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April 2009 · Volume 15, No. 13


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Feature

Executory Contracts in Entertainment Bankruptcy Cases

By Howard J. Weg

When negotiating and documenting entertainment transactions, especially in this time of uncertainty over the global economy, it is essential to be familiar with the treatment of executory contracts in bankruptcy cases. Careful planning for what might happen to licenses, production agreements, distribution agreements or artist contracts in a possible future bankruptcy case by either party to the deal is essential to protecting a client's rights and remedies.

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Trademark Licenses in Bankruptcy - Cert Denied: This Time

By Jane Shay Wald

The U.S. Supreme Court denied cert last week on a debtor/trademark licensee's petition seeking to reverse a Ninth Circuit opinion affirming an important decision originating in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. In N.C.P. Marketing Group, Inc. v. BG Star Productions, Inc., et al. 556 U.S. ______ (2009),** the Supreme Court let stand an order granting the trademark licensors' motion to compel rejection of their nonexclusive trademark license for the marks Tae Bo® and Billy Blanks®, depriving the debtor of the ability to assume the license and/or assign its rights in the license.

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To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate Legal Fees? That is the Question.

By Laurie Murphy

After several years of uncertainty, under a recent decision by the California Supreme Court (Schatz v. Allen Matkins, et al. (2009) DJDAR 1190), lawyers can safely include binding arbitration clauses in their fee agreement to cover both disputes over legal fees and other disputes, including claims for professional negligence. However, the ruling, due to the provisions of the Mandatory Fee Arbitration Act ("MFAA," Bus. & Prof. Code §6200 et seq.), still leaves the possibility of cumbersome procedural issues.

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One-Day Trials For Business Disputes: ADR Might Draw Lessons From History

By Rafael Chodos

When litigants want to avoid the expense and delay of full-bore litigation, they currently have three major types of alternative dispute resolution to consider: arbitration (under CCP Secs. 1280 et seqq.], reference proceedings (under CCP Secs. 638 et seqq.) and mediation (under CCP 1775 and CRC Rules 3.871 et seqq.). But there is another kind of procedure which has been too long forgotten: one-day trials, which involve a deliberate compression of the standard litigation process into a short, fixed span of time.

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Message from the President

By Mitchell B. Stein

These will be the last words to be published in my name as outgoing President of the Century City Bar Association. It's another opportunity to thank our membership, friends, sponsors, vendors and indeed, all the lawyers in this area, for the assistance and support we have received this year. I think that support and remarkable sense of community will be on display next week on April 7, where our annual installation dinner promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic events ever put on by our organization. If you have not purchased tickets, it's not too late. I again thank and commend the work done by my fellow officers, Scott "The Human Bulldozer" Vick, Louis Dienes, Jane Shay Wald, and Fay Arfa.

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