Six CDAS Attorneys Named to the 2018 Best Lawyers in America List

CDAS had six attorneys selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America list.

According to its website, Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer review evaluation. More than 83,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and the organization received more than 13 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world.

For the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 7.3 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

The CDAS attorneys listed in the 2018 Best Lawyers in America include:

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

J. Stephen Sheppard         Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television

Nancy E. Wolff                   Copyright Law, Trademark Law


CDAS Brings in Partner Laura Sher to Expand its Entertainment and Television Practice

Laura Sher

Laura Sher joined CDAS from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on June 15 and brings 17 years of industry experience on all sides of the business to the representation of her clients in private practice.

In TV Business Affairs in New York at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), she worked across scripted, alternative, digital and international client groups to provide strategic business affairs advice and support, including advising agency clients on industry trends and market standards with respect to deal parameters and structures.

Blumhouse Television Co-Presidents Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold comment, “Laura Sher has been instrumental in helping Blumhouse TV relaunch as a studio. She has a wide view of our strategic objectives and is a great strategic dealmaker and counselor.”

 IDW Entertainment President David Ozer comments, “I have known Laura for many years, and am thrilled to be working together in her new role. She is truly a gifted attorney with incredible industry knowledge and an eye towards deal making.”

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Eleanor M. Lackman Named a Law360 “Rising Star” for second consecutive year for Media and Entertainment

Cowan DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard LLP attorney Eleanor M. Lackman has been named a Law360 Rising Star for the second consecutive year. A Partner at the firm, Eleanor is among one of 156 attorneys included in the full list and one of only 4 attorneys recognized for their dedicated work in the practice area of Media and Entertainment.

2017 Law360 Rising Star

Eleanor M. Lackman

Law360’s “Rising Stars” recognition is reserved for top legal talent under 40 years of age and “whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.”  After carefully reviewing more than 1,200 submissions for the Rising Star distinction, Law360’s team of editors arrived at the list of attorneys under 40 hailing from 75 law firms and spanning 35 practice areas. Winners were selected based on their career accomplishments in their respective practice areas.

Eleanor’s full Law360 Rising Stars profile will be published in the coming weeks. Congratulations, Eleanor!

To review the list of 2017 winners, click here.


Partner Eleanor M. Lackman Wins “Best in Copyright” at 2017 Euromoney Americas Women in Business Law Awards Dinner

Eleanor M. Lackman

The best female lawyers from across the Americas came together at Essex House on June 8th to celebrate Euromoney Legal Media Group’s 6th Annual Americas Women in Business Law Awards. The audience of in-house and private practice attorneys gathered to celebrate the achievements of those firms setting the standard in terms of female friendly work practices, and women leading the field in the legal sector across the Americas.

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) partner Eleanor M. Lackman was presented with the “Best in Copyright” award. The individual practice awards recognize the best lawyer in a specific practice area and are judged on the basis of professional accomplishments as well as advocacy and influence in her field over the past year.

Eleanor was also nominated for “Best in Entertainment,” while CDAS was nominated for both “Best National Mentoring Program (North America)” and “Best National Firm for Talent Management (North America).”

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Chambers USA 2017 Ranks Partners Lackman and Wolff as Top IP Attorneys; Recognizes Two Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) Practice Groups

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is proud to announce that partners Eleanor M. Lackman and Nancy E. Wolff and both CDAS’s Entertainment and IP, Copyright and Litigation Practices have been recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers USA 2017: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business guide.

Eleanor M. Lackman

This is the fourth consecutive year Ms. Lackman has been included in the Chambers USA guide and a first for Ms. Wolff. They are both among just 43 New York lawyers ranked in the field of “Intellectual Property: Trade Mark and Copyright.”

Clients told Chambers that Ms. Lackman is “very precise, very detailed” and is “really smart and knows a lot of different areas” including entertainment, technology and e-commerce. Clients also say “she’s very cost-effective without compromising on quality.”

Clients also told Chambers Ms. Wolff is an “expert in copyright law” and “zealously represents her clients” in the traditional and digital media sectors. She is regarded by clients as “the leading expert on the rights of visual artists.”

Nancy E. Wolff

For the second time, CDAS’s Entertainment Practice was awarded a regional designation of “Noted Firm” in “Media & Entertainment: Film, Music, Television & Theater – New York,” while CDAS’s IP, Copyright and Litigation Practice makes its debut as a  “Noted Firm” in “Intellectual Property: Trade Mark and Copyright – New York.”

The annual guide ranks law firms and lawyers based on in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers, technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.

Law360 – DMCA 2.0: A Potential Shift In Safe Harbor Jurisprudence

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is almost 20 years old, and while the statute hasn’t evolved, the internet has, and with it — albeit at a slower pace — the common law interpreting the DMCA. The scope and applicability of the “safe harbor” provision of the DMCA, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c), has been a hot topic in the federal courts for years, but litigants and courts may be shifting their attention toward less scrutinized areas of the safe harbor.

Read in full here: DMCA 2.0: A Potential Shift In Safe Harbor Jurisprudence

Partner Aileen Atkins Named to Variety’s “2017 Women’s Impact Report”


Aileen Atkins

Aileen Atkins, partner and co-head of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard LLP’s (CDAS) Corporate Entertainment Practice is featured in Variety’s “2017 Women’s Impact Report.”

Aileen is recognized for her work handling a range of digital and tech clients at CDAS  – where four of seven equity partners are women — and for her in-house general counsel roles at Best Buy, Universal Music and Napster.

The “Women’s Impact Report” profiles women — creative talent, entrepreneurs, agents, lawyers, managers, producers, and executives working at studios, networks, in the music and theater industries, and digital media — who have created new initiatives, sealed game-changing deals, or reached an apex in their professional lives that have                 moved the needle in their business. To read more and view                                                                                        the complete list, click here.

CDAS Brings in Partner Carole E. Handler and Associate Brianna Dahlberg to expand its West Coast Litigation, Entertainment and IP practice

Carol Handler 1Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is expanding its West Coast litigation, entertainment, and intellectual property practice with the strategic hire of a two-person litigation team, led by Carole E. Handler, who joins the firm as a partner in CDAS’s Beverly Hills office as of April 1, 2017.

Ms. Handler is a nationally recognized litigator on copyright, trademark, entertainment, and antitrust cases.  She has handled numerous groundbreaking cases throughout her career, representing clients in the motion picture, telecom, fashion, sports, and other industries on matters involving entertainment, copyright, competition, and new media.

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Frederick P. Bimbler, Eleanor M. Lackman and Simon N. Pulman Named to Variety’s 2017 Legal Impact Report

Three Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard LLP (CDAS) attorneys have been recognized in Variety’s “2017 Legal Impact Report:” Frederick P. Bimbler, Eleanor M. Lackman and “Up Next” honoree Simon N. Pulman.

The annual list includes the top entertainment attorneys that have made a significant impact on the industry over the past twelve months. Fred is a partner and a co-head of CDAS’s Entertainment Group and Eleanor is a partner and a co-head of the firm’s Litigation Group, while Simon is an associate in the Entertainment Group.

Fred represents celebrities, producers, writers, directors and financiers in all entertainment arenas – traditional television and streaming entertainment, motion picture, live stage theatre, digital media and e-commerce.

Eleanor focuses her practice on media and entertainment litigation, brand protection and enforcement, and copyright and trademark counseling and strategy.

Simon is a transactional attorney primarily counseling clients in entertainment and media law matters, focusing on interactive entertainment, television, film and publishing transactions.

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

CDAS Wins Fair Use Ruling Over Facebook Livestream Birth Video

In a ruling from the bench, CDAS client Coed Media Group, LLC (“CMG”) succeeded in securing the dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit over a news story reporting on a man who live-streamed the birth of his son on Facebook.  Plaintiff Kali Kanongataa accused CMG of infringing the copyright in his home movie when CMG posted a screen grab of a single frame of the 45-minute video on (and its Pinterest page) to illustrate a story reporting on the newsworthy fact that Kanongataa streamed the video to world.  Judge Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, after full briefing and oral argument by the parties, ruled in open court that CMG’s use of the screen grab was both a “fair use” as commentary and criticism, as well as a “de minimis” use that was too small to constitute actionable copyright infringement.  The court concurred with CMG that the screen shot constituted approximately .012% of the entire video and was simply too miniscule to be considered “substantially similar” to the video as a whole.  The court also dismissed Kanongataa’s claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which accused CMG of removing “copyright management information” from the video, agreeing with CMG that Kanongataa had failed to state a plausible claim that CMG had intended to conceal an infringement.  CMG was represented by Nancy E. Wolff and Scott J. Sholder, who argued the motion.