For the third year in a row, I have been selected by my peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2019 edition) for my work in the field of Entertainment Law – Theatre.
Obviously, I'm honored, and grateful that I've earned the respect of my fellow attorneys.
More information can be found at http://bestlawyers.com
Last week, I spoke at the Podcast Movement Conference in Philadelphia. It was a blast and if you're at all interested in podcasting, I encourage you to check this out next year, when it'll be in Orlando.
One of the questions I hear most frequently from podcasters is whether they can and should get a registered trademark for their show title.
And my answer is almost always a resounding “YES”. Unless your show is very new, and the title is super descriptive (like “The Motorcycle Touring Show”, it can probably be registered, and you'll be able to stop others from adopting similar titles that could confuse folks out in the marketplace.
Trademark registration is a relatively simple process, but it does take some knowhow.
I have helped quite a few podcasters and lots of other businesses to secure this important form of intellectual property protection. So, if you've got a valuable brand, title or slogan, contact me for a free consultation and see if a trademark right for you. Schedule your trademark consultation here
Are you classifying the people who work for you properly? I work with lots of entrepreneurs and small business owners, and I'm struck by how often people assume that just calling someone an independent contractor is enough to make that the case.
It's especially common with small independent films and theatre projects. Producers often include provisions in their contracts stating that the work is being performed by an independent contractor, who agrees to take responsibility for all taxes, workers' compensation, and other obligations.
But wishing it, or even contracting it won't make it so.
In 2012, shortly after California legislated some harsh penalties for misclassification of workers, I wrote about the so-called “Control test” which examines the degree of control the employer has over the worker in a number of areas.
Independent Contractor vs. Employee – misclassification can cost entertainment industry employers dearly.
New Supreme Court Ruling
But earlier this week, that changed. On April 30, 2018, California Supreme Court rendered its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, and clarified the standard for determining whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors. The Court held that there is a presumption in favor of treating workers as employees, and that an independent contractor classification places a burden on the company to establish that it is proper under the so-called “ABC test”, which has been adopted in some other jurisdictions.
The ABC Test