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.

Practice Areas

  • 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.

About Leslie

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), cat (Ruth Bader Catzburg), and Blue Heeler (Mongo Santamaria).


On Being Reasonable

Whenever I take an infringement matter on contingency, I ask my client to think about what settlement amount would make them content, that is, what amount they could live with, not the amount they really would love to get. This is the bottom-line number. More is good, but every client should have an idea of …


In copyright law, time matters in several ways. Each is important. First, there is the timing of the registration which fits into three categories. Generally speaking, you should register your work as soon as possible after its creation. More specifically, though, a registration that is made before a work’s first publication* will make enhanced remedies …


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.

ONE MORE THING: The form will capture your IP address–sadly, I get threats and an IP address can be used to identify the sender. 

(Include country code if not USA)

(Please double-dog check for accuracy!)

(If you have a business)

(If you have one)

(or province or region, depending on your country)

What kind of artist or other creative are you?

Give a *brief* description like “help with copyright registrations” or “contract drafting.” Please don’t try to tell your whole story here. 🙂

A signed agreement between you and the firm is required before there is any legal representation here.