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Entertainment Law in California: Spotlight on Top Attorneys

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Entertainment law is a specialized field that focuses on legal issues related to the entertainment industry. In California, home to Hollywood and the entertainment capital of the world, entertainment law plays a crucial role in protecting the rights and interests of artists, producers, and other industry professionals. With its vibrant entertainment scene, California is also home to some of the top entertainment law attorneys who have made significant contributions to the field. In this article, we will shine a spotlight on these top attorneys and explore their expertise and achievements.

The Importance of Entertainment Law in California

California has long been the center of the entertainment industry, with Hollywood serving as the hub for film, television, music, and other forms of entertainment. As such, the state has a unique set of legal challenges and considerations that are specific to the entertainment industry. Entertainment law in California encompasses a wide range of legal areas, including intellectual property, contract law, labor and employment law, and more.

One of the key roles of entertainment law in California is to protect the rights of artists and creators. This includes ensuring that their intellectual property is properly protected, negotiating contracts that are fair and favorable, and resolving disputes that may arise in the course of their careers. Entertainment law also plays a crucial role in facilitating the business side of the entertainment industry, such as securing financing for projects, navigating distribution deals, and managing talent agreements.

Top Entertainment Law Attorneys in California

California is home to a number of highly skilled and experienced entertainment law attorneys who have made a name for themselves in the industry. These attorneys have represented some of the biggest names in entertainment and have played a significant role in shaping the legal landscape of the industry. Let’s take a closer look at some of these top attorneys and their notable achievements.

1. John Branca

John Branca is a renowned entertainment lawyer who has represented some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith. He is known for his expertise in music publishing and has been involved in numerous high-profile music rights deals. Branca is also a co-executor of Michael Jackson’s estate and has played a key role in managing the late singer’s assets and legacy.

Notable Achievements:

  • Negotiated the sale of The Beatles’ publishing catalog to Sony/ATV Music Publishing for $750 million.
  • Secured a $250 million deal for Michael Jackson’s estate with Sony Music Entertainment for the release of posthumous albums.
  • Successfully defended Michael Jackson’s estate against various legal challenges.

2. Patricia Glaser

Patricia Glaser is a highly respected entertainment litigator who has represented a wide range of clients, including major studios, production companies, and individual artists. She is known for her aggressive and strategic approach to litigation and has successfully handled numerous high-stakes cases in the entertainment industry. Glaser is also a founding partner of Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, a prominent entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.

Notable Achievements:

  • Successfully defended Warner Bros. in a high-profile profit participation lawsuit filed by the creators of the television series “Smallville.”
  • Represented Ryan Seacrest Productions in a dispute with NBCUniversal over the cancellation of the reality show “Shahs of Sunset.”
  • Secured a favorable settlement for producer Mark Gordon in a profit participation dispute with ABC Studios over the television series “Grey’s Anatomy.”

3. Skip Brittenham

Skip Brittenham is a prominent entertainment lawyer who has represented a wide range of clients, including actors, directors, and production companies. He is known for his expertise in film financing and has been involved in numerous high-profile film deals. Brittenham is also a founding partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, a leading entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.

Notable Achievements:

  • Negotiated a $9 billion deal between DreamWorks Animation and Comcast for the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
  • Represented director James Cameron in the negotiation of his record-breaking deals for the films “Avatar” and “Titanic.”
  • Secured financing for the production of the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy.

4. Nina Shaw

Nina Shaw is a highly respected entertainment lawyer who has represented a diverse range of clients, including actors, writers, and producers. She is known for her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry and has been recognized for her efforts to promote equal representation and opportunities for underrepresented groups. Shaw is also a founding partner of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano, a prominent entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.

Notable Achievements:

  • Represented Ava DuVernay in the negotiation of her groundbreaking deal with Netflix for the production of the limited series “When They See Us.”
  • Advocated for fair representation and opportunities for women and people of color in the entertainment industry.
  • Received numerous awards and recognition for her contributions to the field of entertainment law and her advocacy work.

5. Marty Singer

Marty Singer is a highly successful entertainment litigator who has represented a wide range of clients, including actors, musicians, and athletes. He is known for his aggressive and tenacious approach to litigation and has successfully handled numerous high-profile defamation and privacy cases. Singer is also a founding partner of Lavely & Singer PC, a prominent entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.

Notable Achievements:

  • Successfully defended actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a defamation lawsuit filed by a British television presenter.
  • Represented actor Charlie Sheen in various legal disputes, including a high-profile defamation case against Warner Bros. and the creators of the television series “Two and a Half Men.”
  • Secured a favorable settlement for actress Scarlett Johansson in a privacy lawsuit against a French author.

Conclusion

Entertainment law plays a crucial role in protecting the rights and interests of artists, producers, and other industry professionals in California. With its vibrant entertainment scene, the state is home to some of the top entertainment law attorneys who have made significant contributions to the field. Attorneys like John Branca, Patricia Glaser, Skip Brittenham, Nina Shaw, and Marty Singer have represented some of the biggest names in the industry and have played a key role in shaping the legal landscape of the entertainment industry. Their expertise and achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring entertainment lawyers and highlight the importance of legal representation in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of entertainment.

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