Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo is pleased to announce that it was recently listed as a “Top Boutique” law firm for 2017 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, California’s most prestigious legal publication. Only 20 firms in the state were selected for this exclusive honor. The annual list, which involves an intensive selection process with thousands of nominees, profiles leading law firms that specialize in niche areas of the law. The Daily Journal “Top Boutique” profile for the firm can be found below.
Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo LLP
Before cofounding the seven-lawyer entertainment law firm in 2002 where he is senior partner, Kenneth A. Kleinberg had a previous career as executive vice president and a director of United Artists Corp. and then as president and chief operating officer of Weintraub Entertainment Group. Earlier, he had been head of the entertainment division of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.
“Entertainment law is a form of generalized business law for a single industry,” he said. “We wanted to specialize in entertainment transactions, not general litigation. Interestingly, when you do transactions in entertainment law, it’s not that different from being a business executive running a studio — except at a studio, you have only one client. In practicing law, you see the world through the eyes of hundreds of clients, and creative clients open all kinds of paths. They tend to be way ahead of everybody.”
The firm represents actors, authors, writers, directors, producers and companies that produce scripted and reality television productions. There are also international and domestic film, television, video and interactive broadcasters and distributors, animators, publishers, corporate executives and literary and talent agents and managers.
Kleinberg Lange’s company client roster includes Alcon Entertainment LLC, Marza Animation Planet Inc. and the reality television giants Authentic Entertainment Inc., Intuitive Entertainment LLC and ThinkFactoryMedia. For individual clients, the firm represents several celebrities.
“When we started in 2002, to my surprise many of my old clients came knocking: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards — for their audio and visual stuff — and Jack Nicholson,” Kleinberg said. “We’ve built a great firm, and I’m very proud of that.”
Much of the work is at the intersection of the creative arts and technical business arrangements: the proper execution of license agreements; bank transactions, security agreements, completion bonds and other insurance packages; interparty agreements and coproduction agreements; and foreign sales representation deals, foreign subsidies and incentives.
“I’ve been with J.K. Rowling from 2000,” Kleinberg said. “We’ve been busy with ‘Fantastic Beasts,'” the author’s Harry Potter prequel novel, now a Warner Bros. movie set for release Nov. 18. “We’re also now at work on her new book based on the play based on her story.” That would be “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” “And on and on and on,” Kleinberg said. Of Rowling and George R.R. Martin, the “Game of Thrones” author, he added, “I can’t think of any two hotter writers.”
Kleinberg Lange partner Christine S. Cuddy represents screenwriting team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski in their deal to script and produce an Amazon.com feature film about sculptor Gutzon Borglum, whose work includes the creation of the presidential heads at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Alexander and Karaszewski recently wrote and were executive producers on FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” Cuddy also represented Martin in his deal with Cinemax to act as executive producer on “Skin Trade,” a television drama based on his novella.
Partner Robert McCabe Lange represents actor Adam Beach in his deal to appear in the upcoming film “Hostiles,” starring Christian Bale. Lange also represented entertainment personality Billy Bush in his move to join NBC’s “Today” program. Bush was fired earlier this month for his role in a vulgar 2005 video involving presidential candidate Donald Trump.
A project that resonates in Hollywood amid the industry’s current diversity turmoil is the biographical drama “Marshall,” about the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall. Firm client Paula Wagner, the film’s producer, “nurtured the project from Day One,” Kleinberg said. “Beginning in September 2014, things started to cook. This is something you’re happy to be involved in. It has the note of a prestige project.”
Kleinberg added that the project has a black director and star. “Here’s a modern social justice hero. This is an ideal response to the criticisms about lack of diversity in the industry. As a bonus, the film is being financed by a Chinese company [Super Hero Films]. It used to be the case that foreign buyers wouldn’t touch strictly American subjects like cowboys and Indians, U.S. sports or African-American themes,” Kleinberg said. “It wasn’t prejudice; it was business. But there’s an ebb and flow to these things, and times change. ‘Marshall’ is right on the money in being responsive to the critics.”
— John Roemer