Speaker Bios: 2022 Entertainment and Media Law Conference
David Aronoff, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP. A seasoned entertainment and media law attorney, David Aronoff has more than 30 years of experience handling a variety of complex matters, including breach of contract, copyright, trademark, right of publicity, accounting and defamation claims. David regularly represents and advises a variety of business entities, including motion picture and television studios, production companies, broadcasters, Internet websites and podcasters, video game companies, music companies and advertising agencies in their business and marketing decisions and disputes.
Robyn Aronson, Founder, Robyn Aronson Law. Prior to founding her own practice, Robyn Aronson was the head of business affairs for Disney+’s unscripted, documentary, and variety programming (both domestic and international), where she negotiated deals for features and series around the world. Previously, Robyn led the business and legal affairs team for Netflix’s original documentaries group: negotiating and drafting deals, managing production legal, and handling IP- and rights-related issues. Joining Netflix just as it committed to producing original content, she established the production infrastructure and deal parameters for original documentary and unscripted programming and contributed to the creation of Netflix’s internal studio. She was responsible for the business and legal aspects of Netflix’s Oscar-winning films White Helmets and Icarus, in addition to several other award-winning and popular titles such as 13th, Dirty Money, The Keepers, Last Chance U, Salt Fat Acid Heat, and Netflix’s first talk shows, Chelsea and Bill Nye Saves the World. She also handled business and legal affairs on several of Netflix’s stand-up comedy specials and managed the team responsible for rights and clearances across all of Netflix’s scripted and unscripted original programming. Additionally, Robyn has worked at Hulu, where she was the lead lawyer for original programming; and has served in IP- and production-related roles at NBCUniversal and Viacom. She’s been the Co-Chair of the California Committee of the Media Law Resource Center. Robyn is admitted in both New York and California, and received her law degree from New York University and her BA in International Relations from Tufts University. She speaks French and legalese, and lives in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Bardsley, Owner, Elizabeth Bardsley & Associates, Inc. Elizabeth Bardsley & Associates has been a trusted ally in the entertainment community since 1993, known for its ability to interface with legal advisors, writers, producers, and directors in an effective and cost-efficient manner. They are the “Script Annotation Specialists” and now proudly offer a multitude of research and specialty services, designed to meet the ever-changing needs of filmmakers. Their specialties include script annotations, book annotations, fact checking and text research, procurement of court documents, timelines, writer consultations, script/source/subject comparisons, and development risk assessment reports.
Lauren Chamblee, Senior Corporate Counsel – Open Innovation, Microsoft. Lauren Chamblee is a Senior Corporate Counsel on Microsoft’s Open Innovation counseling team, which helps Microsoft establish and implement its copyright, trade secret, and data related strategies. Lauren regularly advises on online content sharing, in-game asset clearance, platform responsibility, and other issues surrounding content creation, protection, and licensing that impact Microsoft’s products and services. Lauren joined Microsoft after nearly a decade in the Intellectual Property, Media, & Technology group of a leading global law firm, focused on trademark and copyright litigation, strategic enforcement, portfolio management, IP transactions, and ongoing client counseling in the technology, consumer goods, automotive, and fashion industries, among others. Lauren hails from the Midwest but currently resides in Washington, D.C. She attended the University of Notre Dame and Yale Law School and spent time teaching English in France along the way.
Dale Cohen, Director of Documentary Film Legal Clinic, UCLA School of Law, and Special Counsel, “Frontline.” Dale Cohen is Director of Documentary Film Legal Clinic at UCLA School of Law, where he leads a group of student-clinicians providing pro bono legal services to documentary filmmakers. He also teaches News Media Law in the Digital Age. His research interests include media, entertainment, and communications law. Dale also serves as Special Counsel to FRONTLINE, the award‐winning PBS documentary series where he counsels and leads the news team and producers on legal issues and ethical standards. His extensive experience as a media lawyer, litigator and news executive includes positions at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, NPR, Cox Enterprises, Inc. and Tribune Company. Dale was also a litigation partner at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now Denton’s) in Chicago. Dale’s teaching experience includes media law courses at University of North Carolina School of Law, Emory College, University of Maryland, and Northwestern University. He is a frequent speaker at documentary film festivals and media law conferences. Dale earned his B.A. cum laude at Syracuse University and his J.D. cum laude at Northwestern University School of Law. He is co-author of leading textbook Media and the Law (2nd ed., LexisNexis).
Kathleen Cullinan, Head Counsel, Content Legal Review, Legal & Studios Affairs, Apple. Kathleen Cullinan is head of legal content review for all original content at Apple, including film, television, and podcast series, both scripted and non-scripted. Before joining Apple, she was a network attorney focused on true-crime programming for NBCUniversal and an associate in the media group at Davis Wright Tremaine. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2012, Reed College in 2002, and the University of Maryland in 2005 with a Masters in Journalism. Kathleen reported on crime for several years for local newspapers in Baltimore and in Florida and was a journalism fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She’s currently working on a treatise on the legal doctrines that most affect entertainment content, within defamation, right of publicity, copyright, trademark, and First Amendment jurisprudence.
Rory Eastburg is Vice President, Legal Affairs, at NBCUniversal. He’s a show lawyer for biopics and other scripted Universal Studio Group projects, including Gaslit (Starz), Angelyne (Peacock), Never Have I Ever (Netflix), Mr. Robot (USA), Homecoming (Amazon), and Battlestar Galactica (Peacock). Rory previously worked at Davis Wright Tremaine, handling litigation and vetting matters for clients including The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, MSNBC, Hearst, The Atlantic, and Discovery. He attended the University of Chicago and UC Berkeley School of Law, and spent five years at the Reporters Committee and the Student Press Law Center. Rory is happy to join Tami Kameda Sims and Dan Laidman as the newest co-chair of MLRC’s California chapter.
George Freeman, Executive Director, Media Law Resource Center. George Freeman is Executive Director of the Media Law Resource Center. He was most recently Of Counsel to the law firm of Jenner & Block. He is a former Assistant General Counsel of the New York Times Company, where he was at the forefront of numerous high-profile cases for the company and its affiliated businesses. George is a well-known speaker on media and First Amendment issues. He is the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia Journalism School and also teaches at New York University and CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has led or participated in many media groups and is the founder and Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law annual conference. He is a graduate of Amherst and the Harvard Law School.
Kevin J. Greene, John J. Schumacher Chair / Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School. A graduate of the Yale Law School and a U.S Marine Corps veteran, Professor Kevin J. Greene is the John J. Schumacher Chair and Professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California, where he teaches Copyright Law and Entertainment Law.
Professor Greene’s award-winning scholarship explores copyright, trademark and publicity rights issues, and the impact of intellectual property law on African-American creativity. His scholarship is cited extensively, and has been cited in Congressional testimony. Professor Greene practiced law in New York at the premier firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, representing companies such as Time Warner/HBO, and at a top New York entertainment law boutique firm, Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Selz, where his clients included film production companies, film director Spike Lee, and music artists including Harry Connick, Jr., Bobby Brown, and the seminal rap group Public Enemy. As an expert witness-consultant in copyright and IP cases, Greene worked with funk music legend George Clinton in a landmark copyright case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2020, Professor Greene was the lead IP expert in a landmark $9.5 million California jury trial on contracts and right of publicity issues. In 2016, the Intellectual Property Institute of the State Bar of California selected Professor Greene for its highest honor, the Vanguard Award in the category of Academics. In 2018, Professor Greene was elected as a member of the American Bar Foundation (“ABF). In 2020, Professor Greene was selected by the National Bar Association as one of the top 100 African-American attorneys in California.
Robert Gutierrez, Of Counsel, Ballard Spahr LLP. Robert Gutierrez recently joined Ballard Spahr after many years as a partner at Leopold, Petrich & Smith. He has represented content creators, producers and distributors in the entertainment and music industry for over twenty-five years – from pre-broadcast script and title clearance to post-broadcast defense of the gamut of entertainment-related claims, including breach of contract, defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, idea submission, and copyright and trademark infringement. His defense of an invasion of privacy claim against a documentary producer resulted in the California Supreme Court overturning its seminal privacy decision in Briscoe v. Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
Andrew Jarecki, Filmmaker and Director of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Andrew Jarecki is an American filmmaker, musician, and entrepreneur. He is best known for the Emmy-winning 2015 documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which led to the arrest and imprisonment of Durst. He is also known for the documentary film Capturing the Friedmans, which won eighteen international prizes including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle award, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He also co-founded Moviefone and created the KnowMe iOS platform.
Jean-Paul Jassy, Partner, Jassy Vick Carolan LLP. Jean-Paul (JP) Jassy litigates nationwide with an emphasis on disputes in the media, internet, First Amendment and entertainment arenas. He also routinely represents all types of businesses and individuals in multi-million dollar breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, copyright, trademark, idea submission and profit participation cases. JP’s clients include internet giants, television networks, metropolitan newspapers, motion picture studios, nonprofits dedicated to free press and free expression, top-flight production companies and award-winning reporters. JP also routinely advises production companies and publishers in ways to avoid and mitigate liability. He has taught full-length courses on First Amendment and media law at prestigious law schools. For over a decade, his peers have named him annually to The Best Lawyers in America® in the First Amendment field and recognized him four times as “Lawyer of the Year” in Los Angeles in his fields of practice. JP founded two law firms listed as Tier 1 (top tier) by US News & World Report, both nationally and locally. He has successfully litigated cases in the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. His work has been covered in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post, among other media outlets.
Lisa Kohn, Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Lisa Kohn is a media and entertainment litigation attorney focused on copyright, trademark, defamation, right of publicity, privacy, idea submission, and contract disputes in federal and state court. She represents broadcast and cable television networks, film studios, recording companies, video game publishers, newspapers, and book publishers, and is currently on secondment working in-house at Facebook. Prior to working at Davis Wright Tremaine, Lisa was Senior Counsel, Content Production & Risk at NBC Universal Media, LLC.
Lance Koonce, Partner, Klaris Law PLLC. Lance Koonce is a partner and head of the litigation practice at Klaris, and specializes in intellectual property and media particularly in the context of new technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. As a litigator, Lance has tried multiple complex federal cases including jury trials, and has worked on a range of high-profile matters involving intellectual property and First Amendment rights over the past two decades. As a counselor and transactional lawyer, he provides advice to clients from individual authors and artists to startups to multinational corporations in industries including film, television, book and magazine publishing, music, news, advocacy, consumer products, art, and software. Recently, he has devoted a significant amount of his time advising rightsholders and platforms on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other digital assets.
Lo-Mae Lai, Director of Legal Affairs, Hi-Rez Studios. Lo-Mae Lai is an expert media and intellectual property law attorney. She began her legal career in print media, as the pre-publication clearance and trademark attorney at American Media Inc, publisher of celebrity magazines including National Enquirer, US Weekly, and STAR. She went on to work in-house at some of the world’s leading entertainment and technology companies, including Amazon Studios, Netflix, Airbnb, and Paramount Pictures. She is currently the Director of Legal Affairs at Hi-Rez Studios, an Atlanta-based video game company and leader in multiplayer competitive action games including, Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale.
Dan Laidman, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Dan Laidman focuses his practice on media, First Amendment, and intellectual property litigation and counseling, including defamation, newsgathering, prior restraint, reporter’s privilege, records and courtroom access, privacy, right-of-publicity, copyright, and trademark issues. He also advises newspaper, internet, radio, and television clients on pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal issues. Dan co-chairs the California Chapter of the Media Law Resource Center, serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit open government group Californians Aware, and has been on the Davis Wright Tremaine Pro Bono Committee.
Brandie Lustbader, Vice President, Content & Production Counsel A+E Networks. In her role, she is responsible for production counseling and vetting of non-fiction documentary and reality programming, as well as scripted fact-based features, across all of A+E’s networks, including A&E, History and Lifetime. Brandie’s practice includes advising network and studio executives on legal risk and viability of program concepts; reviewing pitches, scripts, program content and marketing campaigns; pre-production counseling of production crews; pre-broadcast review; counseling on copyright and trademark matters; and legal risk assessment company-wide. In addition, she serves as in-studio production counsel for live television broadcasts, advising directors, producers, and Standards & Practices on First Amendment, defamation, privacy, and other legal risks in real time. Prior to joining A+E, Brandie served as Assistant General Counsel for American Media, Inc., the country’s largest celebrity news & gossip magazine publisher. Brandie is a graduate of Brown University and Cornell Law School.
Dale Nelson, Partner, Donaldson Callif Perez, LLP. Dale Nelson is an intellectual property attorney whose practice covers a broad range of domestic and international matters involving copyright, trademark, First Amendment, rights of publicity, domain names, anti-piracy, fair use and public domain. She is well-versed in clearance, chain of title, licensing, distribution, rights management, enforcement, litigation oversight, policy development and advocacy. Prior to joining Donaldson Callif Perez, LLP, she was Vice President, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for Warner Bros., where she worked for more than 27 years.
Heidy Vaquerano, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP. Heidy Vaquerano is an experienced entertainment attorney who provides advice and representation on a broad range of intellectual property and transactional matters. Clients in the music industry rely on Heidy to negotiate music publishing and recording agreements, master use and synchronization licenses, marketing and promotion agreements, as well as work for hire agreements, merchandising agreements and production agreements. She also handles a wide range of deals related to all aspects of live tours, including sponsorships, personnel, marketing and promotion as well as photography and video licenses. In addition, Heidy registers recordings with the Copyright Office and performance rights organizations, and handles copyright, trademark and name and likeness licensing.
Richard Winton, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times. Richard Winton is an investigative crime writer for the Los Angeles Times and part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2011. Known as @lacrimes on Twitter, during almost 30 years at The Times he also has been part of the breaking news staff that won Pulitzers in 1998, 2004 and 2016. He won the ASNE Deadline News award in 2006. A native of England, after getting degrees from the University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he began covering politics but chose to focus on crime because it was less dirty.