Meet the team
MICHELLE FOX, ESQ.
MICHELLE FOX, ESQ.
Michelle Fox is a savvy, hands-on trial and transactional lawyer with over nine years of litigation and advisory experience. With a focus on complex business, entertainment and employment matters, she has earned a reputation for her diligence and ability to guide clients through even the most contentious and nuanced disputes and negotiations. Balancing efficiency and attention to detail, Michelle also conducts workplace investigations and comprehensive reviews of internal policies, practices, and forms.
Before joining Smith Entertainment Law Group, Michelle practiced at Harris St. Laurent & Wechsler, where she counseled companies and individuals through contract conflicts, business torts and partnership issues and represented high-net-worth individuals in employment disputes, exit negotiations, private arbitrations and more. Earlier in her career, Michelle practiced at Greenspoon Marder LLP, where she worked with Kerry Smith and acquired broad-based transactional experience within the entertainment industry, including in television and film.
Some of her significant representative matters prior to joining SELG include:
- Obtaining several favorable settlements on behalf of a talent management company in connection with contract disputes with its entertainment industry clients.
- Successful mediation of a dispute on behalf of two of the three co-founders of a popular social media application after they were cut out of their startup business.
- Defeating an application for a temporary restraining order in Delaware Chancery Court on behalf of a 50% owner of a digital marketing business whose co-owner sought to cripple the company pending his petition to dissolve the business.
Over the years, Michelle has defended and taken deposition testimony in more than 150 cases, negotiated the settlement of seven-figure lawsuits, and has successfully argued numerous motions at the pretrial and trial stages. Clients rely on her analytical attention to detail; opposing counsel have learned not to underestimate her in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.
Michelle graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2008. Through the Teach for America program, she taught at a south Bronx elementary school for two years before receiving her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2013, where she actively participated in the Moot Court Honor Society. She is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
*Pending Admission in California
Brianna Bulski is a recent graduate of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, currently awaiting bar admittance in California. She assists in the representation of clients spanning across SELG’s intellectual property and entertainment production practices.
Brianna first developed an interest in IP and entertainment law during her time as a paralegal in New York City, where she gained experience with licensing, merchandising and a range of other IP related issues. As a law student, she then clerked at a Chicago firm working primarily on transactional trademark matters. She also served as the vice president of the Intellectual Property Law Society and was senior editor for the International Law Review. Following her second year of law school, Brianna began working as a law clerk at SELG and the rest is history.
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Patti Leiva-Hayes, Vice President of Operations, combines two decades of experience working live events spanning hundreds of shows across the world with her personal, client-focused approach to negotiation and problem solving.
Patti’s wealth of experience helps protect the clients at Smith Entertainment Law Group from even the most difficult of situations, finding creative solutions in complex environments that bridge the gap between client, talent and distributor needs.
From music events to presidential inaugurations, awards shows, television variety specials and many other tentpole events, Patti has an unparalleled level of experience that she and her team bring to every project.
Patti can be found making playlists that span from James Browns’ “The Payback” to “Sour Times” by Portishead and loves baking shows…even though she doesn’t bake.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Nori Chia is Director of Business Development at Smith Entertainment Law Group, where she utilizes her breadth of experience from working in film and television production for over 17 years, to support the growth of the firm. After working alongside managing partner, Kerry Smith, on several productions, Nori began taking great interest in expanding her acumen in the legal aspects of the entertainment business.
Prior to joining SELG, Nori began her career working freelance positions in production and post-production on various television programs. She then moved on to become the gatekeeper for Tom Hanks’ producing partner, Gary Goetzman, under their Playtone production company banner. During her nearly 11-year tenure at the production company, she continued to build her own portfolio of freelance positions and credits on their films and television shows, staying involved in every stage of production from development to prep, physical production, post-production, delivery, marketing, and distribution. The multi-tasking and extensive experience she garnered supporting Hanks and Goetzman contributes to the growth and robust development of SELG.
In her spare time, Nori enjoys traveling, cooking, outdoor activities, going to concerts and spending time with family and friends.
SENA HARLLEY, ESQ.
SENA HARLLEY, ESQ.
Sena has experience representing clients in a plethora of practice areas including, real estate, contract law, intellectual property, civil litigation and business formation and acquisitions.
Prior to joining SELG, Sena was an associate at Ross L. Schiller & Associates, P.C. He also worked previously as a summer Associate for Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.
Sena is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and he is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of New York. In his off time, Sena enjoys traveling, music, playing league basketball and participating in local community service initiatives.
JOHN MAATTA, ESQ.
JOHN MAATTA, ESQ.
John D. Maatta primarily focuses his practice on entertainment and media transactions including the development and production of motion pictures, television and streamed content and matters related to the representation of content creators and performers and the distribution of programming by broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.
John is also a highly experienced trial lawyer who has tried lengthy and complex jury trials and litigated matters in both State and Federal courts.
John is experienced with issues involving production, finance, distribution, affiliate relations, human resources, broadcast standards and matters involving media-related technology, marketing, advertising and branding. In addition, he advises creators and distributors of entertainment content.
Additionally, John advises and actively works with entrepreneurs and management teams at start-up and growth phase companies.
- Entertainment & Media Transactions
- Media-related Technology
- Entertainment Production
- Network Distribution
- Entertainment & Commercial Litigation
- General business and corporate transactions
- CEO, Wizard Brands, Inc.
- Co-CEO of Creek Road Miners
- COO, EVP & GC, The CW Television Network
- COO, EVP & GC, WB Television Network
- VP Warner Bros.
- VP Lorimar Telepictures
- Chairman, Trader Vic’s Restaurant Corp.
John spent several years as a senior executive at Warner Bros. and The CW Television Network. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at The CW Television Network. For six years immediately prior to that, he served as the Co-Head of the CW Television Network, where he was the Chief Operating Officer responsible for the following operating departments: Media Sales, Finance, Technology, Business Affairs, Legal, Broadcast Standards, Network Distribution, and Human Resources. John was also the Chief Operating Officer of the WB Television Network as well as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
MICHAEL OLSEN, ESQ.
MICHAEL OLSEN, ESQ.
Michael Olsen is of counsel to Smith Entertainment Law Group, LLP where he practices in the areas of music mergers & acquisitions, recording and publishing catalog sales, recording and publishing agreements, and music adjacent corporate transactions. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs at multi-format content producer Entertainment One working with platinum and Grammy award-winning recording artists, songwriters, and music managers. Olsen also led eOne’s music M&A practice. He has served as President/CEO and chief legal officer of eOne Nashville, Indieblu Music Group, Sheridan Square Entertainment, Compendia Music Group, and as VP/GM of the Denver Symphony Orchestra.
Olsen is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami Law School teaching Music Law and at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University teaching Copyright Law. He formerly taught in the Master of Fine Arts program at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. He is a regular speaker at conferences and continuing education events hosted by the American Bar Association and numerous state bar associations. He has served on the board of directors of Dualtone Music Group, the UK-based Audio Network, the Atlanta chapter of the Recording Academy, and the American Association of Independent Music.
J.D., magna cum laude, Georgia State University College of Law, 1994
B.F.A., cum laude, Central Michigan University, 1979
LYNN QUARTERMAN, ESQ.
LYNN QUARTERMAN, ESQ.
Prior to joining the Smith Entertainment Law Group, Lynn Quarterman served as a senior associate at the Santa Monica-based entertainment law firm, Lapidus Root & Sacharow, LLP. The emphasis of her practice has always consisted of a unique blend of client representation in the music and television industries. In addition to serving as production counsel for numerous variety television productions and representing production companies specializing in unscripted television programming, she has counseled and advised cable television networks and other producers of audio-visual content on all music-related issues, including the OWN Network and IMAX documentary filmmaker MacGillivray Freeman Films. She has represented multi-Grammy Award winning recording artist, Anderson .Paak, since the early stages of his career, and in 2021, negotiated a worldwide publishing administration agreement on his behalf with Warner Chappell Music, and a label deal for his newly formed APESHIT Records label with the Universal Music Group. Lynn continues to represent legacy and other contemporary recording artists, including Charlie Wilson, En Vogue, and Wyclef Jean, as well as songwriters, record producers and management companies.
DANIEL REGAN, ESQ.
DANIEL REGAN, ESQ.
*Admitted in New York & California
Daniel Regan is an associate attorney, admitted to practice in both New York and California. Daniel works closely with senior attorneys in the firm counseling SELG’s clients in the television, production, new media, and music industries.
Daniel received his Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School with a Sports Law Certificate in 2019. Daniel also hails from the University of Miami where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 2015.
While in law school, Daniel immersed himself in the New Orleans entertainment, sports, and music scene while volunteering at the Ella Project, where he provided pro bono legal assistance to local artists and musicians. He also served as the Social Media Coordinator for the Tulane Sports Law Society and as a managing editor of The Sports Lawyers Journal.
Prior to practicing law, Daniel served in the primary outward-facing role supporting the Co-Managing Partner and Head of the Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing & Branding division at A3 Artists Agency and also provided brand marketing research to the former Creative Directors for Lucasfilm, Spielberg, and Columbia Pictures.
Daniel comes from a music industry legacy family and has always had a keen interest in championing artists, musicians, and athletes.
HENRY W. ROOT, ESQ.
HENRY W. ROOT, ESQ.
Henry W. Root, Esq. is a partner in the entertainment media firm of Smith Entertainment Law Group, LLP. He has over 40 years of legal and business affairs experience in the music, television, and media industries. Henry has represented recording artists signed to every major label, award-winning songwriters and producers, music publishers, record labels, and principal cast members of several TV series. He specializes in transactions involving sales and purchases of music-related properties and provides sophisticated counseling and guidance to both sellers and purchasers in connection with due diligence matters, complex rights sales, acquisition and licensing issues, loan and security agreements and valuations of intellectual property assets.
Henry is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law, where he teaches the music law course. He is a past member of the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association Forum Committee on the Sports and Entertainment Industries. He sits on the executive committee of the annual North American Entertainment, Sports & Intellectual Property Conference. He was presented with the Ed Rubin Award which is the Forum’s highest honor. He is a longtime volunteer for the Recording Academy’s MusiCares charity.
Henry was recently named by “Billboard Magazine” as one of the top music industry attorneys. He has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in the Southern California editions of Super Lawyers, including the 2020 edition, and is also listed in “Top Attorneys in North America.”
Samantha Shahi is a first generation American, born and raised in the great state of Texas. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in film, television, and radio, and a minor in music (she played the drums).
Sam began her career working with comedian and late-night host Craig Ferguson at CBS, where she also toured and shot footage for his Grammy-nominated Netflix Special Craig Ferguson: I’m Here to Help. Her experience in TV development and production spans from unscripted shows such as Cutthroat Kitchen to live after-shows for Discovery’s Shark Week. She’s worked in comedy television developing shows for CBS, Bravo, truTV, Showtime, and BBC-America; she’s also written and pitched her own half hour comedy.
Sam’s experience also extends to feature films, having worked on the American remake of Suspiria to a little-known independent film called The Dark Knight Rises. In the audio space, Sam worked on Radiolab’s sexual consent series In The No as well as the Peabody Award winning podcast, Dolly Parton’s America.
In her free time, Sam can often be found at Costco, spending time with her family and her dog, or getting mistaken for Ilana Glazer.
KERRY SMITH, ESQ.
KERRY SMITH, ESQ.
*Admitted in New York and California
Kerry Smith is the founding partner of Smith Entertainment Law Group. Kerry’s practice focuses on providing production counsel for variety shows, award shows, specials, scripted and unscripted series, live events and large scale social media initiatives. Smith helps her clients navigate varying legal and business challenges from the day-to-day production legal questions to complex union and employment related issues.
Kerry has over 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry representing producers, writers, directors, talent and other rights holders in the film, television, and digital media industries. She has negotiated complex deals on behalf of production companies, networks, various talent and above the line talent. Kerry has extensive knowledge of pre-production and production legal for live shows, award shows, variety shows and special events, having provided said services on hundreds of productions. She offers clients full service legal representation, providing 24/7 counseling to her clients, including advising on development, production and acquisition issues, and handling transactions from development through delivery of the final cut, including the negotiation of network agreements, distribution agreements, content licensing, attachment agreements, talent agreements, chain-of-title and rights and fair uses analyses, E&O assistance, venue agreements, vendor agreements, and more. Kerry also represents multiple television production companies, creatives, high level producers, writers, directors, above the line talent, on-camera talent, content creators, design agencies, and network executives.
Prior to founding Smith Entertainment Law Group, Kerry was a partner at Eisner, LLP in the entertainment division, and previously led Greenspoon Marder’s television and film group in New York. Before Greenspoon, Kerry served as special counsel at Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman, LLP, and as Director of Business Affairs with the ABC Entertainment Television Group in New York, handling daytime dramatic serials and daytime talk shows which immediately followed her time as an agent with Artists Agency in New York, representing writers, directors and producers in the daytime genre.
Kerry received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School’s night division and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. She is admitted to practice in New York and California.
Prior to joining Smith Entertainment Law Group, Sharon began her career as an Audio Engineer. Her vast range of experience includes A&R Administration at Bad Boy Entertainment, to the reputable Sony Music Entertainment, where she held the position of Licensing Analyst and later Manager of Business and Legal Affairs. Sharon began working with Kerry Smith as a paralegal in the Television and Film Group at Greenspoon Marder, LLP and later Eisner, LLP. As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Sharon also received her paralegal certificate from Pace University.
In her spare time, Sharon can be found enjoying all cooking competition shows, listening to music, watching NFL football and being an avid fantasy football player.
Amber Williams is a Contract Manager at Smith Entertainment Law Group overseeing and drafting contracts for entertainment industry clients.
After graduating from Texas State University, Amber moved to New York to pursue her dream of working in “show business.” Starting out as an assistant at production companies, it wasn’t until later that Amber discovered her true calling – entertainment law. With decades of legal experience working alongside counsel at global law firms in entertainment, real estate, corporate and global finance, Amber utilizes her impeccable eye for detail, analysis, and organizational acumen to paper the deals that bring together clients’ business interests. Amber began working with Kerry Smith at Eisner, LLP in 2020 and previously held assistant and coordinator positions at Sidley Austin LLP in both their Los Angeles and Dallas locations.
As a self-described multipotentialite, Amber currently enjoys studying French, sailing, and walking for fitness while wearing a fashionably large hat with a coffee in hand!
JORDAN YOSPE, ESQ.
JORDAN YOSPE, ESQ.
Jordan Yospe is recognized as one of the country’s leading brand integration experts and an authority in sourcing, negotiating, and managing brand licensing and merchandising deals for feature films, television, new media, music, and video games. He has significant experience as both an entertainment lawyer and as a feature film and television producer.
Jordan’s core work represents major film and television production companies in brand integration and marketing activation deals, and represents actors, music artists, and professional athletes in endorsement, equity, and other related marketing deals. He pitches entertainment projects on behalf of producers to seamlessly integrate brands into the storylines of feature films, TV, new media, and music properties; he negotiates and document those deals as well as executes the business and creative elements of those agreements during preproduction, principal photography, post-production, and domestic/international distribution.
Moreover, as a lawyer, Jordan has in the past represented large brands (such as Coca‐Cola, AT&T, Toyota, Sears/Kmart, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, American Express, and Diageo) and smaller brands (such as popchips, Godiva, Pabst, Gallo, and King’s Hawaiian) in their Hollywood deals in production and licensing.
When describing Jordan’s work to The Hollywood Reporter, Eric Baum (Sony Pictures Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Consumer and Worldwide Marketing) states “Jordan has earned the trust of those not just in Hollywood, but all the way out in places like Peoria and Georgia. They rely on his expertise and hard work to keep the integrity of their brands.” Jordan’s mission is to make “integrations” live up to both the brands’ and producers’ expectations in today’s rapidly changing commercial environment. His pioneering work on the integration of brands into entertainment was featured in a front page article in The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/business/media/05screen.html?ref=todayspaper
As the former General Counsel and Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Mark Burnett Productions, Jordan was integrally involved in several well‐known network television series, including “Survivor” and “Rock Star: INXS” with CBS; “The Apprentice” and “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” with NBC; and “The Contender” with NBC and Dreamworks.
Jordan is a frequent lecturer at film schools and law schools including UCLA, USC, Southwestern, and Loyola, and a lecturer at major trade panels for the Producer’s Guild, Digital Hollywood, The Paley Center of Media, American Film Market, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Jordan has been named in Variety’s “Annual Dealmakers Impact Report”, The Hollywood Reporter’s annual “Power Lawyers” list, the “Top 40 Entertainment Lawyers” list by The Los Angeles Business Journal, and in the 2019 inaugural list of “Sports and Entertainment Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal.
Jordan is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (production executive’s division), and the Hollywood Radio and Television Society. He jointly received the Media and Entertainment Counsel’s “Excellence in Branded Entertainment Award” with Hanes Brands’ Champion CMO for the work they performed on the Morgan Creek/Universal Pictures feature film “Sydney White.”