Craig Emanuel Named “Power of Law” Honoree and Nine Lawyers Recognized in “Legal Impact Report” by Variety 2023

April 21, 2023

Paul Hastings Entertainment and Media partner Craig Emanuel was named Variety’s 2023 “Power of Law” honoree for his decades of excellence representing an extensive client roster, including prolific Hollywood producer Ryan Murphy, Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone, Robert Rodriguez, MSG Entertainment, Tony Gilroy, Mandalay Pictures, and Cirque du Soleil. Variety also recognized his numerous philanthropic efforts, which include the Faith & Politics Institute, the March on Washington Film Festival, and Chrysalis.  

Additionally, Entertainment and Media Litigation partners Tamerlin Godley, Steven Marenberg, and Bo Pearl and of counsel Josh Gordon, as well as Entertainment and Media Transactional partners Craig Emanuel, David Hernand, Mickey Mayerson, Sean Monroe, and Susan Williams were included in Variety’s annual 2023 “Legal Impact Report,” which highlights top lawyers in the entertainment and media industry.

Litigation: Tamerlin Godley, Steven Marenberg, Bo Pearl, and Josh Gordon

Among numerous representations, Variety noted Steve Marenberg for representing ABC Television and 20th Century Fox Animation in defense of policies mandating employee vaccinations and along with Josh Gordon, their work for Pixar in breach-of-contract litigation. Tammy Godley was noted for defending Bravo Media and NBCUniversal in federal litigation bought by NeNe Leakes alleging racial issues on the set of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” as well as an ongoing arbitration for play-to-earn blockchain adventure game Mobland over rights involving NFTs. Bo Pearl was noted for specializing in defamation and free speech disputes in the entertainment and sports sectors. 

The team is noted for representing a number of notable clients, including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, Activision Blizzard, professional golfer Greg Norman, and William Morris/Endeavor, as well as for their work regarding investigations and litigation involving sexual harassment, gender bias, and other allegations of misconduct.

On how celebrity deepfakes will be impacted by the law, Tammy Godley commented, “it’s obviously a disruptive moment and the industry is trying to find its way on various different fronts.” 

Transactional: Craig Emanuel, David Hernand, Mickey Mayerson, Sean Monroe, and Susan Williams

Variety noted David Hernand for advising Clarion Capital in the acquisition of a majority stake in Vin Di Bona Productions, the creator of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Both David Hernand and Sean Monroe were noted for their representation of Paramount Global, Warner Bros. Discovery, and The CW Network in an agreement for Nexstar Media Group to acquire a 75% ownership interest in The CW Network, LLC. On behalf of Indian Paintbrush, Mickey Mayerson is noted for working on a distribution deal for Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” to Focus Features, as well as advising Nashville-based film/television producer PZAJ in a first-look deal with 101 Studios. Susan Williams was noted for advising Black Bear Pictures in launching its international distribution and sales operations and also 777 Partners in providing funds to Najafi Companies for its purchase of STX Entertainment. Additionally, Sean Monroe was noted for advising Game Fund Partners Group in its investment in Discord.

David Hernand commented, “We expect that studios will start to look to lay off content financing risk to third parties,” as the studios address the increased cost of new original content.  

The firm’s Entertainment and Media team is at the forefront of the ever-changing complexities in cutting edge matters in film, television, and digital media. The practice group provides a full breadth of services, including talent representation, distribution and licensing, mergers & acquisitions, and finance, as well as offering top-tier litigation capabilities.

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