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phone:   (303) 886-7048

Prior to joining Steve in forming Zansberg Beylkin LLC, Michael was an attorney at national and international law firms, practicing in the areas of intellectual property and content-related work, including defamation avoidance and defense, rights of privacy, reporter’s privilege, and access to government information and proceedings. Michael handles First Amendment, media and intellectual property disputes on behalf of news, entertainment, online publishing and other media businesses. 


Michael also provides pre-publication review and advises media and entertainment clients on content clearance for documentaries, films, television shows, books and other expressive works. Michael’s clearance work includes advising publishers, screenwriters, documentarians, and production companies and he offers creative pathways to minimize risks. 

Before forming Zansberg Beylkin, Michael was an intellectual property partner at Fox Rothschild, and prior to that, an attorney with the preeminent First Amendment law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz.  Michael started his legal career at Hogan Lovells.

Prior to entering private practice, Michael served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Representative Cases

  • Obtained a favorable final judgment and narrow injunction after a two-day bench trial for a prominent online reseller of refurbished and customized vintage Rolex watches in a trademark dispute brought by Rolex Watch USA.  Argued cross-appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on a significant trademark issue of whether a reseller is permitted to customize vintage goods with a full disclosure of the nature of those changes to the consumer.


  • Obtained dismissal of false light, right of publicity, and related claims under Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute.  


  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of copyright infringement and related state law claims brought against a television series production company.  

  • Secured summary judgment dismissal of nearly 1,000 claims of copyright infringement against a textbook publisher.  The district court ruled that the plaintiff stock photo agency lacked standing under the Copyright Act to pursue the claims because it did not hold exclusive rights to the photos at issue.   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision on appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied a certiorari petition. 


  • Successfully defended a weekly newspaper in a defamation action brought by the former head of Emergency Medicine at Denver’s Children’s Hospital. The court held that the challenged articles were substantially true.​​​  


  • Part of trial team in a bellwether trial on a selected set of copyright claims brought by a stock photography agency against a textbook publisher. The court denied the plaintiff’s claims for statutory damages on nearly a dozen photographs and the jury dramatically reduced the plaintiff’s request for profits on the remaining photographs. The jury’s damages award was further reduced by the court in a post-trial ruling.


  • Second-chair trial counsel in a six-day jury trial on copyright infringement claims against textbook publisher.  Achieved a jury award significantly below plaintiff’s demand.


  • Second chair trial counsel for a public citizen in a bench trial alleging Colorado Open Records Act and Colorado Open Meetings Law violations by Basalt’s town council, its mayor, and others.  After the district court refused to find any open meetings law violations despite the town’s failure to provide sufficient details as to its executive sessions, Steve and others prevailed on appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals.


  • Second chair trial counsel for newspaper in bench trial on Colorado Open Records Act violations by the Aspen town council and its custodian of records.  Court found that the records concerning the town’s former police chief were improperly withheld.


Winter 2024    Accrual of Claims Under the U.S. Copyright Act: Will the Supreme Court Discard the Bad                                   Wine of a Not-So-Recent Vintage?, Communications Lawyer


July 2021        District Court of Colorado Adopts Meta-Films "Access Through an Intermediary" Test in

                       Copyright Case, MLRC Media Law Letter

Oct. 2015       Appellate Court Affirms Limited Nature of New York's Right of Publicity Statute, MLRC Media

                       Law Letter

Mar. 2015      Criminal Erasure Statute Does Not Expose Historically True Reporting to Post-Hoc Tort Liability,                         MLRC Media Law Letter


• University of Colorado, School of Law (J.D., 2008)

Class of 2008 Valedictorian

Order of the Coif

• University of Colorado (B.A., Molecular Biology 1999)


•       U.S. Supreme Court

•       U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

•       U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

•       U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

•       U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

•       U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

•       U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

•       U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

•       Colorado

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