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).
As we wrap up 2019 and start to look ahead, I thought I would give up some of my best thoughts on both business and legal issues, for creative pros, in list form. I think I should to warn you, though, I’m not holding back on the language. I think someone needs to play Carol …
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court clarified that a work’s copyright has to have been registered (or had registration refused, but let’s not go there for now) in order to bring a suit for copyright infringement.  No longer would applying for the registration be enough–you had to have that certificate in hand when you …
I recently noticed that I have a lot of non-US clients. Canadians, Germans, Scots, Australia… they’re from all over, really. Percentage-wise, it’s a very surprisingly large chunk of my business. While I’m thrilled for the work and that these people are protecting their rights here in the USA, it does make me wonder why I …
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 you would like her to review, please use this form (linked) instead.