Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What does an Entertainment lawyer do?

An Entertainment lawyer is responsible for ensuring his client is protected in all legal aspects of their career.

When one is a mega star they often find they no longer need an agent and only need an Entertainment attorney/lawyer. This is because offers come in without someone having to “drum up business”. Therefore is it superfluous to have an agent being paid a 10% commission on jobs that would come in regardless of their being there or not.

Most actors don’t require an Entertainment attorney until they have a body of work that requires them to begin to be protected from mis-use of their name,, image or likeness or for “riders” (a document laying out specific rules or items that an artist needs or wants as part of their contract) that go along with their contract or “deal”. I am sure you have read about these “riders”, one that comes to mind was the Backstreet Boys when they performed on the show Celebrity Apprentice last season. It was comical in fact, and if you haven’t seen it, it is worth YouTubing to see Trace Atkins’ reaction to some of the hilarious requests they had.

Agents and attorneys alike have the power to negotiate money. Managers cannot and do not negotiate money legally.

Entertainment attorneys take a percentage of the actor’s yearly income, as an example they would take 5-10% of the artist’s gross earnings for any year and in turn the artist would use their services for anything they needed negotiated on their behalf, like say, a house rental in another state or country or to look over documents relating to some other purchase and these would generally fall under their “retainer” aka the % of money the lawyer charged them on a yearly basis. Some special services may be above and beyond their retainer and then the artist would have to pay those services separately.

There is the attorney relationship in a nutshell. You will know when you need one because you can longer count your own money!!!!

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