News

Partner Nancy E. Wolff Quoted in The New York Law Journal Article, “’Right to Publicity’ Bills in NY Legislature Stir Free Speech, Liability Concerns”

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP partner Nancy E. Wolff was quoted in The New York Law Journal today, in “’Right to Publicity’ Bills in NY Legislature Stir Free Speech, Liability Concerns,” by Andrew Denny.

The following is an excerpt:

Nancy Wolff, a partner at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard who represents a trade association of image libraries, said she has concerns that the removal of a domiciliary requirement would invite forum shoppers to bring claims in New York courts.

Wolff said she did not think a broader-based right to publicity like California’s would be a good fit for New York, where the right is strictly constructed and backed up with more than a century’s worth of case law.

“New York has been sort of First Amendment friendly, media-friendly in interpreting that narrowly,” Wolff said.

Read the full article on The New York Law Journal website here.

CDAS Hires Partner Andy Miller to Expand Its TV and Entertainment Practice and Growing Beverly Hills Office

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is expanding its entertainment practice with the strategic hire of attorney Andy Miller, who has joined the firm as a partner.

Mr. Miller joined CDAS from Turner Entertainment Networks on March 1.

Andy Miller

Andy Miller is the newest addition to the Firm’s growing Beverly Hills office and brings 21 plus years of legal and non-legal industry experience on all sides of the business to the representation of his clients in private practice.

Mr. Miller practiced as in-house counsel at The Disney Channel, TBS and TNT where he negotiated and drafted production agreements, license agreements and above and below the line deals for both scripted, non-scripted and animated television shows, overseeing the projects from acquisition through development, production, distribution and to exhibition, and providing legal advice at each step as the production attorney on such projects. Shows for which Mr. Miller provided legal services for include “The Walking Dead,” “Good Behavior,” “The Detour,” “Tarantula,” “Wrecked,” “Shake It Up” and “Make Your Mark.” He started his legal career as an associate at the law firm Doyle & Miller, where he acquired experience on all platforms and with a wide array of clients.

Mr. Miller is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA), founded a production company, is an Emmy nominated producer and has won a Peabody award for his work as a staff writer on “Friday Night Lights.”

“I’m thrilled to join CDAS,” says Mr. Miller. “Their expertise and varied clients makes it the perfect atmosphere for my re-entry into private practice.”

Frederick P. Bimbler, co-head of CDAS’s Entertainment practice explains, “So many of us at CDAS have learned the entertainment industry as professionals and artists, not solely from the practice of law. Andy’s creative background and years of in-house experience make him a perfect match for our firm’s Beverly Hills office.”

Chambers and Partners 2018 Global Practice Guide for Trade Marks Features CDAS Partners as Authors of the “Trends and Developments” Article in the Guide’s USA Chapter

Chambers and Partners 2018 Global Practice Guide for Trade Marks is now available, featuring CDAS Partners Eleanor M. Lackman, Joshua B. Sessler, Scott J. Sholder and Nancy E. Wolff as authors of the “Trends and Developments” article in the guide’s USA chapter. Read it here.

 

Partner Nancy E. Wolff Quoted in The New York Times Article, “Artist Says Kendrick Lamar Video for ‘Black Panther’ Song Stole Her Work”

The New York Times, February 11, 2018

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP partner Nancy E. Wolff was quoted in The New York Times yesterday, in “Artist Says Kendrick Lamar Video for ‘Black Panther’ Song Stole Her Work,” by Robin Pogrebin.

The following is an excerpt:

Nancy E. Wolff, a copyright lawyer who currently serves as the president of the Copyright Society of the USA, said that the video’s directors are likely to argue that the images in the video are not exact copies. But because the gold-on-black aesthetic of Ms. Viktor’s work “is so strong,” Ms. Wolff said, “it’s just going to look like it’s the same.”

“It’s really tricky because style is not protected,” Ms. Wolff added, “but I can see why everyone assumed this artist was involved.”

Read the full article on The New York Times website here.

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is Pleased to Announce that Simon N. Pulman has Become a Partner of the Firm

CDAS LLP is pleased to announce that Simon N. Pulman has become a partner of the firm.

An emerging young leader in the entertainment industry, Simon is a transactional attorney primarily counseling clients in entertainment and media law matters, focusing on television, film, and interactive entertainment transactions, including representing digital influencers and esports teams. Simon also acts as outside business affairs for a number of high level television studios and production companies, negotiating all forms of development, production, financing and licensing deals.

He has significant experience in structuring and negotiating digital distribution agreements and other cutting-edge transactions at the convergence of traditional media and emerging technology platforms, with a special interest in digital video, streaming platforms and SVOD.

Variety included Simon in its 2017 Legal Impact Report “Up Next” list and since 2015, he has been recognized in Super Lawyers magazine as a New York Metro “Rising Star” in the field of entertainment and sports.

Simon frequently writes about entertainment and digital content related matters, and has been published in multiple industry publications. Industry events where he has participated as a speaker include Digital Hollywood NY and LA, Media Summit, DOC NYC, Made in NY Media Center, Social Media Club, Biz-eSports Summit. In March, Simon will lead a mentor session at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

Simon is a graduate of Duke University and Vanderbilt University Law School.

Benjamin Jaffe named an “Up Next” Honoree in Variety’s 2017 Dealmakers Report

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) associate Benjamin Jaffe was named an “Up Next” honoree in Variety’s “2017 Dealmakers Report.” The highly anticipated feature, published on December 5th, profiled the people behind the most important entertainment industry deals of the past 12 months – executives, lawyers, financiers, entrepreneurs and others from all sectors of the business, including film, TV, games, music and digital media. The “Up Next” list profiled up-and-coming younger dealmakers on the verge of a career breakthrough who are 35 or younger. To read more and review the  complete list, click here.

 

CDAS Supports Booming Podcasting Industry; Advises Brooklyn Podcast Festival and STEAL THE STARS

“When are you launching your podcasts?” It’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when, how many, and are you monetizing them?” With 4.1 billion downloads last year, almost 50 million weekly listeners, and by far the highest CPMs in digital, podcasts are on everyone’s radar. Once the realm of stand-up comedians and hobbyists, now content creators and businesses as varied as playwrights, journalists, television networks, magazines, design firms, authors, and music venues are getting behind the mic and are increasingly finding the need for legal support.

Lindsay W. Bowen

The lawyers at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) are deeply knowledgeable in the expanding world of personal audio on demand and their clients represent over 25% market share of the podcasting industry. The firm advises the world’s largest pure-play podcast network, audio dramatists, perennial top ten shows, popular hosts, app developers, production companies, podcast cooperatives, directors, sound designers, producers, and the Brooklyn Podcast Festival, on now from November 14-19. Continue reading

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP Recognized as a Tier 1 National Firm for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures & Television by U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” for 2018

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is proud to announce it has been named a Tier 1 national firm for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures & Television by U.S. News Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” for 2018. CDAS is one of only 25 firms to receive this honor. Review the full list here.

U.S. News determines its “Best Law Firms” based on client and peer feedback on whether a firm is: knowledgeable; responsive; civil; cost-effective; understanding of a client’s needs; and likely to be recommended to another client. The selection panel gave a score to each firm and grouped them in tiers, with Tier 1 being the highest. U.S. News said that it uses a tier system because many of the top-scoring law firms are separated by small margins. U.S. News ranked law firms in 186 metropolitan areas across the U.S. and 122 areas of practice.

Earlier in the year, six CDAS partners were named to the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. These partners were nominated and selected by their peers within their practice areas.

Frederick P. Bimbler         Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television

Susan H. Bodine                Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, Media Law

Andrea F. Cannistraci       Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television

Eleanor M. Lackman         Copyright Law

Stephen Sheppard            Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television

Nancy E. Wolff                   Copyright Law, Trademark Law

Partners Aileen Atkins, Frederick P. Bimbler, Susan H. Bodine and Laura Sher Recognized in Variety’s “2017 Dealmakers Elite New York”

Four Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard LLP (CDAS) partners have been recognized in Variety’s “2017 Dealmakers Elite New York:” Aileen Atkins, Frederick P. Bimbler, Susan H. Bodine and Laura Sher.

“Dealmakers Elite New York” profiles the people behind the major entertainment industry deals of the past 12 months – executives, lawyers, financiers, entrepreneurs and others from all sectors of the business, including film, TV, games, live theater, music and digital media.

Aileen is co-head of CDAS’s Corporate Entertainment Group, Fred and Sue are co-heads of the Firm’s Entertainment Group, of which Laura is also a partner.

Aileen was recognized for her work in entertainment, music, digital media, startups and employment involving entertainment.

Fred’s work on Chazz Palminteri’s stage musical of “A Bronx Tale,” the Paddy Chayefsky estate for a stage version of “Network” and with the late Carrie Fisher was noted in the feature.

Sue’s representation of behind-the-camera talent, A&E Television Networks film projects and various TV/film slate financings was highlighted.

Laura, who joined from CAA this year, was recognized for her representations of Blumhouse TV for Syfy’s adaptation of “The Purge” and Showtime’s TV miniseries on newsman Roger Ailes.

To read more and view the complete list, click here.

14 CDAS Attorneys Selected to Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Top 50 Women and Top 100 Lists

Fourteen Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of New York Metro Super Lawyers®. Spanning various practice areas, Super Lawyers® recognizes the top lawyers in the New York Metro area via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation.

Every year, Super Lawyers® evaluates lawyers across the country for its annual list of top attorneys. Each candidate is measured against 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Nominees from more than 70 practice areas are considered. The patented multi-phase selection process is rigorous and methodical.

In addition to being designated Super Lawyers® again this year, partners Nancy E. Wolff and Eleanor M. Lackman both appear on the Top 50: 2017 Women New York — Metro Super Lawyers® list.  Nancy also appears on the Top 100: 2017 New York — Metro Super Lawyers® list for the second consecutive year.

Only the New York Metro lawyers who receive the highest point totals during the selection process are further recognized in New York Metro Super Lawyers® “Top Lists.” Our attorneys were also recognized in the following categories:

Continue reading