Should You Hire An Entertainment Attorney?

An entertainment attorney is a lawyer who specializes in creating contracts and negotiating deals for creative professionals.

The question is, do you need an entertainment attorney?

Too often I see screenwriters without an entertainment attorney end up in a bad deal.

So if you’re wondering whether you need an entertainment attorney…

… the answer is that you should probably consider it.

Entertainment Attorney – Overview

Hiring an entertainment attorney can be expensive, so you want to make sure it’s the right decision for you.

In this post I interviewed six different entertainment attorneys to help you figure out:

  • When you need an entertainment attorney
  • How to work with an entertainment attorney
  • What you should expect in terms of fees

Entertainment Attorney – Typical Situations

Entertainment attorneys can help you:

  • Create contracts between writing partners
  • Handle copyright and protection issues
  • Acquire rights to literary properties
  • Negotiate deals such as: Options, Literary Purchase Agreements, Collaboration Agreements, Script Submissions Releases, Nondisclosure Agreements, Work for Hire Agreements, Step Deals, and Flat Deal Agreements.

Also, some entertainment attorneys can assist with packaging and pitching a screenwriter’s work.

Q & A With Six Entertainment Attorneys

Below are the questions I asked six entertainment attorneys to help you get a sense for how this aspect of the business works, when you should consider hiring an entertainment attorney, and how to work with them once they’re on your team.

Can you explain the world of entertainment attorneys?

entertainment attorney Dinah PerezDinah Perez: I would say find a lawyer that you resonate with, who understands what you need, and is able to deliver what you need. Attorneys have expertise in specific areas. For example, some only practice music law while others do film and television. As such, it’s important to ask the entertainment attorney if they practice in the area of law where you need representation.

 

entertainment attorney Lisa Callif Lisa Callif: There are three basic types of entertainment attorneys (at least with regard to film/television): Talent lawyers – who represent writers, directors, actors, etc.; Production lawyers (like me) – who typically represent producers during all phases of production (development, finance, production and distribution); and In-House lawyers – who work at HBO, Sony, Lionsgate, etc., and of course litigators.

 

entertainment attorney Chris DoyleChris Doyle: Typically, agents “shop” the client to make the sale of the pre-existing work or find the talent a writing position. Then the entertainment attorney will “paper” the deal, making sure that the written agreement reflects the points agreed on, and drafting/negotiating detailed deal points not addressed in the agent’s negotiation.

 

entertainment attorney Tifanie JodehTifanie Jodeh: There are the high ranking, well known, patriarchs/matriarchs that have the top talent in the business (producers/directors/actors) and mostly get business because of the caliber of their clientele. Then you have the associates who work for them. Then you have the in-house entertainment attorneys at the production companies and studios. Then, the independent entertainment attorney or boutique firms (where I fall).

 

entertainment attorney Rob RaderRob Rader: There are some very prestigious “boutique” firms and other very good firms.  There are tons of solo practitioners, some of whom have very good credentials, some are at earlier stages of their careers. There are a wide range of options available for writers, directors, and producers.

 

entertainment attorney Hakim Mulraine Hakim Mulraine: The world of an entertainment attorney varies based on the attorney’s area of expertise. There are some who are litigators; some are strictly transactional (these lawyers draft, negotiate, and consult on agreements.) There are also attorneys who function as a litigator and/or transactional attorney and are also dealmakers. Dealmaker attorneys use their legal knowledge, experience, and strong professional circle, to draft, negotiate or consult on a client’s deal, as well as assist that client with finding other elements to complete the deal, e.g. talent and financing.

What makes an attorney different from an agent? Couldn’t a writer just have an attorney and not an agent?

Chris Doyle: If a writer can find his/her own jobs and sell his/her own projects, then arguably no agent is necessary. But the connections of an agent can be very valuable.

Dinah Perez: I believe that everyone needs both. The agent to find the work and the entertainment attorney to help negotiate the deal and review the agreements.

Rob Rader: The difference is mostly $100,000 of law school.  Agents are valuable because they (are supposed to) sell you and your work.  An attorney may show your material, make introductions, help your career in “non-legal” ways, but the primary duty is to close your deals.  So, it’s a more technical and limited function in many ways.

Hakim Mulraine: Someone selling their first script could be successful using an attorney or an agent. It’s not your representative’s title that will get your script sold, it’s his or her knowledge, experience and relationships within the industry that will increase a writer’s probability of success.

Lisa Callif: Agents and lawyers work hand in hand to get their clients the best deal. The traditional divide is that an agent procures work for his/her clients and with that comes negotiating the basic deal terms of an agreement, including the fee. The lawyer would then negotiate the rest of the agreement, including the long form. That said, there are entertainment attorneys out there who solicit scripts and help with a client’s career, and there are agents who get more involved with the nuts and bolts of the agreement. A writer could certainly just have one or the other, it would really depend whether that person was serving your needs or not.

What’s the biggest misconception about entertainment attorneys?

Chris Doyle: Probably everything you have heard is true.

Rob Rader: That they’re all as good looking and charming as I am! Most good entertainment attorneys are quite ethical, which is sad because that sounds so surprising.

Tifanie Jodeh: That an entertainment attorney is just a general concept. Instead, you need to get one with the specialization that you need. If you need to hire talent and put a production together? Get a production attorney. Need to sue someone who is doing business in entertainment? You need an entertainment litigator. Need to file a trademark for your production company? Get an intellectual property attorney.

Dinah Perez: That we are here to pitch projects and get them set up. We are not here to create careers – that’s up to the individual and the agent.

Hakim Mulraine: The biggest misconception about entertainment attorneys is that any attorney who deals with contracts (ex. real estate, tax, business attorney, etc.), can negotiate an entertainment contract.  An attorney may be skilled at drafting and negotiating contracts and/or have a strong command of contract law, but that doesn’t mean he/she knows or understands the customs of the entertainment industry.

When should writers get an attorney?

Lisa Callif: As soon as they start writing with a partner or have an opportunity to sell/option their material.

Chris Doyle: Whenever they are asked to sign something or they are entering into a business relationship with another person or entity.

Hakim Mulraine: Writers should always have an attorney who they can contact for information on the best way to protect their work, and to review their management agreements, agency agreements, and release forms.

Rob Rader: Generally, when you get an agreement or need an agreement.  Some writers do use attorneys to send out their material.  I have done it in the past, but discourage it.  No one really expects attorneys to vet material so our imprimatur is not hugely meaningful.

Tifanie Jodeh: I always tell my clients, if you ever get the “bug” in your stomach telling you that you don’t know something, something isn’t right, or that you need a deal in writing, get an attorney!

Dinah Perez: The minute the writer is working on something that is not original, is based on a life story, or if the writer is embarking on a writing partnership.

When do writers NOT need an attorney?

Dinah Perez: If they are writing an original screenplay from their own imagination without a writing partner.

Rob Rader: Never happens.

Hakim Mulraine: A writer should always have an attorney either on retainer or in his or her professional circle.

What’s your role in the process?

Tifanie Jodeh: To be the person on the team with all the other moving parts of a writer’s team. I advise on deal terms, good deals vs. bad deals, what terms to accept, and when to pass.

Rob Rader: I enjoy the collaboration with managers and agents because the good ones really do help strategize how to get the best deal for the client.  I tend to be very much focused on closing and figuring out how to send in the agent to get a concession, then try to get another concession with help from the manager, etc.

Dinah Perez: To facilitate, counsel, and negotiate/revise the deals.

Lisa Callif: Because I am most often on the production side, I get involved early, often when my client wants to option a piece of work. I help negotiate the option agreement and then hopefully, work on the project until it’s done.

Chris Doyle: Writer clients typically come to me when they have someone interested in acquiring rights in their project, and they want me to review the paper prepared by the other side.

Hakim Mulraine: I’m a transactional attorney and a dealmaker.  I draft, negotiate and consult on agreements for my clients.  I’m also able to assist with finding talent and financing as well as packaging and pitching projects to entertainment and new media entities.  Also, I’m able to assist writers with business and intellectual property issues or concerns.

How are you paid?

Hakim Mulraine: I am usually retained or I will do a partial retainer and contingency agreement.  I rarely represent someone on contingency alone.

Rob Rader: Check, credit card, occasionally cash. I tend to work hourly but as a convenience often use a flat rate for various projects.

Lisa Callif: Our office works primarily on an hourly basis. We charge a retainer, which varies depending on the type of work we are doing and then bill hourly against that amount. We work on a flat fee when we are doing production legal services on a film, which is based on the budget of the film.

Dinah Perez: I get paid by the hour unless I’m negotiating a deal that is going to result in a payment large enough to cover my fees. In that case, I’m willing to do a percentage-based representation.

Chris Doyle: For talent clients, typically hourly or, alternatively, 5% of the deal (if represented by an agent) or 10% if no agent. For small budget matters, don’t expect an entertainment attorney to represent you on a percentage basis where your fee is next to nothing, so they get 5-10% of next to nothing — these are usually charged on an hourly basis.

Tifanie Jodeh: It varies anywhere from per hour, monthly retainer to contingency.

If a writer has TV and film projects, or they write a play, does that change how they work with you?

Chris Doyle: Film, TV and stage are all different worlds. I would think a playwright would need a special kind of entertainment attorney. I have done book deals, television, and film agreements for my writer clients.

Rob Rader: Playwrights have a different market and different legal issues.  Very few attorneys or agents are familiar with the Dramatists Guild.

Lisa Callif: No. For the handful of writers we represent, we can represent them across the board.

Tifanie Jodeh: No, it depends on what the writer wants to do with the work and who wants to buy it/produce it.

Dinah Perez: No.

Hakim Mulraine: Possibly. I don’t work with theatre projects unless the writer is trying to convert it into a television or film project.

Most attorney websites list a wide variety of specialties and it’s hard to know who might be a good fit. How can clients find out who would be a good fit?

Rob Rader: I believe in meeting the attorney.  If it doesn’t work out, switch.

Lisa Callif: The best way is to talk to people who are represented by that lawyer. You can also get a feel for what their specialty is by looking at their credits on IMDB and figuring out how they are involved with projects.

Chris Doyle: Find a writer whose career you want to emulate, and find out who represents him or her.

Hakim Mulraine: A writer should contact a number of entertainment attorneys and discuss what his or her goals are for the project.  If the attorney is interested and experienced in what the writer is working on, I suggest the writer consider retaining that attorney or seeking a consultation.

Tifanie Jodeh: Read the entertainment attorney’s bio. Make sure they give you a good background of experience. Next, check IMDB and see what projects the attorney has worked on and if it matches the service you need.

Dinah Perez: A phone call. I do a free phone consultation for both the client’s and my benefit. I want to know if I can help the client and want to make sure our personalities are a good fit. I represent clients long term, so it’s important to me that we like each other and can have a productive working relationship.

Entertainment Attorney Bios

Lisa Callif

entertainment attorney Lisa CallifLisa Callif, named by Variety as one of The Best and The Brightest (2011), started out at New York University with a BS in Communication and worked in music before moving to the Southwestern University School of Law. In 2010, Lisa co-wrote The ABA’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking with her partner Michael C. Donaldson. In 2014, Copyright & Clearance: Everything You Need To Know For Film and Television was published. She has worked on numerous prized films and documentaries, such as Invisible War, Inside Job, Insidious, How to Die In Oregon, I’m Still Here, and Teenage Paparazzo. Lisa continues her career as an adjunct professor at Southwestern and a frequent speaker on various panels sponsored by Film Independent, American Pavilion, and UCLA.

Chris Doyle

Entertainment attorney Chris DoyleChris Doyle is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, where he also achieved the Am Jur award in Torts.  Prior to starting his own company, Doyle & McKean, Chris served as Senior Counsel, Legal Affairs for the Walt Disney Company, serving both ABC and the ABC Family Channel. During this time he developed a niche in reality programming, overseeing such programs as Extreme Makeover, Wife Swap, and My Life is a Sitcom. Previously, Chris worked at the Fox Family Channel, Screen Actors Guild and the Airlines Reporting Corporation. He also has a BA degree from the College of William and Mary in English literature.

Tifanie Jodeh

entertainment attorney Tifanie JodehTifanie Jodeh had her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, receiving her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She has worked at various prestigious firms ever since the beginning, starting with Business and Corporate Affairs, The Football Network and MindFusion Law. Tifanie is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, frequent lecturer at several universities and film festivals, past columnist for InsideFilm, contributing writer for Hollywood and Vine magazine and on the board of directors for the Romance in a Can Film Festival.

Hakim Mulraine

Hakim Mulraineentertainment attorney Hakim Mulraine received his B.A. in Political Science from Manhattanville College, after which he worked for the City of New York as a Confidential Investigator investigating claims of police misconduct. He received his J.D from the University at Buffalo, School of Law (UB Law). While in Buffalo, Hakim was the owner and operator of, “Raine Sports & Entertainment Management,” where he worked with musicians and semi-professional athletes. As a member of the Copyright & Publishing Clinic, Hakim assisted authors with their publishing agreements as well as performed research for copyright infringement litigation. Hakim holds a Certificate in Entertainment & Media Management from New York University.

Dinah Perez

entertainment attorney Dinah PerezDinah Perez attended Loyola Law School and practices entertainment law since 1996. She wrote the Hollywood Producer’s Directory that will be published this Fall and wrote a chapter on the “Legal 411 For Screenwriters” in the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory. She is a prolific writer of legal articles that appeared in magazines or on sites such as Story Board Magazine, Release Print, Surfview.com, Legalserviceindia.com, Mecfilms.com and Findlaw.com, being quoted by Entertainment Weekly, Wired Magazine and Wired.com. She is a member of Film Independent, the Copyright Conference, and the National Association of Record Industry Professionals. She is also fully bi-lingual in Spanish and gets numerous clients from Spain, South America, and Mexico.

Rob Rader

Rob Raderentertainment attorney Rob Rader graduated magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard College, attended Harvard Law School, and is an adjunct Professor of Law at Pepperdine Law School. He frequently speaks to the media and at industry events, including SAG, LA Business Today, Bloomberg TV, and Producers Guild of America. Rader is experienced in digital media with a focus on content, ad sales, mobile, apps and internet sectors, and has worked with major digital companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, YouTube, Machinima, Maker Studios, BuzzMedia, AOL, Collective Digital Network, the Orchard (Sony), Boing Boing, Federated Media, Electronic Arts and Activision. His large company domestic media work experience includes advising or negotiating with major companies, including MGM, CBS, NBC/Universal, Fox, Miramax/Disney, Goldman Sachs, Marvel Studios, DIRECTV, PBS, National Geographic, Univision and Danjaq (James Bond). Rader also has international experience with leading entertainment companies such as Yian Studios (China Film Group), Dalian Wanda, Toho-Towa (Japan), CJ Entertainment (Korea), AB Svensk Filmindustri (Sweden), HIT Entertainment, Mumbai Mantra (India) and the World Bank (for entertainment matters).

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Discussion About Should You Hire An Entertainment Attorney?

  1. Shafi Hassan

    Hello, i have just finished my first script. Because i live in Germany , i don’t think i’m an expert, but to me it’s all about the story. If something is compelling, then people will follow you. At the end if you have a deal because of your script, i agree to have an attorney to get the best deal. But as i said, it’s only my Perspective . Good luck everybody

  2. Veleka Gray

    Stephanie, you’re my hero! Thanks, again, for answering the important questions.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      You’re welcome, Veleka! I really appreciate the attorneys who graciously answered the questions in this post.

  3. Bonnie

    The contract attorney I hired, shortly threw me over for someone the attorney perceived, would be a bigger client. Also, after introducing me to said client, the attorney realized a conflict. Said, “I gotta talk to an attorney about this!” By the way, also teaches law.

    So there’s that.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      I’m sorry to hear about this negative experience, Bonnie. No fun to get pushed to the side.

      • Bonnie

        Thanks Stephanie. Much appreciated.

        Also, it was in the opinion of another attorney, the attorney I hired committed a clear case of tortious interference with business.

        So it was interesting to discover months later, the “bigger” client, wound up still tied up in previous litigation and ultimately, went nowhere.

  4. Douglas Westfall

    As a publishing agency, we have an Entertainment Attorney, but only for direct submissions. Many studios and production companies won’t even look at a script without one. Only one time in my history, did we get a refusal of a script submission from the production house attorney — but only because they mistakenly thought we had not used our attorney. They later apologized (can you believe that?) It’s that significant.

    Yet, if you’re a screen writer your agent should do that for you — it’s really not your job –unless you’re doing your own submissions and then, yes of course you should. So — it’s a positioning thing. If you’re just starting out — the agency should be the first place to go.

    I know it’s not easy, but as my Father told me — only persistence ever wins.

  5. W. H. Morris

    This post is very comprehensive and helpful. The insights and information are consistent with
    Brooke Wharton’s Book The Writer Got Screwed But Didn’t Have To which I found due to the reference from the Resources Page here on Good In A Room.

    Thanks, William

  6. Holly

    Stephanie – this article was so very helpful.
    Since I am a hybrid type in the industry, my needs are a bit unique.
    I am a Rep for social influencers (who are both talent and producer)
    I am also a writer, with agent’s license. The way you presented this
    post with several different attorneys giving their perspective on handling
    various scenarios was very beneficial to me as I continue building my
    relationships and legal team.
    Thanks!

  7. Tahiera Brown

    I am very impressed with this post. I do have attorneys that I depend on to advise me and to represent me when needed. It was refreshing to read the different comments, as well.

  8. Charity Ekeke

    This is one of the best if not the best article, you have posted. It has depth, meaning, and very useful. Thank you very much.

    Charity Ekeke

  9. Bradford Richardson

    Stephanie, This is a spectacular blog post! It’s everything I ever wanted to know about Entertainment Attorneys packed into a succinct few paragraphs. Having 6 contrasting opinions really adds a lot. I needed an Entertainment Attorney for an exciting opportunity and was lucky enough to work with a great one. I will definitely work with an Entertainment Attorney again.

  10. Rev. Austn Miles

    Ms. Palmer,

    First of all, thank you for your work. I am a well published writer with columns and three books, one that became a best seller. I have a screen play written and ready to submit. Having years ago worked in films I became acquainted with several stars and wanted to contact one to ask if he would be interested in being in the film I wrote. However, I could not even talk to him without an attorney. I tried contacting attorneys but could not talk to anyone unless I was recommended by a big name. My story is great, set in San Francisco and yet cannot even submit it to anyone. Yes, I did try contacting an agent out there and they too would not even talk to me unless I had a big name attorney to represent me. So what can I do?

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Congrats on all your publications! I know this is frustrating, but without having an established relationship with the VIP (in this case, the movie star) you will likely need to have financing in place so you can make a money offer to get a movie star to read a script.

      Rather than trying to get an agent, in most cases, I recommend writers start by finding a manager. Then, the manager will help match the writer with an agent. Another option is to connect with producers and if you can get a producer on board as this can be another path. I cover this is more detail in my course How To Be A Professional Writer.

      • VJ

        Love it! Stephanie! Great information love the different perspectives .. but all basically say the same thing.. you should have an Entertainment Attorney at every phase of production.. I learned by reading this that there are 2 types of Entertainment Attorney’s .. Boutiques..Independent level, Litigators/Deal Makers, Talent Attorney’s , and Producer’s Attorney’s.. along with the Major studio Attorneys. I have considered being an Entertainment Attorney .. what better way to know the legalities of every phase of film production and I would think this knowledge would keep me abreast and better able to negotiate deals.. knowing what I’m talking about.

        Also, I learned that screenwriters and filmmakers need both Agents and attorneys.. but getting connected in the industry you may not need an Agent but still need an attorney. I know some basic Law and Agreements..but still could use information and knowledge about contracts and negotiations.

        Thanks so much for this wonderful information!! I’d love to see and know more!

      • Stephanie Palmer

        Glad this was helpful to you, VJ.

  11. Carmen

    Thanks Stephanie. I have frequently wondered about the Entertainment Attorney question. I was listening to a comedian share in an interview about how he didn’t get the deal he wanted. Good information.

  12. Kevin Foster

    Yo Stephanie,
    As always, a magnificent article. When I saw the title, my first thoughts were, “YES! NOW!” As you know from our previous talks, years ago, some wannabe producers wanted the rights to my life story and I wouldn’t sell, so they forged my name to a contract and went forward with finding investors (not even Michael Eiser, then head of Disney was brave enough to sign my name to a contract), and that’s when I had to hire the first lawyer I knew… Bert Fields. It still took three years (and in that time these wannabes made nearly $1 million from my name and story from these unsuspecting investors before they were closed down) to bring them to court (they signed papers agreeing not to go after my life story the day before court was to begin), but it showed me what goes on when trying to make magic. Now I’m surround by seven entertainment lawyers for various specialties, and always like adding more wise consul when needed. Again, good info for those just getting into the business, and for those of us who need to be reminded that we can’t do it all ourselves, nor should we ever attempt to do so.

  13. Camilla Nesbitt

    Thank you for this spectacular blog which is very informative. Please continue to write more blogs. I have a question ? Can you write a Script Manually by typing it ? How to type it what fomat ?

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Yes, Camilla, you could write a script by manually typing it. I suggest looking at some sample scripts to get a sense of the format. In the last section in the Index, you’ll see some blog posts that include scripts. I also recommend David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible.

  14. Richard Rothrock

    Unless a writer is making regular deals, I see no reason to have a lawyer on retainer. Best to use one on a contingency basis or flat rate.

    My experiences with entertainment lawyers have been hit and miss also. The first one I worked with assured me he had all the right qualifications to vet some contracts but that turned out to not be the case. He did nothing, took weeks to do it, then billed me for his time and threatened to sue me when I refused to pay him for work he did not do. We settled and I still had to go find another lawyer to vet the contracts. That has colored my perception of their profession ever since.

  15. John Vourlis

    Better off having a good EA than a bad agent. They (attorneys)
    are required by their professional code to behave ethically with
    respect to their clients, or face censure or expulsion from their
    profession. Sadly Hollywood agents are not.

  16. Jim

    This is an excellent post. As a longtime attorney myself (not involved with entertainment law) three things stood out for me: there are customs and practices in the entertainment field that a competent general contract attorney may not (likely not) be familiar with; there are sub-areas of practice within the broad field of entertainment law, so it is important to find an attorney who focuses on the type of representation the client needs; and finally, how entertainment attorneys normally bill for their services.

    Thank you for providing the community of aspiring screenwriters with such helpful information.

  17. Kathy Caslin

    Which is better, a manager or an agent? And why?
    Thanks, Kathy Caslin

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Good question, Kathy. There is a lot of overlap between what agents and managers do and many people have both or just one. This is a matter of personal preference, but some agents don’t provide the level of in-depth career development that managers do. For some people, they don’t need or want that, or they don’t want to share 15% of their income with the manager in addition to the commission they pay agents. In general, I have seen lots of people benefit from having both because then they have double the relationships and inside information that agents and managers provide. For most people, I recommend starting with a manager first.

  18. Brandon Thomas

    Great advice and an excellent resource! I like that you included interview responses from a diverse group of attorneys with variant perspective and insights. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Nilton

    Great info, Stephanie. Thanks.

  20. Sherrie Roberts

    This has been one of the most informative interviews I’ve read on this subject. Being a playwright, however, I’m sure that I will have to be even more specific when requesting my “legal” needs due to a concentration on theater. I would think that there isn’t much of a difference when it comes to contracts, but the production of a stage play is a little different than producing a film or television show, would you agree or not?

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Yes, I agree. I would find someone who specifically works with playwrights as the contracts are different.

  21. A.

    I wanna ask something about solicitation. When, for example, a movie script is solicited by a company or an agent, how can I prove that is solicited? I got something like a document? Thank you for the answer.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      This question is a little puzzling, but if a script has been solicited, you don’t need to prove it. They are waiting for it and will accept it and not return it with a “we do not accept unsolicited scripts” form letter.

  22. Melisa

    I’m glad you just tweeted this out. I’m in the process of hiring an attorney. I have several meeting set up this week and this was helpful.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Glad you found this helpful, Melisa. Good luck with the meetings!

  23. Annika Larson

    While I am not currently a creative professional, I dream of one day writing a book. Previously, I did not know much about entertainment attorneys, but I can see how they would be necessary in the entertainment world. This was a very insightful article about what they do. I liked how the attorney’s role in the process was explained, and I can see how they have an important part in reviewing papers especially when acquiring rights.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Glad this was helpful, Annika.

  24. Renos Phokas

    Does your firm draft sale agreement and taking new clients? Respond and let me know when you are available to discuss details.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      As the author of this article, I do not draft sale agreements, however many of the attorneys featured in the article do. I recommend contacting them directly.

      • Reginald Groves

        kindly put me in touch with one of them

  25. TL Brown Law

    Coming from the attorney’s point of view, it is really right on point. Their answers can provide idea from people who are planning to invest in an entertainment industry especially for those aspirant writers or managers. Thanks for this article. Really helpful

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Thanks for adding your comment from an attorney’s perspective. I appreciate it.

  26. Jill Ledet

    I had just formed a relationship with a manager who runs a wine tasting room. She booked me to play music there. I talked to her after my performance a week or so later. She booked me for 3 more dates, but somehow didn’t write one of the dates down. There was a big mix up. I showed up on the date, but there was another band playing. I asked the bartender if she could please get a hold of her, the manager finally came down there, I was pretty upset I hauled my gear there, and had the day scheduled off from work which is not always easy to do. The band knew what was going on, and the manager said I could come back after they got done playing and play for 1 hr. I said ok. I still lost money because my time was shortened. When I came back later, the band was still playing, and played over time. It was 10 after the hour, and cutting into my time, I asked if they
    could wrap it up, they intentionally played one more song. I finally got to play for 45 min. The manager wanted to pay me with a bottle of wine, instead of cash, I said no, that she offered the cash. I said this wasn’t my fault, and she felt bad about the whole thing, and scheduled me another gig to make up for it in Sept. A few days ago, she sent me an email cancelling all the performances she booked me for, which were 2 more. Apparently she presented the situation to the main business in Eugene as the band complained about me, and the bartender as being rude, and the main business portrayed me as someone who showed up to play without a booking. I went to speak with the manager about this, and it is just a no go. Could an attorney be right for me in this situation. This damages me, as well as never being able to perform there again. I wasn’t rude to anyone. I am a professional musician and this hurts me as far as social networking, The whole thing was dirty.

    • Stephanie Palmer

      Sorry you had to experience this, Jill. Music isn’t my area, but unfortunately, I don’t think an attorney would be helpful in this kind of circumstance (i.e. when there is not a large amount of money at stake).

  27. Reginald Groves

    I am seeking a well qualified attorney/agent with connections in the tv game show arena. I have all or most of the pieces to this puzzle, simply need someone to put the ” juice” to the project.
    If this is you contact at 216-272-3662 and lets talk.

  28. Michael

    Great article and info Stephanie. I know further down the script to screen path EAs are favorable assets to keep everyone on the up and up.

    My question may be off topic but several weeks ago I was approached by a producer on LinkedIn and founder of a production company about my sci-fi script Roswell:the Beginning. For over a week the emails were fast and furious. As soon at the guy got the script, AND my Executive Summary he became a ghost. I followed up a few days later to verify he got the content…not a word 5 weeks later.

    It’s idiocy like that why writers outside the business are paranoid and distrustful of everyone. I was advised by writers mentor Geno Scala to give them 6 to 8 weeks.
    I did sign an NDA from HIS website, but he balked at signing one from me.

    Should this be a red flag situation or should I give this guy time. I don’t want to throw him or company under the bus in case this is normal fare.

    Bless on,
    Michael

    • Stephanie Palmer

      This is very common. Unfortunately, it sounds like he was interested in the idea (which is good), but the script didn’t meet his expectations OR he hasn’t even read it yet (which is totally possible). I would keep your expectations low, and follow-up with him in a month.