Reavis Parent LLP’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group represents companies, organizations and individuals in complex commercial, intellectual property, real estate, trust and estate and employment disputes in federal and state trial and appellate courts, and in private and government agency negotiations, arbitrations and mediations.
Our litigation partners have each practiced for more than twenty-five years, and have prevailed in numerous jury and bench trials, arbitrations and appeals, while resolving countless other disputes outside the courtroom. This experience allows us to assess each new matter both on the merits and strategically, and also to keep our staffing of cases lean, so that our clients’ cases can be pursued efficiently and effectively. For each matter, clients can be assured of a vigorous representation and our steadfast commitment to them and their success.
Reavis Parent LLP has a vibrant employment practice of which we are very proud. Our Firm’s lawyers are experienced in representing both individuals and organizations in all aspects of the employment relationship. Unlike many other firms, we represent both employers and employees and can thus bring to bear a broader and more nuanced perspective in solving our client’s problems. For employers, our practice ranges from documentation of employment agreements, preparation of company handbooks, policies and training procedures, general counseling of companies regarding their overall employment practices and representing them before regulatory agencies, arbitration panels and courts. For our individual clients, we negotiate and prepare employment contracts, independent contractor or consulting arrangements and severance agreements. We also have particular expertise in resolving all types of employment disputes through counseling, negotiation, mediation and, if necessary, arbitration or litigation. Some specific aspects of our practice are listed below.
Our lawyers collectively have decades of experience in crafting and documenting employment and related types of arrangements. We have prepared complex as well as more streamlined documentation for all types of entities and individuals in a wide variety of industries. We are particularly familiar with drafting or addressing confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, as well as compensation and severance agreements.
Our Firm’s lawyers are experienced in the preparation of documentation, such as employee handbooks, policies and compliance manuals. We have developed programs for training workers, managers, human resources personnel and senior executives concerning employment practices and legal constraints. We serve our business clients by investigating alleged instances of workplace violations and harassment and preparing reports, on the basis of which workplace decisions can be made.
We have represented both companies and individuals before governmental regulators in connection with a variety of employment issues such as wage and hour, discrimination, harassment and whistleblowing claims. Our lawyers have strong relationships with entities like the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which allows us to pursue our aim of efficient and fair resolutions for our clients.
Our Firm has broad experience in dealing with employment disputes from the perspective of both the employer and the employee. At the outset, our lawyers are experienced in conciliation and dispute resolution techniques to address workplace issues before they progress to acrimonious, costly and painful disputes. But we are also skilled in the mediation, arbitration and litigation of all types of employment claims before a variety of tribunals, including the Equal Employment Opportunity commission, FINRA, private arbitration tribunals such as JAMS, and the state and federal courts. We have particular expertise in discrimination, harassment and whistleblowing claims.
Our firm’s attorneys are skilled at working with our clients to help envision and develop brand platforms maximizing – and safeguarding – their intellectual property assets. We have extensive experience in providing strategic intellectual property advice, enabling our clients to secure intellectual property rights, build their intellectual property assets, and protect their brands over time. We have been the architect of transactions combining and restructuring companies with notable brands and have worked with clients over the years to enhance company value through asset protection and expansion. We also have experience litigating infringement, non-compete and related types of claims through the courts and relevant federal and state agencies charged with the protection, registration and enforcement of intellectual property assets. Our corporate and employment lawyers supplement our skills in this area through their knowledge of company structure and best practices, employment and independent contractor arrangements, and their significant experience in licensing and merchandising documentation.
The firm’s lawyers are experienced copyright practitioners, from the initial stages of copyright applications to the litigation of high-stakes technical copyright claims. We have counseled our clients, including musicians, authors, photographers, filmmakers and other creative individuals, regarding exploitation of proprietary and other work, the protection of copyrightable assets and complex copyright litigation.
When the need to defend or enforce valuable intellectual property rights arises, the firm’s litigators have the experience, judgment and skill to tackle even the most time-sensitive and commercially significant intellectual property disputes. Our attorneys have litigated – including through jury trial and appeal – high-stakes intellectual property disputes including copyright, trademark, trade secret, licensing, unfair competition and other claims, on behalf of diverse clients ranging from individual artists, innovators and company start-ups, to Fortune 500 companies and major arts, cultural and scientific institutions. Our attorneys pride themselves on their knowledge and ability to get up to speed quickly on emerging technologies and new industries, and their first-hand familiarity and understanding of litigation practice in favored intellectual property venues, including a range of federal district courts and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The property rights we have protected fall within a broad range of technologies and industries, including but not limited to computer software and proprietary technology; television, film and entertainment; music, theatre and performing arts; photography and computer-generated imagery; electronics and high technology; Internet technologies; apparel and personal products; accounting and financial services; consulting and employment services; medical services and devices, and many others.
Particularly with the proliferation of the Internet, companies large and small are appreciating the importance of securing their trademarks and brand identities. Our firm regularly represents clients in the areas of early evaluation of trademark selection, brand consulting and development, securing trademark registrations on the state and federal level, expansion and diversifying of brands, purchase and sale of marks, and, when appropriate, dispute resolution and trademark infringement litigation.
In the rapidly evolving entertainment, music and arts industry, skilled and experienced legal counsel is critical to success. We advise clients on all aspects of motion picture, television, digital and new media production, and counsel writers, producers, talent, creatives and executives in the music, fashion, lifestyle, sports, fine arts and publishing industries in all aspects of their work.
Issues frequently arise concerning ownership of material, protection of material and the relationship among those producing or related to the work. Our diverse practice areas allow us to provide a continuum of services for our clients, including counsel and representation with respect to labor, employment and other rules and regulations relating to the film industry, as well as dispute resolution, mediation and litigation before government agencies charged with overseeing the labor and employment matters that arise in film and television productions.
Our firm’s lawyers have represented for more than 40 years not-for-profit and other organizations that are exempt from or otherwise not subject to income taxes, including health care providers, educational institutions, museums, arts centers and private foundations. We advise our clients on issues ranging from organizational structure and tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), to corporate governance matters involving fiduciary duties, directors and officers liability and the structure and responsibilities of boards of directors and board committees. We also counsel our clients on related intellectual property and employment matters, and the negotiation of leases and other business agreements with third parties. The activities and responsibilities of organizations that are exempt from or otherwise not subject to income taxes present many business and legal challenges requiring sophisticated counsel. The firm’s lawyers help our clients navigate these and other complexities in the not-for-profit world.
Whether our client’s work involves film, music, television, writing, photography, computer-generated images or animation, fine art, sculpture, movement, or any other of the vast array of artistic expression, issues frequently arise concerning ownership of material, protection of material and the relationship among those producing or related to the work. Our lawyers are skilled in all aspects of intellectual property protection as well as in working with our clients to assist with and formalize the arrangements between or among those involved in producing the work. We counsel with respect to ownership and licensing issues, on behalf of individual artists to arts institutions. We assist regarding questions of authorship and joint-authorship and the manner of formalizing arrangements to avoid problems down the road. Our corporate and employment lawyers are also experienced in structuring arrangements of many types, ranging from work-for-hire agreements, joint-authorship agreements, licenses, term-of use or concurrent use agreements, to forming partnerships, joint ventures, and other types of arrangements suited to the environment, relationships and work in question.
Our lawyers are experienced in structuring corporate and other entities in the entertainment industry. We work with financial institutions and investors seeking to invest in entertainment projects as well as those seeking to obtain funding. We have experience with collaborative entities among creative talent and in structuring transactions between producers and broadcasters, both domestically and internationally.
Our lawyers counsel clients in the film industry on an array of matters ranging from film financing, rights acquisition, production and talent agreements and exploitation of ancillary rights, to partnerships and collaborations, employment and independent contractor (freelance) concerns, content licensing, fair use, clearance and distribution. Our lawyers are familiar with the legal and business concerns involved in documentaries and feature films and understand the different and evolving models for structuring and financing each type of production. We serve as production counsel and negotiate theatrical, broadcast and home video distribution for productions. We counsel our clients with respect to labor, employment and other rules and regulations relating to the film industry. We pride ourselves on representing independent filmmakers and others in the independent film industry, and over the years have worked with as well as represented senior level industry executives. We also work with producers, writers, directors, designers, musicians and actors and focus particularly on protecting our clients and their intellectual property assets. When called for, we represent our clients in litigation, mediation and other dispute resolution procedures, and in matters before government agencies charged with overseeing the labor and employment matters that arise in film and television productions.
Our lawyers represent and counsel clients in the music industry on an array of matters. We negotiate and prepare many types of agreements including those relating to band partnerships, artist engagement, producer and production, publishing, songwriters, composers, collaboration, work for hire, session players, recording, distribution, management, booking agencies, “360” arrangements, loan-outs, sampling, merchandising, master use licenses, synchronization licenses, and web sites and fan sites, depending on the needs of our clients. We assist with the formation, acquisition and sale of companies including record and publishing companies. We provide music rights clearance services, and assist with the protection of intellectual property through copyright, trademark and service mark registrations.
We counsel clients with online and digital content development, and production and distribution matters including in connection with web based businesses, blogs, and online branding and marketing. We provide advice on trademark, copyright protection and licensing and assist with protecting and prosecuting intellectual property rights, including trademark, copyright and patent matters and domain name disputes. Our lawyers assist with software and application licensing, and draft and negotiate development and distribution agreements. In this rapidly evolving industry, skilled and experienced legal counsel is important to success.
Our lawyers have rich backgrounds in the arts and in representing commercial and artistic photographers. We are skilled in the various intellectual property areas that apply most to photographers and their work, ranging from copyright and rights issues to licensing and work-for-hire agreements. We have direct experience with licensing agencies of many types and with the kinds of issues photographers encounter. We have experience in structuring relationships such as partnerships and joint ventures, and when disagreements arise, we are skilled at dispute resolution and, if need be, mediation, arbitration and litigation. We are also seasoned in the areas of not-for-profit law and organizations and for many years have assisted non-profit organizations as well as estates having photography and other intellectual property assets. A number of our lawyers have also served on not-for-profit arts organization boards and have direct, hands-on experience with exhibition and rights issues that arise when organizations are assisting or working with artists’ work. Further, several of our lawyers have advanced degrees in the arts and direct personal or professional arts backgrounds, which enhances our knowledge, instinct and ability to serve our clients well in this area.
We work with authors, photographers, and illustrators in connection with literary agent representation, collaboration agreements, domestic and international publishing, distribution transactions, public relations and related website, merchandise, and advertising arrangements. We have represented for many years senior executives in publishing and understand the conditions and challenges they routinely encounter. That understanding has facilitated our counseling of authors and others seeking publishing assistance. We have crafted novel arrangements between artists and authors and other media, such as film and television companies, optioning works for production.
Our firm represents clients in production, co-production, broadcast, talent, and distribution transactions, and in the negotiation of agreements with major networks and broadcasters. We provide production legal services for television production companies in connection with television productions and series. We are familiar with the types of issues and challenges faced by production companies and networks, and work closely with their senior level executives to achieve favorable results. We also represent clients involved in content creation, production design, computer graphics and animation, music and scoring, and assist them with matters that arise in project development.
Our firm advises clients in a range of capital formation techniques, including early- and later- stage financings with individual, private financial or strategic investors. We also represent companies and investors in offerings and purchase transactions of equity and debt securities. We advise firms or their brokers, traders and senior bankers in matters involving employment and compliance, both internally and with agency compliance and arbitration.
Our firm’s commercial litigation practice includes litigation, dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration in a variety of forums and in state and federal courts. Our lawyers have experience in various forms of conciliation, mediation and dispute resolution, and in arbitration through the AAA, FINRA, JAMS and other arbitration settings. We regularly litigate complex issues in state and federal agencies and courts, and seek efficient and successful resolution of our clients’ disputes. Litigation can become protracted and costly and we strive to explore creative solutions to the issues raised before and during the pendency of litigation. Litigation success can be defined many ways but in all cases we strive for clear communication, efficient process and cost-sensitivity.
We advise our corporate clients on a wide variety of transactions, whether vendor or sales contracts, leasing, licensing, joint ventures, partnerships, franchising, branding, professional practices, real estate and construction, or employment contracts, employee benefits and executive compensation. The diverse backgrounds and business experience of our lawyers enable us to assist clients in evaluating, structuring and negotiating terms, including advising on the development, valuation and enhancement of company assets. We are skilled with respect to the related employment and personnel issues that commonly arise in connection with company growth and change. Our lawyers have substantial experience in all aspects of company and employment documentation ranging from private placement memoranda to shareholders or members agreements to senior executive arrangements and dispute resolution. Our business counseling spans many industries and our practitioners have particular expertise in the fields of financial services, real estate and construction, arts and entertainment, not-for-profit institutions, health care and medical practices, computer and Internet-based technologies, personal products and services, consumer goods and services, consulting and employment services, and many others.
Our firm’s corporate law practice includes corporate and other entity formations, governance and dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, partnerships and joint ventures, securities, including private placements, and corporate transactions in a wide variety of industries. We advise clients on the formation of business enterprises, and seek to anticipate future needs, taking into account the relationships of the founders, employees, equity owners and the issues they may encounter as the enterprise expands. RPL lawyers work with clients closely to bring creative solutions to bear in our corporate representation. We believe that the experience and business background of our firm’s lawyers enable us to approach our clients’ problems from the perspective of having, ourselves, “sat on their side of the table.”
We represent our corporate and non-profit organization clients and, when appropriate, senior executives, directors and officers, regarding governance issues, from compliance and ethics matters to management of corporate decision-making and challenges. In addition, we handle the investigation and resolution of issues arising within companies, whether among equity owners or involving employees, management and board members. Our employment attorneys are skilled at working with our corporate clients to intervene and solve internal problems that could expand and jeopardize a company in broader ways. If our clients come into conflict with third parties, we assist them vigorously in defending or securing their rights, whether in arbitration involving regulatory authorities or agencies, or commercial litigation in the courts.
Our lawyers advise clients on the acquisition of other entities or the sale or restructuring of their own companies, in strategic circumstances or private equity and leveraged buyout transactions. In certain instances, we have suggested alternative structures for these types of transactions that have included the formation of joint ventures or licensing transactions as a more beneficial form of business combination than an outright sale or acquisition.
Our firm’s lawyers have represented for more than 40 years not-for-profit and other organizations that are exempt from or otherwise not subject to income taxes, including health care providers, educational institutions, museums, arts centers and private foundations. We advise our clients on issues ranging from organizational structure and tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3), to corporate governance matters involving fiduciary duties, directors and officers liability and the structure and responsibilities of boards of directors and board committees. We also counsel our clients on related employment matters and the negotiation of leases and other business agreements with third parties. The activities and responsibilities of organizations that are exempt from or otherwise not subject to income taxes present many business and legal challenges requiring sophisticated counsel. The firm’s lawyers help our clients navigate these and other complexities in the not-for-profit world.
Our firm regularly represents New York quasi-governmental organizations, which are organized and operate under New York enabling legislation specific to each organization. Our representation of these clients ranges from real estate related and other transactional matters, including tax-exempt financings and the preparation of and advice on New York legislation, to governance matters, including advice to governing boards and audit, governance, compensation, finance and other board committees. We assist in the preparation and application of ethics, conflict of interest, procurement, employment, whistleblower and other policies.
Our firm’s real estate and land use practice covers a broad range of matters, including real estate development, finance, leasing, acquisitions and sales, land use, zoning, development rights transfers, condemnation proceedings and construction agreements and controversies. We provide sophisticated and skilled real estate counsel to our clients, including tenants in leasing transactions, buyers and sellers in real estate purchases and sales, owners and long-term lessees of real estate considering or pursuing development opportunities and health care providers, museums, arts centers, educational institutions, and quasi-governmental organizations in real estate matters. To provide comprehensive service and support for our clients on real estate and land use matters, we frequently collaborate with colleagues and other lawyers in the areas of corporate and partnership law, intellectual property, dispute resolution and income taxation.
Our firm’s personnel share a commitment to civil and human rights, and try to lead by example through our personal and professional commitments. Our lawyers are engaged in matters of public interest ranging from opposing unfair employment practices to shedding light on international injustices where our resources or assistance could make a difference. Most of the firm’s partners serve actively on non-profit organization Boards. From our years of service to not-for-profit institutions and quasi-governmental organizations, to our substantial work assisting clients on a pro bono basis, to our hands-on assistance with the production of award-winning documentary films addressing hardships in underdeveloped countries, we embrace the opportunity and take pride in applying our knowledge and skills for broader social benefit.