The entertainment and sports realm is awash in all sorts of contracts, agreements, negotiations, and transactions. It takes a highly practiced contract lawyer to navigate this intricate industry. If you are in the entertainment and sports industry, it is integral to have an attorney who not only offers invaluable counsel and guidance, but who can also assess financial implications and potential risks.
What Can A Sports And Entertainment Lawyer Do For Me?
When people think of star athletes, musicians, actors, and celebrities, the first thing that comes to mind is not usually their lawyer. However, lawyers are actually an essential part of the process of making and sustaining the careers of successful sports and entertainment stars, as well as the sports and entertainment industries at large.
What Does A Sports Lawyer Do? What Does An Entertainment Lawyer Do?
A practicing sports lawyer and a practicing entertainment lawyer have different jobs in different fields (though there are some attorneys who specialize in both sports and entertainment law). As such, it makes sense to discuss each category separately.
What Does A Sports Lawyer Do?
Sports lawyers attend to the legal needs and act as legal counsel to people and businesses all across the sports industry. Sometimes, sports lawyers will sub-specialize in one specific sport, and might further specialize in one area of law (for instance, contract law). Common clients of sports attorneys include:
- Team Owners
- Universities, Colleges, and Other Schools
- Sports Franchises
- Sports Television Networks
- Sports Marketing Firms
- Sports Apparel Manufacturers or Brands
- Sports Promoters or Event Producers
- Sports Executives
They handle a wide range of issues and perform a wide range of services, depending on their area of expertise and the needs of their clientele. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Contract Negotiation and Modification
- Commercial Transactions and Deals
- NCAA Regulations and College Sports Issues
- Title VII and Coach Compensation Issues
- Title IX and Gender Discrimination Issues
- Establishing Business Entities and Concerns (such as charitable organizations)
- Endorsement and Sponsorship
- Procedural Due Process and Drug Testing
- Dispute Resolution/Mediation
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Broadcasting Rights
- Licensing and Merchandising Agreements
- Labor Issues, Employee Benefits, and Exploitation Concerns
- Regulatory Compliance
- Criminal and Civil Representation of Players, Coaches, Owners, Teams, and Schools
- Libel, Slander, and False Accusations
- Stadium and Arena Contracting and Construction
- Anti-Trust Matters
- Tax Issues
- Estate and Financial Planning
- Any Other Legal Matters, as Needed
What Does An Entertainment Lawyer Do?
Entertainment lawyers attend to the legal needs and act as legal counsel to people and businesses all across the entertainment industry. This encompasses fields like theater, film, TV, digital media, music, literature, and other publishing. Common clients of entertainment lawyers include:
- Influencers/Digital Media Creators and Personalities
- Production Crews and Companies
- Movie Studios
- Music Studios and Record Companies
- Television and Streaming Networks
- Radio Stations and Digital Broadcast Networks
Like sports attorneys, entertainment attorneys sometimes have a sub-specialty, focusing on one or another field of the entertainment industry (i.e., movies or music). They may further sub-specialize into one of two modes: transactional law (i.e., contracts and business deals), or litigation (i.e., pursuing matters in court on their client’s behalf).
Entertainment attorneys handle a wide range of legal issues and concerns and offer a wide range of legal services to their clients. These include:
- Negotiating, drafting, and leveraging contracts
- Obtaining Financing for Entertainment Projects and Productions
- Distribution and Syndication Issues
- Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark Protection
- Merchandising Contracts and Rights
- Legal Counsel for Movie Production
- Legal Counsel for Internet and New Media Matters
- Structuring and Creating Entertainment Business Entities and Ventures
- Union and Guild Issues and Labor Matters
- Connecting Clients to Other Services/Providers
Is A Sports Or Entertainment Lawyer The Same As A Sports Or Entertainment Agent?
While some sports and entertainment lawyers do double as agents, it is not standard or expected. This is because the role of “sports/entertainment lawyer” and that of “sports/entertainment agent” are inherently different (though they may have a certain amount of overlap).
A sports or entertainment agent tends to take care of a client’s overall personal and professional needs, including handling their marketing, publicity, and bookings, and making sure that their personal needs are met as well.
Sports and entertainment lawyers, on the other hand, are more specific in their area of service, only covering a client’s legal needs. Exactly what constitutes “legal needs” can be quite broad, from drafting contracts to negotiation to litigation to offering personal legal counsel. However, the purview of a sports or entertainment lawyer still does not encompass many of the tasks and responsibilities of a sports or entertainment agent (and vice versa).
Moreover, the training and qualifications of a sports or entertainment lawyer differ from those of a sports or entertainment agent. While both a sports and entertainment lawyer and a sports or entertainment agent will be familiar with the sports or entertainment industries (especially as they pertain to the specific needs of their clients), lawyers have far more rigid and demanding technical qualifications. A sports or entertainment lawyer must go through law school, obtain a JD, pass the bar, and remain in good bar standing to practice. A sports agent does not need any such training or accreditation.
Do I Need A Sports Or Entertainment Lawyer?
If you in the sports industry or the entertainment industry, and/or you are on the trajectory for a career in sports or entertainment, you will likely need a sports or entertainment lawyer at some point in your career.
Sports and entertainment lawyers are essential for talent (i.e., players, coaches, actors, musicians, directors, writers, creators, and digital media personalities). They can protect talent from exploitation, sub-par contract stipulations, litigation, and other legal dangers, and can serve as legal counsel and protect their best interests in all contracts and conflicts.
Sports and entertainment lawyers are also necessary for all industry figures, including individuals (i.e., team owners, universities, producers, network executives, and managers/agents), as well as businesses (team franchises, universities, marketing and merchandising companies, studios, TV and radio networks, production companies, record companies, and digital networks). They can protect them from labor and contract disputes, litigation, liability, and other common legal problems, and—as is the case for individual talent—protect their best interests as sound legal counsel in all contracts and conflicts.
Where Can I Find A Sports And Entertainment Lawyer In Tallahassee, Florida?
If you’re looking for a dual-specialist sports and entertainment lawyer in Tallahassee, Florida, Attorney Andrew Fredrickson and the talented staff at the Fredrickson Law Firm are here to help.
Attorney Fredrickson is an experienced, passionate, and forward-thinking attorney who has practiced in both Florida and California. He started his career working as an in-house business and legal affairs executive for NBC Universal, and has only expanded on his achievements and experiences from there. After relocating from California to his home state of Florida, Attorney Fredrickson created a firm that would offer bespoke, individualized legal representation to clients in both sports and entertainment. The Fredickson Law Firm prides itself on providing extremely attentive, tailor-made legal counsel to its clients. This makes all the difference, as attested to by the outcomes and reviews from Attorney Fredrickson’s previous clients.
Do you need legal representation in entertainment or sports matters? Don’t wait. Call Attorney Andrew Fredrickson and The Fredrickson Law Firm at (904) 831-1030 today.
Call Now For A Personalized Consultation