Faculty

Monday
Dec202010

Michael Blaha

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Financing and Distributing Independent Films Law; Entertainment Law.

Since 1992, Michael Blaha has been a sole practitioner specializing in entertainment transactions and litigation. His litigation practice focuses on intellectual property claims, with a particular emphasis on motion picture and television copyright infringement and contract disputes. His transactional clients include independent producers, actors, writers, directors, and musicians. He is also a producer's representative for independent films and television programs.

Professor Blaha obtained his B.A. in Political Science (cum laude) from the University of Miami at the age of 18 and received his J.D. from Duke University in 1979 at the age of 21. He was employed as an associate at the law firm now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, from 1979-1982. From 1982-1987, he worked as an in-house counsel at Columbia Pictures. Professor Blaha was Vice President of Legal Affairs at Columbia when he left in 1988 to work in that same capacity at Lorimar Telepictures Corporation. He returned to work as a consultant Of Counsel at Columbia from 1990-1991.

Professor Blaha is a member of the State Bar of California and admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. He has taught entertainment law courses as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Southwestern University School of Law, including “Financing and Distributing Independent Motion Pictures,” and has lectured on entertainment law issues in several states. Professor Blaha has also acted as an expert witness for court and arbitration cases in Los Angeles, France, and the Philippines.

In 1999, the independent feature Chi Girl, on which Professor Blaha acted as Executive Producer, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1999 Slamdance International Film Festival. His other film producing credits include the independent features According To Occam's Razor, The Dogwalker (Best New Director, Cinequest Film Festival), Walking The Walk, runt (Best New Director Honorable Mention, Pan-African Film Festival), The Who: The Vegas Job and the short film The Legend of Beaver Dam (Toronto International Film Festival).

Professor Blaha has produced over thirty plays around the world, including twenty productions at the largest theater festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His Fringe productions include the Perrier Award nominated Sabotage: In Fine Form, the Best Actor Award winner Night in November, runt (Sony Academy Gold Award for Best Drama for BBC World Service radio production), Billy The Kid (Spirit of the Fringe Award) and the critically acclaimed Trickboxing. In addition, he has been involved as a producer on JOB: The Hip-Hopera at the Stella Adler Theater in Los Angles (nominated for Best New Musical by the Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle) Bukowsical!, which won Best Musical at the New York International Fringe, and Pajama Men at the Soho Theatre in London (Times Double Act Of The Year).

Wednesday
Dec152010

Nannette Diacovo

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Television Production Law.

Nannette Diacovo has been a successful entertainment lawyer for over 18 years. She is the Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs at Lionsgate heading up a department of legal affairs attorneys for a mini-major studio.  She works with studio executives and senior management in connection with all aspects of development and production for scripted programming on various platforms, including new media such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.  Previously she worked as an independent entertainment attorney working on a variety of television projects for third parties, including serving as “of counsel” at The Point Media, an entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, California. Prior to venturing off on her own, Nan served as Vice President of Legal Affairs at Warner Bros. Television for thirteen years where she was responsible for overseeing a variety of scripted and unscripted programs for Warner Bros. Television, Horizon Scripted Television, and Horizon Alternative Television. Nan’s responsibilities at Warner Bros. included drafting and maintaining development deals, production deals, and overall deals for major television producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer (“Cold Case,” and “Without A Trace”) and Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “Gossip Girl,” and “The Carrie Diaries”), as well as being responsible for all of the legal work on specific programs, including all aspects of production, clearance, rights research and rights agreements, various production agreements, settlements, and intellectual property issues. In addition, Nan provided legal counsel to the development, marketing, publicity and other divisions within Warner Bros/Warner Horizon groups with respect to rights, union/guild issues and general production issues. Nan has overseen shows such as “The West Wing,” “Without A Trace,” “Studio 60,” “Chuck,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Harry’s Law,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “The Carrie Diaries.”

Prior to becoming a lawyer Nan started her adventure into the entertainment industry by graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in film from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Three weeks after graduating, Nan headed to Hollywood where she worked in film and television as a production assistant, production secretary, casting assistant and casting associate, ending up as a “night student” at Southwestern University School of Law while casting during the day. While at Southwestern Nan was a member of Law Review, published in the Southwestern Law Review and the Miami University Entertainment Law Review, as well as winning “second place brief” in Southwestern’s Moot Court competition. After graduating law school Nan headed to NBC where she worked in the legal affairs department for four years for both the studio and the network before joining Warner Bros Television.

Friday
Jan012010

Michael M. Epstein

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Mass Media Law.

An aspiring journalist in college, Michael Epstein turned to law when a research project for a PBS documentary series on the U.S. Constitution put him in contact with some of the leading lawyers in the country. While in law school, the two interests blended well, leading him to serve as Book Review editor of Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Later, he received a Public Interest Law Foundation Fellowship and served an internship at the Media Access Project in Washington, D.C. Following graduation, he joined the law firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood in New York City as an associate focusing on media mergers and acquisitions, as well as bank refinancing, leveraged leasing and alternative energy projects. Later, with the firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, he expanded his areas of practice to include bankruptcy, corporate, real estate law, and lobbying efforts before Congress and federal agencies on behalf of clients.

Professor Epstein returned to academia to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, and while a graduate student, received his first teaching assignments in the University of Michigan's Departments of Anthropology, Communication, English Language and Literature and in the Program in American Culture. He later taught courses on media law and theory, communication and society, and television industry and regulation at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Professor Epstein joined the Southwestern faculty in 1999. He serves as a faculty advisor to the Media Law Forum and the Entertainment & Sports Law Society and assists students in arranging entertainment law externships. He is the author of numerous articles and his current research interests include communications law, access to electronic media, television industry and entertainment culture.

Friday
May012009

Gordon P. Firemark

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Theater Law.

Gordon Firemark is an attorney whose practice is devoted to the representation of artists, writers, producers and directors in the fields of theater, film, television, and music. He is also the publisher of Entertainment Law Update, a newsletter for artists and professionals in the entertainment industries. His practice also covers intellectual property, cyberspace, new media and business/corporate matters for clients in the entertainment industry. Mr. Firemark serves as President of the Board of The Academy for New Musical Theatre and has served on the Boards of Governors of The Los Angeles Stage Alliance (the organization responsible for the annual Ovation Awards for excellence in Theater), and the Beverly Hills Bar Association, where he was liaison to the Association’s Entertainment Law Section (of which he is also a former chairman).

Mr. Firemark holds a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Oregon, and earned his law degree at Southwestern University School of Law. Before opening The Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark, he was a partner with the Business Affairs Group, a boutique entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. He has also worked in the legal and business affairs departments at Hanna-Barbera Productions and the MGM/UA Worldwide Television Group, and started his legal career as an associate at Neville L. Johnson & Associates, a West L.A. firm specializing in entertainment litigation.

Gordon is an alumnus of the Commercial Theatre Institute, and is also an accomplished producer of stage plays and musicals.  He serves as CEO of Fierce Theatricals, which produces small cast musicals, cabaret shows, and regional tours. He has been involved with the entertainment industry in one way or another since his youth as a sound, lighting, and special effects technician in the theatre. Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked in the television industry, producing and directing live sports telecasts, public affairs programming commercial announcements, documentaries, and industrial videos.

Mr. Firemark has served as a moderator and featured panelist at seminars sponsored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association, California Lawyers for the Arts, Theatre LA, and the Oregon Artist’s Rights Coalition. He has also been a guest lecturer at Loyola Law School, California Western School of law, UC Irvine, and California State University, Northridge.

Wednesday
Apr292009

Zeina Grenier

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Music Publishing Industry Law.

Zeina H. Grenier is Senior Director of Business and Legal Affairs at Universal Music Publishing Group.  In this capacity, Zeina drafts and negotiates music publishing agreements for both contemporary and legacy artists and composers from all genres. She also reviews, drafts, and negotiates digital licenses with media companies.  Zeina's position requires her to regularly analyze US and international copyright law and provides guidance on legal copyright issues.  She also participates in regular meetings to review pending deals with members of the Universal A&R department and actively participates in all stages of music production legal library matters.  Prior to joining Universal Music Publishing Group, Zeina served as Senior Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Zeina teaches Entertainment Law and an online LL.M. course on the Music Publishing Industry at Southwestern Law School, and is active in various legal entertainment organizations.  She currently serves as a board member on Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association and most recently, as Vice Chair on the Committee on Music and Personal Appearances for the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law.  Zeina has also served as a panelist at seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, ASCAP, Southwestern Law School, and the Grammy Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI), where she also donates her time as a judge for the annual ELI Essay Contest.

She earned her J.D. from Southwestern, where she was an award-winning member of Moot Court and co-authored “Use of Loan-out Corporations in the Entertainment Industry” with Professor Robert C. Lind (Andrews Entertainment Industry Litigation Reporter, January 2006). She received her B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Wednesday
Apr012009

Robert C. Lind

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Copyright Law, Entertainment Law.

A former semi-professional musician, Robert Lind combined his interest in the arts and law to become an expert in several aspects of entertainment, media and intellectual property law. A prolific writer, he is the author or co-author of widely used casebooks, treatises and study guides on entertainment law, art law, museum law, and media law, as well as copyright and trademark. He frequently shares his insights regarding emerging legal developments in these areas at programs sponsored by the intellectual property, entertainment and media law sections of the American Bar Association, California State Bar, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, and other local bar groups, nonprofit arts organizations, the legal departments of motion picture studios, record companies, music publishers, and the news media. He is outside intellectual property counsel for Lionsgate Entertainment and outside copyright counsel for Warner/Chappell Music Publishing.

Professor Lind began his law career as a consultant to the American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA), and the American Association of Museums in Washington, D.C. A former teaching fellow at the National Law Center at George Washington University, he returned to the Center as a lecturer in law and also taught classes at Marymount College of Virginia.

Since 1981, Professor Lind has been a member of the faculty at Southwestern where he has continued to develop cutting-edge entertainment, intellectual property, and media law courses, seminars and externships. He was honored as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law in 2001, and as the Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law in 2005. In 2006, he was honored with the Upper Division Professor Excellence in Teaching Award. He was recently appointed as Director of the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute for 2009-10.

Sunday
Mar152009

Louise Nemschoff

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Video Game Law.

Louise Nemschoff is a sole practitioner of entertainment and intellectual property law, with offices in Los Angeles. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, she has been in practice for over 30 years. She represents a wide range of parties in domestic and international transactions in video games, Internet, mobile and other digital media, including licensing and employment agreements, as well as film, television, animation, comic books and other publishing.  Ms. Nemschoff has published a number of articles and spoken extensively on various aspects of copyright, finance, development, publishing and distribution.

Sunday
Mar012009

Neil Ollivierra

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Motion Picture Production Law.

Neil Ollivierra a former longtime Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at Lionsgate Entertainment, where his responsibilities included negotiating and drafting a wide variety of development and production agreements with respect to rights, cast, crew, location, product release, product placement, turnaround and quitclaim deals, finance, escrow, NOIA, visual effects services, Department of Defense military assistance, real property leases, and settlement agreements. He provided business and legal counsel to Lionsgate’s development and production executives—interpreting and applying collective bargaining agreement provisions, as well as domestic and foreign case law, civil statutes and administrative code—and drafted memoranda with respect to labor, entertainment and intellectual property matters. He further filed intellectual property registration and recordation documents on behalf of the company, including those related to copyrights, trademarks and liens, and has successfully appealed the rejection of trademark applications with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Prior to entering the practice of law, Professor Ollivierra for many years enjoyed the privilege of working on both the creative and business sides of the arts on an international scale. As the manager of the pioneering techno record label Transmat Records during its most prolific years, wherein celebrated artists such as Grammy-nominated producer Carl Craig exploded onto the global scene, he supervised the development, marketing and licensing of hundreds of musical works in operations based in United States, Europe and Asia. As a professional music producer, he has recorded for record labels in England, Belgium, Japan and the United States, and as a music performer he has toured domestically and abroad. His acrylic paintings hang in homes and corporate environments in Paris, London, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit, and his critical essays on the subjects of film and music have been published in England, Germany and the USA.

Professor Ollivierra earned his law degree at the Southwestern Law School.

Wednesday
Feb182009

Bernard M. Resnick

Teaches or Lectures in Navigating Recording Artists Through The Entertainment Industry.

Bernard M. Resnick, Esq. is an entertainment attorney practicing in Philadelphia, PA, USA.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for over twenty years.  His firm, Bernard M. Resnick, Esq., P.C., has earned over 85 gold, platinum, multi-platinum, Billboard #1, Eurovision and/or BDS Certified Spin awards for deals the firm has negotiated and drafted on behalf of the firm’s clients, representing sales of over 100,000,000 records.

The firm’s clientele ranges across many styles and genres of talent, encompassing recording artists, songwriters, record producers, agents, managers, filmmakers, financiers, internet website designers and operators, professional athletes, etc.  Clients of the firm vary from “baby bands” and neophyte filmmakers to gold and platinum-selling recording artists, producers and songwriters, Grammy award winners, members of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, record labels, international entertainment businesses, and publicly-traded companies.  The firm regularly places client music in television programs, movies, and video games.  

Mr. Resnick’s most recent publication, titled “Concert Tours in the USA”, was included in the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers’ annual journal for 2011.  His article “Tips for the Beginning Entertainment Law Attorney” was published in the “Barristers Tips” section of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine’s 24th annual Entertainment Law issue.  He also co-authored a chapter about 360 Deals in the USA in IAEL’s 2009 book, three chapters in “The Musician’s Business and Legal Guide – 4th Edition”, published by Prentice Hall for the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and many other articles and chapters in journals, textbooks and magazines. 

Mr. Resnick has participated in panel discussions, presented seminars, and conducted continuing legal education classes worldwide, including for Liverpool Sound City; NARIP; eMusic Blast; the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers at MIDEM/MIDEMNet; the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; the Texas State Bar Association Entertainment Law Institute; the Independent Music Conference; the Cutting Edge Music Conference; the Beverly Hills Bar Association; Widener University School of Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Association Symposium; the Albany County Bar Association; New Noise Santa Barbara; and Les Rencontres.  He frequently serves as an expert witness in entertainment and sports-related lawsuits; and he has been named a “Pennsylvania Superlawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine/Law & Politics Magazine every year since the inception of the award in 2004.

In 2011, Mr. Resnick was credited on the LP entitled “Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Forever”, which is a recording of the final concert performance by the legendary reggae artist before his untimely death.  Resnick represented the owner of the original concert recording.  He solicited and negotiated the agreement with the Island Def Jam Music Group and the Estate of Bob Marley which authorized the restoration, sale and eventual commercial release of this historic recording. 

Mr. Resnick serves on several Boards of Directors: He was recently elected as a Governor of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy for 2011-2013; and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Villanova Law School’s Sports & Entertainment Law Journal Advisory Board; Main Line Symphony; and Saturnalia Books.  Mr. Resnick is also a musician, songwriter, record producer, music publisher and manager.  He practices law with his wife, the lovely and vivacious Priscilla J. Mattison, Esq.

Sunday
Feb012009

Michael D.  Scott

Teaches or Lectures in These Online Courses: Internet & E-Commerce Law.

With over 30 years of legal experience representing high-technology clients and an extensive background in computer technology, Michael Scott is considered a "pioneer" in the field of high-technology law and public policy. A former member of Southwestern's adjunct faculty whose affiliation with the law school dates back to 1976, he joined the full-time faculty in 2003. Professor Scott feels strongly that "it is extremely important to help law students become truly conversant in those areas of technology, law, business and public policy they will need to be effective leaders of the 21st Century."

As a partner in the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP, Professor Scott's areas of practice included intellectual property law; domestic and international licensing; technology law; and litigation for all types of businesses, from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of six books on intellectual property, computer, multimedia, internet, and telecommunications law, and has published and presented hundreds of papers on related topics at symposia around the world.

A member of the board of editors of the UCLA-Alaska Law Review during law school, Professor Scott is currently editor-in-chief of The Cyberspace Lawyer and E-Commerce Law Report. He also serves on the advisory boards or as a correspondent for Argentine, Dutch, British, and American publications on law and technology, and as co-chair of the California State Bar's Intellectual Property Section, Computer/Internet Roundtable.