Entertainment Law Institute Named for Industry Veteran Biederman
In a June 28 dedication ceremony, Southwestern University School of Law named its Entertainment and Media Law Institute in honor of the late Donald E. Biederman, former executive vice president and general counsel of Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. and the Institute’s founding director.
Professor Biederman was a long-time Southwestern adjunct professor before joining the full-time faculty as Institute director in 2000. In the ensuing two years, he recruited an international advisory board, facilitated the development of new courses, and established the program “A Conversation with...,” a series of informal discussions with leading figures in the entertainment and media law industries. Professor Biederman also developed Southwestern's Master of Laws degree program in Entertainment and Media Law, the first of its kind in the nation.
Professor Biederman's tenure with Southwestern—his self-described "third act"—followed a highly successful 30-year career in the legal profession. In addition to his 17 years with Warner/Chappell, he was a partner in the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, vice president of legal affairs and administration for ABC Records, Inc., both in Los Angeles, and in New York, general attorney for CBS Records Group. He was also the respected author of numerous articles on entertainment law, co-author of the definitive text Law & Business of the Entertainment Industries, and editor of another, Legal & Business Problems of the Music Industry.
In remarks made during the dedication ceremony, Professor Biederman's widow, Marna, said, "When our family gathered to discuss a meaningful way to honor Don, we were overjoyed to think that the Institute he founded would be dedicated to his memory. This school and all of his colleagues here have been part of our lives for many years. It is right and fitting that we found a lasting way to honor my husband."
Generous gifts from the Biederman family and the Spiegel Foundation, along with those from friends and colleagues of the beloved teacher and industry leader, endowed the Institute. Dean Leigh Taylor said, "We are extremely grateful to all, especially Marna Biederman and other family members, who have given so generously to Southwestern and the Institute. Don created an outstanding program that earned the respect of students and the industry. He was a person of absolute integrity; he loved the law, and he was loved and admired by all who knew him. Through the Biederman Institute, he will continue to serve as an inspiration to us as we strive to build on his legacy."