Case #Legal CategoryArts CategoryClient TypeDescriptionTraining MaterialsLaw Library
21-0857Other, DisputesFilm/TV, MusicContingent Fee (PB Eligible)

21-0857 Co-author of a successful house music song needs help evaluating her right to royalties. In addition, if recommended, she will need assistance with recovery though litigation. The song was originally published in the late 1980's and is still being sampled, remixed, and used in various mediums including television and video games. Prior LCA counsel has exhausted options short of litigation. Discovery may reveal that the Client has a claim for fraud.

21-0870Not for Profit AdviceFilm/TVPro Bono

21-0870 Illinois NFP needs help evaluating whether they are permitted or need special licensing to use a Facebook spinning wheel game to facilitate fundraising.

21-0972Business Startup/CorporateLiteraturePro Bono

21-0972 Author needs start-up advice and help with business structure.

21-1168Visa and Immigration, Not for Profit AdviceDancePro Bono

21-1168 Established Chicago dance company is starting a year long training program and has received inquiries of participation from international students. Company wants to accept these students and believes they need to obtain status as an SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved school. Company needs counsel to advise and assist them in this process.

21-1337Other, Copyright Protection/LicensingLiterature, OtherPro Bono

21-1337 Translator needs counsel to assist with copyright registration for two licensed translations of pre-existing works.

Copyright Principles in the Arts: Overview of Copyright Issues in the Arts
22-0001Landlord-TenantVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0001 Visual artist has had a commercial lease on studio space for several years. Prior to the pandemic, he fell behind on rent. The lease eventually expired, but artist continued occupying the space and making attempts to pay off the amounts owed. Now, the landlord has served the artist with eviction paperwork, and the artist needs counsel to evaluate his case and advise as to his options.

22-0098OtherLiteraturePro Bono

22-0098 Client is a renown comic book artist and author. Her publisher has classified her as an employee, and as a result, there is some confusion as to her filing status with the IRS. Client has not paid taxes in several years. Client needs counsel to evaluate her rights and liabilities.

22-0156OtherFilm/TVPro Bono

22-0156 Filmmaker client is a member of a film production LLC that was created to produce a film project about football. Client spent a great deal of his own money on the project and believes that he has not been properly compensated per the operating agreement, and wishes to dissolve the LLC and be made whole. Client needs counsel to review the relevant documents and evaluate his rights, and if appropriate, assist with his exit from, or the dissolution of, the LLC.

22-0196Other, DisputesMusicPaying

22-0196 DJ hired a UK-based PR firm to promote her music. PR firm has failed to meet deliverables and DJ terminated the contract. PR firm then took down articles DJ previously paid for and published allegedly defamatory statements about the DJ. DJ needs counsel to issue a demand letter requesting the PR firm to rescind allegedly defamatory statements and re-publish agreed upon articles. If PR firm refuses, DJ needs counsel to evaluate a claim for defamation.

22-0206Copyright InfringementMusicPro Bono

22-0206 Singer-songwriter performed, distributed, and registered copyright in an original pop song in 2017. This year, another artist released a chart-topping song with similar thematic, lyrical, and melodic components. Singer-songwriter needs counsel to help evaluate any potential claim for copyright infringement.

Copyright Principles in the Arts: Copyright Litigation
22-0215Copyright InfringementMusicPro Bono

22-0215 Client is a rapper who tells stories about the realities of living in Chicago. Client released a song and related music video in 2012. Several times throughout the last few years, another performer has posted music and videos online of a new song that uses the client's lyrics. Client needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

22-0219Business Startup/CorporateLiteraturePro Bono

22-0219 Author of children's books is planning to enter into a business partnership with another individual. Author will handle the artistic side of things, while the potential partner would work to develop technology and merchandise associated with the books. Author needs counsel to draft an agreement memorializing the arrangement.

22-0298OtherMusicPro Bono

22-0298 NFP music ensemble is planning to wind down and dissolve the entity and needs advice on the dissolution process and options for distribution of the entity's assets.

22-0330Employment, OtherVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0330 Visual artist was recently fired from a teaching position with a local art school. He believes he has a claim for race-based employment discrimination and needs counsel to evaluate his claim.

22-0362DisputesLiterature, Visual ArtPro Bono

22-0362 Client is a visual artist and author. She has taken classes from a local writing school for many years. In the most recent session, she submitted a late payment, and the school expelled her. Client is seeking the return of the submitted payment.

22-0373Business Startup/CorporateTheaterPro Bono

22-0373 NFP theatre company that uses stage combat to tell stories that elevate the voices of underrepresented communities needs counsel to review and, if appropriate, update their bylaws.

Representing the LCA Arts Organization: Nonprofit Law for Small Arts Organizations
22-0387Business Startup/Corporate, ContractsFilm/TVPro Bono

22-0387 Filmmaker entered into an option agreement and a short-form assignment agreement with a screenwriter for the screenplay for a film the filmmaker is producing. She has not yet paid the full amount stated in the option agreement, and she needs counsel to review the agreements and help her understand the status of her rights in the screenplay.

Representing the LCA Filmmaker: Overview of Film Law Topics
22-0391Business Startup/Corporate, Contracts, Not for Profit AdvicePerformance ArtPaying

22-0391 Client is organizing a reenactment of a historical journey and needs counsel to draft agreements for the participants.

22-0394Business Startup/Corporate, ContractsMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

22-0394 Filmmaker is devising an experimental film focused on music, movement, and meditation and needs counsel to draft an agreement memorializing the rights and responsibilities of his collaborators.

22-0400ContractsMusicPro Bono

22-0400 Client is producing a get-out-the-vote video that will feature local ministers and community figures. Client needs counsel to draft a standard agreement to memorialize her arrangement with the community figures, as well as a work for hire agreement for the artists creating the sound recording to be used in the video.

22-0455Copyright InfringementMusicPro Bono

22-0455 TIME SENSITIVE MATTER: Recording artist wrote, recorded, and copyrighted a song in 2017. Shortly afterwards, he sent a copy of the song to a well known music producer and artist. A year later, the producer and artist released a song with many similar elements, including title, chord structure, rhythm, and lyrics. Client is involved in ongoing copyright infringement litigation in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois over this dispute. Previous counsel had to withdraw and artist is seeking representation for the ongoing litigation.

22-0461DisputesMusic, Visual ArtPaying

22-0461 Author published a book with a literary publisher in 2012. A second edition was released in 2019, and the author doesn't believe they are being paid appropriately. Client needs help securing a royalty statement and determining if the publisher is withholding royalty payments.

22-0467Employment, Not for Profit AdviceVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0467 Nonprofit that provides social and emotional learning programming for schools was recently informed by the IDES that they are now required to contribute to the unemployment fund. Nonprofit filed an appeal and needs counsel to evaluate their current status and obligations, and provide advice going forward.

22-0474Copyright InfringementMusicPro Bono

22-0474 Client is a songwriter and musician who separated from his band in 2019. Client wrote and registered copyright in 6 musical compositions that were performed by the band. The lead singer subsequently registered copyright in the same songs under different titles. Client wishes to challenge the lead singer's copyright registration and needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

22-0483Copyright Infringement, Copyright Protection/LicensingVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0483 Photographer created an image that was later published in an online publication. A local social club pulled the image from the online publication without permission and used it as part of their marketing materials for an event. Photographer needs counsel to evaluate her claim for copyright infringement.

22-0491Disputes, Landlord-TenantMusic, Visual ArtPro Bono

22-0491 Visual artist contacted the owner of a commercial building about renting studio space. Artist came to agreement with landlord as to rent orally and via text message, but no lease was ever signed. Artist paid a down payment, and several other fees assessed by the landlord, and landlord continued to add additional charges to the monthly rent to which artist initially agreed. Artist needs counsel to evaluate her rights and, if possible, recover amounts paid.

22-0494Business Startup/Corporate, ContractsMusicPro Bono

22-0494 DJ has started a company to administer the rights for DJ mixes. He has a broad Catalog Agreement, but he needs counsel to review the contract and adapt it to license/administer limited rights - mechanical, master use, and derivative works.

22-0507Copyright InfringementMusicPro Bono

22-0507 DJ and composer client wrote and published song in 2014. Over the last several years, another company has been using a sample of the original sound recording in their releases. Client has filed several DMCA notices, and has received at least one counternotice. Client needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

22-0527Copyright InfringementOtherPro Bono

22-0527 Documentarian produced an audio documentary about UFOs in the 70s. Someone has made the documentary available online without compensating the rightsholders. Documentarian needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

22-0550Business Startup/Corporate, ContractsFilm/TV, Visual ArtPro Bono

22-0550 Filmmaker working on an experimental narrative film about loneliness and the human condition is partnering with a Dutch production company and needs counsel to review and, if appropriate, update, the Co-Production Agreement.

22-0571Not for Profit AdviceTheaterPro Bono

22-0571 Nonprofit theatre company has begun the process of to winding down and dissolving the entity and needs advice on the dissolution process and options for distribution of the entity's assets.

22-0573Not for Profit AdviceMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

22-0573 Florida-based NFP that provides training in opera performance would like to begin operating in Illinois. Organization needs help to identify and complete the necessary registrations to operate in Illinois, as well as address any administrative/governance concerns.


22-0578 Nonprofit dance company recently terminated a company dancer and general employment law advice on whether or not the termination was handled appropriately.

22-0579Contracts, OtherMusicPro Bono

22-0579 Client consigned an extremely valuable violin to a violin dealer. Pursuant to the consignment agreement, client attempted to terminate the agreement. Dealer has not returned the violin or paid the client proceeds from any sale. Violin is insured, but insurer refuses to pay. Client needs counsel to help evaluate any claim for breach of contract, assist with the recovery of the violin, or assist with the insurance claim.

22-0582Employment, DisputesMusic, Performance ArtPro Bono

22-0582 Client, a classically trained vocalist, was recently terminated by a literary publishing company. She needs counsel to review the separation agreement and evaluate her rights.

22-0584Not for Profit AdviceMusicPro Bono

22-0584 Nonprofit choral ensemble is planning to wind down and dissolve the entity and needs advice on the dissolution process and options for distribution of the entity's assets.

22-0585Personal Injury/Damage to PropertyFilm/TVPro Bono

22-0585 Filmmaker hired an art studio/gallery to digitally reproduce a painting. Studio/gallery allegedly destroyed the painting. Filmmaker needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for conversion

22-0593Not for Profit AdviceDance, OtherPro Bono

22-0593 Nonprofit arts history/education organization has begun the process of winding down and dissolving the entity and needs advice on the dissolution process.

22-0603Business Startup/CorporateVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0603 Collective of Chicago photographers that presents exhibitions and regular meetings would like to create a formal entity and needs counsel to assist with choice of entity and entity formation.

22-0604Business Startup/CorporateFashion, Visual ArtPro Bono

22-0604 Visual Artist and fashion designer is planning to start a business and needs general start-up advice and help with choice of entity.

22-0605Trademark InfringementFilm/TVPro Bono

22-0605 Client is a chef and musician who creates and publishes cooking/music videos on YouTube and other social media sites. He has two registered trademarks. He recently discovered that a competitor is using the same name. He needs counsel to help evaluate a claim for infringement.

22-0608Copyright InfringementVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0608 Visual artist working on canvas recently discovered that prints of his artwork are listed for sale on a Russian website without his permission. He needs assistance to register copyright in this work (and others) and evaluate a claim for copyright infringement.

22-0640Not for Profit AdviceArts Education, MusicPro Bono

22-0640 Pending nonprofit organization is planning to obtain tax-exempt status to raise scholarship funds to pay for music lessons for children provided by a for-profit music school. Organization needs general nonprofit advice and assistance with a conflict of interest policy.

22-0641ContractsFilm/TVPro Bono

22-0641 Writer has been offered a license agreement with a local distributor for the digital distribution of a television show. She needs counsel to review the agreement.

22-0642Contracts, Trademark ProtectionLiteraturePaying

Author is writing a children's book about their father and is looking to hire an artist to do the illustrations. Author needs counsel to draft an illustrator agreement.

22-0643ContractsVisual ArtPaying

22-0643 Visual artist has been offered a space in an accelerator program designed to help artists grow their practice and their business and has been offered a Letter of Intent agreement. She needs counsel to review the agreement.

22-0658ContractsFilm/TV, Visual ArtPro Bono

22-0658 Screenwriter is developing a new animated television series and is planning to hire an animator to assist. He needs counsel to draft a work-made-for-hire agreement.

22-0661Copyright Protection/LicensingMusicPaying

22-0661 Classical guitarist is planning to record the works of a Paraguayan composer who passed away in the 1940s and needs help confirming that a series of compositions are in the public domain.

22-0667Business Startup/CorporateVisual ArtPro Bono

22-0667 Graphic designer who does branding work for small businesses needs start-up advice and assistance with LLC formation.