"A Conversation With..." Series 2019-2021 Guest Speakers

Image - "A Conversation With" Series

  1. Jeff Biederman


    Image - Jeff Biederman


    Wednesday, January 30, 2019
    Conversation with Jeff Biederman
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: BW 2nd Floor

    Named one of the Top Music Lawyers by Billboard Magazine, Jeff Biederman explains the latest trends in music licensing, catalog sales, and related legal issues.  We will also take a moment to honor Donald E. Biederman's legacy as founding director of Southwestern's Entertainment and Media Law Institute and Vice President and General Counsel of Warner/Chappell Music, the world's largest music publishing company.

    Jeff Biederman’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of artists, entrepreneurs, and entities in the areas of music, film, television, fashion and branding, advertising, and digital media. Clients include major writers, producers, actors, recording artists, athletes, record labels, publishing companies, designers, apparel and accessory companies, studios, and advertising agencies throughout the U.S. and internationally.

    Jeff is a regular lecturer on various entertainment, branding, and media law topics and regularly teaches a class in International Entertainment Law in London. He is co-author of the casebook Law and Business of the Entertainment Industries, Fifth Edition, 2007; Praeger Publishers.

  2. Effie Brown


    Image - Effie Brown


    Monday, February 11, 2019
    Conversation with Effie Brown
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: BW 2nd Floor
    **No MCLE will be offered for this event

    Effie T. Brown is an award-winning film, television, and digital producer, known for her highly acclaimed, multi-platform repertoire (Real Women Have Curves, Dear White People, WIGS, Everyday People, Star, Zombies, Stranger Inside, In the Cut, to name a few) as well as championing inclusion and diversity in Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera. Ms. Brown has produced several Sundance films and films/series for studios and networks such as Fox, HBO, and the Disney Channel.

    The magnetic, brilliant, and hilarious Effie Brown will walk us through the ins and outs of being an independent film and series producer with a commitment to diversity and inclusion and some key industry and legal lessons along the way.

    Brown’s long and illustrious career began as a Film Independent fellow in the prestigious “Project Involve” program. During her fellowship, she gained invaluable insight into the film industry. Her incredible work ethic and creative freedom allowed her to advance quickly through ranks becoming Director of Development for Tim Burton Productions in 1995. Decades later, Brown now serves as a Film Independent Board member and mentors the new generation of fellows. Her dream is to change the world through film and TV – celebrating our differences while bringing us all closer together.

  3. Karin Pagnanelli '94


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    Wednesday, April 24, 2019
    Conversation with Karin Pagnanelli
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: BW 2nd Floor

    Karin Pagnanelli is a co-chair of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp’s Entertainment & IP Litigation Practice Group and is a member of the firm's Governing Board. As one of the country's top IP lawyers, she successfully defends clients against copyright, patent, and trademark infringement allegations, as well as affirmatively protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights, either through litigation or a structured anti-piracy program focused on results with low overhead and fees. She regularly practices in federal court and the TTAB, in addition to counseling clients on how to avoid litigation.

  4. Jere R. Hausfater


    Image - Jere R. Hausfater

    Conversation with Jere R. Hausfater
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: BW 2nd Floor

    An entertainment attorney, executive, and executive producer, Hausfater has decades of experience working for studios and in the independent space combining business and creative for film, television, music, and digital media in finance, production, acquisitions, sales, and worldwide distribution. Hausfater worked at United Artists/Blue Note Records, ABC Records, Universal Music, Disney, and Miramax, and has consulted for companies such as Marvel Films, Netflix, Film Finances, among others. He currently works with the prolific producer, Cassian Elwes, among others.

    Hausfater has been involved in various capacities with such movies as Chef, Sin City 2, Face-Off, Pulp Fiction, Runaway Bride, and Dances With Wolves, among many other pictures. Hausfater is executive producing Best Sellers starring Michael Caine which is scheduled to start principal photography this year. He is also a part-time professor for Boston University in LA teaching Entertainment Finance to undergraduate business students. Hausfater is a graduate of Southwestern Law School and mentored by Don Biederman at ABC Records.

  5. Women in Sports Law


    Biederman - Women in Sports Law


    Thursday, October 17, 2019
    Conversation with Women in Sports Law
    Time: 7:30 p.m.
    Location: BW 2nd Floor

    The Biederman Institute is proud to present an exciting panel of women lawyers in sports law featuring:

    • Maidie Oliveau • Counsel, Arent Fox
    • Catherine Haight • Founder/Managing Partner Haight Law Group
    • Alanna Frisby Hernandez • SVP Legal, Team Sports Wasserman Media Group
    • Krista Hiner • Senior Counsel, ESG Law (Electronic Sports and Gaming Law)

    Los Angeles has long been an iconic hub for sports and only continues to grow. With that growth requires the advisement of lawyers versed in sports law, and the opportunities to participate in the L.A. sports law movement. Learn about sports law from some of the key attorneys helping shape the sports landscape here in Los Angeles. Topics include immigration, eSports, legal issues surrounding the Olympic Movement, and agency representation.

      Discussion led by Lindsay Brandon and Lauren Brock (’18), Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs

    • Andrew Jay Schwartzman


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      Monday, January 6, 2020
      A Conversation With Andrew Jay Schwartzman 
      Interviewed by Professor Michael Epstein
      Time: 7:30 p.m. - followed by a wine reception
      Location: Bullocks Wilshire Building  2nd Floor

      “Streaming Killed the Broadcast Star: Television After Netflix, 5G Networks, and Net Neutrality.

      Join us for a frank reassessment of television in the age of on-demand video streaming, fast 5G mobile networks, and post-Net Neutrality broadband service.  

      For almost 100 years, the government has regulated broadcasting as a scarce, public resource.   But is there a future for broadcast television or, for that matter, radio?   

      Andy Schwartzman has been on the front lines of the battle for the public interest soul of broadcasting, at the U.S. Supreme Court and elsewhere, for nearly 50 years.  

      Expanded Biography: Andrew Jay Schwartzman is an attorney and consultant who specializes in media and telecommunications policy.  He is Senior Counselor to the Benton Foundation and also maintains a private practice. Schwartzman joined the Communications and Technology Law Clinic at Georgetown’s Institute for Public Representation on January 2014. From 1978 through 2012, Schwartzman headed Media Access Project (MAP). MAP was a non-profit public interest telecommunication law firm that represented the public in promoting the First Amendment rights to speak and to hear. It sought to promote the creation of a well-informed electorate by insuring vigorous debate in a free marketplace of ideas. It was the chief legal strategist in efforts to oppose major media mergers and preserve policies promoting media diversity.

      Since 2003, Schwartzman has also taught at the Johns Hopkins University School of Arts and Sciences Department of Advanced Academic Programs. He was the Law and Regulation Contributor to Les Brown’s Encyclopedia of Television and is the author of the telecommunications chapter in the Encyclopedia of the Consumer Movement. Schwartzman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

    • Dina LaPolt


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      Tuesday, February 11, 2020
      A Conversation With Dina LaPolt
      Discussion led by Professor Orly Ravid
      Time: 7:30 p.m. - followed by a wine reception
      Location: Bullocks Wilshire Building  2nd Floor

      Dina LaPolt, Esq. is the owner of LaPolt Law, P.C., a boutique transactional law firm specializing in intellectual property and entertainment law. LaPolt Law is the only music law firm of its stature founded and run by a sole female practitioner. Dina was intimately involved in legislative advocacy, cofounding the Songwriters of North America (SONA) and helping to spearhead the Music Modernization Act, a copyright bill signed into law on October 11, 2018. Notably, Dina earned recognition as the Recording Academy’s 2019 Entertainment Law Initiative’s Service Award recipient. Dina has also been honored with numerous industry accolades, including Billboard’s Power 100, Women in Music, and Top Music Lawyers, to name a few.

      More info on Dina: https://www.lapoltlaw.com/biography

    • Sandra Williams 


      Image - Sandra Williams


      Thursday, February 27, 2020
      A Conversation With Sandra Williams 
      Discussion led by Professor Isabelle Gunning
      Time: 7:30 p.m. 
      Location: Bullocks Wilshire Building  2nd Floor

      Pre-retirement, Sandra Williams was the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, West Coast, at CBS Television. She oversaw CBS Network West Coast legal group and the CBS Television Studios Legal Department. Sandy played critical legal roles in iconic shows like The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, and The Twilight Zone.

      Sandy started as a federal appellate attorney for the National Labor Relations Board and currently belongs to the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation Board of Directors and the Agape International Spiritual Center.

      Sandy received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College. For more information, contact Southwestern’s Biederman Institute at (213) 738-6602. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required.

      RSVP at SWLaw.edu/ConvoSW

    • Danielle Van Lier

       Image - Deep Fakes Webinar

      “The Deepfake Phenomenon”  - Presentation by Danielle Van Lier

      Tuesday, June 16, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

      Join law students and lawyers at a Zoom webinar presentation about “DEEPFAKES”—the phenomenon of using artificial intelligence to manipulate videos to distort reality yet appear real. “Fake news” and “Deepfakes” falsify information presented to public, often risking serious harm in society and eroding confidence in public media.

      Professor Danielle Van Lier will give an overview of what Deepfakes are, how they work and the various legal ways to combat them under existing invasion of privacy, defamation, or right of publicity laws and state civil codes.


      CLE Materials 

    • Nina Shaw

        Image - A Conversation with Nina Shaw

      A Conversation with Nina Shaw

      Tuesday, August 18, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

      Nina Shaw is a founding partner in the entertainment law firm of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. Her practice is in the television, motion picture, and live stage area. A native New Yorker, Nina was born and raised in Harlem and The Bronx, educated in the New York City public school system and is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School. Among her clients are successful and award-winning actors, writers, producers and directors as well as entrepreneurs and entertainment executives. She began her legal career in the Entertainment Department of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers.

      Nina is a Variety Dealmaker Impact honoree and has been named repeatedly to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100” list. She is a recipient of the WIF Crystal Award, and in 2013 was named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Most recently, she was honored by Essence Magazine with its 2016 Black Women in Hollywood Power Award, and also in 2016 Nina was profiled in the New York Times: “She’s the Hollywood Power Behind Those Seeking a Voice.” In 2019 Nina received Columbia Law School’s prestigious Medal for Excellence Award, the Athena Film Festival Athena Award and the NAACP LDF National Equal Justice Award.

      Nina has a long-standing commitment to the education of children and in particular is an advocate for the education of girls and women. She is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs. Additionally, Nina is among the founding organizers of Time’s Up.

      All students, attorneys, and industry welcome!

      The event is FREE to attend.

    • Judith Finell

       Whose Song Is It Anyway?

      “Whose Song Is It Anyway?”  - Presentation by Forensic Musicologist Judith Finell

      Saturday, August 22, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

      The lecture will consist of a 90-minute presentation,
      followed by 30 minutes of Q&A

      Judith Finell is a musicologist and the president of Judith Finell Music Services Inc., a music consulting firm in New York and Los Angeles, founded 25 years ago in New York. Since then, she has served as consultant and expert witness involving music copyright infringement, advised on artist career and project development, and a wide variety of music industry topics. Recently, Ms. Finell was honored to be the 2018 commencement speaker at UCLA’s Herb Albert School of Music. She was also interviewed by NBC/Universal for a 2018 documentary entitled “The Universality of Music,” in which she discussed the ways in which she sees music as being an international language that can bridge cultural barriers that spoken language does not.

      Judith Finell was the testifying expert for the Marvin Gaye family in the milestone “Blurred Lines” case in Federal Court. She has testified in many other notable copyright infringement trials over the past 20 years. She and her team of musicologists regularly advise HBO, Lionsgate, Grey Advertising, CBS, Warner, Disney, and Sony Pictures on musical works for their commercials, films, and television series. Ms. Finell also frequently advises attorneys, advertising agencies, entertainment and recording companies, publishing firms, and musicians, addressing copyright issues, including those arising from digital sampling, electronic technology, and Internet musical usage.

      Ms. Finell was invited to teach forensic musicology at UCLA in 2018, where she continues to teach the only such course in the country. She holds an M.A. degree in musicology from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. from UCLA in piano performance. She has written numerous articles and a book in the area of contemporary music and copyright infringement and has appeared in trials on Court TV and before the American Intellectual Property Law Association. She is a trustee of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., and has appeared as a guest lecturer at the law schools of Harvard University, UCLA, Stanford, Columbia, Vanderbilt, George Washington, NYU, and Fordham, as well as the Beverly Hills Bar Assn., LA Copyright Society, and the Association of Independent Music Publishers. She may be reached either by e-mail at judi@jfmusicservices.com or by telephone at (310) 301-3338.

      All students, attorneys, and industry welcome!

      The event is FREE to attend.

    • Neville Johnson

       Image - A Conversation with Neville Johnson

      A Conversation with Neville Johnson

      Tuesday, November 17th, 7:30 p.m. PST

      Johnson & Johnson LLP, based in Beverly Hills, California, specializes in complex litigation with a particular emphasis on entertainment, privacy, defamation, consumer issues, and class actions, as well as transactional matters.

      Neville L. Johnson, a graduate of U.C. Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) and Southwestern Law School, has tried over 28 civil jury trials and many bench trials and arbitrations.  He is a member of the invitation-only American Board of Trial Advocates, on the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Board of Directors of the national public interest organization Public Justice, and the Board of the Beverly Hills Bar Association (“BHBA”) (2013-2015, and 2020-2022). Johnson is a long-time member of the invitation-only Los Angeles Copyright Society. He was Chair of the Entertainment Law Section of the BHBA from 2009 to 2011. He has appeared in courts throughout the United States.

      Mr. Johnson has practiced entertainment law and IP law since 1975. Mr. Johnson has represented many well-known celebrities and entertainment concerns. The firm does extensive “net profit” work in the film and televisions industry, right of publicity [including in February 2021, the largest right of publicity jury verdict ($9.6 Million and $7 Million in attorneys fees) in the history of the United States], copyright infringement and idea-theft, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other business torts. He and his firm have been lead counsel in many class actions, including pioneering class actions in the entertainment industry against the entertainment unions, major record companies and motion picture companies.

      Mr. Johnson has been designated a “SuperLawyer” (top 5% as voted by colleagues) numerous times and has been chosen to vet and approve nominations. In 2020 SuperLawyer and his peers named him one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California (the only entertainment attorney on the list). He was designated one of the Hollywood 100 “Power Lawyers” by the Hollywood Reporter every year since 2008, usually one of four litigators typically on the plaintiffs’ side. In 2020, he was moved to a new permanent category, “Legal Legend.”  In 2020 he was Alumnus of the Year by the Biederman Entertainment Law Institute at Southwestern Law School.  Varietymany times named him one of the top entertainment lawyers. Mr. Johnson was lead trial and appellate counsel in the precedent-setting case of Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., 20 Cal. 4th 907 (1999), which established the right of privacy in the workplace and is studied in the leading case book on torts and the two casebooks on entertainment law.  Editor and Publisher magazine wrote that he “is one of the most dangerous media plaintiff lawyers in the United States.”

      Privacy Torts, the leading treatise on privacy law by Professor David Elder, contains the following dedication: To Neville L. Johnson…who has led the charge, often successfully (and always creatively and with great passion) in exposing some of the worst outrages of media newsgathering. Neville ranks with Brandeis and Warren as the great defenders of privacy. All America is in his debt.

      He is a frequent lecturer and written extensively on entertainment, copyright, right of publicity, media, and other legal topics, throughout the United States, in the UK, and France.

      Since 2012, Neville and Douglas Johnson have taught  Entertainment and Media Litigation as Adjunct Professors at Southwestern School of Law. Since 2011 he has moderated the panel on ethical issues for the annual Year in Review for the Entertainment Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

      A law review article about his career is Richard and Calvert, “Suing the Media, Supporting the First Amendment: the Paradox of Neville Johnson and the Battle for Privacy,” 67 Albany Law Review 1097 (2004). On June 23, 2015, the Los Angeles Times did a major profile (front page, Business Section) on his career, “Contract Sport, 'Go-to' L.A. Lawyer Says Hollywood Studios Are Shortchanging His Clients,” noting that Johnson & Johnson is one of the few firms successfully taking on the entertainment establishment on a regular basis.

      All students, attorneys, and industry welcome!

      The event is FREE to attend. 

    • Mark Hiraide


      Image - A Conversation with Mark Hiraide


      A Conversation with Mark Hiraide on Equity Crowdfunding

      Thursday, January 28th, 7:30 p.m. PST

      co-hosted by Professors Orly Ravid and Michael B. Dorff

      via Zoom

      RSVP required

      1 Hour of CLE Credit is available for this event

      The presentation will address best practices with respect to most common financing of motion pictures and series in the entertainment industry and also the newer possibility of equity crowdfunding which is gaining popularity. Mark Hiraide will discuss the recent amendments to the SEC's equity crowdfunding rules and the changing landscape for early-stage financing generally.

      Mark T. Hiraide works in the highly specialized and complex area of the law having to do with business finance and raising capital. He represents entrepreneurs, startups, publicly traded companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers, investment bankers, investment advisers and accountants in civil litigation relating to securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management.

      He counsels public exchange-listed and private companies and their boards of directors, including special committees and senior management, on issues including corporate governance, discharge of fiduciary duties, internal investigations and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance. He represents companies in transactions including securities private placements and public offerings. And he defends parties in civil litigation, government regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, and represents defrauded investors.

      He is an authority on the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. Mr. Hiraide testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee looking into the law designed to help startups raise money. He is the author of a book on crowdfunding just published by Thomson Reuters. And he is working with the California Legislature to pass a state crowdfunding law he drafted.

      Mr. Hiraide offers unique insight and perspective to his clients because of his former position as an SEC attorney and because he has handled both business transactions and courtroom litigation during his three decades as a corporate and securities lawyer.

      All students, attorneys, and industry welcome!

      The event is FREE to attend. 

      RSVPs required.
      We will send the Zoom invitation link to those who RSVP by January 27, 2021.

      *Registration Note: You must register before the event to receive CLE credit.

    • Priyanka Khimani

       Image - ACW Priyanka

      A Conversation With…Priyanka Khimani

      Wednesday, August 18, 6:30 P.M. PST

      RSVP Now

      No CLE Credit will be offered for this event
      We will be recording this event for the ACW Podcast

      Priyanka Khimani is one of India’s leading entertainment, music, and intellectual property rights experts. Best known for her unmatched commercial and legal acumen in the Indian entertainment sector, she represents a glowing roster of Indian and international stakeholders and talent. Her clientele is studded with some of the most celebrated names in film, television, and music, including international record labels, publishers, distribution companies, studios, content streaming and social media platforms, Emmy-nominated filmmakers and showrunners, as well as Oscar and Grammy winners, among others.

      Her legal expertise, always coupled with a sharp sense of business, is defined by a profound understanding of the modern and fast-evolving entertainment and technology landscape, placing her in a unique position to advise on issues relevant to the industry today. Such issues include navigating the nuances of the copyright and licensing landscape in India, transparency and accountability of local PROs, cross-border transactions, strategic collaborations, content creation and ownership, valuation, and protection of all forms of intellectual property.

      Her counsel is often sought after on coveted service and product launches, market entry by foreign multinationals, as well as commercially tactical mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment, music, and technology sector. What sets her apart is her time and again proven ability to plan and respond to a crisis. Her strategic input in unexpected pressuring matters of utmost sensitivity is highly recommended by her clients. She has successfully advised high net worth individuals and corporations in extremely delicate situations on issues that have long term reputational as well financial repercussions.

      Priyanka is founder and lead partner at Anand & Anand & Khimani. She is one of the core advisors as member of board to the Canadian blockchain music company “Beatdapp” along with music industry titan Joe Galante, Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister Stephen J. Harper and Consul General of Canada and veteran executive James Villeneuve. She finds a lot of her drive in causes outside of the legal industry. She is the founding chairperson for the Indian Chapter of ‘Women In Music’, a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to championing the female voice across the global music industry. She is also one of the directors of ‘Girl Rising’ in India, which is a global campaign for girls’ education.

      All students, attorneys, and industry welcome!

      The event is FREE to attend.

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