If you’re a creative professional, lawyers can seem intimidating. We’re known to love our $20 words, billing by the hour, being slow to return calls and emails, and generally being pretentious know-it-alls. Leslie tries to do it differently. She uses plain English whenever possible, stays in touch with her clients, and tries to use alternative billing (contingency fees or flat fees) whenever she can. For her, being a lawyer is a vocation, a true calling. She feels honored to serve her clients.
- Copyright: registrations, infringements, and the DMCA
- Contracts: talent and property releases, artist agreements, client-offered rights-grabs, NDAs
- Licenses: drafting yours and reviewing those drafted by others
- Small Business stuff: leases, general business questions, and LLC/corp filings
- Planning for marriage and (yikes!) death: what happens to your business and your IP?
- Trademarks, trade secrets, using others’ intellectual property, and more.
Leslie grew up in a house full of creatives and has worked in creative industries since the 90s. She was a studio manager, photographers’ rep, and producer before becoming a marketing consultant to photographers. She’s lectured across the USA and even written a couple of books on the business of being a commercial photographer.
Before all that she was an odd academic, getting her BA and MA in French (linguistics and film) and even completing her PhD coursework in medieval French literature and language before quitting the proverbial ivory tower. Geek, c’est elle.
She attended law school later in life because she always wanted to go and, in 2008, she received a full scholarship. She passed the California bar on the first try and has been licensed and practicing in California since 2011. She refers to herself as a “bad buddhist” and tries to use respect, compassion, and a desire to resolve problems amicably whenever possible; but, really, she’s as tenacious as a badger. Think Carol Kane in Scrooged–sweet, but more than capable of going all lawyer-ninja on her opponents.
A Midwesterner until her 30s, she now lives in San Diego with her boyfriend (Tony), dog (Zero), and cat (Ruth Bader Catzburg).
The boyfriend and I bought a new vehicle over the weekend and it made me think about how creatives really need better legal help—and probably don’t even know when they need it. Yes, my mind does that—thinks about my clients while I’m doing something like car shopping. Whatever, the result is you get this blog …
Here in California, the legislature just passed a bill the governor is expected to sign, and it may affect you. Note, this may affect you if you are a California business (including sole props) OR if you ever do business in California, like, say, a photo shoot here, even if you are a Kentucky business. …
One of the big arguments forwarded for the CASE Act (aka “small claims”) is that it will permit copyright owners to pursue small infringements. I’m here to tell you that anyone can do that already, even without that possible new law. Also, those small claims add up. Here’s just one example… But first, the big …
Leslie doesn’t answer legal questions over the phone, including whether something is copyright infringement or a potential case she can help with. Her insurance company wouldn’t like it and, besides, you hate it when people ask you to work for free; so does she. Rather than calling her, please fill in the Contact form below and Leslie will get in touch shortly; thanks for understanding.
NOTE: If you have an infringement matter you would like her to review, please go here instead.