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Copyright Corner


September 18, 2019

Time: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

What Copyright Attorneys and Artists Need to Know About VARA (Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990)

What Copyright Attorneys and Artists Need to Know About VARA (Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990)  


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lunch 12-12:30pm | Program: 12:30-2pm


Fox Rothschild

10250 Constellation Blvd, Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90067


Join CSUSA LA for our September Luncheon: In 2018, a federal court awarded graffiti artists in Queens, New York $6.7 million for the destruction of their work under the Visual Artists Rights Act ("VARA"). What do copyright attorneys and visual artists need to know about this rarely tested but potent section of United States copyright law? 

This panel will provide a hands-on and practical discussion of what you need to know about VARA directly from one of America's leading muralists, Dr. Judith Baca, and attorneys who have been in the courtroom and negotiated agreements addressing VARA's exceptional treatment of works of visual art. Panelists will contribute their own personal anecdotes, drafting tips, a demonstration of how murals can be moved, and of course a visually stunning overview of the art in question.  

Program will provide 1.5 CLE credits pending approval by the State Bar of California.


Members: $25 | Non-Members: $45 | Students: $20





Lisa Borodkin (Moderator)  is the founder and principal of Lisa Borodkin, Entertainment and IP Law Group, a boutique entertainment and intellectual property law firm. Her clients include Anshutz Entertainment Group, Inc., AEG Global Partnerships, Fresh TV, Inc., Sound Talent Group, BWG, toy creators, animators and others creating visual art and experiences. At Harvard University, Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies, concentrating in studio art. Lisa earned a Master’s Degree in History of Art at the University of London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, specializing in French and British 19th century painting. For more information click here.


Dr. Judith F. Baca, one of America’s leading visual artists, has been creating public art for three decades. Powerful in size and subject matter, Baca’s murals bring art to where people live and work. In 1974, Baca founded the City of Los Angeles’ first mural program, which produced over 400 murals and employed thousands of local participants. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), which promotes social justice and participatory public arts projects. She is an emeritus Professor of the University of California Los Angeles, where she was a senior professor in Chicana/o Studies and World Art and Cultures Departments from 1980 until 2018. In 2003, Baca was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Most recently, Baca received the Distinguished Alumni Award at CSUN and was named the Rockefeller Fellow for the USA Artist Fellowship in 2016.


Brooke Oliver, Founder, 50 Balmy Law, P.C. 

“Law in the service of soul” is how one client described Brooke Oliver’s practice. Twenty-five years ago, she founded and still manages a refined small law firm supporting creative ventures and artists. It provides incisive representation in art, entertainment, copyright, trademark, and nonprofit matters.  

Oliver is a seasoned and successful litigator, with federal appellate court and U.S. Supreme Court affirmations of her copyright and trademark cases. She is often sought and quoted by major media, and is recognized internationally as one of the leading art lawyers in the United States. She A-V rated as “preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell and was named a 2019 Northern California Super Lawyer, a distinction reserved for only 5% of the Attorneys in Northern California.For more click here.


Aaron Benmark joined Durie Tangri LLP after a clerkship with the Honorable Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York.

He received his J.D. from the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude. While at UCI Law, he was awarded Best Oral Argument in the school’s 2014-15 moot court competition and served as the Vice President of the Bench Brief Committee for the 2015-2016 competition. He also worked in the Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology clinic, where he helped represent a coalition of filmmakers and e-book authors in Digital Millennium Copyright Act proceedings before the Copyright Office, worked as a research assistant for Professor Ann Southworth, and did pro bono work for the Legal Aid Society for Orange County, Eviction Defense Clinic, and Services for the Homeless and Those on the Verge. He served as Vice President of Publications in the Entertainment Law Society and was the recipient of the Los Angeles Copyright Society’s 2015-16 Paul Miller Scholarship Award.


Christine Steiner is an experienced art law attorney whose practice emphasizes visual arts, intellectual property, publishing, and general business transactions. She has been recognized consistently by Best Lawyers, the prestigious national legal peer-ranking organization for her expertise and contributions to Art Law. 

Ms. Steiner represents living artists, artists’ estates and foundations, art galleries, art collectors, museums and cultural organizations, arts foundations, creative businesses, universities, living writers and writers’ estates, publishers, and other diverse creative clients. 

Christine Steiner held a variety of legal and policy positions within cultural and educational institutions before she entered private practice. These include Secretary and General Counsel, J. Paul Getty Trust; Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution; Assistant Attorney General of Maryland for state colleges and universities; and Principal Counsel of the Maryland state public education system.

She is also an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, where she teaches visual arts law and has served as a visiting professor of international art law in law school programs in Florence, Italy, and Cambridge, England.For more click here.









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