Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

March 06, 2012
Two Southwestern Students Honored by Grammy Foundation

Southwestern students Jonathan Evans and Trevor Roe were selected as two of five scholarship recipients from a nationwide pool of talented law students who entered the Grammy Foundation's 14th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition.

Grammy ELI Writing Competition Winners
(from left) Trevor Roe and Jonathan Evans

Evans wrote "Solving the Sampling Riddle: How the Integrated Clearinghouse Would Benefit the Industry by Promoting Creativity and Creating New Markets While Maintaining Profits for Source Material Owners." Although this issue is prevalent in hip-hop and dance music where musicians sometimes use samples from other songs in their compositions, Evans said he wrote from a copyright perspective. "In my paper I looked for a method that that would make getting clearance for samples easy, cost-effective and legal."

Evans, who earned his B.A. degree at Florida A & M University, is a bass player and former radio DJ who worked in music production for several years. He is enjoying studying all aspects of law and is open to various areas of practice, but his Grammy experience has definitely fueled his interest in pursuing entertainment law. "I just like to write, and I have a passion for getting to the bottom of this issue," he explained. "Getting to write about my first love of music was a dream come true, and to get to go to the Grammys was awesome."

Roe's essay, "Defendant's Attorneys Fees: Copyright Infringement Cases Impose New Duties on Litigators to Evaluate Their Cases and Inform Their Clients Before Filing" focused on the likelihood of an award of attorney's fees to defendants in copyright infringement litigation. "Two recent decisions, involving parties such as the rock band Green Day and the Comedy Central cable network, held that defendant's attorney's fees could be awarded in most cases," Roe said. "These cases had been decided in late 2011, and copyright affects all aspects of the entertainment industry, so I felt this topic was emerging, unique, and music related."

Roe earned a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism from Ohio University. He interned several times and subsequently worked at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in New York where he frequently collaborated with the internal legal department to clear copyright and right of privacy issues. "Based on my experiences with the legal concepts in news, I decided that law school seemed like a great next step," Roe explained. "Now, after moving to Los Angeles, I have a great appreciation for both the concepts that entertainment law presents, from first amendment issues to copyright infringement."

Evans and Roe each won $1,500 and received a first-class Grammy experience, including: having their papers published, accommodations at the Biltmore Hotel during Grammy weekend; tickets to every Grammy event including the ELI luncheon where finalists had the opportunity to present a two-minute video about their papers to more than 400 attorneys; the MusiCares Person of the Year show, which honored Paul McCartney; the Grammy Merit Awards event; The Grammys; and the after party, among other activities.