spending lots of money to defend a meritless case‭.1)

Biographical Profile

Born in 1941‭ ‬in Los Angeles‭, ‬Klausner received a B.A‭. ‬from the University of Notre Dame in 1963‭, ‬a B.S‭. ‬from the University of Notre Dame in 1964‭, ‬and a J.D‭. ‬from Loyola Law School in 1967‭. ‬He was in the United States Army‭, ‬1967-1969‭. ‬He was a deputy district attorney in the District Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles County‭, ‬California from 1969-1974‭. ‬He was a court commissioner‭, ‬Pasadena Municipal Court‭, ‬1974-1980‭. ‬He was a judge on the Pasadena Municipal Court‭, ‬1980-1985‭. ‬He was a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court‭, ‬1985-2002‭.‬

LED ZEPPELIN‘s Jimmy Page, left, and Robert Plant appear at a news conference in London in 2012. (Photo: Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)

Klausner also presided over another recent landmark copyright case in which a jury found in June 2016 that the rock band Led Zeppelin did not steal the opening of its hit, “Stairway to Heaven,” from an obscure song by the late Randy Wolfe, who founded the band Spirit.2)

However, in August 2016, Klausner tellingly denied a request from Zeppelin’s lawyers for nearly $800,000 despite the plaintiff’s attorney bad behavior.

“Throughout the course of litigation, plaintiff’s counsel demonstrated a tenuous grasp of legal ethics and a rudimentary understanding of courtroom decorum,” Klausner stated. Even so, the judge ruled the copyright lawsuit was not frivolous, so Wolfe’s estate was not liable for the defendants’ legal costs.3)


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