News

Associate Board Member Amy Adler - A Major Proponent of Live Music and the Chicago Arts Scene

Amy Adler is currently legal counsel at Shure Incorporated. At Shure, Amy primarily focuses on a variety of transactional matters and Shure’s trademark portfolio. Prior to joining Shure, her practice concentrated on trademark and copyright litigation and prosecution, domain name disputes and transactional matters for clients and their businesses. Amy is also an Adjunct Professor at Harper College, where she teaches Intellectual Property and Contract Law for paralegals. She graduated from The John Marshall Law School and served as the Symposium Editor on the Review of Intellectual Property Law. Amy has enjoyed counseling and working with LCA clients since 2016. 

LCA Remembers Joe Segal

We at LCA were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Joe Segal, founder of Jazz Showcase and one of the luminaries of Chicago Jazz. In 2013 Board Member Tom Leavens had the honor of presenting Segal with our Distinguished Service to the Arts Award at our Annual Benefit. Below are the remarks delivered by Leavens as he presented Joe Segal with the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award.

Associate Board Featured Member: Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown is an Intellectual Property Associate at Mayer Brown, where he focuses his practice on M&A transactions and trademark and trade dress prosecution and enforcement. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Jonathan practiced corporate transactions, advising multinational enterprises on operational and strategic considerations associated with M&A, restructurings and intellectual property and tax matters. Jonathan attended Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, where he was honored to deliver the commencement address to he graduating class. Prior to joining LCA’s Associate Board, Jonathan was pleased to offer pro bono legal services to LCA clients working in music, film and entertainment.
 

Gwen Hochman Stewart

Gwen Hochman Stewart is an associate in the IP Litigation group at Sidley Austin LLP.  Her practice focuses on patent litigation but also includes other complex litigation involving technology or other IP issues. Gwen attended Harvard Law School, where she served as Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, and she clerked for the Hon. William Alsup at the U.S.

LCA Executive Director Jan Feldman Featured on WGN

Lawyers for the Creative Arts’ Executive Director Jan Feldman recently appeared on WGN’s Wintrust Business Lunch Hour with John Williams to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on the arts community. Williams and Feldman addressed some of the new concerns of artists, with Feldman noting that “since the virus hit it’s been a whole new panoply of issues, most of which don’t have as much to do with arts as basic survival.”

Acknowledging the uncertain prospects for many individuals in the arts community, Feldman added “The devastation that has been visited on the arts community as a result of this virus is obvious if you look at any boarded-up theater or music venue.” Even as the CARES Act continues to provide some financial relief for the arts community, Feldman emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of the arts community as organizations face the prospect of re-opening amid continuing uncertainty about attendance and audience comfort.

We at Lawyers for the Creative Arts stand with the individuals and organizations expressing their communal revulsion over the tragedy in Minneapolis. We join them in seeking ways to replace the systemic racism that led to the death of George Floyd, and of others in similar circumstances, with the rule of equal justice under law.  

The arts and other non-profit groups have identified resources for those desiring to assist individuals on the frontlines of protest and to advocate for change. We’ve collected several of those resource listings below.

The arts have a unique role in expressing the deepest human feelings, including those arising from the crisis, protest, and societal trauma our country is now experiencing. The many murals and graffiti-style portraits of George Floyd that have emerged from the current protests are good examples*.  LCA is proud to support all those in the arts in their too-often under-appreciated contributions to helping us get through difficult times and envision a better future.

*See: "...Street Artists Around the World Are Painting Murals to Memorialize George Floyd..."



RESOURCES TO SUPPORT AND ADVOCATE

Resources compiled by First Floor Theater

Act Blue

Assata's Daughters

Black Lives Matter Chicago

Black Visions Collective

Brave Space Alliance

BYP 100

Campaign Zero

Chicago Community Bond Fund

Chicago Freedom School

Color of Change

Equal Justice Initiative

Higher Heights for America

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Reclaim the Block

Showing Up for Racial Justice

the conscious kid

 

Resources Compiled by Forefront

Champaign County Bailout Coalition

Crossroads

My Block, My Hood, My City

 

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A graduate of the John Marshall Law School, Florence has been a successful business consultant for over 12 years.  She has a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from DePaul University and received a Bachelors in Business Administration from Howard University.  She worked for the City of Chicago, DePaul University, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Trucrowd Illinois, Inc, the first registered equity Crowdfunding platform in Illinois. Besides her duties with truCrowd, she also operates her own law firm focusing on small business owners, artists and artisans.  Florence is also an Adjunct Professor of Business Ethics and Entrepreneurship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Florence has lived and studied in Chicago, Illinois, Washington, DC and Berlin, Germany.  

Q: How did you learn about Lawyers for the Creative Arts and what led you to apply to join the Associate Board?
A: I have known about the LCA since before law school.  I have been a professional artist for years and looked to the organization when I needed assistance. I joined the Associate Board in 2019 and have been a member for less than 1 year. 

What do you enjoy about being an Associate Board member? 
I enjoy the network that being a member provides, along with the range of educational opportunities that exist.


What types of LCA matters have you taken on?
I have done small copyright cases. 


What advice would you give to an attorney who is considering taking an LCA matter?
Be ready to educate your clients and have patience to deal with them should they not understand the concepts upon first explanation.

What has it been like working with our clients? How does the experience differ from your job at your firm?
In my firm, I work with mostly small business owners and artists so there has not been much difference in my experience. 


Do you have any personal background in the arts?"Royal Chicago" on exhibit at the Blackstone Hotel
I am a professional fiber artist and have had a piece of art displayed in the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago (pictured at right).


Do you participate in or follow the arts here in Chicago?
Absolutely. I love all mediums of arts and try to go on art tours monthly with my husband. The range and vibrancy of the art scene always surprises me when I compare it to other metro areas. 


How does LCA support the arts in Chicago and why do you think this work is so vital to the arts?
Being able to provide artist and artisans with the support they need to keep creating is what makes Chicago the exciting place it is. 


Finally, which tv-show/movie/song/book have you recently finished that you would recommend? 
I just finished binge watching “Airplane Repo” and thoroughly enjoyed the series. 


Thank you to Florence for taking the time to answer our questions! Follow us on social media for future Featured Members from our Associate Board.

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Alex Karana is one of three LCA interns this semester. Alex is a graduating 3L at UIC John Marshall Law School. Before LCA, Alex served as a student attorney at the John Marshall’s Patent Clinic. Currently, Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Intellectual Property Law at UIC John Marshall and also serves as a judicial extern at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Before law school, Alex worked in the automotive industry and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University ‘13. 

Q: Many of our interns come to us with unique backgrounds in the arts. Do you have any personal background in the arts?
A: I am originally from Detroit, MI, and I grew up playing classical piano.  Last summer, I learned how to use Ableton, a digital audio workstation. Since then, I’ve been making some electronic beats in my spare time.  I’ve always had a passion for music and one of my favorite things to do is attend music concerts. Some of my favorite concerts I’ve been to have been Eminem & Jay-z, Flume, and Bassnectar.  Naturally, my interests in copyright law and the music industry grew out of my passion for music and LCA was a great way to get the arts back into my life.

How did you hear about LCA?
I heard about LCA during my 2L year in law school after taking entertainment law.  I learned more about it when I took a music transactions class and my professor talked about how LCA was a great way to get into the art community in Chicago.  Being from Detroit, LCA has been a great way to make new friends in Chicago. 

What did you expect? Did anything here surprise you?
I expected to do a bit of research in entertainment law but I never expected to directly interact with so many different artists. I’ve talked to actresses, non-profits, authors, graphic designers, and inventors.  I was able to help out a number of musicians which was what I wanted to do most.  But I didn’t expect to talk to so many.  There are so many artists that need legal help and it was very enjoyable for me to help get them legal aid.  LCA’s clients are also extremely appreciative which made it more enjoyable.  

How has your experience at LCA connected with what you’ve been learning in law school?
Having an engineering background, I started law school with intentions to practice patent.  I never had a chance to take trademarks or copyright, but LCA allowed me to gain experience in both those areas–mainly from clients but also from researching law in the arts.  

A lot of LCA’s clients, don’t just have IP issues.  A lot of contract law and business law issues arise too. Speaking directly with clients allowed me to apply a lot of what I learned in my law school classes to help the artists get the help they need.

Do you have any favorite moments or projects from your time with us? 
Getting to see and meet the Sklar brothers with Jan our Executive Director. They were hilarious.  I also miss our lunches with the team before the pandemic started.  

What’s next for you? Has your time at LCA helped you to narrow your options?
I am hoping to start off my career in IP litigation or transactional practice.  LCA has actually widened my scope as I would love to practice all IP areas.  Eventually, I’m hoping to practice in the technology, sports, and entertainment industries.  I’ve always wanted to start my own firm in those areas, so we’ll see where my career takes me. It’ll definitely be somewhere in Intellectual Property, if not most of it.

Do you plan to volunteer with LCA once you have your degree?
For sure! I plan on joining on as an Associate Board member and using my law degree to help some future LCA clients. 

What value does an organization like LCA add to the arts community?
LCA provides a ton to the arts community besides helping artists find legal help.  LCA does a fantastic job of educating the community by holding legal workshops and creating online legal resources for artists.  As an intern, I helped do some research for these.  Beyond the arts community, LCA does a great job at helping others set up non-profits in the community. It’s almost like an LCA is an incubator for non-profits.    

What's a fun fact about you? 
I’m a first-generation Chaldean-American.  Both my parents are Catholic-Iraqi immigrants and we speak Aramaic at home, which is one of the oldest languages in the world.

Which tv-show/movie/song/book have you recently finished that you would recommend?
I recently finished the book Creative Quest by DJ Questlove from the Roots.  I highly recommend it and it’s an easy read.  He talks about his career and what made him successful from an arts perspective.  He also discusses his process for actually creating art whether it is music, painting, or culinary arts.  I found a lot of his recommendations to be insightful and actually very applicable to other areas, even law.