Though they are often working in the background, entertainment lawyers hold a crucial position in the entertainment industry. They are advisors, legal experts, negotiators, and often the public face of legal proceedings involving artists, musicians, and other entertainers. Some entertainment lawyers, such as John Branca, are known for representing high-profile clients and those clients’ families.
Behind the scenes, these specialized lawyers are providing many additional valuable functions that support entertainers in their creative endeavors.
Negotiating and Managing Contracts
Perhaps the most important aspect of an entertainment lawyer’s job is the negotiation and management of contracts. The negotiation of contracts can be a complex process that requires significant legal expertise. An entertainment lawyer often works closely with agents and other representatives of the client to ensure that the terms of a contract are reasonable and that their client is properly compensated for their work. As a part of this aspect of their job, the type of contracts they may oversee include:
- Sponsorship agreements
- Distribution deals
- Financing contracts
- Record deals
- Licensing agreements
Facilitating Industry Networking
Entertainment lawyers are highly connected in various industries and often link their clients with the people they need to be successful in their careers. Additionally, a creative professional can feel confident in these networking relationships because the connection has already been vetted by a legal advisor.
Advising on Union and Guild Membership
Entertainment lawyers can help creative professionals join the appropriate unions or guilds for their professions. Once a member, the artist may also need legal representation and advice concerning ongoing guild matters.
Protecting Creator’s Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property rights protect a creator’s work from being used without their permission. However, intellectual property claims can be complicated and tricky to pursue. Legal experts have the capability to handles these complex cases and pursue legal challenges against unauthorized uses.
Providing Sound Legal Advice
Entertainers deal with many people in the course of their work, and these people often have very different opinions and advice. An entertainment lawyer can provide the sound legal advice a creative professional needs to navigate the uncertain entertainment landscape.
When controversy strikes, these lawyers have the experience to help entertainers best manage their public and legal responses to preserve their reputation and protect their career during turbulent times.
Entertainment lawyers work with artists, musicians, and other creative professionals to provide the behind-the-scenes support needed for entertainers to find and maintain success in their careers.