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Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry 2019 - Theater; Mobile and Digital Entertainment; Film

Speaker(s): Emerson E. Bruns, Ian C. Ballon, Jacqueline G Eckhouse, Jean Ward, Joseph J. Dapello, Mark A Merriman
Recorded on: Feb. 27, 2019
PLI Program #: 250431

Jacqueline Eckhouse has been a partner of the firm since 2002. She focuses on motion picture, television and new media contract negotiation and has been recognized in Variety’s Legal Impact Report. She represents award-winning feature and documentary filmmakers, television creators, and actors, writers, producers, production companies and financiers. She also represents brands and handles endorsement and sponsorship deals.

Prior to joining Sloss Eckhouse LawCo, Ms. Eckhouse was an associate with Brown & Wood, where she practiced corporate securities law, and then with Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Selz, where she practiced entertainment law.

She is a graduate of Brandeis University (BA, 1993, magna cum laude) and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (JD, 1996).

Jean Ward is counsel to our Entertainment Group. She is one of New York’s best-known theatre lawyers, with over 20 years experience representing producers, authors, music publishers and other rights holders, theatre owners, creative personnel, and investors.  She negotiates and structures domestic and international transactions including property and rights acquisitions, licensing, theatrical syndication financing, creative personnel agreements, development deals, and a variety of other production agreements. 

Ms. Ward has been production counsel for Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions of such shows as “Stomp” (currently running off-Broadway and on tour), “Born Yesterday,” “Play Dead” (off-broadway), “Stomp Out Loud” (Las Vegas production), “The Toxic Avenger”(Off-Broadway and upcoming Broadway productions), “Play It Cool”, “Lovemusik” (co- production with Manhattan Theatre Club featuring the music of Kurt Weill), “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”, “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” (U.S. tour revival), “James Joyce’s The Dead”, “Freak”, “Les Miserables”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Five Guys Named Moe”, “Miss Saigon”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Broadway revival), and non-Equity and Equity Tier U.S. and international touring productions of such shows as “Cats”, “42nd Street” (U.S. touring and Moscow productions), “Come Fly Away”, and many others.  She has represented one of Ireland’s premier theatre companies, Druid Ireland, and its artistic director Garry Hynes on commissioning, licensing and producing numerous productions including Martin McDonagh’s “Cripple of Inishmaan” (Druid’s recent co-production with the Atlantic Theatre Company), several new plays currently in production, as well as their current development of a new musical incorporating music written or recorded by the popular Irish punk rock/jazz band The Pogues. 

Her work with Music-Theatre Group, a New York not-for-profit company specializing in the development of new work includes the commission and co-production (with Gotham City Opera) of a new opera, “Dark Sisters”, composed by Nico Muhly with libretto by Stephen Karam. Other recent projects include advising the producers of the London production of the new musical “Ghost,” work on the development of a musical version of “Twelve Angry Men,” and a new musical entitled “Chix 6”, and US and international touring productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Sister Act”.

Ms. Ward graduated from Harvard Law School and has taught Law and Theatre at Columbia Law School and presented lectures on theatre law at Practicing Law Institute, bar association, and National Law Journal seminars. She has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for entertainment work by Super Lawyers magazine for thirteen consecutive years.

Joseph J. Dapello is a founding partner of Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams LLP, a boutique entertainment law firm based in New York and Los Angeles that is dedicated to serving the creative community throughout the world.  The firm represents a variety of clients in all areas of the entertainment business, including film, television, theater, publishing, music and digital media.  Currently, Mr. Dapello’s practice focuses on the representation of actors, directors and writers and the financing, production and distribution of motion pictures and television programs.  Recent projects in which clients have been involved include the films “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Nocturnal Animals” and the series “House of Cards,” “Transparent” and “Veep.”

Mr. Dapello has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Entertainment, Media and Technology program at the Stern School of Business at New York University, and has been a member of entertainment law panels at Harvard Law School and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  He is also a frequent lecturer on entertainment law at organizations such as the Practising Law Institute, Independent Feature Project (IFP) and the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Entertainment Law.

Mr. Dapello received his Juris Doctor degree in 1988 from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 from Columbia College.  He is admitted to the New York State Bar and is a member of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Ian C. Ballon is Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group and represents internet, mobile, entertainment and technology companies in defending data privacy, security breach and TCPA class action suits and in other intellectual property and technology litigation. A list of recent cases may be found at

He is also the author of the leading treatise on internet and mobile law, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise with Forms 2d edition, the 5-volume set published by West (, which includes extensive coverage of security breach and data privacy issues. In addition, he is the author of The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008) and The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009). He also serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School’s Center for E-Commerce, which hosts the annual Best Practices Conference where lawyers, scholars and judges are regularly featured and interact.

Ian was named the Lawyer of the Year for Information Technology Law in the 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2013 editions of Best Lawyers in America and was recognized as the 2012 New Media Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association. In both 2018 and 2019 he was recognized as one of the Top 1,000 trademark attorneys in the world for his litigation practice by World Trademark Review. In addition, in 2019 he was named one of the top 20 Cybersecurity lawyers in California and in 2018 one of the Top Cybersecurity/Artificial Intelligence lawyers in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. He received the “Trailblazer” Award, Intellectual Property, 2017 from The National Law Journal and he has been recognized as a “Groundbreaker” in The Recorder’s 2017 Litigation Departments of the Year Awards. In 2010, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law section's Vanguard Award for significant contributions to the development of intellectual property law (

Mr. Ballon was listed in Variety's "Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys" and has been named by the LA Daily Journal as one of the Top 75 intellectual property litigators in California in every year that the list has been published (2009 through 2018) and as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. He is also listed in Legal 500 U.S., The Best Lawyers in America (in the areas of information technology and intellectual property) and Chambers and Partners USA Guide in the areas of privacy and data security and information technology. Mr. Ballon also holds the CIPP/US certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Ian can be reached at:, 310-586-6575 or via leading social media platforms (IanBallon).

Mark A. Merriman is a partner in the Entertainment Group where he practices in all aspects of entertainment law - with an emphasis on theatre and book publishing. He is listed as a “Super Lawer” by Super Lawyers magazine, and has received praise in Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his work in media and entertainment. 

In his theatre practice, Mr. Merriman has acted as production counsel for numerous live stage productions such as “Sold”, “The Effect”, “The Grand Paradise”, “Songbird”, “Every Brilliant Thing”, “Heathers The Musical”, the Broadway revival of the “Glass Menagerie”, “Hit the Wall”, “Scandalous”, “Cock”, “Once”, “Tribes”, “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical”, “Mistakes Were Made”, “Our Town”, “Adding Machine”, “Gone Missing” and “No Child”. Mark is currently working on several projects in development, including new productions created by Third Rail Projects, and PigPen Theatre Company. Mark also represents playwrights, bookwriters, composers, lyricists, dramaturgs, underlying rights holders, estates, music publishers, general managers, investors, co-producers, executive producers, directors, associate directors, resident directors, and other creative team personnel in the live stage industry. Prior to entering law school, he worked in the theatre industry on several long-running Broadway musicals, and served as the business manager of the WPA Theatre in New York City.

In his book publishing practice, Mark represents a variety of authors of fiction and non-fiction, estates, illustrators, and underlying rights owners in their agreements with publishers, agents and collaborators.

Mr. Merriman graduated from Otterbein College (B.F.A. in Theatre with Emphasis in Music) and Brooklyn Law School. While in law school, he was a Vice President of the Moot Court Honor Society and is a member of the Order of the Barristers.  He currently serves as an adjunct professor of clinical law at Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Merriman is admitted to practice in New York.

Emerson Bruns is a founding partner of Bruns Brennan & Berry, an entertainment law firm with offices in New York.  Mr. Bruns' practice involves all aspects of entertainment law and he specializes in the formation of investment vehicles for the production of independent films.  He serves as counsel to numerous award-winning motion picture, television and video producers and regularly lectures on the motion picture and television industries at seminars and law schools throughout the metropolitan area. He has served as counsel on numerous motion picture productions, including, Arbitrage, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Albert Nobbs, Begin Again, Cold in July, Face of Love, happythankyoumoreplease, Mother and Child, 10 Items or Less, The Hottest State, The Station Agent, Transamerica, Thirteen, Laurel Canyon, Nine Lives, Empire, The Believer, Big Eden, L.I.E., On The Ropes, Sling Blade, Star Maps, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  Mr.  Bruns has written articles for and contributed to numerous publications on the subject of independent film and has served as resource consultant and panel speaker for the Independent Feature Project, as well as a panelist for numerous seminars. Mr. Bruns has been practicing law in the entertainment field for 16 years and prior to establishing Bruns, Brennan & Berry, Mr. Bruns headed his eponymous firm, served as Of Counsel to Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams & Hurwitz.  Mr. Bruns was a partner at Rudolph & Beer, an entertainment law firm with offices in New York, an associate with Warren Alpert & Beigelman, an entertainment law firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles and an associate with Williams, Mullen, Christian & Dobbins in Richmond, Virginia where he practiced securities and corporate law.  Mr. Bruns received his law degree from William and Mary School of Law in 1991 and his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1987.