Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern to Honor Outstanding Members of the Entertainment Law Community October 02, 2012
Southwestern to Honor Outstanding Members of the Entertainment Law Community

Thomas Hoberman '75, Deborah Drooz '85 and Russell Frackman to receive awards at the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute Awards Reception

As one of the top entertainment law schools in the country, Southwestern will recognize three outstanding attorneys for their contributions to the entertainment and media industries, the legal profession and legal education at the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute Awards Reception. Thomas H. Hoberman '75 will receive the award for Outstanding Alumnus in Entertainment and Media Law; Deborah Drooz '85 will be recognized as Outstanding Adjunct Professor in Entertainment and Media Law; and Russell Frackman will receive the Donald E. Biederman Legacy Award.

The reception, hosted by the Biederman Institute and Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association, will be held on Friday, October 26, 2012 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Proceeds from the event will help establish the groundbreaking Entertainment and the Arts Legal Aid Clinic at Southwestern.

"Tom, Deb and Russ all personify excellence in everything they do - as lawyers and members of the legal community, as friends of the Southwestern family, and as people," said Professor Steve Krone, Director of the Biederman Institute. "We simply could not have a better slate of honorees."

Tom HobermanThomas H. Hoberman '75 will be honored as Outstanding Alumnus in Entertainment and Media Law, an award given to a Southwestern alumnus for exceptional accomplishment in the entertainment and media industries and significant contributions to the legal profession, the community and Southwestern.

A prominent entertainment attorney, active leader in the Southwestern Law School community and philanthropist, Mr. Hoberman is a partner in the firm of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller LLP in Beverly Hills. He practices transactional entertainment law, focused on the representation of actors, writers, producers and directors primarily in the motion picture, television and new media industries along with production companies in the reality and scripted area and many top executives in the entertainment field. He also devotes a substantial amount of his time to issues concerning intellectual property, name, likeness and branding. Prior to joining the firm as a partner in 1993, Mr. Hoberman was a partner at the entertainment law firm of Ziffren, Brittenham & Branca (now Ziffren Brittenham LLP). He also worked in the Theatrical Motion Pictures Legal Department at 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and at the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

Active in the greater community, Mr. Hoberman is a past President and serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Saban Free Clinic where he was honored in 2000 with the prestigious Lenny Somberg Award. In addition to earning his J.D. at Southwestern, he attended Georgetown University Law Center and received his B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mr. Hoberman has been a member of the Southwestern Board of Trustees since 2002 and was appointed Chair in December 2011. He is past Co-Chair of the law school's Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute Executive Board, which plays a critical role in the growth of the internationally recognized Institute. As a generous contributor to Southwestern with a vested interest in student success, he and his wife, Ellen, established the Tom and Ellen Hoberman Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2003 to provide assistance to outstanding Southwestern students with financial need.

"There is no better choice for Southwestern's Outstanding Alumnus award than Tom," said Eric Early, Chair of Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association. "A warm, generous and giving person, Tom genuinely cares for his clients, for our law school, for his family and for the greater community at large. Tom has for years been recognized by his peers for his world class legal talent as one of the entertainment industry's preeminent attorneys. We are thrilled to be honoring our friend and 'the Chairman of the Board' with this special award."  

Deborah DroozDeborah Drooz '85 will be honored as Outstanding Adjunct Professor in Entertainment and Media Law. The award is presented to a member of the Southwestern adjunct faculty who teaches courses in entertainment, media, sports or intellectual property law and has demonstrated outstanding commitment to teaching and mentoring Southwestern students.

Professor Drooz has served on Southwestern's adjunct faculty since 2001, teaching specialized elective courses in defamation and privacy. A shareholder in the firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, she has extensive experience in First Amendment law and defamation law, has successfully argued matters before various trial and appellate courts, and is responsible for many precedent-setting appellate decisions in libel cases. Professor Drooz has represented a number of well-known public figures, including Martha Stewart, Kevin Costner, Rodney Dangerfield, Berry Gordy, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Steve Wynn, as well as corporate clients such as Anschutz Entertainment Group and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in First Amendment, intellectual property, appellate and entertainment transaction matters. She was recently selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, 2013, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Prior to joining the firm, Professor Drooz served as special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Los Angeles.

Professor Drooz is a founding board member and secretary of Angel City Arts, Inc., which presents the Angel City Jazz Festival every year. In addition to earning her J.D. at Southwestern, Professor Drooz received her B.A. from UCLA. Before attending law school, she was a journalist with The Los Angeles Herald Examiner and a contributing editor for Los Angeles Weekly.

According to Dean Austen Parrish, "It is evident from her enthusiasm for teaching and her popularity with her students that Professor Drooz contributes substantially to our J.D. and LL.M. entertainment and media law curriculum. She also hires Southwestern students and recent graduates as clerks and associates, and serves as a wonderful mentor and role model. She is a most deserving recipient of our inaugural award for Outstanding Adjunct Professor in Entertainment and Media Law."

Russell FrackmanRussell J. Frackman will receive the Donald E. Biederman Legacy Award, an honor which recognizes a highly respected member of the bench or bar who upholds the highest standards of ethics and professionalism as a leader in entertainment and media law.

A partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Mr. Frackman has been with the firm for 42 years, specializing in intellectual property and entertainment litigation. His clients have included record and music publishing companies, motion picture companies, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America. He has also represented individuals in various facets of the entertainment industry, including the recording artists Coldplay, Jimmy Page, Radiohead, the Black Keys, the Rolling Stones, and Dr. Dre, and actors including Paul Newman and Jack Nicholson. Mr. Frackman has worked at the forefront of the industry's fight against piracy in a number of landmark cases in trial and appellate courts, including as counsel for the plaintiffs in the seminal internet file-sharing litigation A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, In Re Aimster Copyright Litigation, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, et al. v. Grokster, Ltd.

A cum laude graduate of Columbia Law School, Mr. Frackman has lectured and written extensively in the areas of entertainment and media law, and has served as Chair of the USC Intellectual Property Institute. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards such as the Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Lawyer of the Year (2001), California Lawyer Attorney of the Year - Intellectual Property (2000), National Law Journal "Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade in Intellectual Property" (2010), The Daily Journal "One of the 10 Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade" (2010), and The Hollywood Reporter "Power Lawyer: Top 100." Most recently, Mr. Frackman was named as Best Lawyers in America's 2013 "Los Angeles Entertainment Law - Music Lawyer of the Year."

As he was a close friend, client and partner of the late Donald Biederman for more than three decades, this tribute is a particularly meaningful one for Mr. Frackman. "Russ Frackman is a gentleman-lawyer who embodies many of the wonderful personal and professional qualities for which my dad was known and loved," said Jeff Biederman. "He was also a dear friend of my father's. It is most fitting that Russ is the first recipient of the Donald E. Biederman Legacy Award."

For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, call the Alumni Affairs Office at (213) 738-6814 or click here. The Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute Awards Reception will include hors d'oeuvres and a hosted bar. The SLS Hotel is located at 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., West Los Angeles, CA 90048. Individual tickets are $85; sponsor levels include Platinum - $5,000 (10 tickets), Gold - $2,500 (6 tickets), Silver - $1,000 (4 tickets) and Bronze - $500 (2 tickets). Proceeds from the event will help establish the groundbreaking Entertainment and the Arts Legal Aid Clinic, enabling Southwestern students to provide legal services to a wide array of creative artists - such as writers, actors, musicians, film students, game designers and painters - who would otherwise be financially unable to secure the assistance of a lawyer, and to help strengthen Southwestern's position as a leader in the field.