Case #Legal CategoryArts CategoryClient TypeDescriptionTraining MaterialsLaw Library
24-0308Contracts, Copyright Protection/LicensingTheaterPro Bono

24-0308 Playwright has created a jukebox musical featuring music written by a Cuban punk band. She had an agreement with their band manager covering a workshop performance, and she is now interested in entering into a full grand rights license. She needs counsel to draft a grand rights license to acquire the rights to produce the musical more broadly. The license would likely need to be in Spanish.

24-0472Rights of Privacy and PublicityLiteraturePro Bono

24-0472 Author, a music student at a local university, needs counsel to assist with pre-publication review of a book that details their experience of reporting and recovery from grooming and sexual assault by a professor.

24-0579EmploymentFilm/TVPro Bono

24-0579 Filmmaker is developing a thriller feature film and needs counsel to draft standard agreements for the crew and creative team.

24-0586Contracts, DisputesFilm/TVPaying

24-0586 Several years ago, Filmmaker entered into a disengagement agreement with a producer to limit future collaboration on a documentary film project. The agreement gave the former producer the right to take control of the film LLC if the film does not find distribution or host a theatrical premiere by Dec 31, 2024. Filmmaker is unsure if he will meet this deadline and needs counsel to review the disengagement agreement to determine his options, and as appropriate, renegotiate terms with the former producer or take other appropriate steps to protect Filmmaker's involvement in the film.

24-0269DisputesPerformance ArtPro Bono

24-0269 Artist used to volunteer for a nonprofit organization that celebrates Mongolian heritage. In 2022, she signed a contract with a performance venue on behalf of the nonprofit for a holiday celebration organized by the nonprofit and several other individuals. After disputes amongst the organizers, the event ended and the cash proceeds were split amongst the individual organizers. The nonprofit failed to pay the amount owed to the venue. The venue filed suit against the nonprofit and the Artist for breach of contract. The Artist was never served, all notices were sent to the registered address of the nonprofit. A default judgement was entered in February 2023. Artist was not notified of the situation until February 2024. They need counsel to help defend against this suit.

24-0370DisputesOtherPro Bono

24-0370 Photographer was hired by a personal injury law firm to take professional headshots. Photographer provided a price sheet before the shoot, and issued an invoice accordingly. Photographer provided the photos to the law firm, but they are now refusing to pay the full amount of the invoice. Photographer needs counsel to help recover the amounts owed.

24-0178Contracts, DisputesVisual ArtPro Bono

24-0178 Client was hired to serve as a guest curator for an exhibition at a municipal cultural center. There was no formal contract. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, the artist fired client. Client submitted an invoice for the completed work, but neither the cultural center nor the artist have paid. Representatives of the cultural center have expressed willingness to resolve the issue and arrange for payment, but have so far failed to provide concrete terms or a timeline. Client needs counsel to draft a demand letter and help her obtain the amounts owed.

23-1168DisputesVisual ArtPro Bono

23-1168 Visual artist created several works of art that were consigned to a furniture/decor store without a formal contract. The physical location of the store has since closed, and the artist has been unable to get in touch with the owner. He needs counsel to help recover the artwork or obtain compensation for any pieces that are no longer available.

24-0475Copyright Infringement, DisputesLiteraturePro Bono

24-0475 Scientist and author was developing a book project with another scientist. They presented on the topic at a conference together, and had a contract with a publisher to produce the book. The other scientist pulled out of the book project with the author after four months of work, but the author recently discovered that the other scientist is publishing a book on the same topic, and featuring many of the same chapter titles, as the initial book project. Author suspects that the upcoming book includes content that she authored. She needs counsel to help evaluate her rights and options to protect, or be properly compensated for, her work.

24-0333Copyright InfringementOtherPro Bono

24-0333 Photographer took a photograph on site at a local cemetery. An individual that maintains a research website regarding the cemetery has posted and made the photograph available for download without the photographer's permission. Photographer needs counsel to help enforce a claim for copyright infringement. Previous LCA counsel attempted to resolve this matter with a cease-and-desist letter, but the alleged infringer has not responded to taken down the photograph.

24-0348Copyright InfringementVisual ArtPro Bono

24-0348 Commercial photographer was hired to photograph the interior of a hotel in Nashville. Photographer retained copyright ownership and the contract with the hiring party specified that the photographs were not to be shared with third parties without permission. Photographer recently discovered that the design firm that worked on the space (and was not a party to the contract) has shared Photographer's photographs on social media without permission. Photographer contacted the design firm and requested compensation for the unlicensed use of the photographs, but the design firm has not responded. Photographer needs counsel to evaluate a claim for copyright infringement and, if appropriate, help recover amounts owed.

24-0349Copyright InfringementVisual ArtContingent Fee (PB Eligible)

24-0348 Commercial photographer was hired to photograph the interior and exterior of a hotel in Chicago. Photographer retained copyright ownership and the contract with the hotel specified that the photographs were not to be shared with third parties without permission. Photographer later contracted with the lighting design firm that performed work on the space. Photographer recently discovered that an individual lighting designer that worked on the space (and was not a party to either contract) has started his own company and has shared eight of Photographer's photographs on the new company's website without permission. Photographer needs counsel to evaluate a claim for copyright infringement and, if appropriate, help recover amounts owed.

23-1115Contracts, DisputesMusicPro Bono

23-1115 Musician hired a contractor to insulate her attic. She paid a deposit up front. Contractor never completed the work. Musician sued contractor in small claims court. An agreed order to dismiss, subject to an installment payment plan, was entered. Contractor has not paid Musician as agreed. Musician needs counsel to help enforce her right to payment.

24-0284Landlord-TenantFilm/TV, Literature

24-0284 Early last year, Actor ordered to pay outstanding condo assessment costs in a lawsuit filed by the homeowners association. She recently filed a complaint against the homeowners association pro se alleging harassment, breach of fiduciary duties, and other claims. She needs counsel to help evaluate her claim and, if appropriate, representation in the pending suit.

24-0313Employment, DisputesPerformance ArtPro Bono

23-0216 Actor recently filed a complaint with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations after resigning from his day job due to a number of disrespectful and hostile workplace incidents. Actor needs counsel to represent him in the ongoing proceedings.

24-0359Contracts, EstatesFilm/TVPro Bono

24-0359 Sole owner of an independent video licensing company needs counsel to review and, if appropriate, update their estate planning documents and current distribution agreements to ensure that his heirs will inherit the appropriate rights in the video content and rights to relevant royalties from ongoing distribution agreements.

24-0447EstatesMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

24-0447 Local musician needs counsel to help develop an estate plan for her mother, including a living trust and relevant POA documents.

24-0312Trademark Protection, EstatesLiterature, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0312 Artist and writer needs counsel to help develop an estate plan that addresses her artistic and literary legacy.

23-1102Contracts, DisputesMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

23-1102 Opera performer was contracted as an artist-in-residence of an opera company to develop a series of creative projects. Agreement expired in June 2023, and the opera company indicated to the performer that they planned to renew the agreement. Performer continued to work on planning and preparation for the series, in communication with the opera company, for a period of several months before the opera company notified her that they would not be continuing the program. Performer needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for compensation or other appropriate recourse.

24-0257Other, Not for Profit AdviceTheaterPro Bono

24-0257 Nonprofit theater company recently purchased a building. The previous owner owed taxes on the space and sent a check to cover this amount to previous pro bono counsel for the nonprofit. Counsel sent the check to the nonprofit via a shipping service. The check seems to have been delivered to the wrong address and someone cashed the check. Theater company needs counsel to help evaluate their options and, if possible, recover the funds.

24-0377Copyright Infringement, Copyright Protection/LicensingDesign/Graphic Design, Other, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0377 Visual artist created an illustration featuring a "lele doll" and a local book store owner licensed it for use on a poster in the book store. Later, the book store owner began selling a physical doll based on the artist's illustration. Artist needs counsel to evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

24-0105Other, Rights of Privacy and PublicityFilm/TVPro Bono

24-0105 Filmmaker and content creator needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for defamation over statements published by former colleagues on a well-known user-generated content website.

24-0221Rights of Privacy and Publicity, DisputesFilm/TVPro Bono

24-0221 Content creator needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for defamation over statements published by a former colleague on a well-known user-generated content website.

23-1097EmploymentVisual ArtPro Bono

23-1097 Visual artist recently resigned from her day job due to circumstances she believes comprise sexual harassment. Prior to resignation, she reported to HR, which told her that their policy would require her to continue working with the alleged harasser while an investigation occurred. The alleged harasser would be informed of the complaint, but his supervisors would not be notified until the investigation was completed. Artist felt that this process did not provide her with sufficient protection and resigned. No investigation occurred. Artist needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for sexual harassment or constructive discharge. Artist also needs counsel to help evaluate her claim to unemployment benefits.

24-0304Employment, Personal Injury/Damage to PropertyPerformance Art, TheaterPro Bono

24-0304 Small nonprofit theater company hires actors as independent contractors to perform in their productions. An actor was recently injured during a performance. There was no contract between the theater and the actor. The theater has been contacted by counsel for the actor regarding a potential Workers Compensation claim. The theater does not maintain Workers Compensation coverage because they do not have employees. They need counsel to help evaluate their exposure and assist with communications with the actor's attorney.

24-0555Personal Injury/Damage to PropertyDance, TheaterPro Bono

24-0555 Dance and theater critic recently attended a dance performance. After the performance, the Executive Director of the dance company received an email with insults and threats that was purportedly from the critic. The critic did not send this email - it was from a fake email address and misspelled his name - but he believes he knows who did. Critic needs counsel to help evaluate a claim against this person and, if appropriate, draft a cease and desist letter.

24-0219Contracts, Copyright Protection/LicensingLiteraturePro Bono

24-0219 Translator was engaged to translate a book written by a friend. There was no formal contract with the publisher or the author. The publisher paid Translator as agreed. However, towards the end of the project, she discovered significant typos that were not addressed by the publisher's editor as well as missing passages that had been included in her submitted translation. After a series of disagreements with the publisher about how to proceed with the editing/proofreading process, Translator walked away from the project and requested that the final translation not be attributed to her. The translated book was released this year and includes attributions to Translator, despite her requests. She needs counsel to evaluate her right to recourse and, if appropriate, issue a cease and desist letter.

24-0263Visa and ImmigrationFilm/TVPro Bono

24-0263 Documentary filmmaker needs counsel to advise on the process of obtaining an artist visa (O-1).

24-0230Visa and ImmigrationFilm/TV, TheaterPro Bono

24-0230 Theater artist and performer needs counsel to advise on the process of obtaining an artist visa (O-1).

23-1172Visa and ImmigrationVisual ArtPro Bono

23-1172 Visual artist focused on sculpture and jewelry design from China recently completed a graduate program and is currently working on an OPT. Artist needs counsel to advise on the process of obtaining an artist visa (O-1) or H1B visa.

24-0211Visa and ImmigrationVisual ArtPro Bono

24-0211 Contemporary artist currently completing a teaching fellowship at a local art school needs counsel to advise on the process of obtaining an artist visa (O-1).

24-0485Not for Profit AdviceDancePro Bono

24-0485 Nonprofit dance company is in the process of dissolving the nonprofit. They need counsel to help them through the process and address the organizations assets and obligations.

24-0588Business Startup/CorporateDancePro Bono

24-0588 Nonprofit dance company currently incorporated in Virginia needs counsel to assist with Illinois nonprofit domestication and general nonprofit compliance.

23-1175Not for Profit AdviceTheaterPro Bono

23-1175 Nonprofit theatre company currently operating as a private foundation is seeking to switch to a public charity classification. They need counsel to assist with this transition.

24-0197Business Startup/Corporate, Other, Not for Profit AdviceNon-Profit, Other, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0197 Longstanding social organization of weavers was formally incorporated in 1949 and received their tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(7) organization shortly thereafter. At some point in their history, their corporate status and related tax-exemption were lost. The organization is interested in regaining their corporate structure and tax exempt status and need counsel to advise as to the best course of action moving forward.

24-0241Contracts, Not for Profit AdviceMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

24-0241 Local symphony orchestra is in the process of reinstating their tax-exempt status after an incident involving the financial malfeasance of the former executive director. The organization needs counsel to assist with the reinstatement of their tax-exempt status and evaluate their options going forward.

24-0538Not for Profit AdviceFilm/TV, Radio/VoicePro Bono

24-0438 Organization that supports public radio and television stations throughout Illinois needs counsel to advise on governance and fundraising best practices. They are organized as a public corporation and need assistance devising best practices for amending bylaws and evaluating their ability to accept donations and foundation grants.

24-0573Contracts, Landlord-TenantPerformance Art, TheaterPro Bono

24-0573 Theater start-up operating as an LLC needs counsel to review the commercial lease for their prospective theater space.

24-0193Landlord-Tenant, Not for Profit AdviceOther, Visual ArtPaying

24-0193 Owner of newly renovated arts building is planning to rent space to two arts nonprofits with which he and his spouse have a previous affiliation. He needs counsel to help structure the business and contractual relationships to avoid conflicts of interest.

24-0553Trademark ProtectionVisual ArtPro Bono

24-0553 Start-up digital media production company needs counsel to assist with trademark registration for the name of their company.

24-0476Trademark ProtectionMusicPro Bono

24-0476 Musician and performer needs counsel to assist with trademark registration for their stage name.

24-0448Trademark Protection, Copyright Protection/LicensingArts Education, Design/Graphic Design, Music, Performance Art, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0448 Start-up event production company needs counsel to assist with trademark registration for a word mark.

24-0431Business Startup/Corporate, Visa and ImmigrationFilm/TV, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0431 Photographer and illustrator is finishing up her BFA program at a local arts school and needs counsel to assist her in obtaining a O1B Visa.

24-0466Visa and ImmigrationPerformance Art, Visual ArtPro Bono

24-0466 International visual artist recently completed a graduate program in Art, Culture, and Technology and is currently working for a Chicago arts organization on an OPT. The OPT runs through August 2024 and the artist needs counsel help determine the most appropriate visa going forward (O1/H1B) and, if appropriate, assist with the application.