Jonathan L. Handel ImageJonathan L. Handel Image

Jonathan L. Handel

Jonathan Handel practices in the areas of entertainment, new media, technology, and intellectual property transactions and represents a variety of individuals and companies. He brings to his practice a broad range of experience in the entertainment and technology industries, and also covers entertainment law and labor as a Contributing Editor for The Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Handel has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer on numerous occasions, most recently in 2014. In 2008, The Daily Journal named him one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California.

His writing has also been published in/on the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Los Angeles Business Journal, Daily Journal, Huffington Post, and, and he has appeared in the international, national and local media about 800 times.

Mr. Handel is rated AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell .

Professional Experience

Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1990-1991).

Associate Counsel, Writers Guild of America (1993-1994).

Federal Associate Independent Counsel (1992-1993).

Teaching Experience

Mr. Handel is an adjunct professor / lecturer in law teaching substantive courses at Southwestern Law School, and has previously been an adjunct professor at USC and UCLA Law Schools. He also taught a film appreciation and screening class for several years for UCLA Extension’s Entertainment Department.

Business Experience

Prior to law school, Mr. Handel worked in the computer industry in research, programming and market support functions in areas including the Internet/ARPAnet, artificial intelligence and graphic user interface.

Significant Experience

Talent agreements (on talent side and producer side), including some past experience with A-list talent.

Option agreements – screenplay, book, life rights.

Low budget production legal agreements.

Web series agreements.

Rights issues.

Review of chain of title documents.

Sponsorship agreements for a physical venue (a hospitality space at the Sundance Film Festival, financed by sponsors).

Software development agreements, web development agreements.

Custom software licenses, EULAs.

Consulting agreements.

Guild issues – write about all guild issues for The Hollywood Reporter; particular expertise in above the line issues, especially residuals and new media.

LLC agreements – primarily have written the operational and control sections for entertainment or tech LLCs.

PPMs – have written or revised the business description and risk factors sections for tech companies.

Miscellaneous agreements – have written a variety of hard to categorize agreements relating to entertainment, tech or IP.

Outside general counsel – have been de facto outside GC for two clients, each of approx. 10 year duration.

Litigation counseling – have served as counselor, interpreter and contact point between client and litigators in several matters.

Additional Experience

Executive employment agreements (about a dozen).

Book publishing agreements (about a half-dozen).

Videogame agreements (several deals).

Spokesperson agreements (two or three).

Equity-waiver stage agreements (two productions).

Mobile advertising (one client, about a dozen deals).

Independent film finance (one deal; represented the bank).

Sale of film library (several hundred pictures; one deal).

Litigation (primarily appellate) and arbitration – 5th Cir. Clerkship plus first three years of career.

  • Entertainment Technology. Providers of technology and technological services to the entertainment industry, including in the areas of DVD technology, computer software, special effects and post-production
  • Entertainment. Writers, producers, managers, and low-budget motion picture productions
  • Internet and Digital Media . Internet-based businesses, and creators and users of digital media
  • Technology. Software developers (licensing, joint ventures and marketing agreements) and users of custom software (agreements with vendors)
  • Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. Intellectual property and related matters
  • Public and Large Companies. Intellectual property and information technology matters
  • Outside General Counsel. Small enterprises (general legal advice and business counsel on matters such as strategy, employment, and vendor relations)
  • Intellectual Property. Various enterprises and individuals (advice on copyright, trademark and licensing; coordination of consultations with outside patent counsel; intellectual property counsel in mergers and acquisitions