“I think it’s fair to say a lot of people in any number of industries are taking a hard look back and lawyering up…”
— Anthony Bourdain, speaking in the wake of Hollywood’s sexual misconduct scandal

“OOMO” cube by artist Nicole Maloney

“We cannot say that plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege the same degree of fictionalization …
as that which has been found to violate the statutory right to privacy without running afoul of constitutional protections of speech.”
– Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Third Department, in Porco v. Lifetime Entertainment Services,
regarding the docudrama “Romeo Killer: The Christopher Porco Story”

Since 2003, The Entertainment and Media Law Conference has served as a cutting edge career resource and networking event for entertainment, media and intellectual property attorneys, executives, agents, paralegals, contract administrators and law school students in the service of motion picture and television studios, media outlets, talent agencies, advertising agencies, and PR firms. The Conference offers 4 hours of CLE credit. Seating is limited, and so early registration is advised!

We are extremely excited to present this year’s edition of the Conference at The Tateuchi Democracy Forum, housed within The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. The National Center is an educational program of the Japanese American National Museum.

The Tateuchi Democracy Forum’s unique layout and signature transparent glass wall were designed by award-winning architect Brenda A. Levin, FAIA. The 9,800-square-foot space offers comfortable seating arranged for maximum visibility during artistic performances and film screenings, as well as lively interaction among speakers and audience members.

Occupying one of the most prime locations in the historic Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles and strategically situated within walking distance of the LA Times Building, Los Angeles City Hall, and the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building, the Tateuchi Democracy Forum has for years served as an ideal environment in which to present inspired and inspiring programming in a technologically advanced setting.

Click here for a convenient map of nearby parking facilities.

The Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) is a non-profit membership association for content providers in all media, and for their defense lawyers, providing a wide range of resources on media and content law and policy issues. These include news and analysis of legal, legislative and regulatory developments; litigation resources and practice guides; and national and international media law conferences and meetings. MLRC also works with its membership to respond to legislative and policy proposals, and speaks to the press and public on media law and First Amendment issues. MLRC was founded in 1980 by leading American publishers and broadcasters to assist in defending and protecting free press rights under the First Amendment. Today MLRC is supported by over one hundred and forty members, including leading publishers, broadcasters, and cable programmers, internet operations, media and professional trade associations, and media insurance professionals in America and around the world. The MLRC’s Defense Counsel Section includes more than 215 law firms worldwide that specialize in media defense representation.

Through the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute (BEMLI), Southwestern Law School offers the most comprehensive entertainment and media law curriculum in the United States.  Ranked among The Hollywood Reporter’s listing of “America’s Top Ten Entertainment Law Schools,” Southwestern’s extensive course offerings, international programs, externships, practicums and other co-curricular activities are specifically designed to prepare graduates for the practice of law in connection with a host of entertainment and media disciplines across both traditional and internet mediums such as film, television, music, theater, advertising, sports and journalism. Southwestern has a outstanding entertainment and media law faculty, and its graduates occupy important positions across a broad range of entertainment and media industry organizations.

2018 Planning Committee

“It is contrary to this fundamental right for any government official to threaten the revocation of an FCC license simply because of a disagreement with the reporting of a journalist.”
– Gordon H. Smith, President, National Association of Broadcasters


Aaron Wais

Partner • Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Andrew Marcus

President • Andrew Marcus Associates

Ben Mulcahy

Partner • Jenner & Block

Ben Sheffner

Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Copyright & Legal Affairs • Motion Picture Association of America

Chuck Tobin

Partner • Ballard Spahr LLP

David Halberstadter

Partner • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Eric Baum

Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs • Sony Pictures Entertainment

George Freeman

Executive Director • Media Law Resource Center

Jennifer Rothman

Professor of Law • Loyola Law School

Kathleen Kirby

Partner • Wiley Rein LLP

Kelli Sager

Partner • David Wright Tremaine LLP

Mark Lee

Partner • Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Randa G. Soudah

Vice President / Associate General Counsel • CBS

Rita Herscovici

Principal • RMH Digital Media Consulting

Rochelle Wilcox

Partner • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Sarah Cronin

Partner • Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Ted Boutrous, Jr.

Partner • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

William Briggs

Partner • Venable LLP

— Amount earned by singer/actress Selena Gomez per Instagram post in 2017


1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Welcome to the Conference! We're looking forward to checking you in. Take this time to catch up with friends and industry colleagues before the program starts. Subject to limited seating, on-site registration is available at this time for those who did not take advantage of the price break for early registration.

Welcoming comments and special thanks and acknowledgements from The Media Law Resource Center and Southwestern Law School.

Regardless of whether you work in-house or at a firm, in entertainment or news, the Trump Administration has thrown media expectations about the role of government and the protections of law into complete disarray. This marquee session brings together representatives from across the media law spectrum to make sense out of what the 45th president’s threats and antics mean for our industry, including: the copyright and other implications of Trump’s trade policy; the impact of regulatory action at the FCC and other agencies on broadcast and cable; and the dangers of the White House’s drumbeat against the press, whether in the form of threats to open up libel laws, accusations of “fake news,” or prosecution of journalists and sources.

Moderator: Chuck Tobin, Ballard Spahr


  • Ben Sheffner, MPAA
  • George Freeman, MLRC
  • Kathleen Kirby, Wiley Rein
  • Ted Boutrous, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  • Retire to the outer vestibule for catered beverages and snacks, complimentary with the cost of admission.

    • Soft Drinks
    • Coffee & Tea Service
    • Iced Tea
    • Waters
    • House-Made Snack Bars (oatmeal granola with dark chocolate)
    • Date Bars with Honey
    • Mini Cookies (oatmeal raisin • chocolate chip)

    Whether they are brought by a legendary Hollywood actress or a convicted killer, right of publicity lawsuits remain among the most problematic claims against content producers. The scope of the right is in constant flux in the wake of legislative activity and inconsistent judicial application of First Amendment protections. Through moderated debates, this session will try to make sense of current issues in right of publicity law, delving into: legislative developments and pending cases; emerging splits among California courts and between California and the rest of the country; the blurring of lines between advertising and expressive speech; and the ongoing disparity in the treatment of film, television, videogames, and other interactive entertainment.

    Moderator: Aaron Wais, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP


  • David Halberstadter, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Mark Lee, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
  • Jennifer Rothman, Loyola Law School
  • Retire to the outer vestibule for catered beverages and snacks, complimentary with the cost of admission.

    Soft Drinks
    • Coffee & Tea Service
    • Iced Tea
    • Waters
    • House-Made Snack Bars (oatmeal granola with dark chocolate)
    • Date Bars with Honey
    • Mini Cookies (oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip)

    With the Weinstein scandal shining a spotlight on Hollywood’s casting practices, how much leeway do producers and other content creators have in hiring and termination decisions? Can they audition only old men for the role of a grumpy grandfather, and only young men for a happy-go-lucky fresh face? Can they fire an actress who, contrary to her character, gets pregnant? Can a producer protect a script-writer whose jokes in the writer’s room – or on social media – cross the line? Through a series of hypotheticals, this panel will explore the tension between the First Amendment and employment laws (including a pending California Supreme Court dispute), the applicability of anti-SLAPP laws, and advice for managing the public relations fires that can erupt in these cases.

    Moderator: Rochelle Wilcox, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP


  • Kelli Sager, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Randa Soudah, CBS
  • Sarah Cronin, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
  • William Briggs, Venable LLP
  • Retire to the outer vestibule for catered beverages and snacks, complimentary with the cost of admission.

    Soft Drinks
    • Coffee & Tea Service
    • Iced Tea
    • Waters
    • House-Made Snack Bars (oatmeal granola with dark chocolate)
    • Date Bars with Honey
    • Mini Cookies (oatmeal raisin • chocolate chip)

    In today’s advertising world, no figures are more controversial than ‘influencers’ – those individuals who, for whatever reason, personally have the power to shape public tastes via social media or other channels. Attempting to use influencers to promote products in a native advertising campaign can create significant legal issues for advertisers, and for the influencers themselves. This session will focus on key developments and best practices in influencer marketing with a focus on the entertainment industry, including the latest activity by the Federal Trade Commission and its implications for all involved in digital advertising and marketing. The panel will also cover standard obligations that usually appear in influencer marketing contracts and the potential risks that influencers, agencies and brands may be exposed to when they participate in these campaigns.

    Moderator: Ben Mulcahy, Jenner & Block, LLP


  • Andrew Marcus, Andrew Marcus Associates
  • Eric Baum, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Rita Herscovici, RMH Digital Media Consulting
  • Join us for wine and catered small plated dishes in the elegant indoor atrium of the Japanese American Museum and its charming adjacent outdoor stone and water garden.

    • Soft Noodle & Winter Vegetable Stir Fry with Sake Chicken & Ginger Soy (vegetarian available)
    • Grilled Beef Yakitori with Scallions & Toasted Sesame
    • Seared Ahi Tuna Japonaise with Scallion Sesame Wonton Cups
    • Crispy Chicken Karaage with Panko Crust & Sweet Red Chili Sauce
    • White Wine
    • Soft Drinks
    • Waters


    Tateuchi Democracy Forum
    National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
    Japanese American National Museum
    Downtown Los Angeles


    Register For the Conference

    The conference offers 4 hours of CLE credit in accordance with State Bar of California MCLE guidelines. Secure your seat early for discounted registration!


    Trump lawyer seeks to block insider book on White House…

    The Washington Post reported Thursday that Donald Trump’s attorneys have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the book’s publisher, demanding that Henry Holt & Company not publish the book and apologize to the President. In a freshly-penned article in Politico, attorneys Ted Boutrous and Teddy Kider walk us through the details as to why the President’s efforts to prevent the publication of the book are doomed to fail under the First Amendment.


    Ted Boutrous is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and global co-chair of the firm’s litigation group; he’s also appearing as a featured panelist at this year’s annual MLRC/SW Entertainment and Media Law Conference (“Trump, Media & Entertainment:  Coping with Chaos”). Teddy Kider is an associate at Gibson Dunn.

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