Graduating from Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School, with a Juris Doctor, Azi was initiated to the HR field in both the legal and insurance industries handling primarily workers compensation cases. She then started her professional career in the public sector with the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Employee Relations Division as a Departmental Civil Service Representative. There she appeared before the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission Board and represented the Department in all employment matters.
Azi expanded her career in the employee and labor relations field by joining the health care industry, where she was an employee relations manager at UCLA Health and later for the City of Hope (COH), advising and consulting her clients on various employment law matters which included investigations, EEO claims and providing training & development to leadership, all while consulting on business and organizational development.
Experienced in both union and non-union environments, Azi’s legal background awarded her the opportunity to successfully negotiate numerous labor-management agreements, and represented her clients in a number of EEO matters.
Owner of 403 Ops Consulting, Azi can help any company, of any size remain in compliance with employment law, and provide the legal & HR expertise needed to keep her clients safe.
Azi is an active member of the California Bar Association – Is bilingual English/Farsi.
Connie L. Chen is a principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Connie’s practice focuses on representing employers in all types of employment-related litigation in state and federal courts and in arbitration.
Connie has broad experience litigating single plaintiff and class/representative action cases involving wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and related claims. She assists employers in a variety of industries, including restaurant, hospitality, retail, logistics, manufacturing, construction, and entertainment.
In addition, Connie defends employers against wage and hour claims before the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and charges of discrimination before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She also routinely provides preventative counseling to employers on policies and practices governing day-to-day workplace issues, including wage and hour compliance, employee handbooks, requests for leave, disability accommodation, employee discipline, layoffs, and terminations.
Connie is admitted in California and New York state and federal courts. While attending law school, she served as production editor of the Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal.
As a highly visible and seasoned media executive with diverse experience, Joanna Sucherman has simultaneously excelled in both the creative and business ends of the entertainment world. She has spent her career analyzing consumer and industry trends and is respected by clients as both a strategic and innovative thinker.
Sucherman is the Owner of JLS Media, a full-service media consulting agency, where she specializes in high-end executive placement and executive coaching. Through the explosive growth of JLS Media, Joanna has placed senior executives in multiple sectors, specifically focusing on entertainment. Her clients have included global media companies, including Disney, FOX, A&E, Lionsgate, Starz, Blumhouse, NBC, Fremantle, BBC Studios, MarVista Entertainment, 72andSunny, ITV Studios, HRTS, and River Road Entertainment.
Prior to launching her own company, Joanna was an SVP at Sucherman Group, a leading adviser for media organizations. While there, Joanna worked closely with companies on organizational design and development of programming functions within broadcast and cable news organizations.
Prior to joining SG, Joanna spent over a decade in the television broadcast and cable industry, producing a variety of cable television shows. Most notably, Joanna served as Executive Producer on several series at E! Entertainment.
Joanna launched JLS Media in 2015 with the goal of creating a synergistic company that offers both executive placement and executive coaching. She feels that coaching allows her to work closely with her clients, utilizing experience from her previous roles, thus helping clients to shape their careers and focus on long term goals.
Sucherman and her husband Scott Saltzburg live in Los Angeles.
jls medialos angeles, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda N. Luftman represents both employers and employees on a wide range of labor and employment issues. Because Amanda is familiar with and continuously argues opposing perspectives of the same issues, she brings unique value to her clients, whether they are prosecuting or defending employment-related claims.
Amanda’s philosophy is “knowledge is power”. She routinely educates and counsels employers regarding best practices to comply with California’s ever-changing landscape of labor and employment law. She is passionate about providing the most practical business solutions for her clients to achieve compliance with current laws – because Amanda believes in, and actually likes, compliance. Amanda, together with the BOL Employment Team, also drafts and negotiates employment agreements, company policies, and employee handbooks for employers.
When companies fail to “get it right”, Amanda represents former employees in their efforts to achieve more favorable separation terms and current employees to assist in the resolution of their differences with their employers. Amanda strives to achieve a speedy and amicable resolution for her clients but will not hesitate to file a lawsuit when necessary. Amanda also assists employees in their negotiations for new employment; reviews and revises employment agreements; and negotiates best employment terms.
Following the first few years of her legal career with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP in Los Angeles, Amanda accepted a position as a Senior Human Resources Consultant with The Walt Disney Company. She thoroughly enjoyed serving in a Human Resources role, as it gave her a very different perspective than her usual viewpoint as the attorney. Ultimately, she returned to her first love, the practice of law. At BOL, Amanda practices what she preaches, as the Managing Partner of the firm.
Ms. Luftman is a committed foodie who loves to stay abreast of the latest additions to the Los Angeles restaurant scene: good food and good live theater makes for a perfect outing. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with family, friends, and yes, her clients, too.
Craig Wagner is Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee of the UCLA Entertainment Symposium, one of the leading entertainment business and law conferences in the world. The annual Entertainment Symposium is sponsored by the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law at UCLA. In addition to serving as Co-Chair, Mr. Wagner currently holds an appointment as adjunct faculty at the UCLA School of Law where he teaches a course on entertainment law and related topics.
Mr. Wagner has had a long career as an attorney and executive in the entertainment industry. He is the Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel for the Paradigm Talent Agency, a leading Hollywood talent agency. Paradigm represents over 2,000 clients in motion pictures, television, theater, books, film sales and branding. He oversees all motion picture and television business affairs at Paradigm and has held that position since he joined the agency in 2005. During his tenure at Paradigm, Mr. Wagner has negotiated countless agreements for motion pictures and episodic series on behalf of writers, directors, producers, actors and authors, and has been involved as a negotiator in numerous projects for film, television and streaming.
Prior to his current position at Paradigm, Mr. Wagner was Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, for Paramount Pictures. At Paramount, he served in numerous capacities and was most recently Head of Business Affairs for Paramount’s Network Television Division. He was personally involved and supervised the negotiation of numerous talent, underlying rights and other agreements for episodic television series, mini-series and made-for-television motion pictures. Before joining Paramount, Mr. Wagner was associated with the law firm of Stroock in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Wagner also sits on the Advisory Board of the School of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Fullerton, and is a member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society. He has been recognized on numerous occasions in Variety’s Legal Impact Report as well as its Hollywood Dealmakers edition.
A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Wagner earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in English and obtained his law degree from New York University School of Law where he was Note & Comment Editor of the NYU Law Review. He makes his home in Agoura Hills, California with his wife, their two sons and their two yellow Labradors.
Lawrence Ulman is an industry leader in media finance and has been instrumental in shaping the areas of slate financings, international tax advantaged film financings, and innovative and complex media co-financings and loan arrangements. He recently retired from NBCUniversal as a Senior Vice President in the finance and tax group. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, he retired as a senior partner and Co-Chair of the Media & Entertainment Practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
In 45 years as a lawyer and executive in the media and entertainment area, Lawrence has regularly represented film studios in their film distribution and financial matters and banks, private equity firms and financiers providing production financing for theatrical motion pictures and television.
His expertise includes negotiating film slate financings; international tax advantaged film financing transactions; acquisitions of film rights for foreign and domestic film companies; representation of financial institutions in innovative and complex loan arrangements, including film securitizations and credit enhanced and gap lending arrangements; representation of completion guarantors insuring the completion and delivery of independent and major theatrical motion pictures and representation of companies in their advertising campaigns with the major film studios. He also has experience in representing sellers and buyers of film rights and negotiating output and other forms of film and television acquisition agreements.
Clients with which he had a substantial and long-term relationship include Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Fireman’s Fund, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Volkswagen AG, Chrysler, Platinum Equity, and Constantin Film. For five years, he taught entertainment finance at the USC Graduate School of Cinematic Arts.
He is the Co-Chair of the UCLA Entertainment Symposium and a member of the Advisory Board of the USC Entertainment Law Institute. He regularly speaks at media events and has spoken at the Film Finance Forum, UCLA Entertainment Symposium, UCLA Law School, USC Entertainment Symposium, CLE Fora on Entertainment Law, American Film Market, Berlin Film Festival, Beverly Hills Bar Association, and ABA Entertainment Conferences.
He is a graduate of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Business, and the USC Gould School of Law.
MATTHEW THOMPSON is co-leader of the Entertainment, Sports and Media group firmwide. He represents entertainment companies and sources of capital in complex M&A and financing transactions, as well as general corporate matters. He also represents entertainment companies and other similar parties in a wide variety of industry-focused commercial transactions.
Matt currently serves as a member of the UCLA Entertainment Symposium Advisory Committee, is a member of the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law Advisory Board, and is a member of the USC-BHBA Entertainment Institute Advisory Board. He holds a number of leadership positions at Sidley including serving on the Greater Los Angeles Practice Development Committee; SidleyWomen; and the Greater Los Angeles Finance Committee.
Matt is a Band 1 ranked Chambers USA (California Media & Entertainment: Transactional) lawyer (2023). Client feedback from the 2023 guide includes:
“Matthew Thompson has a thriving transactional practice, with particular expertise handling mergers and acquisitions. His client list includes prominent names in the TV and film industry.”
“Matt is fantastic and has a vast understanding of the entertainment industry. On top of that, he is good to work with. He is realistic, efficient and drives great results.”
“He calibrates resources appropriately, is a terrifically clear and concise communicator.”
“He has a really great demeanor. Even in difficult situations, he manages to find a way through and is unflappable. Having Matt at the helm makes us confident.”
Representative Media and Entertainment Matters Include:
• The Gersh Agency (the only remaining major talent agency without outside investment) and the Gersh family members, in a strategic partnership with private equity firm Crestview Partners, to support the agency’s next phase of growth.
• Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in launching independent production company Artists Equity with a minimum US$100 million investment from private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners, and in connection with Artists Equity’s first project, “Air,” which received a unique theatrical release in advance of its Amazon Prime debut.
• Warner Music Group and its affiliates in various media and entertainment transactions including:
- The acquisition of 300 Entertainment and its roster of artists including Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, and Gunna.
-The acquisition of Artist Partner Group and its roster of artists.
The acquisition of the entire recorded-music catalogue of iconic rock band Yes including albums such as Fragile, Close to the Edge, and 90125
• Universal Music Group in various media and entertainment transactions.
• Kapital Entertainment and its founder Aaron Kaplan (Million Little Things, The Neighborhood, The Chi, Women of the Movement, Black Cake, Housebroken, Delhi Crime, Santa Clarita Diet, Life in Pieces, etc.) in a nine figure, multi-year joint venture with Viacom/CBS.
• Connor Schell (longtime chief creative officer at ESPN and driving force behind 30 for 30, O.J.: Made in America, and The Last Dance) in the formation and financing of a joint venture known as Words + Pictures with Chernin Entertainment, to produce high-end unscripted audio-visual content.
• Connor Schell of Words + Pictures, and the co-founders and minority equity holders of 44 Blue Productions and Dorsey Pictures, in the formation of The North Road Company, to produce scripted and non-scripted film and TV content across the U.S. and international markets, with debt financing provided by Apollo and equity financing provided by Providence, including the merger of Words + Pictures into North Road, the elevation of Connor Schell to President and the acquisition of Red Arrow Studios’ U.S. assets including 44 Blue and Dorsey Pictures.
• The Raine Group and several of its affiliates in the formation of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment, including:
The disposition of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment, encompassing brands Superjacket Productions (producers of the long-running Ridiculousness franchise), Nitro Circus, Street League Skateboarding, Nitro Rallycross, and Thrill One Media, to Fertitta Capital, and certain related transactions.
The acquisition of SuperJacket Productions (Ridiculousness, The Dude Perfect Show, Rob & Big, and Rob Dydrek’s Fantasy Factory, etc.).
The acquisition of Street League Skateboarding, one of the world’s premier street skateboarding competition leagues.
The merger into the group of Nitro Circus, one of the leading action sports live event producers in the world.
An equity raise led by Causeway Media Partners, a leading growth venture firm.
A debt raise led by MidCap Financial, an Apollo affiliate.
A long-term employment arrangement with new group CEO Joe Carr, former senior executive at UFC and the World Surf League.
• Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and certain of their affiliates in connection with various corporate transactions including:
The launch of Teremana tequila through an industry unique global partnership and strategic alliance with Mast-Jägermeister, giving Teremana immediate access to its global network of retail, bar, and hospitality distributors.
The launch of ZOA, an energy drink, and its deals with financial backer Juggernaut Capital and distribution partner Molson Coors.
The acquisition of the XFL out of bankruptcy in partnership with RedBird Capital, and various ongoing matters including merger discussions with the CFL.
A joint venture with IMG to launch Athleticon, a multi-day live event focused on athletics, wellness and entertainment.
• Partners Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman (the team behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Knives Out) in launching film and television production company T-Street, and entering into a joint venture and first look arrangement with Valence Media’s MRC Studio to fund T-Street’s operations.
• The founders of NEON in the formation of NEON (Best Picture Winner Parasite; I, Tonya; amongst others) including an eight figure equity raise led by 30West, an eight figure revolving credit facility led by MUFG Union Bank and several significant corporate transactions including joint ventures.
• NEON in the formation of DECAL, a joint venture with Bleecker Street, launched to be leading provider of digital distribution solutions to independent film producers and distributors.
• ITV plc and ITV America in various media and entertainment transactions including:
The acquisition from Leslie Greif of the minority interest in Thinkfactory Media not previously owned by ITV.
The acquisition from the founders of High Noon Entertainment of the minority interest in High Noon Entertainment not previously owned by ITV.
The acquisition from the founder of Loud Television of the minority interest in Loud Television not previously owned by ITV.
The acquisition from the founder of Outpost Entertainment of the minority interest in Outpost Entertainment not previously owned by ITV.
• IPC Television, its equity holders, and its founder Eli Holzman in various entertainment transactions including:
The sale of IPC to Core Media (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, 90 Day Fiancé) and the relaunch of the combined entities as Industrial Media with Holzman as CEO.
The sale of Industrial Media to Sony and the elevation of Holzman to President of Sony Non-Fiction with responsibly for all of Sony’s non-fiction television operations.
• PSP Investments, together with Investcorp, in making a significant minority investment in United Talent Agency.
• Access Industries and its affiliate, Access Entertainment, in various media and entertainment transactions.
• Shamrock Capital Advisors and certain of its affiliates in various media and entertainment acquisitions and dispositions.
• Conan O’Brien, Jeff Ross, Team Coco, and certain related entities in various entertainment transactions including:
The sale of Team Coco, Conan O’Brien’s podcast network and digital media business, to SiriusXM. Team Coco includes O’Brien’s award-winning podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” along with a variety of other podcasts. Under the new agreement, Team Coco will continue to produce the network’s slate of podcasts and collaborate with SiriusXM to produce an original Team Coco comedy channel. The deal also includes a five-year talent agreement for O’Brien to remain host of his namesake podcast.
A high-value transaction with TBS, including the multi-year renewal of the late-night talk show Conan and the establishment of a global partnership with TBS spanning television, digital media, branded content, podcasting, mobile gaming, pay TV, social, and live events.
• TPG Growth and its affiliates in various media and entertainment transactions.
• A private equity sponsor with 11 figures under management in various media and entertainment transactions including the disposition of its interests in two separate slates of studio-produced films to other private equity sponsors.
• A family office with 11 figures in assets in various media, entertainment and sports-related transactions.
• Entertainment One Limited in numerous transactions including:
Key management, including CEO Darren Throop, in connection with Hasbro’s US$4 billion acquisition of Entertainment One, including the negotiation of long-term, post-acquisition employment arrangements.
The acquisition of unscripted television production company Blackfin and the negotiation of a long-term employment arrangement with Blackfin’s founder, Geno McDermott, whereby he was appointed eOne’s President, US Alternative Programming.
The nine-figure acquisition of an initial 51 percent interest in The Mark Gordon Company in 2015, the follow-on acquisition of the remaining 49 percent interest in The Mark Gordon Company in 2018 and the consummation of a multi-year exclusive producer arrangement with Mark Gordon in 2019.
The acquisition of a controlling interest in Sierra Pictures in 2015, the follow-on acquisition of the unowned portion of Sierra Pictures in 2018 and the entering into of long-term employment agreements with Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg.
The eight-figure minority investment in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners.
The 2016 eight-figure acquisition of a controlling interest in Renegade83 (Naked and Afraid) and the 2022 follow-acquisition of remaining interest in Renegade83 not acquired as part of the initial transaction.
The significant minority investment in, and strategic partnership with, Canvas Media Studios.
Several long-term distribution arrangements including, with Renegade83, Sierra Affinity, Amblin Partners and The Mark Gordon Company.
The eight-figure investment in startup studio, Creative Labs, an affiliate of Creative Arts Agency.
A joint venture with Round Room Entertainment to create Round Room Live, a live touring business.
The acquisition of 100 percent of Dualtone Music Group.
• Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and affiliated entities in numerous transactions including:
Sale of MGM to Amazon for US$8.45 billion.
Formation of One Three Media, a joint venture with Hearst Entertainment, resulting in shows including Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Shark Tank, and The Voice.
The nine-figure sale of a controlling interest in One Three Media, Mark Burnett Productions, and Lightworkers Media (a joint venture between Mark Burnett and Roma Downey) to MGM and the launch of United Artists Media Group.
The nine-figure sale of Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Heart Entertainment’s retained equity in UAMG to MGM and Mark Burnett’s elevation to President of Television at MGM.
One Three Media in the acquisition of a minority interest in Lucha Libre FMV.
One Three Media in a multi-property distribution arrangement with Netflix.
One Three Media in a multi-year arrangement with Procter & Gamble to produce and exploit the People’s Choice Awards.
One Three Media in a straight-to-series long-term licensing arrangement with NBCU for the financing, production and exploitation of A.D.
One Three Media in a long-term distribution arrangement with MGM.
Lightworkers Media in an eight-figure P&A arrangement with Fox.
• W.K. Kellogg Foundation in making a significant investment in Charles King’s multicultural media company, Macro Entertainment, alongside other investors, including the Emerson Collective (Laurene Powell’s investment vehicle), the Ford Foundation, and The Libra Foundation.
• Pilgrim Studios and its principals in a nine-figure strategic transaction and long-term distribution arrangement with Lionsgate together with a follow-on transaction whereby Craig Piligian entered into a multi-year employment extension with Lionsgate pursuant to which he was elevated to Chairman of Pilgrim and President of Non-Fiction at Lionsgate.
• Alliance Holdings in various transactions including:
The acquisition of a significant interest in a portfolio of media and entertainment assets, including interests in prominent films and television shows.
The acquisition financing in connection with its acquisition of a significant interest in a portfolio of media and entertainment assets, including interests in prominent films and television shows.
• Orion Entertainment and its principals in an eight-figure disposition of a controlling interest to Red Arrow Entertainment (a ProSiebenSat.l holding company) and in connection with a long-term distribution arrangement with Red Arrow Entertainment.
• 44 Blue Productions and its principals in an eight-figure disposition of a controlling interest to Red Arrow Entertainment (a ProSiebenSat.1 holding company) and in connection with a long-term distribution arrangement with Red Arrow Entertainment.
• Leftfield Entertainment and its principals in numerous transactions including:
Nine-figure disposition of an 80 percent interest to ITV plc and the follow-on disposition of the remaining 20 percent.
The eight-figure acquisition of a controlling interest in Sirens Media.
An eight-figure syndicated acquisition facility led by SunTrust.
A long-term distribution arrangement with ITV plc.
Establishment of joint ventures with production companies and producers.
• Bunim/Murray Productions and its principal in the nine-figure disposition of a controlling interest to Banijay Entertainment.
• AwesomenessTV (a Dreamworks Animation, Hearst Entertainment and Verizon company) in a complex, multi-jurisdictional joint venture with Endemol Shine Group (a joint venture of Apollo and Fox).
• Relativity Media in numerous transactions including:
Multiple nine-figure syndicated P&A credit facilities.
A nine-figure syndicated Ultimate’s credit facility.
A nine-figure corporate reorganization/recapitalization including syndicated senior and mezzanine credit facilities.
• Comerica in connection with several syndicated senior credit facilities and numerous single-picture loan agreements.
*Some of the above matters were handled prior to joining Sidley.
Awards and Recognitions:
• Named a “Top Music Lawyer” by Billboard Magazine (2023)
• Named a “Top 100 Lawyer” by the Daily Journal in a list recognizing the top 100 California lawyers for cutting-edge legal work (2019)
• Named in Variety’s “Variety500”, an annual collection of the world’s most impactful people working in media and entertainment (2019–2022)
• Named an honoree in Variety’s “Legal Impact Report” (2012–2013, 2016–2023)
• Named a “Top 100 Power Lawyer” by The Hollywood Reporter (2012–2023)
• Ranked for California Media & Entertainment: Transactional by Chambers USA (2016–2022)
• Featured in Variety’s “Dealmakers Impact Report” (2011, 2013–2022)
• Named among The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top Dealmakers” in a list recognizing those behind Hollywood’s most significant deals of the year (2017–2022)
• Named a “Sports/Gaming/Entertainment Law Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal (2021)
• Shortlisted for “Most Outstanding Deal of the Year” by The Deal for his work on the MGM sale to Amazon for US$8.45 billion, recognizing the leading lawyers driving the market forward (2022)
• Shortlisted for “Entertainment & Media Dealmaker of the Year” by The Deal, recognizing the leading lawyers in middle-market transactions (2019)
• Named to The Best Lawyers in America for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television by Best Lawyers (2016–2022)
• Named to The Best Lawyers in America for Media Law by Best Lawyers (2016–2022)
• Recommended for M&A by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) 1000 (2017)
• Named a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500 US for Media, Technology and Telecoms: Media and Entertainment (2017)
• Named one of the “Top Dealmakers” by Broadcasting & Cable (2015)
• Named one of California’s “Top 50 Entertainment Lawyers” by the Daily Journal (2014)
• Quoted in, “Attorneys Oversee Celebrity Clients’ Jump into Business Ventures,” Daily Journal, January 3, 2017.
• Featured in, “Making Waves in Hollywood,” UC Hastings Law Magazine, Spring 2016.
• Quoted in, “Century City Welcomes Back Sidley,” Century City News, March 8, 2016.
• Quoted in, “Mergers, Chinese investment highlight 2015,” Daily Journal, January 4, 2016.
• Quoted in, “Hollywood Dealmakers Say Uncertainty is Boosting Business,” Daily Journal, November 25, 2015.
• Quoted in, “Digital Marketplace Creates Boundless Distribution Opportunities for Indie Films,” Daily Journal, August 20, 2015.
• Moderator, “TV M&A: Forget Binge Viewing, How About Binge Buying!” 39th Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium, Westwood, CA, March 13, 2015.
• Speaker, “Enter the Mega-Indie: The New Face of M&A,” Realscreen West, Santa Monica, CA, 2014.
• Speaker, Beverly Hills Bar Association 2012 Year in Review, Beverly Hills, CA, 2012.
• Speaker, Film, Television and New Media Law Conference, Los Angeles, CA, January 27–28, 2011.
Admissions & Certifications
• University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1991)
• University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1988)
At the dealmaking intersection of where content makers meet buyers, financiers and distributors, Elsa Ramo is often at the forefront of first-time deals with emerging and established streamers, guiding her clients into innovative terms that optimize their reach and prevalence in today’s flattened marketplace.
Ramo works with established content-creating powerhouses such as Imagine Entertainment, Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud and Hartbeat Productions, Hello Sunshine, Skydance, Boardwalk Pictures and Scout Productions.
She also represents independent prolific producers such as Yale Entertainment (Katie Holmes’ directed “Rare Objects” and Mayim Bialik’s “As They Made Us”) and Unified’s Keith Kjarval, as well as talent such as choreographer JaQuel Knight, producer Anne Clements, and female directors Amber Sealey and Vera Miao.
In addition to directly overseeing high level clients, Elsa Ramo founded and handles the management of her boutique firm which grew from a solo practice in 2005 to over 25 attorneys in New York and Los Angeles that currently consists of majority female partners and a diverse group of attorneys. Elsa is a Forbes.com contributor, speaking to current issues and topics in the entertainment industry. She was recently recognized among Variety’s 2023 Legal Impact Report and 2022 Dealmakers Impact Report, Daily Journal’s Top 100 Women Lawyers, and Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 Women of Influence; she was nominated for the LA Times B2B Inspirational Women Awards; and her Firm was featured among Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Admired Law Firms.
Michael Grizzi is Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Legal for Paramount Pictures Corporation, where he leads the team of attorneys in the negotiation and documentation of high-level talent employment, rights acquisition, term deal and related agreements for Paramount’s live action and animated features, a role he has held since 2015. Michael received a Bachelor of Science in Speech from Northwestern University, and is an alum of the UCLA School of Law, where he was an editor of the UCLA Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. Following law school, he practiced with Irell and Manella in Los Angeles, where he handled corporate legal matters for a number of public companies. He also served as Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for New Line Cinema.
Prior to his law career, Michael worked in television production, including on the series “Cheers”. He is a lecturer in law at the USC Gould School of Law, where he has taught various Entertainment Law classes since 2008. His professional highlight as an attorney working in features would have to be a toss-up between handling the legal work for the film “Snakes On A Plane” and for the “Jackass” film franchise.
Hillary Bibicoff is a transactional entertainment attorney at Pierce Law Group LLP, where she specializes in talent deals. She represents actors, hosts, writers, directors, authors, cartoonists, publishers, financiers, independent producers, and independent production companies.
Hillary’s clients have included James Cameron, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Nichols, Robert Towne, How I Met Your Mother and Mom producer-director Pam Fryman, and The Power of the Dog and Cold War producer Tanya Seghatchian, among many others. She also handles production legal for live events, which have included the last two Democratic National Conventions and the most recent Presidential Inaugural Events, as well as seven Super Bowl pre-game and half-time shows.
In addition to writer, director, producer, actor, and host deals, she negotiates book, screenplay, and life story agreements, as well as various film finance, production, and distribution deals, and studio term deals. She also handles licensing, merchandising, endorsement, sponsorship, and spokesperson deals for talent as well as both traditional entertainment companies and those whose main business is outside of the entertainment industry. She has been involved with audits of major studios conducted on behalf of talent with profit participations.
Hillary began her career at Cooper, Epstein & Hurewitz. Later, she was an equity partner at Greenberg Glusker for twelve years. Between those positions, her years as an executive at motion picture production and distribution companies gave her a practical business perspective that provides a strategic advantage in negotiations. Before joining Pierce Law Group, Hillary most recently spent a decade as of counsel for Holmes Weinberg, a boutique entertainment firm.
Bibicoff is currently named as one of America’s Most Honored Lawyers by the American Registry, an honor granted to the top 1% of lawyers. These honors include current selection as a “Best Lawyer in America in the field of Entertainment Law” by U.S. News & World Report and inclusion in Who’s Who Legal – Telecoms, Media & Entertainment 2023. She has been named a “Southern California Super Lawyer” for the past fifteen plus years and has received a Woman of Achievement Award from the Women's Business Council.
Among other honors, Hillary was chosen as one of Hollywood’s “top new generation deal makers” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, has received a Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Business Counsel, and has been profiled in various publications including the Los Angeles Daily Journal and The Angelos.
Hillary currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the UCLA Entertainment Law Symposium and the Advisory Board of the Alliance of Women Directors. She is a Governor of the Television Academy. She is a past Board Member of Women in Film and Co-Chair Emeritus of the Women’s Entertainment Network. She has authored articles on acquisition of rights for film and television and profit participations, and often gives lectures or serves as a panelist regarding various aspects of entertainment law.
Hillary received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her law degree from Loyola Law School, which she attended as the Burns Scholar, Loyola’s highest academic scholarship. She received the National Association of Women Lawyers Award as the outstanding female graduate and went on to serve on Loyola Law School’s Board of Governors for many years.
With over twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry, Emmy®-nominated producer, Christa Workman is Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of River Road Entertainment, a leading independent film and television production company. She most recently was Executive Producer on Dreamin’ Wild (theatrically released August 4), which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and stars Academy Award®-winner Casey Affleck, Emmy® and Grammy Award®-winner Beau Bridges, Emmy®-nominated Zooey Deschanel, Emmy®-nominated Walton Goggins, Noah Jupe, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Chris Messina. Christa also was Executive Producer on two-time Emmy®-winning (and six-time Emmy®-nominated) film, American Utopia.
Other notable River Road films include Academy Award® winners 12 Years a Slave and Brokeback Mountain, Academy Award®–nominated Food, Inc., and Palme d’Or winner The Tree of Life.
Formerly, she held dual roles as head of business affairs for United Artists and SVP business & legal affairs for MGM Studios. She began her career working in finance at MGM as well as serving as counsel to the late Michael King, Founder/Owner/CEO of King World.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a member of the Television Academy, Christa also serves on the Pepperdine University Board, is a founding executive board member of the University’s Institute for Entertainment, Media, Sports, and Culture and is one of the founding partners of the Law School’s 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign.
She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Claris Health and serves as Co-Chair on the UCLA Entertainment Symposium Committee.
In 2021, she was honored with the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Distinguished Alumnus Award and included as Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s Notable Alumni.
Christa (Zofcin) Workman earned four degrees from Pepperdine University, all with honors – JD from the Caruso School of Law, MBA from the Graziadio Business School, and BA and BS from Seaver College.
Ken Ziffren is Co-Founder and Partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP (1979-present), and was a partner at the predecessor law firm of Ziffren & Ziffren from 1966 to 1978.
As part of an extensive transactional practice in the entertainment and media industries, Ziffren served as a neutral mediator in resolving the Writer’s Guild strike in 1988, acted on behalf of Starz in establishing a premium pay television service in 1994, and served as special outside counsel to the NFL in negotiating contracts with the networks. He also provided counsel to Microsoft in forming MSNBC in 1996, and negotiated for DirecTV with studios on domestic and international pay-per-view agreements. In 2003, 2011 and 2018, Ziffren represented the TV Academy in negotiating the deals for the Emmys to be telecast over the four Networks, and in 2016 he represented the Motion Picture Academy (AMPAS) in implementing a long term extension deal with ABC.
Ziffren is a lecturer and writer on media and entertainment law. He is an Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law, teaching seminar courses in Network Television (1998-2004), Motion Picture Distribution (1998-present), and Special Television Issues SVOD/AVOD (2018-present). He also gives an annual presentation to Beverly Hills Bar Association, speaking every year since 2008.
Since 2014, Ziffren has been the “Film Czar” (Senior Advisor to the L.A. Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture and TV Production) for the Mayor of Los Angeles, previously serving in this role with Mayor Eric Garcetti and currently serving in this role with Mayor Karen Bass. He is the Founder of the Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology & Sports Law at UCLA School of Law (established in 2016), and is a member of UCLA School of Law’s Advisory Board, of which he formerly served as Chairman. He is also a member of the UCLA Campaign Cabinet.
Ziffren obtained his B.A. from Northwestern University, and J.D. from UCLA School of Law (Order of the Coif), where he was editor in chief of the UCLA Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Bela Bajaria was named Chief Content Officer in 2023. Bela was named Head of Global TV in 2020, overseeing English language and local language scripted and unscripted series around the world. Previously, she oversaw local language originals, original series across Europe, the Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, India, Asia, and Latin America. In this role, she managed the teams behind shows such as La Casa de Papel (Spain), The Witcher (Poland), Sacred Games (India), Squid Game (Korea), Blood & Water (South Africa), and Sintonia (Brazil). Bela joined Netflix in 2016 to lead Netflix's push into unscripted programming including the critically acclaimed Queer Eye, Nailed It! and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She was previously President of Universal Television. Bajaria has been honored by THR’s Women in Entertainment list, Variety’s LA Women’s Impact Report, named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022, and named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in 2020, 2021 and 2022. She currently serves on the LA Board of Governors for the Paley Center, the Board of LA’s Saban Community Clinic, and the Board of Trustees for Meridian International Center.
Doug Lichtman focuses his teaching and research on topics relating to law and technology. His areas of specialty include patent and copyright law, telecommunications regulation, and information strategy and economics.
Professor Lichtman joined the faculty at UCLA School of Law in 2007 after a tenured teaching career at the University of Chicago. His work has been featured in numerous journals including the Journal of Law & Economics, the Journal of Legal Studies, the Yale Law Journal, and the Harvard Business Review. He co-authored Telecommunications Law and Policy, a textbook that investigates the federal regulatory regime applicable to broadcast television, cable television, radio, telephony, and the Internet. He also regularly writes in the popular press, with recent pieces appearing in the Los Angeles Times and the policy magazine Regulation.
Michelle Weiner is Co-Head of the Books Department at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Weiner is based in the Los Angeles office and represents many of the world’s leading authors, writers, journalists, bloggers, and podcast creators, including Jenny Han (TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED), Hillary Jordan (MUDBOUND), Nathan Hill (THE NIX), Garrard Conley (BOY ERASED), Stephanie Danler (SWEETBITTER), Matthew Desmond (EVICTED), Jeffrey Eugenides (MIDDLESEX, VIRGIN SUICIDES, THE MARRIAGE PLOT), Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller (ProPublica’s AN UNBELIEVEABLE STORY OF RAPE), Maggie Shipstead (SEATING ARRANGEMENTS, ASTONISH ME, GREAT CIRCLE), Jennifer Weiner, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (FRIDAY BLACK), Flynn Berry (NORTHERN SPY), Ann Napolitano (DEAR EDWARD), and Kathleen Barber (TRUTH BE TOLD), among others.
Weiner began her career as an attorney at Hamrick and Evans. She joined CAA in 2006.
Weiner graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science, and the USC Gould School of Law with a J.D.
Michael is a partner in Reed Smith’s Entertainment and Media Industry Group and leads the firm’s motion picture, televison and publishing industry group. His practice emphasizes high level transactions focused on the these segments of the entertainment and media industries including representation of a diverse group of individual and institutional clients across the motion picture, television, publishing, digital, music, theatre, sports and other related industries.
Matthew Belloni is an experienced content executive and entrepreneur who has successfully managed large teams of creators, serving as the top editor of a leading entertainment publication and appearing frequently as an analyst on television, as well as practicing law as an attorney in the entertainment industry.
Belloni is currently a Founding Partner of Puck, a next-generation digital media company covering the power centers of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington and New York. He joined Puck in May 2021 and writes a twice-weekly newsletter called What I’m Hearing about the entertainment industry.
As editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter from 2016 to 2020, Belloni was responsible for editorial content and initiatives at the iconic entertainment media outlet. Belloni oversaw all of THR’s editorial properties, including its weekly print magazine; THR.com and its digital verticals; on- and off-platform video content, podcasts and live events.
Over the course of 14 years with THR, Belloni served in a number of senior editorial positions, managing a staff of 100 journalists and playing a significant role in the outlet’s heralded transformation from a trade newspaper into the entertainment industry’s flagship media brand. During this time, THR took home many of publishing’s most prestigious honors, including a National Magazine Award for General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors and more than 100 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism awards.
Belloni spearheaded THR’s move into audio and video with its roundtable series, Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter, which was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, and Angelyne, a scripted adaptation of a THR article. Belloni also appears regularly as an analyst on NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, CNN, CNBC, NPR’s The Business and The Bill Simmons Podcast.
Before joining THR, Belloni was an attorney at an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles, representing actors, filmmakers and media companies in disputes and litigation. He is an expert on the inner workings of the entertainment industry, and taught a course on Entertainment Journalism at the USC Annenberg School.
Belloni graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in political science and obtained a law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law, where he was a member of the USC Law Review.
Ann Brigid Clark focuses her practice on transactional entertainment, media and intellectual property matters, including the representation of independent motion picture and scripted and unscripted television production companies, digital media companies, financiers, independent producers, showrunners, writers, directors, artists, musicians and on-screen talent in connection with all aspects of development, production, distribution, promotion and exploitation of motion picture, television, new media, print and music projects.
Ann brings a unique and comprehensive perspective to her practice, having begun her career as an entertainment litigator, and, later, as production counsel for motion picture studios. She often acts in the capacity of an outside business affairs advisor for her clients, structuring and negotiating motion picture finance agreements, the acquisition of rights, first look agreements, merchandising, music licensing, and book publishing agreements.
Ann counsels clients on union and guild matters, licensing, intellectual property rights, and clearance issues. She also counsels sports and entertainment clients with respect to Internet, new media and other promotional, marketing and branding activities. In addition, she has deep experience as production counsel for numerous independent motion pictures with budgets ranging from $2 million to $200 million, and for scripted and unscripted television projects including game shows, competition-based shows and dramatic series, having drafted and negotiated hundreds of agreements with above and below-the-line talent, financiers, bond companies, unions and guilds.
Kevin Vick is a litigator with more than two decades’ of experience representing clients in the entertainment, media, technology, sports fashion and other industries. His trial and arbitration experience includes successfully defending motion picture companies and talent agencies in jury and bench trials. Kevin also has represented Broadway producers and sports agencies in arbitration on both the plaintiff’s and defense sides. His appellate experience includes successful representations of major internet, media and entertainment clients, as well as individuals. He litigates defamation, copyright, trademark, Section 230, publicity rights, idea submission, invasion of privacy, and anti-SLAPP matters, as well as business disputes involving breach of contract, trade secrets and partnerships. Kevin graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Florence-Marie Cooper of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He has been named a Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine since 2015. Kevin speaks Spanish, having lived and worked in Barcelona, Spain for three years between college and law school, and has represented Spanish-language media clients in litigation.
Diana Palacios focuses her practice on media, First Amendment, and intellectual property litigation and counseling. In her practice, she works on a range of matters, including defamation, records and courtroom access, privacy, right-of-publicity, false advertising, copyright, and trademark issues. She also provides pre-publication and pre-broadcast counseling in both English and Spanish for studios, television networks, production companies, and newspapers.
In her litigation practice, Diana defends intellectual property and content-tort claims in state and federal courts and has experience resolving cases through mediation and arbitration.
As a Founding Partner of Donaldson Callif Perez, Lisa Callif is the go-to attorney for all things clearance. Lisa specializes in representing independent producers and production companies in all aspects of content creation, including equity financing, production and distribution with extensive experience in fair use, copyright and personal rights issues. Lisa is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards – among her many accolades are recognition as a Hollywood Reporter Power Lawyer and a Daily Journal Top Entertainment Lawyer, as well as her recognition by Variety on the Women’s Impact Report and the Best and the Brightest list. Lisa cuts through red tape for her clients and works tirelessly to preserve artists’ voices so that they can shine a light on stories that otherwise might not be told.
Along with Partner Michael Donaldson, Lisa has co-written three books: The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking, Clearance and Copyright, 4th Edition, and Clearance and Copyright, 5th Edition. She regularly publishes articles about emerging issues in entertainment and copyright law, and is often quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Variety, Intellectual Property Magazine and more. Lisa and Michael were featured on the cover of LA Lawyer Magazine, for which they co-authored an article about fair use and its application in documentary films.
P.J. Shapiro is a Founding Partner of Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole LLP. He has an extensive film and television practice, representing some of today’s most successful on-camera talent as well as many acclaimed film and television producers, directors, writers and content creators. He also represents some of the most celebrated artists in the world of music through a myriad of ventures and business transactions.
P.J. has structured and negotiated groundbreaking transactions in the media and entertainment industries – resulting in both lucrative financial benefits and unprecedented creative control for his clients. He has worked with clients to identify and exploit important and novel ancillary revenue sources, generating lucrative publishing, endorsement, licensing and merchandising deals. P.J. has also helped his clients establish significant commercial ventures across the beauty, apparel, fragrance, automotive, technology and wellness industries. P.J. supports his clients’ civic and philanthropic passions by assisting in the creation and execution of foundations devoted to causes including domestic violence education and prevention, mental health advocacy and cancer awareness and treatment.
P.J. serves as an advisor to a select group of leading-edge companies in the media and technology sectors including Spire Animation, Jam City and Kidaptive Media. An active investor in early-stage companies with a keen entrepreneurial eye, P.J. co-founded BeautyCounter, a non-toxic skin care and cosmetic company recently acquired by The Carlyle Group.
In 2012, P.J. was the youngest person recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 100 Power Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry and has remained on that list every year since. He was listed among Vanity Fair’s 2010 Next Establishment List (Vanity Fair’s selection of the nation’s emerging leaders in business, media and the arts), as well as a member of Variety’s 2012 Legal Impact Report.
P.J. received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences (with a Minor in Physiological Sciences) from UCLA. P.J. graduated Order of the Coif from USC Law School and received an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, achieving Dean’s List recognition each semester during his tenure at the University.
He serves on the Board of Trustees and is Chairman of the Development Committee at The Laurence School and is a proud member of the Board of Trustees of The Heart of Los Angeles, whose important mission is to give underserved kids an equal chance to succeed through a comprehensive array of after-school academic, arts, athletics and wellness programs. He most recently served as the Managing Partner of Ziffren Brittenham
Ted works across leadership and tech teams at Paramount Global, including CBS, CBS Sports, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Plus, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, PlutoTV and Comedy Central, exploring emerging tech for new forms of entertainment.
Prior to joining Paramount, Ted was the Futurist at 20th Century Fox, where he worked on the evolving art, science and technology of advanced interactive visual storytelling.
Ted was part of the founding product development team at Red Digital Cinema as the company’s first employee. Red cameras have won both scientific/technical Oscar and Emmy. Many of the world’s biggest movies and TV shows are shot with these ultra high resolution digital movie cameras.
Ted is co-founder of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products, the leading brand in that industry. They are implemented worldwide at the highest levels on cinema, television, sports and news production.
Ted has been featured in publications such as Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and The Wall Street Journal. In 2019, Ted was honored at the Variety Hall of Fame event with the Variety Innovation Award.
Sally James, a partner in Greenberg Glusker’s Entertainment and Corporate Departments, handles high-level corporate financing transactions alongside deals for A-list talent.
She represents actors, writers, and producers, as well as production companies, talent managers, business managers, and investors. She handles film finance and M&A transactions for established brands and also negotiates deals for entertainment start-ups.
Among her other deals, Sally has represented Chris Hemsworth (HighPost Capital’s acquisition of Centr); The Russo Brothers (“The Electric State”); Scriber (launch and talent deals); Ubisoft Entertainment (Netflix’s “Assassin’s Creed” and “Beyond Good and Evil”); Alice Braga (“Hypnotic,” “Dark Matter”); Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“His Dark Materials,” “Our Man From Jersey”); and Silent House Productions (“Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love”).
Sally has been recognized in Variety’s annual “Dealmakers Impact Report” and “Legal Impact Report,” National Law Journal’s “Sports and Entertainment Trailblazers list, Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women of Influence: Attorneys” list, The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television, and Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars.
She received her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Order of the Coif, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Richmond with a major in Theatre Arts.
Jeffrey Davidson is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on high-stakes commercial matters. Clients have called on him to deliver results in some of their most important disputes. Jeff also serves as a general counsel to Covington and advises on professional responsibility issues
In a recent trade secret arbitration with $1.8 billion at stake, he obtained a complete defense win on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company. In a recent insurance coverage matter on behalf of a leading corporation, he obtained a $25 million recovery after a contested arbitration hearing. In a third recent matter, he obtained summary adjudication against four insurance companies in a $100-million coverage dispute. Jeff also litigated one of the foundational cases on the foreign application of U.S. antitrust law, obtaining a ruling eliminating a $3.5 billion claim shortly before trial.
Jeff also led a cross-office Covington team representing the University of California in its landmark challenge to the government’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, obtained a nationwide injunction reinstating DACA, and successfully defended the injunction on appeal. In Regents of the University of California v. Department of Homeland Security, the Supreme Court agreed that the rescission was improper and set it aside.
Scott Cummings is the Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics at the UCLA School of Law, where he teaches and writes about the legal profession, legal ethics, access to justice, and local government law. A recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, Professor Cummings is the founding faculty director of the UCLA Program on Legal Ethics and the Profession, which promotes empirical research and innovative programming on the challenges facing lawyers in the twenty-first century, and a long-time member of the UCLA David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. In 2021, Professor Cummings was selected as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the European University Institute and a fellow at the Stanford Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences to study the role of lawyers in strengthening the rule of law. He was awarded a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship to study the role of lawyers in democratic backsliding.
Professor Cummings’s recent books explores how innovative legal mobilization produces transformative social change. His publications include Lawyers and Movements: Legal Mobilization in Transformative Times (Oxford forthcoming), An Equal Place: Lawyers in the Struggle for Los Angeles (Oxford 2021), and Global Pro Bono: Causes, Consequences and Contestation (with Fabio de Sa e Silva and Louise Trubek) (Cambridge 2021). Professor Cummings is also co-author of Making Public Interest Lawyers in a Time of Crisis: An Evidence-Based Approach (with Catherine Albiston and Richard Abel), a National Science Foundation funded study that examines the factors causing law students to enter and persevere in public interest careers.
Professor Cummings is co-author of the first public interest law textbook, Public Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective (with Alan Chen) (Wolters Kluwer, 2012), and co-editor of a leading legal profession casebook, Legal Ethics (with Deborah Rhode, David Luban, and Nora Engstrom) (8th ed. Foundation Press, 2016). He is the author of numerous articles on lawyers and social justice, which have appeared in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals.
Before joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, Professor Cummings clerked for Judge A. Wallace Tashima on the Ninth Circuit, and James Moran on the district court in Chicago. He began his legal career in Los Angeles working with community groups to build economic opportunity and political empowerment. In 1998, he was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to work in the Community Development Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles, where he provided transactional legal assistance to nonprofit organizations and small businesses engaged in community development efforts. He has proudly continued working with colleagues at Public Counsel to advance economic justice through research and policy advancing, producing groundbreaking reports on the legal barriers to street vending and the need for countywide rent control.
Travis Cloyd is a seasoned leader and CEO of WorldwideXR (WXR), a cutting-edge technology company based in Beverly Hills. He is also the VP and CTO of CMG (Celebrity Management Group) which for the last 42 years has represented hundreds of historical iconic estates such as UCLA legends Jackie Robinson and James Dean.
He has a proven track record of innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic management, with a focus on creating and financing immersive state-of-the-art technology companies. As an award-winning producer, XR visionary, and Metaverse educator, he has operated a portfolio of trendsetting businesses, positioning himself as a leading expert in the field. Recently recognized by Forbes as a top 'Next Entrepreneur,' he has also served as the Arts, Music, and Entertainment Ambassador to the GBBC (Global Blockchain Business Council). Plus, a member of the PGA (Producers Guild of America) and the new media council, serving on the education and international committees.
Cloyd is also the Global Futurist at Thunderbird School of Global Business Management, the #1 Masters in Management program in the world, and Senior Advisor to the Dean and Professor of Practice on Global Creative Industries. He was recently awarded the FIU Medallion, the highest honor at Florida International University, for his outstanding contributions to the institution.
Cloyd has produced next-level digital content for government agencies, professional sports leagues, major international studios, iconic brands, legendary actors, global musicians, top athletes, and historical figures throughout his career. He has produced feature films, virtual reality experiences, augmented reality content, and NFT collection drops, and continues to break new ground within the entertainment industry, creating and protecting virtual human IP content based on historical figures for all facets of the diverse XR, Metaverse, and AI ecosystem.
Ms. Bomse is co-chair of the Attorney Liability and Conduct Practice Group, and a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She is also adjunct faculty at the Berkeley School of Law where she teaches legal ethics and the law of lawyering. Her practice focuses on the law of lawyering. She represents lawyer, law firms and clients in a wide variety of disputes involving professional negligence, fiduciary duties, breach of contract. She also counsels and advises lawyer and law firms concerning risk management and legal ethics.
A Los Angeles-based Manatt Entertainment litigation partner, Nathaniel Bach represents prominent clients in the media, entertainment and technology industries, including film and television studios and networks, artists, brands, retailers, music publishers, producers, entrepreneurs and journalists.
Nat’s broad practice spans copyright, trademark, right of publicity, First Amendment, contract, fashion, brand-protection, telecommunications, class action, intellectual property, and cutting-edge artificial intelligence, metaverse, digital assets, cryptocurrency and blockchain matters. In addition to his trial work, he maintains an active counseling practice, working with clients in pre-litigation and other risk-management matters. He has also represented clients in the financial industry in global regulatory and governmental investigations, and has played key roles in various other high-profile transactions and disputes.
Nat maintains an active pro bono practice. He successfully represented Dreamers to obtain a first-in-the-nation injunction blocking the Trump administration’s unlawful revocation of the DACA program. Nat also represented one of the first Dreamers unlawfully targeted by the Trump administration, obtaining (after arguing) an unprecedented preliminary injunction that barred ICE and USCIS from falsely calling his client a gang member. He has partnered with diverse legal services organizations including the ACLU of Southern California, Public Counsel, Bet Tzedek, Lawyers Without Borders and the Equal Justice Initiative.
Russell Korobkin is the Interim Dean and Richard C. Maxwell Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. He has been a member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2001, and he served as Vice Dean for Academic and Institutional Affairs from 2015-2019 and Vice Dean for Graduate and Professional Education from 2019-2022. He is the author The Five Tool Negotiator: The Complete Guide to Bargaining Success (Liveright, 2021), Stem Cell Century: Law and Policy for a Breakthrough Technology (Yale, 2008), two textbooks -- Negotiation Theory and Strategy (Aspen, 3d ed., 2014) and K: A Common Law Approach to Contracts (Aspen 3d. ed., 2022) -- and more than 50 journal articles on behavioral law and economics, negotiation, contracts, and health care law. A former San Francisco management consultant and Washington D.C. lawyer, Professor Korobkin earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University. In addition to UCLA, he has taught full time at the University of Illinois, University of Texas, and Harvard University Law Schools, and he has taught intensive negotiation courses to undergraduates, MBA students and law students at 10 universities on four continents.
Tom Wolzien is an inventor, analyst, and media executive. He created Wolzien LLC In 2005, after 14 years as a high profile sell-side analyst covering large publicly traded media and cable companies for the Wall Street research firm of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, more than 15 years at NBC, and early years at local television stations and running an Army combat photography operation in Vietnam.
Since 2005 Wolzien has served as a consultant to senior managers at the largest media and technical organizations, including Warner Bros./Discovery (separately and together), Microsoft, CBS, Sony, and The Directors Guild of America (DGA). At the DGA Wolzien provided industrial research for the Guild's "Forecast Project", setting research groundwork used in four negotiating cycles.
Wolzien holds more than two dozen patents in 16 countries, initially for methods linking mass media and the web (“go” or click to buy button on many cable remotes), and more recently covering management systems to put large numbers of IP video (smartphone) callers on television, and for caller management use in other industries. The global patent portfolio is managed by wholly owned Video River Group LLC.
During 14 years at Bernstein, Wolzien was internationally recognized for ground breaking research on the impact of industrial trends on media and communications companies. In 1995 he was the first on Wall Street to identify the potential of the cable modem and, later, cable telephony. In 2004 he was first to identify the potential what he then called the "internet bypass" or streaming delivery of entertainment video to consumers via broadband connection--the basis of all streaming video content today.
From 1976 to 1991 Wolzien was at NBC in news production and executive management. His positions ranged from White House field producer to an executive producer of scheduled and prime time programs. Beyond presidential campaigns, he led coverage of the nuclear incident at Three Mile Island and historic Began-Sadat Mideast visits. He helped start CNBC as Senior Vice President of Cable and Business Development.
Wolzien began his career as a newsfilm photographer for the CBS affiliate in Denver while completing his senior year at the University of Denver. He entered the US Army on graduation, and after infantry training and Officer Candidate School, was sent to Vietnam as officer in charge of the 40-person combat camera branch, 221st Signal Company/Southeast Asia Pictorial Center. Video he shot aired on the evening news programs of all the US commercial networks. (Watch “Dustoff 89’er here.)
He returned to Denver after Vietnam, then moved to stations in Green Bay and St Louis as a news program producer before joining NBC.