Skip to main content

Steven Katleman represents media companies and content creators and users in matters involving virtually every type of entertainment 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, 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 to emerging market conditions in the rapidly changing media landscape. Steve believes in the expression “content is king” and uses his experience to assist clients with maximizing the value and monetization of content, whether content that they own and sell to others, or content that they acquire. 

Capabilities

Experience

  • Representation of creators, producers, and exhibitors in all phases of production across all media, whether for television (traditional or for digital platforms), digital productions, motion pictures, and live events, including rights acquisitions, negotiation of agreements with network and other exhibitors, agreements with key talent, and assistance with budgetary and financing matters.
  • Production-related matters, such as engagement of talent and others, guild-related matters, federal, state and international subsidies and incentives for local productions, and assistance with general oversight of legal-related matters.
  • 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 writers, producers, showrunners, talent, and directors of scripted series, as well as the entities that engage such individuals.
  • Renegotiation of talent agreements for television stars, frequently coupled with participation audits.
  • Representation of licensors and licensees of format rights, domestically and internationally, for local versions of television programs as well as reboots of classic formats.
  • Representation of an elite equestrian facility to bring in a music festival to be produced at the venue during the off-season.
  • Representation of domestic and international consumer products brands that engage celebrities and influencers to endorse and promote their products in various media outlets, such as television and social media (e.g., commercials, blogging, vlogging, etc.), print and digital promotional content, and personal appearances, as well as related guild issues.
  • Representation of internationally-known celebrities, influencers, public figures, and brand ambassadors in connection with endorsements of consumer products.
  • Representation of international consumer products brands in connection with U.S. entertainment marketing activities, including live performances, television licenses, and time-buy arrangements.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 State Farm Insurance in connection with a branded series of concerts by A-level artists performed in their home towns, 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.
  • Oversight of content-related matters in connection with merger and acquisition transactions.
  • Domestic and international co-productions.
  • Government subsidies for local production of content, whether filmed or live event.
  • Participation negotiation and auditing matters.
  • Risk management with respect to liability based on content (such as evaluation of risk of third-party claims such as defamation, invasion of privacy, etc.) as well as with respect to hazardous activities that may occur over the course of a production.
  • Complex rights and literary property matters.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television, 2009-2023
  • 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
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association

Credentials

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