Robert M. Angel,
A Professional Corporation
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Specialty & Fees


Aren’t all attorneys the same? 

Why should I retain an entertainment attorney

instead of any other attorney?

Entertainment law is a specialty just like other legal specialties such as litigation, labor law, corporate law, bankruptcy, and intellectual property.  A knowledgeable entertainment lawyer has a firm and comprehensive understanding and comprehension of contract law generally and the unique issues which arise in entertainment industry contracts.  These issues include copyright and labor law issues involving the major entertainment guilds and unions such as the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Writers Guild of America, and Directors Guild of America.  Since many entertainment contracts involve other legal issues such as financing, corporate organization, tax, trade secrets, privacy, and publicity, your entertainment attorney will have knowledge of these issues as well as they relate to the entertainment industry.  It is also critical that your attorney have extensive knowledge of how the entertainment industry works; the “business” is in many ways different from all other businesses and has its own unique protocols, procedures and processes. 


Won’t my agent or manager be looking out for me?

Your agent and your manager are in the business of making money.  While your agent and manager represent you, they are not obligated to disclose potential conflicts of interests.  Your agent may want to receive a package commission from the network or studio by linking you with other clients of the agency to your project.  Your manager may want to receive a producing credit and fee as a condition of your deal with the studio or network.  Under these circumstances, you need independent representation.  Your attorney will be that independent representative and has an ethical obligation to disclose to you if he represents anyone who would be on the opposing side of the contract or have a close relationship with them.  Your attorney also act as a go-between with your agent and manager to be sure that their contracts with you are legal, fair, and will conform with industry standards.  These services may involve negotiation of the contracts, legal review of the contracts, or negotiation of the legal terms to make what will truly be the best deal for you under the circumstances.   


How are fees handled?

Entertainment attorneys bill clients in a variety of ways.  The manner of billing is negotiable and may include fees on an hourly basis for work completed, as a percentage of the income from a contract, as a flat rate per contract or as a retainer (set fee per month). They also may use value billing to set a fee based on the size of the deal and the lawyer's contribution to it.  Clients are also responsible for out-of-pocket costs beyond fees, such as charges for long-distance phone calls, messenger service and photocopies.  Your attorney will furnish you with a retainer agreement which will specify the manner of billing for fees and costs,