I negotiate deals and litigate on behalf of producers, writers, actors, distributors and financiers. After 18 years of practicing law in Los Angeles; 16 of them as an entertainment lawyer, I’m taking stock on where I’ve been, what I’ve done and what’s next.
I’m going to write in this space about the negotiation culture in the entertainment business, my thoughts on practicing entertainment law and whatever else occurs to me from time to time.
I get a lot of inspiration from my late father Norman. He ran his own company in the knitted textile business in New York City. Norman would regale the family with vivid stories of the day’s events during dinner. The piece goods business in women’s wear was a lot like the entertainment industry. There were a lot of characters; and he would regularly use an “ism” or two – an unusual word or use of slang – that only made the people in his stories more Runyonesque.
I enjoy using a lot of these isms today. I even collect or create new ones. So when I decided to write online, I wanted to use an ism as the name for the blog. “Deal Fatigue” is a common business ism and can be defined as the point in protracted negotiations where one or more of the parties either close on terms that they might not otherwise agree upon just to get the deal done or are ready to walk away despite any benefits that may come from closing.
While deal fatigue is an all too common phenomenon in negotiations, I use the term here as a double entendre. After a career spent in organized combat with lawyers, agents, managers, financiers and yes, sometimes clients, I must admit to being a bit tired. I hope that my reflections here will provide a respite and a unique opportunity to focus my thoughts in a manner that can only be of benefit to my clients and me.