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 the 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) and cat (Ruth Bader Catzburg).
Okay, I usually try not to get political here; but I believe that, as a good American, I must stand up and speak some hard truth to you, the creative community. It’s going to look political but, really, it is so very much more than that. Here is that hard truth: if you want to …
Recently, I was approached by a photographer about an infringement matter. It was a good-looking case, until I checked the registration. The work had been registered as unpublished, but it was admittedly published before being registered; in other words, it was knowingly registered wrongly. That makes a big “No, can’t take this on contingency” from …
[NOTE: This is a re-working of an old post of mine, from 2013–you’ll see it’s fitting today] When I first wrote this piece, it started off with this: Yesterday, I saw that a promising reporter was killed in an auto accident in Los Angeles. He was 33. This morning, there was news that a best-selling …
Leslie doesn’t answer legal questions for free or 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 form below and Leslie will get in touch shortly; thanks for understanding.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have an infringement matter, DO NOT USE THE FORM BELOW; please use the Copyright Evaluation form (linked here, in this text) instead.