Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

Robert Ezra, Partner

Robert Ezra is a partner in our Los Angeles office and head of the firm’s Fashion Law Practice.  Over the course of his 40 year career he has earned the reputation as a leading lawyer in the apparel, fashion and textiles industry by assisting clients in critical decisions in all aspects of their business operations.   

Mr. Ezra gained practical industry knowledge as an accountant and loan officer to garment makers before he became an attorney.  As a loan officer with Manufacturers Bank in downtown Los Angeles in the early 1970s, he learned the entire manufacturing process from spinning yarn to retail delivery and every aspect in between. 

Mr. Ezra specializes in contractual claims, shareholder and partnership disputes and dissolutions, including provisional remedies, unfair competition, intellectual property claims and business torts both within and outside the apparel industry.  He also has expertise in financing and secured transactions.  He devises legally protective and creative resolutions in business conflicts and creates valuable opportunities for clients in the area of financing and business growth.  He also advises on copyright and trademark availability and enforcement, and licensing agreements.  

Additionally, Mr. Ezra has experience in:

  • Litigation
  • Labor and employment compliance
  • Financing, letters of credit, factoring and secured transactions
  • Establishing overseas manufacturing operations

Mr. Ezra is a Certified Business Mediator and was a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court Mediation Panel.  He is often quoted in fashion and apparel industry publications, and requested to share his expertise with a variety of fashion industry and business organizations.  He has been awarded an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and he has been recognized for thirteen consecutive years on the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2007-2019).

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Los Angeles Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • American Bar Association | Commercial and Litigation Division | Business and Business Litigation Divisions
  • American Bar Association Advisory Board 
  • Southern California State Certified Mediator
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • California Fashion Association | Board of Directors
  • Textile Professional Club 
  • National Jewish Hospital | National Board of Trustees | (2002 Humanitarian Award) 
  • City of Hope | Board of Directors | Apparel Industry Group 
  • Managing Partners Roundtable 
  • California State Advisory Board Committee 
  • Loyola Law School  | Lecturer | Secured Transactions and Factoring
  • Cedars Sinai | Fashion Industry Guild
  • Lecturer | Extra Contractual Duties Imposed on Insolvent Corporations

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Dismissal of high profile, alleged slave labor charges by the U.S. Department of Labor against a contracted supplier.  
  • Successful defense of a privately held jeans maker, Z. Cavarrici, in a potentially costly trademark lawsuit. 
  • Aggressive prosecution of trademark infringement on behalf of a denim maker. Ongoing counsel to various businesses in the review and evaluation of their Uniform Commercial Code forms, documentation and transactions. 
  • Devised a profitable exit plan for the owner of a piece goods company that added substantial value to a maturing business. 
  • Argued a malicious prosecution case before California Supreme Court that resulted in the court striking down the ability to sue for malicious prosecution in family law matters, a ruling that continues to stand. 
  • Represented a businessman falsely accused of illegal activity before the California State Supreme Court.  The case resolved conflicting appellate rulings defining the rules of privilege. 
  • Structured the sale of a food business pending imminent demise based on incarceration of owner operator, yielding monies for payment of IRS and creditor claims. 
  • Successfully defended real property owner on lis pendens action brought by a credit card company. 
  • Successfully defended sublimation printer from copyright and unfair competition claims. 
  • Set up a network of professionals, including factors and suppliers, to help a start-up design company enter the market. 
  • Called as an expert witness on cases involving secured transactions and has consulted on letter of credit matters. 
  • Litigated and resolved shareholder disputes and Corporate dissolution action involving valuation of business and related real estate.
  • Successfully represented shareholders in dissolution actions, including California Corporations Code Section 2000 provisional remedies.
  • Defended corporations and LP partners in dissolution actions, including California Corporations Code Section 500 board proceedings. 
  • Litigated money and warranty claims between foreign bedding supplier and U.S. manufacturer
  • Litigated copyright infringement claim over fabric design.
  • Represented client regarding issues of malicious prosecution resulting in an Appellate Court “Bright Line” decision in Family Law matters.
  • Obtained financing for multiple clients for start-up and distressed companies.
  • Successfully prosecuted claim for Directors’ breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully seized counterfeit trademarked goods resulting in cessation of further trademark violations.

Presentations & Publications

Media Coverage