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New York State Bar Association
Member, Committee On Intellectual Property of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
AAA Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators
New York Supreme Court
Volunteer Neutral Mediator
American Bar Association
Chair of Forum On the Entertainment and Sports Industries
New York Law School
Board of Editors Members
CHRISTINE LEPERA, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, New York
Alternative Dispute Resolution In the Entertainment Industry | Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution
Christine Lepera, Esq., Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal
I would l ask each to stand as I give your name so everyone will know who you are: Laverne Berry; Alida Camp; whom you have already met me; Robert Freedman, a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard; Walter G. Gans, with, Kaye Scholer LLP, whom you have just heard speak; Andrew J. Gerber, former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Columbia House Company; Christine Lepera, partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Roth; James B. Koback, Jr., partner, Hughes, Hubbard & Reed; Ruth G. Kurtz, partner, Stapper & Van Doren; Charles H. Miller, partner, Loeb & Loeb, LLP; Carroll E. Neesemann, partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Miriam Stern, Law Offices of Miriam Stern; Karen J. Van Ingen, Law Offices of Karen J. Van Ingen, and Faith Wu, attorney-mediator. The arbiters are: Ruth Kurtz, Carroll Neesemann, Jim Koback, Bob Freedman and Christine Lepera. I would like to ask one of our litigators who is both a mediator and an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, Christine Lepera, what is your answer to this question? Christine Lepera, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal : Well, you are not the first one who has said that. Christine Lepera also confirmed that most of them settle-but they settle after most of the time, energy, and expensive legal fees involved in litigation have already been incurred!. Rosalind Lichter : Christine Lepera is a litigator and trained at one of the best entertainment litigation firms in the country, Rueben Baum, which merged with a company called Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal. All you have to do is note that there are really good lawyers in the framework of these giant firms Christine is one of them. Christine Lepera : I guess I should just start by telling you a little bit about my background and experience to put this in context, since we are here to talk about ADR and dispute resolution procedures in the entertainment industry. I have been a litigator for over twenty years and my practice has grown primarily in the music business and litigation in the music business. Christine Lepera : Since I do not do transactional, we are going to turn that to Lisa Davis. Christine Lepera : No, not with a major record label or film studio. Christine Lepera : Just a quick aside to that… yes, I have seen in some limited instances after a dispute has arisen, probably even after the complaint stage and you are into the process, some of the major companies agreeing to mediate, but there is no clause. Christine Lepera : Just a quick comment. Christine Lepera : Right, right. Christine said that, by definition, arbitration is binding, final, non-appealable, and that is the good news. Christine Lepera : It is not the same kind of appellate process that you would get. It is instead Manifest disregard of the law. It is not just an error in the law; it has to be really over the top. Audience Member : But you could still go to court for somebody to determine whether it was material to the decision. Christine Lepera : Of course Audience Member : The same question, but when speaking about mediation and arbitration and mediation and arbitration clauses, and some reluctance about going to mediation. From what I understand, arbitration is actually an alternative to litigation. Whereas if you mediate it is a bit of a preliminary effort, but then afterwards you still have the right for your client to …… but the experts can correct me, they are really very different Christine Lepera : Very different. That's right. Christine Lepera : Well, mediation is not automatically confidential, It is if you go to the court processes of mediation, then you are required to keep it confidential pursuant to an agreement you sign with the mediator in the court process.
Moderator: Christine Lepera (invited)Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP - Christine Lepera, Partner
Christine Lepera, PartnerMs. Lepera is a commercial litigator representing individuals and corporations with national and international concerns, and has a significant practice representing clients in intellectual property, media and entertainment industry disputes.Ms. Lepera regularly represents prominent artists, songwriters, creative individuals, as well as media, recording and music publishing companies.She has litigated a great variety of matters, including claims of copyright infringement, music plagiarism, trademark infringement, unfair competition and contract and commercial disputes in the entertainment industry.Ms. Lepera has been a member of the AAA Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators since 1987.She also is a volunteer Neutral Mediator for the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.She is a member of the American Bar Association (Member, Committee on Mediation; Task Force on ADR and Entertainment Law; Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections and Entertainment and Sports Law Forum); the New York State Bar Association (Member, Committee on Intellectual Property of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section); The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Member, Entertainment Law Committee 1998-2001); The Copyright Society, and Women in Film and Television.In addition, Ms. Lepera is the vice chair of IPO's Copyright Law and Practice Committee. Ms. Lepera is a frequent speaker, including at the 2003-2005 Annual Meetings of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, NYWIFT's October 2003 Production Expo Plus "Know Your Rights," " PLI's Fifth Annual Internet Law Institute (2001) on the topic "Litigating in Cyberspace," The 2001 New York Internet and Music Expo, Legal Strategies Institute Inc.'s 2000 presentation "Fighting For Music Royalties," and has appeared as a commentator on Court TV, the Dan Abrahms Report, and Lawline regarding entertainment law topics or cases.She is a Member, Board of Contributing Editors of Entertainment Law and Finance, and has authored numerous articles, including "Handling the Nonprotectible Elements Issue In Copyright Infringement Litigation," Entertainment Law and Finance, May 2002; "The Use of Mediation in the New Millennium," New York Law Journal, May 6, 1999; "Music Plagiarism: Notes on Preparing for Trial," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Fall 1999; "Music Plagiarism: A Framework for Litigation," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Summer 1997; "Benefits Of Mediating Intellectual Property And Entertainment-Related Disputes," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, August 1997, "Corporate Compliance In A Litigious Environment," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, June 1997; "Trademark Battles Over Priority Of Use," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 1998, and "New Areas in ADR," PLI/What the Business Lawyer Needs to Know About ADR 1998-99.She is admitted to practice before The Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and in New York. Admitted to the Bar:
Christine Lepera Entertainment & Sports, Intellectual Property Litigation, Business Litigation