2009 Lecture 2 Actual

2009 Lecture 2 Actual - ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of...

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ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of Southern California Fall 2009 / Lecture 2 Prof. Michael Grizzi
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Announcement from the Office of the (SBA) President Grammy Foundation writing competition
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From your classmates … Why don’t actors contract to appear in whatever film or television show a production company chooses for them (as in Japan)? EML (p. 848): emergence of television brought an end to long-term contracts Don’t the conflict of interest rules apply to all lawyers and fields? Why do we mention the rules in an entertainment law context?
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Last week: representing talent in an attorney capacity It is often the very nature of the role of an entertainment lawyer representing talent that the lawyer may often assume non-traditional legal roles such as deal-making. Why would that be? Entertainment firms: multiple clients and connections give them the inside track in securing attractive deals for their clients. EML notes that that typically it is only after a deal has gone wrong that the ex-client takes legal umbrage at the alleged conflict of interest.
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EML asserts (slyly) that … The feeling of many is that, in Hollywood, a representative with a potential conflict is, even better, someone with an actual contact . Let’s pause a moment. Why might creative clients in Hollywood tend to minimize the significance of conflicts?
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Hollywood competition More than 40,000 story ideas and scripts are registered with the WGA per year (and that doesn’t count the ones that are not registered, or only registered with the U.S. Copyright Office). Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) – National Estimates Actors Employment: 44,360 Mean hourly wage: $29.05 Producers and Directors Employment: 78,060 Mean hourly wage: $$39.92
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Attorney conflicts of interest There is always the risk that attorneys may protect their special relationships by promoting more prominent or lucrative clients at the expense of less famous clients. MRPC 1.7
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California and New York Side note: we will often focus on the law of these two states. Why? New York’s disciplinary rules require at least oral disclosure of a potential conflict and client consent. California’s disciplinary rules require written client consent. Note that even with consent, conflicting representation is not always permissible, if representation of the new client would be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibility to a current client, or representation of the new client would be directly adverse to the interests of another client.
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(1992, Case No. 261-55-92 N.Y. Sup. Ct.) We discussed the case where Billy Joel sued his former New York lawyer, Joel Grubman, in negotiations with CBS Records. for conflict of interest where Grubman represented the singer in negotiations with CBS Records while also representing his manager, top executives of the label, and the merchandising company which
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2009 for the course LAW ENTERTAINM taught by Professor Grizzi during the Fall '09 term at USC.

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2009 Lecture 2 Actual - ENTERTAINMENT LAW University of...

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