Philip Kaplan was born and raised in Washington, D.C. After attending the Hotchkiss School, Phil studied at Washington & Lee University in Virginia and, thereafter, at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before moving on to law school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Phil interned at the Mental Health Law Project in Washington, D.C. This public interest law firm devoted itself to the rights of the mentally disabled. Their work included ground breaking test-case litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, such as the Dixon case that established the right to be in the "least restrictive setting."
In large part, the Mental Health Law Project was the place where Phil developed his deep attachment to the weak, oppressed, and downtrodden, and where his desire to protect and advance civil rights was kindled.
As a Tulane Law student, Phil pursued another passion - jazz piano. He played at Chef Susan Spicer's first restaurant, Savoir Faire, and on the Patio of Feelings Café, in the famed Bywater District, while he was a student and during the time he was an Associate in the Admiralty Section of Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles. Phil also worked as a waiter in the old-line restaurant, Arnaud's, where he learned about the rich cross-section of humanity of New Orleans and where he “discovered” the alleyways of the French Quarter.
Eventually, Phil made his way to the West Coast and Los Angeles, working in a New York-based firm and, later, becoming a partner with the Los Angeles Firm of Argue, Pearson, Harbison & Myers. His focus was, first, on business litigation. This was followed by work on behalf of various musical and theatrical artists: both transactional and litigation. Phil has represented a number of musicians, including rock and jazz artists, songwriters, film-composers, film and television directors, as well as producers. He is well versed in intellectual property issues, including copyright, trademark, as well as patent.
But the passion from his days at the Mental Health Law Project never waned. Over the years, and more recently, Phil has devoted his time representing individuals whose civil rights have been violated. This has run the gamut from California peace officers (including rank-and-file cops with the LAPD) all the way to individuals who have been incarcerated and who have claims of excessive force.
Phil invites you to his civil rights page. This page includes decisions concerning first amendment rights, eighth amendment rights (cruel and unusual punishment), and a recent case Phil filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana which challenges a new Louisiana State Law that mandates the tracking of Sudafed sales in real time, but which guarantees no confidentiality of such private information, and which, in Phil's view, violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Nearly half of the States have a similar law (with more and more prisoners serving time for "smurfing" offenses). This criminal law is being advanced by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association - the trade association that is the front for the multi-billion OTC medication industry which funds the NPLEx reporting system used by the pharmacies and law enforcement and which vigorously opposes the prescription mandate that some States are considering.
If you agree with our fight against the OTC industry, please visit my Facebook Page. I welcome your thoughts.
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