What do celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Bill Cosby, Hulk Hogan and Brett Michaels have in common? They all need skilled lawyers to help them navigate the thorny legal issues that celebrities uniquely face in their public – and private – lives.
Entertainment lawyers Chad Fitzgerald and Jeremiah Reynolds, whose clients include Kathryn Bigelow, Reggie Bush, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks, Paris Hilton and the Kardashian Family, take you “backstage” for a fascinating tour of the legal and public relations issues commonly faced by famous actors, athletes and musicians. From defamation, to right of publicity, to assault, Chad and Jeremiah discuss the interesting civil law issues raised by recent cases involving celebrities, including:
Can Bill Cosby be held liable for defamation simply by denying the allegations of a woman who accused him of sexual assault?
Can Hulk Hogan recover damages from the celebrity gossip website Gawker for posting footage from a sex tape in which Hogan appears?
Can the paparazzi sue celebrities for assault based on the conduct of their bodyguards?
Chad and Jeremiah also review the many ways in which celebrities are treated differently – sometimes better, often worse – when they find themselves fighting a legal battle in court, and often as importantly, in the court of public opinion. They also reveal how lawyers must adapt to representing clients who often operate at the center of a team of other representatives, including agents, managers, deal lawyers and publicists.
Whatever your regular practice area, we invite you to join us for a fun and informative look at the trials and tribulations of some of America’s most famous (and infamous) celebrity clients.
Chad Fitzgerald, Partner, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, Santa Monica, CA
Jeremiah Reynolds, Partner, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, Santa Monica, CA
Chad specializes in entertainment and business litigation as well as transactional matters for entertainment industry clients. He has represented actors, producers, writers, showrunners, musicians, professional athletes, production and distribution companies, the entertainment guilds, personal and business managers, and talent agents and agencies. Chad handles disputes in the areas of contract, profit participation and “vertical integration,” financing, distribution, copyright, trademark, trade secrets, partnership, franchise, fraud, rights of privacy, and defamation. He also negotiates and drafts agreements for intellectual property rights holders, entertainment industry executives, writers, producers, independent filmmakers, and unscripted programming creators, among others. He has written numerous articles on legal issues in the entertainment industry, has appeared on several panels discussing entertainment litigation, and has discussed legal issues in entertainment for media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, E! Online, the Daily Journal, and KPCC’s “Air Talk” radio show. Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Chad worked in the Business and Legal Affairs department of Universal Pictures, negotiating and drafting agreements to acquire intellectual property rights for Universal and engaging talent to render services on Universal films. Chad was named a “Southern California Rising Star” by the publishers of Los Angeles magazine from 2012 through 2014; he was named a “Super Lawyer” in 2015. He is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. with distinction, 1998) and the UCLA School of Law (J.D., 2001).
Jeremiah specializes in entertainment-related disputes and complex business litigation. He has substantial trial, arbitration and appellate experience. He has been widely quoted in the media as an authority on intellectual property and entertainment disputes. Jeremiah began his career as an associate at the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP where he focused upon disputes relating to the motion picture and television industries. He represented various studios in lawsuits involving distribution rights, merchandising and licensing rights, profit participation and other accounting issues, contractual disputes, and intellectual property disputes. In 2006, Jeremiah decided to change from primarily studio representation to talent side representation. He joined the firm in August 2006 and since that time, has represented numerous celebrity clients such as Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Robert Duvall, Kate Hudson, Reggie Bush, the Kardashian Family, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Billy Blanks, Danny DeVito, Paris Hilton, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and the Estate of Bradley Nowell. From 2006 through 2009, he was named a “Southern California Rising Star” by the publishers of Los Angeles magazine. Jeremiah is a cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1997) and received his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2002.