Bruce Copeland specializes in commercial litigation, with a focus on complex business disputes. He has extensive experience both litigating and advising clients with respect to commercial contract disputes, licensing and distribution disputes, corporate and fiduciary liability matters, unfair business practices, partner and shareholder disputes, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, corporate raiding issues, corporate executive employment disputes, distribution disputes, and patent infringement disputes.
Mr. Copeland also has a significant practice focused on the beverage and alcohol industry, and advises suppliers, importers, wholesalers and retailers in the wine, malt beverage and spirits industries in litigation, transactional matters, and regulatory matters at both the federal and state levels. Mr. Copeland’s practice in the beverage alcohol industry spans the representation of publicly held entities, wineries, craft breweries, importers, wholesalers, and retailers.
In addition to his core practices mentioned above, Mr. Copeland has significant experience litigating other complex commercial matters, including real estate claims, environmental matters, validation actions, claims made under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and claims made under the Unfair Competition and Unfair Business Practices Act (California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq.), as well as class action litigation. In addition, he has extensive experience in complex insurance matters, with major areas of concentration in complex coverage disputes, unfair claims and business practices matters, and declaratory relief actions. He has also litigated disputes concerning attorney and accountant liability and insurance broker liability, as well as title insurance, fiduciary and trustee-related issues, and premises and products liability matters.
Presentations and Articles
Mr. Copeland has been a presenter before the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) General Counsel meeting, and has authored numerous publications, including commentary regarding California Business and Professional Code section 17200 (“Proposed California Ballot Initiative Could Eliminate Representative Lawsuits Brought by Uninjured Litigants under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200”), Proposition 64 ("California First District Court of Appeal Rules Prop. 64 Is Not Retroactive", "Prop. 64 Is Not Retroactive, San Francisco Trial Court Rules", and "Second and Fourth District Courts of Appeal Weigh In on Proposition 64 Retroactivity"), and tort liability for recruiting employees (“Tort Liability in California for Recruiting of Employees”).
Recent publications and presentations include:
- “Griping About Grapes: The Law of Wine (and Other Spirited Drinks),” Nixon Peabody’s Eighth Annual California MCLE Seminar for Corporate Legal Executives, January 15, 2013 (co-presenter)
- “Social Media Giveaways and the California Wine Industry,” Practical Winery & Vineyard Journal, September 22, 2012 (co-author)
- “Allergen labeling in wine: compulsory regulations imminent in the European Union—will the U.S. be next?” Nixon Peabody Beverage Alcohol Brief, June 26, 2012 (co-author)
- “Lightweighting wine bottles: an eco-friendly trend becomes mandatory in Ontario, Nixon Peabody Beverage Alcohol Brief, June 5, 2012 (co-author)