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How to Choose the Right Attorney for YOU – Part 2

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Categories: Business, Music Industry, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week, I talked about the importance of an attorney’s personality.  This week, I address another top concern in choosing an attorney — the artist’s needs.

Artist Needs

Attorneys do different things.  Some litigate (sue people), some draft and negotiate contracts.  Other attorneys “shop” or try to get clients a deal, while other attorneys have a strict “no shopping” policy.  What do you need at this point in your career?  What do you think you may need as your career grows?  Think about these things and try to find an attorney whose services match your needs.

Many attorneys do not shop, so it is wise to check the attorney’s website or ask the attorney for his/her shopping policy before requesting that the attorney shop you.

Next time, I’ll talk about attorneys with a client base that fit your genre.

© 2010 Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. All Rights Reserved. If you like this article and want to share it, you may provide a link to www.erinmjacobsonesq.com or a direct link to the post for others to read it. You may not reprint this article without written permission from Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.

This site is not intended or offered as legal advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only. They are not legal advice or legal opinions on any specific matters. If they are considered advertisements, they are general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., and you or any other user. The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. The law may vary based on the facts of particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel. No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this site. Unless expressly stated otherwise, no document herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state. For more information, please click on the “Disclaimer” section in the top menu of this site.

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How to Choose the Right Attorney for YOU — Part 1

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Categories: Business, Legal Issues, Music Industry, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In my last post, I covered the importance of hiring an entertainment attorney for your entertainment law needs.  Now I will discuss how to choose the right attorney for YOU.

Choosing an attorney is all about the right fit between the attorney and the client.  There are a several aspects to consider in deciding what kind of attorney is right for you.  I will review these various aspects in the next several weeks over a series of posts.

Personality

Aside from being a skilled attorney, personality is the most important aspect in choosing an attorney.  Do you actually like this person?  Does (s)he explain things to you and counsel you on your career?  Does (s)he consider your goals?  Does (s)he listen to you?  Do you feel comfortable with this person?  Do you feel like you can trust this attorney?  If the answers to all of these questions are yes, you may have found an attorney that is right for you.  If you have answered no to one or more of these questions, you might want to keep looking.

Next time I’ll explain how to tell if an attorney will meet your needs as an artist.

© 2010 Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.  All Rights Reserved.  If you like this article and want to share it, you may provide a link to www.erinmjacobsonesq.com or a direct link to the post for others to read it.  You may not reprint this article without written permission from Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.

This site is not intended or offered as legal advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only.  They are not legal advice or legal opinions on any specific matters.  If they are considered advertisements, they are general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity.  Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., and you or any other user.  The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date.  The law may vary based on the facts of particular circumstances or the law in your state.  You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this site.  Unless expressly stated otherwise, no document herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state.  For more information, please click on the “Disclaimer” section in the top menu of this site.

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Why Hire an Entertainment Lawyer?

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Categories: Business, Legal Issues, Music Industry, Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Hire an Entertainment Lawyer?

By:  Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.

Many creative people, especially those who are just starting out or are still at “indie” status, cannot afford expensive legal services.  Some artists decide to proceed without an attorney, while others may use a friend/cousin/brother-in-law/etc. that is a real estate/personal injury/construction/etc. attorney willing to review a contract for free.  Both of these scenarios are detrimental to the artist, and here is why:

It is highly ill advised to enter into contracts without having an attorney review them.  First, these contracts contain specific language that is quite foreign to someone not trained to interpret and understand it.  Second, companies offering contracts to artists have had highly skilled lawyers draft these documents and often draft them in a way that is confusing, sneaky and intended to mislead the artist.  I have encountered many artists, some of whom became my clients, who previously signed these types of deals without consulting an attorney.  The result was that they got stuck into a bad deal, realized their mistake after they had already lost significant amounts of income and then needed someone to fix the situation – so they hired me.

Having a non-entertainment attorney look over a contract is better than proceeding without an attorney, but it is still not an ideal scenario for an artist.  This is because the entertainment industry has practices and uses terms in its contracts that only pertain to the entertainment industry.  This field is so nuanced that even film contracts and music contracts differ in some of their terminology.  An attorney that may be great at general business contracts will not be familiar with these industry-specific terms and will miss crucial points that separate a good deal from a bad one and could cost the artist a lot of money.

I understand that legal services are expensive.  However, it will be even more expensive to be stuck in or try to get out of a bad deal than had the artist hired an attorney to negotiate the deal correctly the first time.  One option is contacting a free or low-cost legal service clinic, as there are some specific to the creative community.  Another alternative is to have a consultation with an attorney.  Some attorneys will charge a lesser rate for a thirty to sixty minute consultation that may answer a lot of your questions.  A third alternative is to hire a newer lawyer that understands the business and can service the client at a lesser rate than an attorney that has been practicing for thirty years.

I always want artists to be protected and get the best deal possible.  Whomever you choose to hire, whether it be me or someone else, please make sure you get an entertainment attorney with experience in the type of deals in front of you.

In an upcoming series of posts, I will discuss how to choose the right attorney for you.

© 2010 Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.  All Rights Reserved.  If you like this article and want to share it, you may provide a link to www.erinmjacobsonesq.com or a direct link to the post for others to read it.  You may not reprint this article without written permission from Erin M. Jacobson, Esq.

This site is not intended or offered as legal advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only.  They are not legal advice or legal opinions on any specific matters.  If they are considered advertisements, they are general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity.  Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., and you or any other user.  The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date.  The law may vary based on the facts of particular circumstances or the law in your state.  You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this site.  Unless expressly stated otherwise, no document herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state.  For more information, please click on the “Disclaimer” section in the top menu of this site.

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Client Kiss the Girl scores another placement on 90210 – tonight!

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Categories: Clients, Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tonight, 90210 will feature the song “Control” by my client, Kiss the Girl.  Watch it tonight at 8 PM on KTLA 5.

Buy “Control” and other songs from Kiss the Girl’s album, Touch, on iTunes.

Kiss the Girl

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Client Kiss the Girl placements on 90210

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Categories: Clients, Tags: , , , , , , ,

One of my clients, Kiss the Girl, recently had two (2!) songs placed on Beverly Hills 90210.  The songs are “Ride” and “She Likes Girls.”  You can see the placements on KTG’s YouTube site.  Also, see this article about the placements with links to purchase the songs on iTunes.

Congrats to Kiss the Girl!

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Joe Walsh v. Joe Walsh

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Categories: Copyright, Infringement, Legal Disputes, Music, Music Industry, Tags: ,

Hopefully, you have heard of the musician, Joe Walsh. There is a guy currently running for Congress, also by the name of Joe Walsh. Candidate Walsh has used a song by Musician Walsh without permission for his campaign. In addition, Candidate Walsh also changed some of the lyrics to musician Walsh’s song. These are both no-no’s under copyright law.

When you own a copyright, you are the only one that can do whatever you want with your work. If anyone else wants to use your work, they have to get your permission. If anyone else wants to make changes to your work, they have to get your permission. (Since you may be wondering, there are still the fair use and parody exceptions if they apply.)

Musician Walsh’s attorney has sent a letter to Candidate Walsh. The letter is absolutely true in its statement of law, but written in a manner that is hysterical. My favorite part is where Peter Paterno (Musician Walsh’s attorney) says “Now, I know why you used Joe’s music — it’s undoubtedly because it’s a lot better than any music you or your staff could have written. But that’s the point. Since Joe writes better songs than you do, the Copryright Act rewards him by letting him decide who gets to use the songs he writes.” I applaud you, Mr. Paterno.

Click here to read the article and be sure to click on the link within the article to read the full letter.

This site is not intended or offered as legal advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only. They are not legal advice or legal opinions on any specific matters. If they are considered advertisements, they are general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., and you or any other user. The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. The law may vary based on the facts of particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel. No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this site. Unless expressly stated otherwise, no document herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state. For more information, please click on the “Disclaimer” section in the top menu of this site.

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Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger approved

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Categories: Business, Music Industry, Tags: , ,

Last year, Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced they would merge. Then the Department of Justice (DOJ) got involved to investigate whether the merger violated anti-trust laws. After an investigation, the merger has been approved.

The new company, called Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. will thankfully be subject to conditions, such as the separation of ticketing and concert promotions services. However, it will still be one insanely large company with a stake in concerts, ticketing, merchandising and even the sale of recorded music.

What this means for artists: The industry is shifting to a model of large companies handling all aspects of an artist’s career. I personally think this is a bad idea because instead of having a company dedicated to performing one service well, you will have one company performing many services on a mediocre level. You wouldn’t want your dentist to also be your carpet cleaner and personal stylist, would you?

An artist needs the people servicing each part of his career to be experts in that area. It is fine if one company employs experts in each area it handles and services the artist with the artist’s best interests in mind. However, this is not always the case. Artists need to make sure whatever company they sign with is competent in all services it provides and does not screw the artist over by taking too large of a cut from some or all areas of service.

What this means for consumers/concert attendees: It is said this merger will also be better for the consumer because ticket prices will come down. AEG, a promoter behind Live Nation is also established as a competitor of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. under the DOJ’s imposed conditions. This is good because the DOJ is trying to not let this new venture have a monopoly over the concert and ticket industries. However, I will believe that ticket prices will come down when I see them coming down.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

To be continued…

This site is not intended or offered as legal advice. These materials have been prepared for educational and information purposes only. They are not legal advice or legal opinions on any specific matters. If they are considered advertisements, they are general in nature and not directed towards any particular person or entity. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., and you or any other user. The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. The law may vary based on the facts of particular circumstances or the law in your state. You should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel. No person should act or fail to act on any legal matter based on the contents of this site. Unless expressly stated otherwise, no document herein should be assumed to be produced by an attorney licensed in your state. For more information, please click on the “Disclaimer” section in the top menu of this site.
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