Continuing Legal Education

New York Comic Con, in association with Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., and the National Academy of Continuing Legal Education present

CLE: The Law And Practice Of Representing Comic Book Creators - 2019

CLE:  The Law And Practice Of Representing Comic Book Creators - 2019

Earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits in professional practice and diversity and inclusion while attending New York’s biggest pop-culture and entertainment convention: New York Comic Con!

We’re back for our fourth straight year at NYCC with some exciting new topics for lawyers interested in the burgeoning businesses of comic book and graphic novel publishing.

Last year the comic book publishing industry had its strongest fiscal year ever, with combined graphic novel and comic book sales reaching $1.095 billion. Superhero movies continue to outperform other genres, bringing in over $6 billion dollars in 2018 alone. In short, representing comic creators and publishers is an exciting and growing practice area for entertainment lawyers, intellectual property practitioners, corporate transaction attorneys, or any attorney interested in working with artists and small businesses.

These CLEs provide attendees a chance to learn from legal practitioners, comic book creators, and former comic book publishing executives.

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Representing Comic Book Creator Clients In 2019

Representing  Comic Book Creator Clients In 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:45 AM - 2:00 PM ET
3 hours. $175 course fee

This seminar has been approved for 2.5 CLE * credits in areas of professional practice for NY and 1 CLE credit in the newly required area of diversity and inclusion.

In this first course, we present an overview of the comic book industry over the past year, highlight new areas of litigation and transactional work, and provide the  fundamentals of representing comic book industry clients. Because the comic book industry is very focused on diversity and inclusion, we are adding new topics in these areas, which will also provide attendees with credit towards the New York State’s new diversity and inclusion CLE requirements.

Some of the issues explored in this first CLE:

  • The state of the comic book industry and legal practice in 2019
  • Diversity and inclusion issues for the comic book industry practitioner
  • Emerging intellectual property issues in the comic book industry
  • Key contracts every comic book lawyer needs to know
  • Evolving legal issues in self-publishing of comic book properties
  • Q&A

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Comic Book Contract Negotiation And Drafting Practicum

Comic  Book Contract Negotiation And Drafting Practicum

Sunday, October 6, 2019 10:45 AM - 1:00 PM ET
2 hours, 5 minutes. $125 course fee

This seminar has been approved for 2.5 CLE * credits in areas of professional practice for NY.

Due to the overwhelming response to last year’s practicum, we’re bringing it back for a third year with new exercises and new hypotheticals!

This CLE workshop teaches practical skills in comic book legal practice. The information taught on Thursday’s CLE is incorporated into a hands-on negotiation and drafting practicum, featuring breakout groups and in-class short drafting assignments.

This is an intensive two-hour course: attendees will do write a rough draft of key comic book agreement provisions, engage in client interview exercises tailored to the comic book industry, and prepare a deal memo for a publishing agreement. Facilitated by seasoned comic book publishing attorneys, attendees will get a chance to issue-spot, draft, and engage in mock negotiations.

Some of the Issues explored in this second CLE:

  • Issue-spotting with the comic book creator client
  • Drafting techniques for key comic book contract clauses
  • Creator’s services agreements
  • Negotiating publishing agreements
  • Tips and tricks for toy licensing
  • Q&A

NOTE: Each CLE workshop may be taken individually, but the organizers recommend both be taken for maximum exposure to the subject matter. Course attendees must have a NYCC badge valid for the day of the workshop they purchase. Industry badges may be purchased for either Thursday (free) or all four days of the show (an additional $60 on top of the course fees listed below.)

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Thomas A. Crowell,  Esq.Thomas A. Crowell, Esq.

Thomas Crowell is a partner in the law firm of LaneCrowell, LLP, in the firm's New York office. He is also the Director from Practice, emeritus, of The Indie Film Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Thomas counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, in practice areas that range from film and television to comic book publishing, music, and the graphic arts. His comic book creator clients have created some of the most recognizable superheroes in the world.

Thomas is the series editor of the Focal Press "Pocket Lawyer for ... " series and author of both "The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers" (Focal Press, 2ed. 2011), and the first dedicated legal guide for the comic book industry: " The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators" (Focal Press 2014). Thomas received his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif. He is admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jeff Trexler, Esq.

Jeff Trexler (JD, Yale; PhD, Duke) is an attorney and Associate Director of the Fashion Law Institute. Jeff has worked with media and fashion clients from around the world on issues ranging from start-up formation and tax strategy to corporate ethics and intellectual property.

Gamal Hennesy, Esq.

A former international contracts manager with Marvel Enterprises, Gamal Hennessy is an experienced commercial contracts attorney with expertise in drafting and negotiating comic book publishing and IP licensing. During his career, he’s represented major corporate clients including Amazon Publishing, Marvel Comics, After Shock, Mad Cave Studios as well as independent artists and writers.

David Gallaher

Author David Gallaher has received multiple Harvey Award nominations and won The Best Online Comic Award for his work on High Moon. David was an early pioneer of digital comics developing projects for Marvel as well as Box 13 – the first comic designed specifically for the iPhone – for ComiXology. He has served as a consulting editor for Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Phoenix Wright, and other manga projects for Kodansha. He has written for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, IDW, Boom Studios and is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult series THE ONLY LIVING BOY.

Jason Yarn (Thursday)

Jason Yarn has been an agent for twelve years and an attorney for eight, working in the literary department and business affairs at Paradigm Talent Agency before going out on his own. His agency represents award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling authors of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, in addition to handling film and television rights.

Lillian Laserson (Sunday)

Lillian Laserson is a sole practitioner representing artists, writers, producers, publishers, and others in transactional matters primarily involving comic book publishing, licensing, copyright and entertainment law. She chairs the board and is head of legal and business affairs for Playing on Air, producer of short contemporary plays for public radio and podcast. Prior to forming her own firm, she was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DC Comics where she established and ran the company’s in-house legal department for twenty years. She began working in the area of character rights when she joined Jim Henson Productions as the company’s Associate General Counsel and became Kermit and Miss Piggy’s go-to girl for legal and business affairs. Before going in-house Lillian was associated with the law firms of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman and Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon. She graduated cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she has been an Adjunct Professor of Law.

Additional speakers to be announced.

*This course has been approved for all NY attorneys including those who are newly admitted (Transitional and Non-Transitional). Please note: Thursday’s session includes 1 hour of diversity and inclusion which is not applicable to newly admitted attorneys in NY. New Admits will earn a total of 2.5 prof practice credits for attending Thursday’s session.      

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