Sanford Michelman

Sanford Michelman Featured in Law360’s Rainmaker Series

From Law360:

Q: What skill was most important for you in becoming a rainmaker?

A: Diligence is the most important skill that an attorney can bring to bear when engaging with and serving a client. One must be diligent in learning the legal issues facing potential clients, as well as understanding their underlying business objectives and where they sit within the industry in which they operate. Immersion in our clients’ industries, which requires developing an intimate understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented within each sector, enables my team to provide legal advice in support of our clients’ business goals. Collaborating with our clients, we use our extensive knowledge of the law, industry insight and comprehensive research to develop effective strategies and solutions.

Q: How do you prepare a pitch for a potential new client?

A: Too many attorneys, and firms, focus on the legal issues alone when executing a pitch. They assume that if the potential client perceives the lawyer as a legal expert, they are likely to get the business. This approach seems incomplete. Clients want counsel who thoroughly understands their business and who, because of industry expertise, will be able to carefully anticipate how each transaction or litigation will play out over time. Performing a deep dive into a company’s business model and industry segment in advance of a pitch will help win business.

Q: Share an example of a time when landing a client was especially difficult, and how you handled it.

A: In my experience, it is most “difficult” to land a client where multiple firms are pitching for the client’s business, and those firms continuously cut their proposed budgets to secure the work. We painstakingly set our budgets and thus generally do not play this game in order to chase business. Either we are the right fit, or we are not.

Sanford Michelman Mentioned in the Los Angeles Times

Christina Bellantoni wrote a column in the LA Times titled, “Essential Politics: This is what it looks like when the campaign comes to California,” which included the following blurb:

BILL CLINTON RETURNS TO GOLDEN STATE

The former president is campaigning for his wife Wednesday in San Diego and Los Angeles.

He’ll also headline a $1,000-per-person Friday evening fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of Laura and Sanford Michelman, co-chaired by Teresa and Sean Burton.

Sanford Interviewed By Five Hundo

Sanford Michelman

Five Hundo, which conducts executive interviews in 500 words or less, recently highlighted Sanford Michelman:

What motivates you to build a successful law firm?

I’m driven by the opportunity to build an innovative, entrepreneurial law firm. We have a great team that works on an “okay to fail” model. It allows us to continually try new initiatives so that we are delivering exceptional service and legal counsel to our clients. Because of this, every day is new, exciting and rewarding.

What do you look for in new members of your team?

A strong work ethic, intelligence and problem solving skills are the three top qualifications. At the most fundamental level, our firm’s mission it to provide excellent client service. We look for people whose goals and values align with this principle. Also, we want people who intend to retire from M&R. We want to know that our decision-makers are in it for the long haul.

Read the entire interview at Five Hundo.

More Coverage of the Spotify Class Action Lawsuit

Yesterday we blogged about the widespread coverage of David Lowery’s class action lawsuit against Spotify for releasing copyrighted material without first obtaining proper licenses from artists. We followed up that post with an All Things Considered NPR piece on the subject. Much more has been written on the Spotify lawsuit over the last day including the following articles that quote Sanford Michelman:

Washington Post

CNN Money

Beacon Examiner

mxdwn

UPI

UPDATE:

CNBC

Chicago Tribune

Sanford Michelman Representing Musician In Class Action Against Spotify

music notesMichelman & Robinson, LLP filed a $150 Million class action against Spotify over unpaid royalties on behalf of musician David Lowery of the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. The suite alleges that Spotify unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted material without first obtaining mechanical licenses. According to Courthouse News Service, Lowery “seeks class certification, an injunction preventing Spotify from infringing on copyrighted works, restitution, and compensatory and statutory damages.” CNS also quotes Sanford Michelman, the lead attorney for the class, stating:

“I hope that Spotify acts in a corporately reasonable manner. These individuals – especially songwriters – put their hearts and souls in their works.”

Read more about the case at the:

New York Times

Rolling Stone

Hollywood Reporter 

Billboard

The Guardian

Daily Mail

Huffington Post

Buzzfeed

UPDATE: NPR adds additional color to the story including the following:

“Lowery’s lawyer, Sanford Michelman, says Spotify may owe tens of millions of dollars not just in unpaid royalties but for copyright infringement, which can run as high as 150-thousand dollars per violation.”

Sanford quoted by Reuters:

Hanna’s co-lead counsel, Sanford Michelman, said Spotify typically negotiates royalty amounts in advance with top artists who have the resources to defend their work, but is less diligent about tracking down the license holders of music by lesser-known or independent artists.

“This is fundamentally wrong for the entire industry,” he said. “Spotify shouldn’t be playing ‘catch me if you can.’ (Lowery) has raised his hand and said ‘I’m going to stop this.'”

CNN Money is on the case:

Lawyer Sanford Michelman, who’s representing Lowery in court, said that putting money aside to pay out royalties later is a clear indication Spotify knowingly violated copyright law. He said those have to be paid via contracts hashed out before copyrighted work is used.

“It’s like saying, ‘We know we’ve taken these people’s work, we’ve never made an attempt to find them, but we know we’re playing something without the proper license,” he said.

Mega-stars like Taylor Swift and Adele are among the artists who have kept some music off Spotify. Some have criticized streaming services for cutting into industry profits by weakening album sales and offering small royalty payments.

But Michelman said the plaintiffs in this case were never contacted by the streaming service for a contract, and therefore have not received any royalties at all. He said it’s just like “stealing a car” off the lot.