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).
A very recent opinion in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Kashi v McGraw Hill Global Education, pdf here) looks at first like the photographer plaintiff lost because the court did not grant him summary judgment. However, really, the opinion has lots of good stuff for photographers/licensors in general, and maybe even the plaintiff. I’m going to …
I have railed against companies that are not run by attorneys but that offer “infringement enforcement”; but I haven’t really done anything about it. I mean, I continue to do the legal work I do, including going after infringers for my clients, but the process of searching for the infringements, flagging those for possible pursuit, …
I’m no fan of Google. Like the other big internet companies (and many small ones) they have played dumb about the harm they have caused to creators all over the world. One of their big falsehoods has been that they have acted like it was virtually impossible for them to help prevent infringements by making …
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, she has set up online intake forms that will save everyone (especially her) time and effort.
For non-infringement issues, please fill out this form for her to review.
For potential infringement matters, please fill out this form (don’t forget to send the additional info as described at the end of the form).