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August 2014 Archives

August 11, 2014

Job Opportunity - Amazon Studios Corporate Counsel


Amazon Studios has an opening at their offices in Santa Monica, California, for a corporate counsel having 5+ years of legal experience (with at least 2 years at a law firm) as a transactional attorney to handle feature film and television development, production and distribution. Here's the job application link: http://www.amazon.jobs/job/264569/corporate-counsel-amazon-studios

August 25, 2014

Will Telecommuting Be More Costly for Your Business in the Long Run?

By Kristine A. Sova
www.sovalaw.com

Telecommuting is increasingly popular among startups and small businesses, and not surprisingly so. Much has been written extoling the benefits of allowing employees to telecommute, and it's very much the norm at companies earning high ranks on "best places to work" lists. Above and beyond the feel-good benefits to employees, telecommuting also provides cost-sensitive startups a means by which they can attract and retain better talent in exchange for an offset in overhead expenses like office space and compensation.

However, to the extent that cost is a compelling factor in a startup's decision to utilize remote workers, I caution them to think again.

One practical problem for an employer based in one state is that it can't entirely prevent a remote worker from suing the employer in the state where the employee is working. Most laws permit employees to file claims where the work is performed. Futher, while an employer can try to limit where suits are filed by including a venue provision in a contract, there's no guarantee the choice-of-venue provision will be enforced. Being hauled into court outside the employer's jurisdiction will add to the fees and costs of defending the suit, such as additional attorneys' fees and costs of travel.

Similarly, choice-of-law clauses in contracts, which specify that the law of the state of the employer's principal place of business will apply, may not always be enforced either. This is especially true when remote workers are involved. This means that employers have to understand the law in all the states where telecommuting employees are working for them, even if just to confirm that a particular law will or will not apply to the employment relationship.

Case in point: A federal court subjected a Virginia company to Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination law, which applies to employers with 4 or more persons in their employ within Pennsylvania, on the basis of a single employee working remotely from Pennsylvania because that employee hired contractors to service the company's clients in Pennsylvania.

The best advice for businesses looking to "save" with telecommuting is to understand the law of each jurisdiction and conduct appropriate due diligence before hiring remote workers to work from those states. Knowing if your business will be subject to the laws of another state will allow you to undertake a more meaningful cost-benefit analysis of a possible telecommuting relationship. Ultimately, you may find that once you factor in costs like ensuring your wage-and-hour and other human resources policies comply with the laws of multiple states that the perceived savings of telecommuting employees is non-existent.

"Art Fairs: An Irresistible Force in the Art World?"

Are brick and mortar art galleries are becoming the loss leaders in an art world, potentially spiraling beyond viable limits? With more than ninety art fairs now defining the rhythm of globalized art business, how have relationships amongst artists, gallerists, and collectors been altered?

A panel comprised of gallerists and attorneys recently explored and critiqued the impacts and challenges - legal, ethical and business - of the rise of art fairs.

This program, which was organized by EASL's Fine Arts Committee and held at Sotheby's Institute of Art on May 27, 2014, was part of an ongoing initiative to create dialogue amongst lawyers, artists and emerging and established art professionals working in the primary or secondary markets.

We have prepared a dedicated audio recording and transcript in two Parts.

Part I: Gallerists Edward Winkleman and Elizabeth Dee, available at https://stropheus.com/blog/2014/08/13/nyc-art-fairs/

Part II: Attorneys Richard M. Lehun and Nicholas M. O'Donnell (available in about two weeks)

Moderator: Judith B. Prowda, Chair, Committee on Fine Arts, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section, Attorney and Faculty at Sotheby's Institute of Art

Panel:

Edward Winkleman, Gallerist

Elizabeth Dee, Gallerist

Richard M. Lehun, Attorney at Stropheus Art Law

Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Litigation Partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP

"Everything You Wanted to Know About Gallery Ethics (But Were Afraid to Ask)"

A slew of cases involving some of the art world's most prolific figures have raised the ever-growing specter of fiduciary obligations of gallerists and dealers. Gallerists are by definition fiduciaries on a number of levels, often without being aware of this. What most art context actors don't know is that fiduciary duties trump contracts or oral agreements, and are imposed by courts. In fact, the core of gallery ethics cannot be understood without knowing what fiduciary obligations are.

Last October, at Sotheby's Institute of Art EASL's Committee on Fine Arts held an interactive panel discussion on cutting edge insights into best practices for gallerists and dealers and how they can limit their professional exposure. The speakers - lawyers and gallerists - also explored many other ethical issues that gallerists, dealers, and artists need to understand now more than ever.

This program was part of an ongoing initiative to create dialogue amongst lawyers, artists and emerging and established art professionals working in the primary or secondary markets. We have prepared a dedicated audio recording and transcript, available at https://stropheus.com/blog/2014/01/22/art-gallery-ethics/.

Panelists:
Andrea Crane, Andrea Crane Fine Art
Richard Lehun, Stropheus Art Law
Serra Pradhan, Marianne Boesky Gallery
Judith B. Prowda, Chair, Committee on Fine Arts, New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section, Attorney and Faculty at Sotheby's Institute of Art

About August 2014

This page contains all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in August 2014. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2014 is the previous archive.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.