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An Oral Contract Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Written On - Or Is It?

SKU: BUS009
Total Credits
1 - 1.2
Price$50
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Description

Most lawyers enter contract negotiations aspiring to achieve a fully signed agreement containing all material terms. But many business relationships – particularly in the media and entertainment world – proceed in the absence of fully signed agreements. Why do sophisticated industry people use short-form and unsigned long-form agreements? Do these agreements create binding contractual obligations? What tests do courts use to answer this question? And what risks do the parties take? Frankfurt Kurnit founding partner Tom Selz provides an important refresher course on the fundamental principles that underlie our transactional work. Topics include:
• A review of common short form documents and oral agreements
• Deciphering the parties’ intent to be bound (or not to be bound)
• Identifying material terms
• Scope of the obligation to negotiate in good faith
• Effect of partial performance
• Promissory Estoppel, Quantum Meruit, and other alternative contract theories
• Special considerations in pitch situations
• Drafting tips

Lecturer Bio

Thomas D. Selz, Esq.

Thomas D. Selz is a founding partner of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz focusing on all aspects of entertainment law. Mr. Selz's practice includes advising on documentary film, fictional and fiction-based-on-fact feature films, television pilots, tv series and miniseries, live stage productions, publishing, music publishing and sound recording, and clearance work for problematic material to make the product acceptable to networks, publishers and Errors and Omissions insurance carriers. Mr. Selz also counsels clients on copyright (including issues relating to termination and renewal rights under the 1976 Copyright Act and its amendments, and the 1909 Copyright Act) and trademarks, from clearance searches, to deciding which classes to file in, to registering as Intent to Use or based on actual use, and reminding clients about the need for additional filings are necessary with the US Patent and Trademark Office. In addition to transactional work from collaboration agreements and development through production and distribution, Mr. Selz focuses on mergers and acquisitions, secured transactions, private placements and public offerings, including crowd-funding laws and regulations. Mr. Selz has set up an international network of attorneys to assist each other with issues raised by the cross-border reach of Internet crowd-funding. Mr. Selz also regularly advises on complex corporate work involving entertainment industry and intellectual property assets.

For more than three decades, Mr. Selz has also helped structure domestic and international tax-advantaged financing for motion picture and television productions. In the US, Mr. Selz was one of the first to see the potential for combining state production incentives with the benefits for investors under Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code, and Mr. Selz has advised clients about extensions to Section 181 as they have occurred. Mr. Selz has also taken the lead on behalf of the US videogame industry in extending the benefits of Section 181 to videogame development and production, particularly as such activities involve tax issues arising from crowd-sourced funding. Working with local counsel, Mr. Selz helped devise financing structures that are now used throughout the industry to permit clients to overcome substantial regulatory and business risks to be able to draw on funds from countries outside the US, including Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Germany and Hungary. He co-authored the US Incentives chapter of the Film Finance Handbook: How to Fund Your Film (Netribution, 2007).

Mr. Selz is a contributing editor to Entertainment, Law and Finance. He is co-author of the Entertainment Law Treatise, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions, Shepard's/ McGraw-Hill, 1983-2008, and was co-author of Entertainment Law, Casebook, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions, Lexis/Nexis, 1984, 1997, 2003. Mr. Selz is Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School (1998-present), and prior to that he was Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law (1977-1993). Mr. Selz was a director of the Independent Feature Project (1986 - 2001), and served as General Counsel to the organization (1986-2008).

Mr. Selz has been quoted in Bloomberg on the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action settlement, and in Financial Times on TiVo’s plan to allow customers to transfer television programs to Apple's iPod. He was also quoted in The New York Times and other publications on the posting to the Internet of "Gone With the Wind" by the Australian affiliate of Project Gutenberg in violation of U.S. copyright law.

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Selz worked in the entertainment department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and was associated with Emil, Kobrin, Klein & Garbus for three years. He is admitted to practice in New York.

To learn more about Mr. Selz visit his website http://fkks.com/attorneys/thomas-selz.



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