A Trusted Attorney with Over 40 Years of Experience in Entertainment Law

Photo of attorney Michael R. Blaha

Michael Roy Blaha

ATTORNEY AT LAW

Contact Me:

800-419-3013

Practice Areas:

  • Entertainment Law 80%
  • Intellectual Property 10%
  • First Amendment 10%
rated by Super Lawyers Michael R. Blaha SuperLawyers.com

Biography

I am a sole practitioner who specializes in entertainment law, including both contract negotiation (transactional) and litigation.  My clients include independent film and television production companies, individual producers, directors, writers and actors, as well as musicians, songwriters and record labels, authors and athletes. On the transactional side, I have acted as production counsel (drafting and negotiating all contracts from the development stage through completion), for several film and television projects and have represented both artists and companies in drafting and negotiating option agreements, underlying rights agreements, management agreements, distribution agreements, and many other types of entertainment contracts. My litigation practice has included representing plaintiffs and defendants in idea theft, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, rights of publicity, and defamation cases and in disputes regarding the financing, production or distribution of film, television, and music. I have developed and taught several different entertainment law courses as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School for the past 35 years, and I am a 2022 Southern California Superlawyer in Entertainment Law.

Education

  • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina
    • J.D. – 1979
    • Law Review: Law and Contemporary Problems, Editor, 1978 – 1979
    • Quarterfinalist, National Moot Court Competition
    • Graduated at 21
    •  
  • University of Miami, Miami, Florida
    • B.A. – 1976
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: Political Science and Accounting
    • President, Student Senate
    • Graduated at 18
    •  

Bar Admission

  • California, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998

Representative Cases

  • Elvis Presley Enterprises v. Passport Video, 349 F.3d 622, 2003, 9th Circuit
  • Kiss Catalog v. Passport Int'l Distribution, 350 F.Supp.2d 823, 2004, USDC C.D. Cal
  • Hyatt v. Cheezy Flicks Entm't, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161134, 2016, USDC C.D. Cal
  • Heritage Lace, Inc. v. Underwraps Costume Corp., U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139147 , 2019, USDC S.D.N.Y.

Honors

  • Southern California Superlawyer - 2012
  • Outstanding Adjunct Professor, Southwestern Law School - 2016
  • Best Musical, New York Fringe Festival 2007 (“Bukowsical”)
  • Grand Jury Prize Slamdance Film Festival 1999 (“Chi Girl”)
  • Spirit of the Fringe (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) - 2005

Classes & Seminars

  • Capstone Entertainment Law, Southwestern Law School, 2010
  • Financing and Distributing Independent Film, Southwestern Law School, 2008 to 2012
  • Entertainment Litigation, 2017

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Board of Directors, Impro Theatre, 2021 - present
  • Board of Directors, New Musicals, Inc. 2005 - present
  • Board of Directors, Filmmakers Alliance, 2007 - 2012

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Arbitrator, Independent Film and Television Alliance, 2012-present

Representative Clients

  • Bloody Marvelous Productions
  • Flavor Unit Entertainment/Queen Latifah
  • Millenia Pictures
  • Tableland Pictures
  • Wasserman Media Group
  • World of Dance
  • Vega, Baby! Releasing
  • Rui Hachimura
  • Philippe Mora
  • J.D. Shapiro
  • Matt Young

References

  • Michael J. Faber
  • Edward Perron
  • Professor Robert Lind

Past Positions

  • Columbia Pictures, V.P., Legal Affairs, 1982 to 1987, 1990-1992
  • Lorimar Telepictures, V.P., Legal Affairs, 1987 to 1988

Ancillary Businesses

  • Producer's Representative
  • Film and Stage Producer