Entertainment Lawyer: Explore Their 9 Roles

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Entertainment Lawyer: Understanding Their Importance

In some instances, general law may help you to understand the various requirements in your industry. For example, drafting up an employment contract may be something that looks relatively similar for a wide variety of business models.

However, some industries are hyperspecific, governed by a certain set of laws and regulations that require you to enlist the help of a professional who is knowledgeable enough in these rules to protect you from any of the common pitfalls and issues that others within your industry may face.

One excellent example of this is an entertainment lawyer.

Entertainment lawyers are hired by those in the entertainment industry to deal with creating or negotiating contracts as well as dealing with litigation, if necessary. Some lawyers may also be responsible for helping individuals find work, although these won't necessarily be lawyers in the most traditional sense but rather those with experience in law who act more as agents.

Put simply, if you operate within the entertainment industry, you're going to want to hire an entertainment lawyer to help you understand all of the subtle nuances of entertainment law so that you can proceed with hiring others and starting important projects more effectively.

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What Role Do They Play in Your Business?

Of course, the above definition is a very broad overview of the responsibility of an entertainment lawyer in your day-to-day business. The work that they undertake on behalf of your company is essential to keeping your company and its employees protected as you continue operations.

But exactly what are entertainment lawyers responsible for?

Some of the items they'll handle while working with you include:

  • Drafting development and production contracts for various industries and helping both parties negotiate terms and revising contractual agreements to allow both parties to reach an agreement
  • Facilitating and negotiating distribution deals for a wide variety of entertainment projects
  • Preparing form agreements (location releases, appearance releases, license agreements, etc.) that are required for certain projects within your industry
  • Analyzing existing agreements to answer any questions of clients or support them should litigation ensue, which will happen during the drafting and negotiation phases as well as if anyone is suspected or accused in being in breach of contract
  • Developing financing agreements for various loans, sponsorships, grants, and other forms of funding
  • Helping clients connect to specialists that will allow them to receive the support they need to move forward more successfully (this is in the case of entertainment lawyers who have more general experience in the industry at hand)
  • Fostering relationships between clients and unions or guilds
  • Protecting the intellectual property of individual clients or companies seeking their help
  • Providing general advice that a client may require during their day-to-day operations

As you can see from the above, the role of an entertainment lawyer can be quite extensive, making them an essential go-to individual to have on your side if you operate a business within the entertainment industry. However, keep in mind that this list may not apply to every entertainment lawyer that you encounter. Rather, this a list that covers the full scope of responsibilities that lawyers in the entertainment industry may have as a whole.

Before you reach out to an entertainment lawyer of your choosing, make sure that you understand exactly what type of work they do to avoid enlisting the help of the wrong lawyer and having to be referred to multiple specialists later on.

Here is a guide that looks more closely at the role of an entertainment lawyer.

Why Might You Need to Enlist the Help of an Entertainment Lawyer?

Asking when you should reach out to an entertainment lawyer depends entirely on your individual situation. However, looking deeper into an entertainment lawyer's role can help you better understand if and when you'll need to take advantage of their services.

Some of the industries that will often need the help of an entertainment lawyer at some point in time include:

  • Print and electronic media
  • Film and television
  • Theater
  • Music
  • Comedy

Some of the specific situations you may find yourself in where hiring an entertainment lawyer may be necessary include:

  • You need to draft a contract for an individual or company that you plan on working with.
  • The individual with who you've sent a contract wants to negotiate the terms and conditions of your contract, necessitating multiple edits of the original agreement before both parties feel comfortable signing.
  • One of the individuals or organizations that you're working with has violated the terms and conditions of the contract and you need to take legal action in order to remedy the situation.
  • An organization or individual believes that you've breached your contract or have acted unlawfully and is taking legal action against you.
  • You need to develop and protect your intellectual property rights for the content that your organization has created.

This is just a brief list of some of the situations that may necessitate the need for an entertainment lawyer. In almost any situation, however, having an entertainment lawyer on your side when you're uncertain about a certain aspect of your industry can be beneficial for you.

To better understand whether or not you may need an entertainment lawyer, here is an article that discusses this point further.

How Do I Go About Hiring an Entertainment Lawyer?

Although this guide dives deeper into what an entertainment lawyer is and what role they play, the truth is that there are all kinds of entertainment lawyers that specialize in various areas of law as well as provide specific services designed specifically for the situation you may find yourself in when you seek out their help.

For example, one entertainment lawyer may specialize in the film and television industries, offering a wide variety of services designed for those operating within this industry, while another entertainment lawyer may work specifically for publishing clients.

The key to finding the right entertainment lawyer for you is simple. All you have to do is ask yourself two questions. First, what industry should my entertainment lawyer be operating in? Secondly, what specifically do you need support with? For example, if you're in the initial stages of bringing someone on for work, you're going to want to hire a contract lawyer within the entertainment industry who has extensive experience drafting, negotiating, and, if necessary, litigating.

Once you have a clear understanding of what type of lawyer you're looking for, it's just a matter of seeking the right individuals out (those who have extensive experience in their area, a satisfied clientele base, a strong educational foundation, etc.) and bringing them onto your project.

In the case of the specific example above, here is an article that talks more about what contract lawyers do and the benefits of hiring one to deal with the specifics of your professional contractual relationships.

For most businesses, general lawyers do the best job as, unless you're working in a specialized field, many of the same laws and expectations apply to small businesses. When you start getting into fields like entertainment, whether you're operating in the film and television industry or the music industry, the laws and regulations surrounding your work can become a bit more complex. To ensure that you encounter as few problems as possible within your own business structure, the guide above will help you better understand what an entertainment lawyer does, what they may be able to help you with, and how you can begin to find the support you need for any projects that you're currently undertaking.

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