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Steven Katleman represents media companies, content creators and users in matters involving virtually every type of entertainment and media platform, including in the fields of television, motion pictures, and digital productions, as well as the use of content in connection with live events, entertainment marketing, sports, branding and endorsements, merchandising and consumer products.

Often acting as outside general counsel for his clients, Steve understands the big picture. He advises his clients on strategies for expanding and evolving their business models and investments to adapt and stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing media landscape. Steve uses his experience to assist clients with maximizing the value and monetization of content, whether content that they own and sell or license to others and that they may acquire, produce or distribute.



  • Representation and counselling of creators, producers, and exhibitors in all phases of development, production and distribution across all media, whether television (traditional or for digital platforms), digital productions, motion pictures, live events or sports-based programming and events.
    • Acquisition of rights in literary or other intellectual property.
    • Agreements with or on behalf of key talent and other creative and production personnel and elements.
    • Agreements with networks, digital platforms, studios, financiers and distributors.
    • Federal, state and international subsidies for local productions, including co-production and co-financing matters.
    • Matters concerning hazardous activities, such as sports-based stunts, etc., including risk management and liability waivers.
    • Consultation and representation pertaining to international productions, whether on behalf of a foreign entity producing or doing business in the United States or a U.S. entity producing or doing business in a foreign country, including management of matters of international law and business cultures.
    • Consultation and oversight of matters related to Errors & Omissions insurance and liability (i.e., claims of copyright or trademark infringement, defamation, invasion of privacy or emotional distress arising from content.)
    • Animated programs, including network/financing/distribution, international sub-contracting, and requirements for diversity and educational content.
    • Podcast arrangements.
    • Guild and labor-related matters.
    • Consultation regarding business models and strategies.
    Representation of writers, producers, showrunners, talent, and directors of scripted and unscripted, productions, as well as boutique production companies owned by such individuals.
    • Representation of creators and producers of unscripted series and blockbuster athletic competition events for television; all phases including negotiation of network/exhibitor agreements, engagement of participants and athletes, legal oversight of general production matters, and legal consultation regarding risk management.
    • Representation of licensors and licensees of international format rights of television programs, motion pictures or other IP, for production of local versions or reboots. (For example, game shows, reality or drama shows.)
    • Participation audits.
  • Matters concerning consumer products on behalf of brands, licensors and licensees.
    • Representation of international consumer products brands in connection with U.S. entertainment marketing activities, including product placement or integration, live performances, television licenses, and time-buy arrangements.
    • Arrangements and agreements with public figures, celebrities, athletes and influencers to endorse and promote consumer products in various media outlets such as television programs, commercials, social media and personal appearances, as well as related guild issues.
  • Independent film productions, including rights, subsidies, other production-related and distribution matters.
  • Representation of authors for literary agreements, whether traditional publishing or new and evolving models, such as hybrid, self-financed or digital models.
  • Oversight of legal and business aspects pertaining to core assets as part of merger and acquisition transactions. (For example, the purchase or sale of a television production company, a sports organization, etc.)
  • Complex rights and literary property matters.
  • Coordination and project management with other GT professionals to handle all aspects of complex multi-disciplinary matters.
  • Selected examples:
    • Representation of an elite equestrian facility to bring in a music festival to be produced at the venue during the off-season.
    • Representation of life story/name and likeness rights (sale and purchase); for example, Erin Brockovich (ABC series and numerous factual productions), James Brown (Universal motion picture and branded slot machine), an internationally known private detective and fixer, and an internationally known elite bodyguard and martial artist to the rich, famous, and powerful.
    • Representation of production company of an ABC network television series produced entirely in Japan. Involved reconciliation of U.S. and Japanese business cultures and law; handled in conjunction with the GT Tokyo office.
    • Representation of a "360" sports venture in connection with athlete/talent/brand ambassador agreements, branding, sponsorships, rights acquisitions, live competitions/performances, television agreements, and merger and acquisition transactions.
    • Representation of a Finnish production company producing a reality/sports/documentary series cast with influencers as cast members, boosted by their social channels and distributed by a major digital platform, and produced under extremely hazardous conditions (climbing a 20,000 ft. mountain in the Peruvian Andes). All matters, including cast, exhibitor/financier, risk/waivers/ insurance matters (including one large disputed claim)
    • Supervision of international television distribution activities and agreements for Live Earth, a global music festival featuring A-level artists benefitting Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, which took place simultaneously on all continents.
    • Representation of Red Bull, the Apollo Theater and others in connection with sponsored productions.
    • Representation of international best-selling author in connection with a contract dispute and accounting/auditing matters with an international digital publishing platform.
    • Representation of State Farm Insurance in connection with a branded series of concerts by A-level artists performed in their hometowns, which was repurposed into a series of television concert specials with documentary elements based on their experiences in going back home – supervision of all aspects.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television, 2011-2024
  • Listed, Variety, "Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys," 2012
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Adjunct Professor, Film and Television Law, University of Southern California Law School
  • Executive Member, Hollywood Radio & Television Society (HRTS)
  • Mentor, HRTS Mentorship Program
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association


  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • A.B., magna cum laude, University of California at Los Angeles
  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit