Lawyers are required for a lot of things in today's world. For example, many need them to handle property divisions, marital separation agreements, workers' compensation, etc. However, not everyone has the same finances and relationships, and sometimes people require more from their lawyers than the average person, such as media personalities. Read on to learn everything you need to know about entertainment lawyers.
Before going into everything about entertainment lawyers, you should understand that there is a distinction between entertainment law and entertainment family law. Entertainment law is when someone helps manage an entertainer’s legal affairs. For example, entertainment lawyers often draft and negotiate contracts. On the other hand, entertainment family lawyers oversee an entertainer’s more personal affairs.
As mentioned previously, entertainers will also get married, get divorced, and require a representative to advocate on their behalf. A traditional lawyer can take care of this, but there are often many more factors that they must consider when the client is an entertainer. These factors can make it difficult if one has not represented an entertainer before. For example, entertainers often have a property in multiple states with different laws, have inconsistent income coming in, and complicated marital agreements. These complex laws are why professional entertainment family law experts are so critical in preserving client satisfaction.
One of the most significant reasons why entertainment family law experts are so needed is to protect the privacy of entertainers. When someone goes through the legal system for child custody arrangements or settlement agreements, they expect privacy.
However, the same cannot be said for entertainers. They rarely get to enjoy privacy, even when they’re dealing with something so sensitive as divorce or child custody. Entertainment lawyers must take every possible measure to maintain a client’s privacy. Arrangements around marriages, child custody agreements, and finances should be private. However, rabid fanbases will go through the system to uncover as much confidential information about these individuals as possible. That's why you must find a representative with the experience to handle the media and preserve your family's confidentiality.
Another reason why it is essential that entertainers find a competent representative who understands everything there is to know about family law is because they often have vested interests beyond their state's borders. Often, entertainers and media personalities will have houses in several states. Because of this, they will need an attorney who can navigate the complex laws between states.
Beyond just property, these public personalities also require complex nuptial agreements and a careful eye placed on how to handle spousal support and childcare after the divorce. For example, if you are an entertainer working half the time in Los Angeles and the other time living in New York City, your situation will be more complicated than most. Similarly, property division will be a little complex as you consider different laws from state to state, nuptial agreements, and state taxes.
In addition to childcare and divorces, an entertainment family lawyer must also handle the various financials of their client. Being an entertainer does not equate to a standard 9-5 job with a regular income coming in week-over-week. Instead, they work on a contract basis, and as their career changes over time, their income will also change. This income variability can make addressing family support difficult, which is why entertainment lawyers must be thoroughly knowledgeable about specific tax laws and their clients' particular goals. For example, do they want to invest their money in real estate, or put it into trusts for their children? Especially when the client’s income is sporadic, it’s very helpful for their lawyer to understand these things.
Entertainment lawyers typically work for a studio or entertainment company, and they'll facilitate the legal process of representation and management for clients. For example, an entertainment lawyer can work on the backend, negotiating distribution deals for entertainment projects as well as sponsorships, investments, and other contracts.
The lawyers on this side of the equation must also thoroughly understand laws regarding intellectual property, copyright, labor laws, and employment laws. The entertainment world is massive, pushing out new properties and works regularly, and to ensure that everyone is safe and properly cared for, there are a lot of rules and regulations. For example, actors under the age of 18 require approximately 15 percent of their earnings to go into a blind trust that their parents cannot access. Additionally, they cannot work more than eight hours on set at a time and must also have time for schooling.
There is also the more front-end side of things where they create forms for clients such as licensing agreements, location releases, etc. If you are in the entertainment industry, you likely work with an entertainment attorney or are managed by an agent who works with entertainment attorneys. They review your contracts and any other legal documents you may have. Before any piece of media is released to theaters, television, radio, etc., it must go through a rigorous process between all parties to ensure everyone receives fair compensation.
In the entertainment field, there are high-profile athletes, celebrities, and entertainers that need their own personal legal teams. Rather than working through agents and management companies, they create their unique team that includes legal advisers, management, attorneys, etc. Because they are so high-profile and have such an incredible number of vested interests, they need a group that advocates on their behalf. When only working with management or studio legal teams, you soon realize that they advocate on behalf of the studio or management teams' legal responsibility, not your best interests.
There’s a lot you need to know about entertainment lawyers to ensure you find the proper representation. If you are in the entertainment field, your needs are multifaceted and complex, requiring some of the best to take care of your interests. That's why you should consider Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. We are the best entertainment lawyers in Chicago, representing people like you for over 35 years. You can rest assured that your interests will be properly advocated for with us!