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Friday, November 6, 2009

Hire a Lawyer - but Which One?

I am sure most artists that have been in the licensing industry for a while have heard that you need to hire a lawyer to look over your contracts and advise you on whether to sue a company that has infringed on your art. But what lawyer should you hire? Well, you don't want to hire one that knows nothing about intellectual property (IP) law. Law is a speciality just like the medical profession and lawyers are trained in one area of the law so they do not necessarily know about other areas. Thus, you need to hire a lawyer who specializes in IP. And I would go one step further and don't hire just any IP lawyer but one that also knows about legal issues in art licensing. To learn more about hiring an art lawyer read attorney Joshua Kaufman's article on "How to Choose An Art Lawyer."

Below are three lawyers that I know specializes in art IP. I've heard good things about all of them and have read articles they have written or listened to talks they have given. However, there are many good art IP art attorneys and a good place to find them is to ask for recommendations from your artist friends or on the art licensing forums.

Attorney Joshua Kaufman (Venable LLP) has written over 50 articles on art licensing legal issues for Art Business News and License Magazine.

Attorney Tammy L Browning-Smith (Browning-Smith, P.C.) has lecturerd at CHA seminars on legal issues and has on her website some articles about the law and the arts.

Attorney Elizabeth T. Russell (Russell Law) has given teleseminar sessions with Jnet Smith called Legal Ease about copyrights, Trademarks and Contract Language. She has written a book "Art Law Conversations" and maintains a blog with articles on the law and the arts.

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