New York Power Lawyers: Navigating Deals and Court Battles in Theater, Music, and Media

Explore the work of 25 New York Power Lawyers who are leading the way in navigating the legal landscape of theater, music, media, and more, from catalog deals to AI copyright fights.

New York Power Lawyers: Navigating Cutting-Edge Deals and Court Battles in Theater, Music, and Media

New York City’s entertainment industry remains bustling despite the strikes that have affected Hollywood. While film and television production may have slowed down, attorneys in New York are still busy handling big-ticket catalog deals, AI copyright fights, sports team transactions, and Broadway dreams. In this spotlight, we introduce you to 25 New York Power Lawyers who are at the forefront of navigating the legal landscape in theater, music, media, and more.

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Lisa Alter: Profiting from Music Catalog Sales

Lisa Alter, a lawyer from Alter Kendrick & Baron, has been instrumental in helping her clients profit from the sale of music catalogs. Notable deals include representing Primary Wave in acquiring stakes in The Doors and Huey Lewis and the News catalogs, BMG Rights Management in acquiring rights from Peter Frampton and The Hollies, and Influence Media Partners in acquiring music interests from Future and Logic.

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( Credit to: Hollywoodreporter )

Robert Auritt: Exploring the Intersection of Arts and Technology

Robert Auritt, a seasoned sports lawyer from CDAS, is at the center of the exciting intersection between the arts and technology. He works with clients like Rightsify and T1 Entertainment & Sports, focusing on helping creative industries develop new products and services utilizing AI. Auritt also expressed his enthusiasm for a potential Broadway adaptation of “Game of Thrones.”

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Andy Bart: Securing Victories in Copyright Infringement Cases

Andy Bart, a lawyer from Jenner & Block, has represented several high-profile clients, including Live Nation, Chance the Rapper, and the Recording Industry Association of America. Bart’s biggest achievement in the past year was securing a $46.7 million victory for Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Records in a copyright infringement case against Astound Broadband’s Grande Communications Networks.

Jared Bartie: Dealmaking for Teams, Leagues, and Owners

Jared Bartie, chair of Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s sports transactions practice, specializes in dealmaking for teams, leagues, and owners. One notable transaction was his representation of recording artist J. Cole and automotive entrepreneur Damian Mills in the acquisition of the Charlotte Hornets. Bartie previously worked for the NBA team when they were still known as the Bobcats, making it a full-circle experience for him.

David Berlin: Preparing for a Busy Broadway Run

David Berlin, from Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham, had a successful Tonys season, with his clients Michael Arden, Jeanine Tesori, and David Lindsay-Abaire taking home awards. Berlin is currently preparing for another busy Broadway run, which includes the musical adaptation of “The Notebook” with music by Ingrid Michaelson and book by Bekah Brunstetter, as well as “Days of Wine and Roses” with a book by Craig Lucas.

Dale Cendali: Protecting Intellectual Property in the Gaming Space

Dale Cendali, a go-to attorney for cutting-edge issues in the gaming space, has achieved victories for Epic and Take-Two Interactive in copyright cases. She also successfully represented PepsiCo in a trademark fight over “Mtn Dew Rise.” Cendali anticipates that IP rights will continue to be valuable, especially with the increasing focus on artificial intelligence and the law.

Marcie Cleary: Structuring Major Podcasting Deals

Marcie Cleary, a negotiation expert in major podcasting deals, structured Warner Music Group’s new podcast network, Interval Presents. Cleary also represents industry players like Gina Yashere, Kevin Iso, Dan Perlman, X Mayo, Marcel Spears, and Yolonda Ross. She notes that many of her writer and actor clients have pivoted to podcasting during the strikes, allowing them to create and write for themselves.

Gray Coleman: Representing the Public Theater and Copyright Owners

Gray Coleman, primary outside counsel for the Public Theater, has been involved in successful productions like “Hamilton” and “Fun Home.” Coleman is currently representing the Public in connection with Alicia Keys’ upcoming biomusical, “Hell’s Kitchen.” Additionally, he represents copyright and IP owners such as Janis Joplin and Harper Lee, and serves as counsel for Annapurna Pictures in their stage and live-performance ventures.

Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks: Protecting the Rights of Major Publishers and Artists

Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks, a copyright attorney, works behind the scenes to protect the rights of major publishers and artists. She has successfully recovered millions of dollars for clients like Sony Music Entertainment, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears in cases involving copyright infringements. Crawshaw-Sparks emphasizes the need to stop the rampant theft of music, which negatively affects recording artists, songwriters, and producers.

Lisa Davis: Advocating for Playwrights, Journalists, and Writers

Lisa Davis, known as a go-to lawyer for playwrights, journalists, and writers, represents clients such as the National Black Theatre, Stanley Nelson, and Susan Fales-Hill. She takes pride in seeing her longtime client, Wendell Pierce, nominated for a Tony for his role in “Death of a Salesman.” Davis believes in the power of narrative and represents many high-level media executives.

Robert Freeman: Navigating the Future of Content Rebundling

Robert Freeman, a lawyer specializing in sports and entertainment, represents clients like the Big 12 and Warner Bros. Discovery. He anticipates a future of content rebundling after a period of disaggregation and is currently advising TMRW Sports on deals related to new team sales and sponsorship business development. Freeman notes that laughter often accompanies intense negotiations, and both sides usually end up satisfied with the results.

Stuart Fried: Facilitating Endorsement and Product Deals

Stuart Fried, a specialist in endorsement and product deals, has been busy representing clients like Lizzo, The Weeknd, Sofía Vergara, Mariah Carey, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fried recognizes the potential of shoppable TV, where viewers can order products they see while watching a show, but acknowledges the challenges in implementing this concept effectively.

Gregory Hessinger: Handling Employment Matters for Top Hollywood Companies

Gregory Hessinger, a go-to counsel for top Hollywood companies on employment matters, has represented every major studio in the past year. Notable wins include arguing that Netflix music supervisors are independent contractors during an IATSE unionization push. Hessinger emphasizes the pressure on bargaining relationships due to a confluence of events in 2023.

Wook Hwang: Handling High-Profile Cases and Confirming Theater Stagings

Wook Hwang, who represented Condé Nast in their lawsuit against Drake and 21 Savage over a fake Vogue cover, is no stranger to high-profile cases. Hwang also played a crucial role in confirming the staging of Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in any U.S. theater. Aside from his legal career, Hwang has a passion for physics and remains a dedicated fan of the New York Giants.

Edward Klaris: Navigating Complex Intellectual Property Issues

Edward Klaris, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, is often sought after by major media and entertainment companies. He helps his clients navigate complex IP issues, particularly in the evolving world of generative AI. Klaris is known for anticipating the next development in IP law and business, ensuring his clients stay ahead of the curve.

Christine Lepera: Achieving Significant Victories for Clients

Christine Lepera, a lawyer from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, has achieved significant victories for her clients. She won a motion to dismiss a claim that Dua Lipa’s hit song “Levitating” was a result of copyright infringement. Lepera also negotiated a favorable resolution in the legal battle between Kesha and Dr. Luke, requiring Kesha to post statements acknowledging the false allegations on her Instagram page.

Jonathan Lonner: Engaging Younger Audiences through Immersive Productions

Jonathan Lonner, a lawyer from Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, represents clients like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Spring Hill Productions, and Dan Brown. He has been involved in various stage adaptations, including “The Da Vinci Code.” Lonner sees immersive productions as a way to engage younger audiences and keep the stage relevant.

Michael Mahan: Representing Theater and Screen Actors

Michael Mahan, a lawyer from Peikoff Mahan, represents both theater and screen actors. He has seen an increased interest from actors wanting to return to the stage during the strikes. Mahan’s client list includes Cynthia Erivo, Laverne Cox, Lee Pace, Lili Reinhart, Sadie Sink, and Titus Burgess. He finds inspiration in his clients’ achievements and the impact they make.

Adrian Perry: Specializing in Emerging Legal Issues in Entertainment and Technology

Adrian Perry, a lawyer from Covington & Burling, specializes in emerging legal issues at the intersection of entertainment and technology. He has worked on innovative deals and products involving metaverse bands, NFTs, and ecommerce shopping integration within video game platforms. Perry’s clients include Sony Music, Tidal, Fox, Disney, MGM, and Amazon.

Lucy Popkin: Representing Cast Members from the Hit Series “Bridgerton”

Lucy Popkin, a lawyer from Goodman Genow, represents several cast members from the hit Netflix series “Bridgerton.” She also advises rising stars in the industry. Popkin believes that a versatile career that encompasses both stage and screen is appealing to talent during the strikes.

Adam J. Rosen: Assisting Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Productions

Adam J. Rosen, from Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, assists Andrew Lloyd Webber and his production company, The Really Useful Group. Rosen has been involved in expanding Lloyd Webber’s presence, including the film adaptation of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and a television murder mystery involving “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Alison Stein: Leading Anti-Piracy Enforcement Efforts

Alison Stein, a lawyer from Jenner & Block, heads anti-piracy enforcement efforts for industry-leading companies like Nintendo and UFC. She also helps clients navigate intellectual property issues related to generative AI and advises Meta on content moderation challenges. Stein finds unpredictability to be a surprising aspect of her job.

Nancy Wolff: Specializing in Copyright Issues Related to AI-Generated Content

Nancy Wolff, a lawyer from CDAS, specializes in copyright issues related to AI-generated content. She has spoken at a European summit on copyright infringement cases involving AI and is part of the American Bar Association’s task force on AI. Wolff emphasizes the need for fair use precedents in cases where generative AI models directly compete with original content.

Conclusion: Protecting the Rights and Interests of Clients in an Evolving Entertainment Industry

These 25 New York Power Lawyers are at the forefront of the legal landscape in theater, music, media, and more. From facilitating major catalog deals to tackling complex AI copyright fights, they navigate cutting-edge deals and fight novel court battles for their clients. As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, these attorneys play a crucial role in protecting the rights and interests of their clients.

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