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2022 Entertainment and Media Law Conference

Date: Thursday April 7, 2022

For 19 years, the Media Law Resource Center has hosted an annual forum at which renowned experts discuss the most timely, important, and controversial topics in entertainment and media law.

With sessions this year exploring intellectual property clearances, non-fungible tokens, libel-in-fiction claims, and true crime productions, the MLRC Entertainment and Media Law Conference is a cutting-edge career resource for entertainment, media and IP attorneys in the service of motion picture and television studios, media outlets, talent agencies, advertising agencies, and PR firms.

Date: April 7, 2022

Location: Tateuchi Democracy Forum Theater at the Japanese American National Museum, 111 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (map) (parking instructions)


More Speakers to be Announced Soon

1:00 – 1:45pm: Check-In 

1:45 – 1:55pm: Welcome and Introductions 

1:55 – 3:15pm: True Crime and the Law 

The True Crime genre has experienced a renaissance across a wide variety of media, from print to podcasts, but such productions have presented new twists on traditional newsgathering questions and challenges unique to the genre. Our panel will discuss issues including how to navigate relationships with subjects and the police, how to set boundaries when working with law enforcement, what happens when you gather material that is later relevant to a criminal prosecution, and more. 

Speakers: Andrew Jarecki, Filmmaker and Director of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst; Dan Laidman, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; Brandie Lustbader, VP, Content & Production Counsel, A+E Networks; Richard Winton, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times; Moderator: George Freeman, Executive Director, Media Law Resource Center 

3:15 – 3:30pm: Break

3:30 – 4:30pm: “No Identification with Actual Persons (Living or Deceased) Should be Inferred”: Libel in Fiction 

This session will explore the complex liability issues that can face the producers of docudramas and “inspired by” content when they incorporate aspects of real life into works with a fictional component. Using recent cases as a springboard, this session will explore the risks of using composite characters, challenges in obtaining releases from everyone involved in real-life events, dealing with unexpected plaintiffs, and other questions. 

Speakers: Jean-Paul Jassy, Partner, Jassy Vick Carolan LLP; Elizabeth Bardsley, Owner, Elizabeth Bardsley & Associates, Inc.; Kathleen Cullinan, Head Counsel, Content Legal Review, Legal & Studios Affairs, Apple; Rory Eastburg, Vice President, Legal Affairs, at NBCUniversal; Robert Gutierrez, Of Counsel, Ballard Spahr LLP; Moderator: Lisa Kohn, Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine

4:30 – 4:45pm: Break 

4:45 – 5:45pm: Hot Topics & Hidden Traps in Clearances 

What do you need to know to clear the use of third-party intellectual property in light of current legal developments? Is there a difference between what the cases say and what you tell your clients to do? How do the considerations change when dealing with scripted versus unscripted versus video games? In this session, our expert panel will discuss the latest twists in clearing content and help you avoid the pitfalls. 

Speakers: Lauren Chamblee, Senior Corporate Counsel – Open Innovation, Microsoft; Dale Cohen, Director of Documentary Film Legal Clinic, UCLA School of Law, and Special Counsel, “Frontline”; Lo-Mae Lai, Director of Legal Affairs, Hi-Rez Studios; Dale Nelson, Partner, Donaldson Callif Perez, LLP; Moderator: Robyn Aronson, Founder, Robyn Aronson Law

5:45 – 6:00pm: Break 

6:00 – 7:00pm: Non-Fungible Tokens: The Most Hollywood Idea of All? 

Major studios and A-list talent have jumped on the NFT bandwagon as part of their merchandising and marketing campaigns, and we are already seeing the legal fallout as digital dreams get caught up in a thicket of IP rights, licenses and online terms of service. We’ll get you up to speed on what NFTs are and the traps your clients can encounter as they enter this space. 

Speakers: Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair / Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School; Lance Koonce, Partner, Klaris Law PLLC; Heidy Vaquerano, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP; Moderator: David Aronoff, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP 

7:00 – 8:00pm: Catered Reception 

COVID-19 Protocols

All attendees must provide proof of full vaccination, and we will follow all masking and other protocols required by government or by the venue. We encourage you to send documentation ahead of time – please email Those registering at the door must bring proof of vaccination.

Planning Committee

  • David Aronoff, Fox Rothschild
  • George Freeman, MLRC
  • Jeff Hermes, MLRC
  • Lisa Kohn, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Tamara Moore, Southwestern Law School
  • Lisa Schwartz, A+E Networks
  • Kevin Vick, Jassy Vick Carolan
  • Aaron Wais, Lathrop GPM
  • Joel Weiner, Katten Muchin Rosenman

Continuing Legal Education Credit

This conference offers 4 hours of California CLE credit. Southwestern Law School is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider.


$275 for members, $325 for non-members

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