By Noddy A. Fernandez | Sep 11, 2018


SAN DIEGO – A San Diego professional photographer alleges a San Diego law firm used his copyrighted photograph without authorization.

John Durant filed a complaint on Aug. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Daniel A. Lawton, doing business as The Lawton Law Firm, and Does 1 through 5 alleging copyright infringement.

According to the complaint, on June 7, John Durant discovered that defendant had used his copyrighted image of the Emerald Plaza building in San Diego on the contact page of its website. Despite sending defendant a cease and desist letter to provide notice of the infringement, the law firm allegedly continues to use his image without authorization and the parties have corresponded without avail. 

The plaintiff holds Lawton and Does 1 through 5 responsible because the defendant allegedly published, communicated, benefited through, posted, distributed, publicized and otherwise held out to the public for commercial benefit, the original and unique work of the plaintiff’s consent or authority and acquired monetary gain and market benefit.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for statutory damages in an amount up to $150,000, plus general and special damages, costs of litigation, and for any other relief the court deems just and proper. He is represented by Mathew K. Higbee of Higbee and Associates in Santa Ana.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California case number 3:18-cv-02018-BTM-WVG

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Higbee & Associates U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

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