January 12, 2021

Beats’s Principals Achieve Complete Victory in Their Legal Battle with Monster

Munger, Tolles & Olson’s clients, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Jimmy Iovine and Paul Wachter, who started and grew Beats to a multi-billion dollar enterprise, have achieved a complete victory in the lawsuit brought against them by Monster Inc. and its CEO Noel Lee. 

Following Apple’s acquisition of Beats, Lee and Monster, which had partnered with Beats in the company’s early years, launched a wide-ranging lawsuit against Beats’ founders. Monster and Lee claimed that they had been deprived of their interest in Beats through fraud prior to the Apple acquisition, and they sought damages that “could well have exceeded $1 billion,” in the words of the trial court. But far from winning any damages, Monster and Lee ultimately paid $4.4 million to Wachter.

Over several years, Munger Tolles systematically defeated the claims against their clients, first winning dismissal of the claims against Dr. Dre and Iovine, and then winning summary judgment in favor of Wachter and securing millions of dollars in attorney’s fees.

On January 12, 2021, the victory became complete and final. After appellate oral argument in the California Court of Appeal by Mark Yohalem, the litigation culminated in a complete, unanimous victory, in which the Court of Appeal not only vindicated Wachter and his co-defendants (Beats and HTC), but also confirmed that Monster and Lee had falsely represented key facts to the trial court, including in sworn depositions.

The plaintiffs’ petition to the California Supreme Court was denied on Aug. 25, 2020. With the appeal concluded, Plaintiffs paid Defendant Wachter $4.4 million in satisfaction of the attorney’s fees, costs and interest to which he was entitled. 

The Munger, Tolles & Olson team that handled this matter included Mark Yohalem and Robert L. Dell Angelo.