Legal Aspects of Producing (CLE)
Apr 1 - 2, 2020
Legal Aspects of Producing (CLE)
Apr 1 - 2, 2020
Wed & Thurs: 5:30PM - 9:15PM
Course Details
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The Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section of New York State Bar Association, in collaboration with the Commercial Theater Institute, will host the ninth annual two-evening intensive CLE seminar. The seminar will focus on the roles that theatrical lawyers play in guiding both new and seasoned industry professionals through all of the stages and legal aspects of producing. The first part of Day 1 will cover the acquisition of underlying rights, including film rights and rights in pre-existing music.  The second part will cover the negotiation of the production contract with the dramatists (including book writers, composers and lyricists).  The final part will cover fundraising fundamentals, including the instruments used to raise production financing.   The first part of Day 2 will focus on the relationship among dramatists, commercial producers and not-for-profit theaters, with particular attention on enhancement agreements.  The second part will address the life of a stage production after Broadway, including a discussion of subsidiary rights agreements, international licenses and the current trend of “revisicals.”  In the final part, we have assembled an esteemed group of theater professionals to talk about the most current legal issues confronting the theater industry (including “hot” topics such as crowd-funding, live capture of stage productions, tax credits and force majeure clauses in the age of epidemics/pandemics).

This course is approved for up to 7.0 MCLE credit hours in professional practice for New York State Attorneys. This program is non-transitional and therefore not suited for newly-admitted attorneys.

If you’re not a member of the NY State Bar Association (NYSBA), you can enroll by completing this form and emailing it to Beth Gould at

If you are a member of the NYSBA, you can enroll through the NYSBA website or by completing the form above and emailing it to Beth Gould. If you have any questions about enrollment, please email the CTI staff at

NOTE: Enrollment is handled by the New York State Bar Association (even if you’re not an attorney). Please see the information above to enroll. This course is open to everyone.

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Reviews for Legal Aspects of Producing (CLE)

Day One

Rights Acquisitions & Engaging the Creative Team

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Registration

6:00 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. Introductory Remarks

6:10 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Underlying Rights (1 credit)

Speakers: Seth Stuhl, Disney Theatrical Productions, Liz Ulmer, Sony/ATV Publishing, Marisa Sechrest, Paramount Live, and Jason Baruch, Sendroff & Baruch, LLP

Seth, Marisa, Liz and Jason will discuss the various sources of underlying rights (including film properties, music catalogs and life rights) and the myriad contractual issues relating to such rights agreements.

7:00 p.m. – 7:55 p.m. Author Agreements / The Production Contract (1 credit)

Speakers: Jason Cooper, Creative Artists Agency, Ralph Sevush, The Dramatists Guild, and Jason Baruch, Sendroff & Baruch, LLP

Ralph and the two Jasons will discuss the most important contractual components of stage author agreements, including the Dramatists Guild Approved Production Contract.

7:55 p.m. – 8:05 p.m. Break

8:05 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Investor Fundamentals (1.5 credits)

Speakers: Doug Nevin, Nevin Law Group, and Jason Aylesworth, Sendroff & Baruch, LLP

Doug and Jason Aylesworth will walk the group through Front Money Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements among producers, Co-Producer and Associate Producer Agreements between lead producers and major financiers, and Offering Documents (i.e., the operating agreement or limited partnership agreement, and related subscription documents) between producers and investors. Also covered will be recent changes in the regulatory framework intended to pave the way for some alternatives to traditional theatrical fundraising methods (such as crowd-sourcing and public solicitation).

9:15 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. Wrap Up / Summary for Day One / Closing Notes

Day Two

Not-For-Profits, Subsidiary Rights, Licensing & Revisicals, and Emerging Trends

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Registration

6:00 p.m. – 6:05 p.m. Introductory Remarks

6:05 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.Not-for-Profit Theater (2.5 credits, combined with next speaker group)                                                                                                                                      

Speakers: Gray Coleman, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Gray will talk about the relationship among dramatists, commercial theater producers and not- for-profit theaters, including the issues typically encountered in negotiating enhancement agreements.

7:10 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Broadway Aftermath: Subsidiary Rights, International Licensing of U.S. Productions & Revisicals

Speaker: Marsha Brooks, Brooks & Distler, and Victoria Traube, Concord, North America

Marsha and Vicky will talk about exploitations of theatrical properties after Broadway, including a discussion about stock and amateur licensing, foreign licensing and revivals (including “revisicals”).

8:15 p.m. – 8:25 p.m. Break

8:25 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Emerging Trends in Theater Law (1 credit)

Speakers: Scott Lazarus, Lazarus & Harris LLP, Loren Plotkin, Levine Plotkin & Menin LLP, Elliot Brown, Franklin Weinrib Rudell & Vassallo, P.C., and Jean Ward, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz, P.C.

Our distinguished panel will discuss emerging trends and hot topics in the theater such as: the new profit-sharing arrangement with Actors Equity; force majeure clauses in the age of pandemics; the evolution of tax credits for theatrical productions; concerns surrounding co- producer “finders,” crowd-funding, general solicitation and other fundraising trends; recent theater-related case law; live capture of stage productions; and the impact of technology on the theater industry and how it impacts the legal community.

9:15 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. Wrap-Up / Closing Remarks

This program approved for up to 7.0 credit hours, in the area of professional practice for experienced attorneys only. This program will not qualify for newly admitted attorneys because it is not a basic practical skills program.