Don’t Get Scammed: A “Self Defense” Legal Clinic For Writers

Don’t Get Scammed: A “Self Defense” Legal Clinic For Writers

Monday, January 26, 2015

Contracts! Intellectual Property! Collaborations! (Oh my!) As that past California attorney Richard Nixon might have said, “What do writers need to know — and when do they need to know it?” How can we avoid the pitfalls of intellectual property theft, frivolous libel and plagiarism lawsuits, scam literary agents, too-good-to-be-true offers, contract loopholes, and avoid being cheated out of OUR money when we write a book, screenplay/play, or TV format? What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks that writers fall over — in both traditional and agented mainstream publishing, and in self-publishing and small-press publishing? And what new traps are out there in cyberspace and online writing that we need to be aware of?

These questions — and MANY more — will be answered by a small group of top LA and Orange County area experts, who bring decades of experience in their fields to our stage this January 26th. And they will be taking direct Q&A from the audience (however, questions from the floor MUST be respectful — no ad hominem attacks, diatribes, fight-picking, etc. — remember, these people are on OUR side, and they’re here to help). While IWOSC cannot and will not be held directly liable for legal advice here, as this is primarily an educational venue, if you have an in-depth case or cause of concern, a top LA lawyer will be present on the program. And above all, this is a “preventive medicine” workshop, to find out what problems are lurking out there — so that we can hopefully STOP them before they start!

Our Panel:

MICHAEL S. KLEIN, Esq., has been IWOSC’s own chief legal eagle for roughly three decades. A founding partner of Klein & Weisz in West Los Angeles, Michael has a broad range of transactional experience in entertainment law and publishing business transactions.

Mr. Klein is the long-term chair of the First Amendment Committee of the ACLU of Southern California, and has spoken frequently on civil liberties issues and legal topics. He has been a featured commentator on CNN and on programs such as “Saving the American Dream.” He has spoken before the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, the State Bar of California, and has lectured at UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, Loyola, Southwestern, and other colleges.

He has helped numerous IWOSC members since our inception with free initial telephone conversations and reduced rates for IWOSC members. Mr. Klein graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School, with graduate studies in Economics.

A recognized book-industry authority (and IWOSC favorite), CLAUDIA SUZANNE has ghostwritten and/or edited over 130 nonfiction and fiction titles. Her books have been published by both major houses, independent publishers, and university presses. Her client titles have made bestseller lists, won literary awards and received critical acclaim, and have been optioned for film.

Claudia is the Founder and Chair of Ghostwriters Unite!, a nonprofit dedicated to professionalism, education, and community in the ghostwriting world; is the founder and Creative Partner of Wambtac Communications, the West Coast’s premiere ghostwriting service; the creator of, a unique author self-help tool; the Founder/Instructor of Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program (CCPE/CSULB), the first official ghostwriter training program of its kind in the world; and the author of “Secrets of a Ghostwriter,” the seminal textbook on ghostwriting.

Telly Davidson, Author

Telly Davidson, Author

Moderator TELLY DAVIDSON is author of the acclaimed media tie-in book “TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows,” cited as a Book of the Year by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the forthcoming agented nonfiction book, “What Didn’t You Like About It?,” on the pop culture and politics of the 1990s.

He has been a columnist on TV, feature films, and music for over a dozen commercial publications and websites including “FrumForum,” “AllAboutJazz,” “FilmStew,” “Yahoo Movies,” the LA Daily News, Entertainment Today, and has worked on the TV specials “Pioneers of Television,” “Most Outrageous Game Show Moments,” and as associate producer for the educational interview series, “The WRITE Environment.”

Currently Telly is working with veteran film producers’ services rep Jeff Porter at Porter Pictures in acquisitions and research, and with the launch of a major charitable and artistic literary foundation. Telly is a proud and active member of IWOSC and PEN, and has had the honor of hosting or producing several IWOSC panels in the past.