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).
I wrote this originally back in 2012, but it is even more needed today so I decided to update it. Everyone talks about how there is an abundance of content creators today. How there is more creative work than ever. How everyone is a photographer, a writer, a curator (don’t get me started on how …
Most of my clients are photographers. That’s no surprise since I started working with commercial photographers in the last millennium (yes, I’m old), and long before I became an attorney. Photographers know me; they’ve come to my lectures, bought my books, read my blogs, and know that I have their backs. However, I serve all kinds …
When an infringer gets a letter from me, sent on behalf of one of my clients, a very popular response is something like “It’s just a photo—why are you making such a big deal out of it?!?” The short answer is because it really isn’t about the work itself—it is about the invasion of the …
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.