With more than 20 years of experience – including six years as general counsel for Miramax Films – Alan represents clients in the entertainment industry in contract matters, copyright and trademark disputes and participation/royalty claims involving motion pictures, music releases and television shows. He has handled matters for entertainment clients in State and Federal courts in New York, California and other jurisdictions.
Alan served as general counsel to Miramax Films until 2005, when the company’s founders separated from the company. He had previously represented Miramax in business and litigation matters as its outside counsel. As general counsel, he reviewed the company’s films and marketing materials prior to distribution to evaluate, assess and mitigate any risk of infringement, defamation and right of publicity/privacy claims. Alan also led Miramax through multiple challenges to highly regarded projects such as Shakespeare in Love, Chicago, The Cider House Rules and Scary Movie. Additionally, he successfully opposed numerous commercial and intellectual property claims without litigation and favorably resolved many other matters in court and in arbitration.
Beyond his entertainment law practice, Alan represents clients in complex commercial litigation, including claims involving contract, fraud, fiduciary duty, securities and other disputes for plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts from their inception through their final appellate stages. Additionally, Alan has represented individuals and companies before the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service (JAMS), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) and other arbitral bodies and in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) regulatory investigations.
Among the contested matters Mr. Friedman has handled are the following:
- Won motion to dismiss lawsuit seeking to discontinue client’s right to continued royalties from the exploitation of classic Broadway play in all exploitations in all media. Leigh v. Vega Productions, slip op., Index No. 651188/2013 (N. Y. Sup. Ct. Sept. 20, 2013).
- Won summary judgment dismissal of copyright claim asserted against NBC Universal and Reveille LLC in which plaintiff contended that popular television show “The Biggest Loser” infringed on her copyrighted treatment. Latimore v. NBC Universal, Inc., slip op., 07 Civ. 9338 (AKH) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 22, 2011), aff’d, Latimore v. NBC Universal Television Studio, 480 Fed.Appx. 649, 650 (2d Cir.2012).
- Won dismissal of consumer fraud class action complaint contending that the marketing of the motion picture “Drive” was misleading and deceptive with respect to the nature and characteristics of the motion picture. Deming v. FilmDistrict Distribution LLC, Case No. 11-122030-CZ (March 14, 2012).
- Won appeal of NC-17 rating accorded to acclaimed feature length film entitled “Blue Valentine,” resulting in issuance of “R” rating for film, which facilitated that marketing and distribution of the picture. The Weinstein Company v. MPAA, decision rendered December 8, 2010.
- Represented major film distributor in ICC Arbitration involving disputes over contingent compensation, marketing and distribution of motion picture and rights to subsequent productions based upon motion picture the subject of dispute and negotiated favorable resolution for client prior to arbitration hearing.
- Represented foreign sales agent in connection with delivery dispute concerning whether motion picture delivered by foreign sales agent to distributor for major foreign territories complied with “non-technical specifications” included in license agreement and negotiated favorable resolution prior to initiation of claims in IFTA arbitration.
- Obtained judgment for full amount of client’s claim in dispute between producer and motion picture distribution company over adequacy of rights licensed by producer for exploitation in territories outside United States. Maple Pictures Corp. v. CPG, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-03508 AHM (RZx).
- Successfully represented recording artist in copyright litigation and in litigation against artist’s ex-manager and other advisors involving artist’s claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and accounting claims resulting in multiple reported decisions. E.g., Joel v. Weber, 602 N.Y.S.2d 383 (1st Dep’t 1993); Joel v. Weber, 569 N.Y.S.2d 955 (1st Dep’t 1991).
- Won dismissal of claim that prominent fashion model tortiously interfered with contract between her husband and his ex-manager by prevailing on argument of “novel issue” that spouse is immune from claims of tortious interference with contract to which other spouse is a party. Weber v. Brinkley Joel, 581 N.Y.S.2d 579 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1992).
- Successfully represented record company and band against right of privacy and New York Civil Rights Law §51 claim based on use of plaintiff’s photograph on album cover, music video and merchandise, including winning two appellate decisions, one that determined that the plaintiff’s domicile determined the choice of law inquiry – and, thus, that New York statute favorable to plaintiff did not apply – and another that prevented plaintiff from refiling lawsuit in a different jurisdiction in order to again assert that New York Civil Rights Law §51 applied to his claim. DuBray v. Warner Bros. Records, Ltd., 653 N.Y.S.2d 592 (1st Dep’t 1997).
- Successfully handled multiple litigations for Apple Corps Ltd. involving trademark and copyright infringement of The Beatles’ intellectual property rights and the unauthorized use of their name and likeness.
Among the transactional matters Mr. Friedman has handled are the following:
- Representation of film production and distribution company in slate film financing totaling more than $200,000,000.
- Formation of motion picture production company and negotiation and preparation of related organizational and investment agreements.
- Representation of high end fashion company in connection with the negotiation and preparation of licensing agreements involving broad range of products.
- Representation of celebrity in connection with the negotiation and preparation of endorsement agreements.
- Representation of employer in the negotiation and preparation of employment agreements with President level, “C” level and other senior executives.
Before Fox Rothschild
Prior to joining Fox, Alan was a partner at a major international law firm. He also previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Miramax Film Corp.
Beyond Fox Rothschild
A frequently sought-after media source for current entertainment matters, Alan serves on the board of editors for the Entertainment Law & Finance newsletter. He also regularly provides continuing legal education (CLE) instruction in trial practice and discovery techniques and lectures on subjects involving copyright, legal ethics and entertainment law issues.
Honors & Awards
- “Recognized Practitioner” for Media & Entertainment: Copyright & Contract Disputes in New York by Chambers USA (2015)
- Selected to the list of “Super Lawyers” (2006-2012, 2014-2016)
- Selected for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” for Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television (2010-2017)
- Martindale-Hubbell "AV Preeminent" rated