Glaser Weil Partner Sean Riley is a veteran litigator representing a wide array of clients in high-stakes cases in the fields of entertainment, healthcare, intellectual property, real estate, securities, insurance coverage and bad faith. He is known for his consistent success as a commercial litigator in attaining favorable outcomes in complex and contentious cases.

Sean has a track record of winning the pretrial stages with compelling and persuasive briefs or, where the need arises, at trial or arbitration, through aggressive presentation of the client’s case.

Sean’s clients continuously seek his representation for:

  • Commercial litigation and arbitration concerning:
    • Breach of contracts
    • Fraud
    • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Entertainment, real estate and healthcare litigation

Sean was a civil litigator in Sydney prior to coming to the United States and being admitted to the California State Bar.

He has been selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers for over a decade. Sean is consistently featured in Best Lawyers in America and named a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation.


Sean’s recent notable experience includes his representation of:

  • Bill Nye in the pending appeal challenging trial court rulings and judgments relating to claims for recovery of revenues and damages owed by The Walt Disney Company and affiliates based upon their distribution and exploitation of the TV show Bill Nye the Science Guy.
  • A commercial property owner and manager in an action for contract and tort claims against a commercial lender and real estate trust arising from the failure to fund an eight-figure loan for the acquisition of a commercial office building in Los Angeles.
  • Pathways Health and Community Support, LLC, a large provider of behavioral and mental health services in the United States, in pursuing fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and related claims against a former owner and officer of an acquired affiliate company in Delaware related to the improper diversion of government funds designated for Medicaid-related services, resulting in a favorable monetary settlement.
  • A former executive of a global payment processing company in pursuing claims for breach of contract arising from the executive’s departure from the company, resulting in a multimillion-dollar settlement.

Additional significant matters include his representation of:

  • Revlon in defending and successfully resolving a national consumer class action lawsuit involving labeling and marketing of their cosmetic products. 
  • Prime Healthcare, the largest for-profit hospital group in Southern California, in multiple complex consolidated litigation cases against licensed health plans, seeking to recover tens of millions of dollars of unpaid hospital services charges. 
  • Prime Healthcare, in pursuing an arbitration recovery of acquisition-related payments owed by the previous owner of a hospital. Successfully obtained a judgment for Prime in the total amount claimed of $2.7 million, including recovery of all attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • The former CEO and chairman of the board of Tenet Healthcare in defense of a securities class action lawsuit against Tenet and certain of its officers and directors asserting claims for securities fraud, insider trading and making false statements in registration statements. After extensive discovery and motion practice, the case settled on favorable terms for the client.
  • The former CEO and chairman of the board of Tenet Healthcare in connection with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation concerning disclosures in financial reports and alleged improper trading in Tenet’s securities. At the conclusion of its investigation, the SEC declined to initiate any action against the client.
  • The County of Los Angeles in its successful fight to stop oil drilling, in violation of Proposition A, in a local city. He successfully obtained a permanent injunction against this project.
  • The cartoon character owner Marsu BV in a U.S. District Court action against Disney for breach of contract, fraud and breach of implied covenant. The case was tried by a verdict in favor of the client for $10.4 million, plus attorneys’ fees and interest. The verdict was affirmed on appeal. Disney hired Glaser Weil based on this result.
  • MGM Mirage in U.S. District Court action alleging breach of contract and bad faith claims against its insurance carrier arising from tens of millions of dollars in losses and damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. After obtaining key discovery rulings and following extensive depositions, the case was favorably settled for the complete mid-eight-figure amount claimed.
  • Fidelity National Title Company in defense of a U.S. District Court class action claim asserting unfair competition claims in connection with Fidelity’s role as a settlement and escrow agent for mortgage transactions for a four-year period. Following successful motions to dismiss the plaintiff class complaints and attacks on class certification, the case settled on favorable terms.
  • Online legal document service LegalZoom.com in defense of a class action case asserting claims for alleged unfair and deceptive business practices related to disclosures and the form of contract utilized by LegalZoom. After motion practice and discovery related to class certification, we were able to reach a settlement for the client.
  • Television producer Endemol in defending class action litigation asserting unfair competition claims involving text games featured on the show Deal or No Deal. With briefing on class certification issues pending, the case settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • FremantleMedia Australia, the producer of The X Factor Australia, in a tortious interference and unjust enrichment lawsuit brought by a music company over performer Samantha Jade’s involvement and win on the show. He successfully argued for a motion to dismiss based on jurisdictional and forum non conveniens grounds.
  • Baby First TV in defending U.S. District Court action brought by Israeli and European children’s programming networks, asserting copyright and trademark infringement claims related to BFTV’s 24/7 children’s programming broadcast in the U.S. After extensive fact and expert discovery and in the face of our summary judgment motion, the case settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • The producer of a TV network in defending copyright and trademark infringement claims by a Japanese network related to a successful reality show series. Following the filing of our summary judgment motion, the case was settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • The owners of a large Los Angeles hospital in an arbitration action against pharmacy defendants asserting breaches of an acquisition agreement for the defendants’ pharmacy business. The case was settled favorably with a settlement payment to the client of $2.25 million.
  • Plaintiff Bank of America in action for breach of insurance contract and insurance bad faith involving a major insurance company’s refusal to contribute to the settlement of six underlying complex securities and real estate cases across the country. Multimillion-dollar settlement achieved for the client prior to trial.
  • Former co-chairman of telecommunications company Global Crossing in defense of action brought by JPMorgan Chase Bank, on behalf of a consortium of lenders, alleging fraud in connection with Global Crossing’s borrowing of $1.7 million. After extensive motion practice and discovery involving approximately 50 lender banks, the case settled on favorable terms to our clients.
  • Former co-chairman of Global Crossing in connection with an SEC investigation related to Global Crossing’s alleged accounting practices and procedures. After extensive document discovery and depositions, the SEC ultimately closed its investigation and determined not to file any criminal or civil charges or complaints against our clients.
  • Former co-chairman of Global Crossing in this action brought by the Global Crossing Estate Representative alleging, among other things, claims for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the bankruptcy of Global Crossing. The case was settled on favorable terms to the client.
  • Carolco Pictures in binding arbitration of audit claims against electronics company Pioneer based upon the distribution in Japan of certain Carolco films (including Terminator 2 and Basic Instinct). The case favorably settled for multimillion dollars.
  • German television distributors in defense of an action for breach of contract, fraud, interference with contract and related torts brought by the alleged creator of a television series. He won summary judgment for the clients.
  • TV host Bob Barker in defense of employment claims. He was successful in obtaining summary judgment in favor of Mr. Barker, and this ruling was upheld on appeal.
  • California Slim, in defense of U.S. District Court action for false advertising, unfair competition and injunctive relief brought by the major dietary company, SlimFast, and countersued SlimFast for antitrust violations. The case was settled favorably to the client before trial.
  • The Australian National University and several of its linguistics professors in defense of a U.S. District Court action for copyright infringement brought by the competing author of a treatise on linguistics. His motion to dismiss the action against our clients was granted in full in a published decision.


Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

"500 Leading Litigators in America," Lawdragon, 2022, 2024

Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2023

Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2023

Southern California Super Lawyers

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rated

Related links



Sydney University, Bachelor of Law

Sydney University, B.A., Economics


  • California
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