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, Forbes.com and IMDb.com, 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 .
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Numerous articles for The Hollywood Reporter (July 2010 to present).
- Book Review, Los Angeles Times (October 23, 2009) (review of William Patry, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars);
- "There’s a Lot of Residual Pain Ahead if Current System Isn’t Remedied," Hollywood Reporter (July 23, 2009);
- "SAG Contract is Ratified, but Drama is Likely to Return Quickly," Daily Journal (June 30, 2009); "New-Media Distribution Giving Hollywood a Makeover," Los Angeles Business Journal (June 15, 2009);
- "Why the Film Biz Still has Far to Go" Variety.com (June 11, 2009);
- "SAG Contract Ratified; Now What?," 15 Century City Lawyer no. 15 (June 2009);
- "The Struggle Over Content and Technology Will Define Hollywood’s Future," Daily Journal (June 9, 2009);
- "Why Content’s Kingdom is Slipping Away," TVWeek.com (June 9, 2009);
- "SAG’s Strange Voyage," 15 Century City Lawyer no. 14 (May 2009); How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets, CreateSpace (2009);
- " Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown: Why Content’s Kingdom is Slipping Away July 2009," Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (Spring 2009, v. 11, no. 3, p. 597);
- "Actors Strike a Deal, but is a New Compensation System on the Horizon?," Daily Journal (April 7, 2009); "
- Economy, New Media Are Conspiring to Make Things Tough on Actors," Daily Journal (March 24, 2009);
- "Hollywood Under Siege," American Bar Association Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, vol. 24, no. 3 (Fall 2008) (excerpted in "Hollywood Under Siege," Daily Journal (October 22, 2008));
- "Actors’ Labor Plan in Need of a Rewrite," Los Angeles Business Journal (September 15, 2008);
- "Curtain Call," Daily Journal (June 20, 2008); "With One Union Already Done, SAG Auditions for an Actors Deal," Daily Journal (June 4, 2008);
- "No Time for Drama In Contract Talks For Studios, Actors," Los Angeles Business Journal (May 26, 2008);
- "Entertainment Industry Could Be Headed for a Scary Sequel," Daily Journal (May 15, 2008);
- "To Look and Sound Great On Air, Lawyers Should Be Prepared," Daily Journal (April 8, 2008);
- "Fete the Press: Lawyers, Make the Most of Media Interactions April 2008," Daily Journal (April 1, 2008); "Mark My Words," Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine (April 2008);
- "Write On," Daily Journal (March 10, 2008); "DGA as peacemaker: If the directors cut the right deal, it could save Hollywood from civil war," Los Angeles Times (January 16, 2008) (Op-Ed piece);
- Blogger, Huffington Post (November 2007–present);
- Author, Script Magazine column, Ask the Lawyer (January 2007-October 2008);
- Ask Super Lawyers, Los Angeles Magazine (February 2007);
- "Attorneys," chapter of Final Draft Presents Ask the Pros: Screenwriting (May 2004) (primary author);
- When Worlds Collide—"Take Me to Your Lawyer"? (in UCLA Extension Entertainment Studies, Fall 2002);
- AFMA International Censorship Rider: Some Suggested Revisions, American Film Marketing Association (February 1994) (co-author) (in The AFMA Model International Licensing Agreements, 2d ed.).
- April 2013 Entertainment Labor: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography
- April 2011 Hollywood on Strike!: An Industry at War in the Internet Age
- April 2011 Hollywood on Strike!: An Industry at War in the Internet Age
- October 2009 Labor Pays Off with Teaching Gig for Local Attorney
- July 2009 Uneasy Lies the Head That Wears the Crown: Why Content’s Kingdom Is Slipping Away
- April 2009 How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets
- April 2008 Fete the Press: Lawyers, Make the Most of Media Interactions
- April 2008 Mark My Words (Trademarking Movie Titles)
- Handel was referenced in a book titled Free (2009) (pp. 140-42), by Chris Anderson, then the editor of Wired. The source of the reference was an article by Handel titled Is Content Worthless? A memo by Handel was cited by the U.S. Tax Court in Santa Monica Pictures, LLC v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2005-104, at 67-69 (2005). Other articles of his have been cited numerous times.