Professor Jeff Birren '85

Sports Law

Professor Birren joined USC’s Football staff in 1976, working with players like Heisman Trophy winners Charles White and Marcus Allen. He left USC in 1980 to work for the Oakland Raiders. Mr. Birren attended Southwestern in the evenings while working fulltime with the team’s outside counsel. In 1985, He became the Raider’s first ever in-house attorney and was promoted to general counsel after 12 years of dedicated service to the organization.

Mr. Birren supervised a robust legal internship program while with the Raiders, supervising over 250 students from Southwestern, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Penn, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA, and over 40 other schools. Former Raider interns include the first woman to become Chief Executive of an NFL club and at least three current or former NFL club general counsel.

Since retiring from the Raiders at the end of the 2013 NFL season, Professor Birren has written over 25 articles and is a “Contributing Writer” for Sports Litigation Alert, Pro Sports and the Law and Legal Issues of Collegiate Sports.

Professor Miles Feinberg '09

The Music Publishing Industry

Miles Feinberg is executive vice president of Music Sales Corporation, a leading independent music publishing company with offices worldwide. He heads their Los Angeles office, overseeing legal, copyright, licensing, and synchronization departments.

Feinberg joined Music Sales Corp./G. Schirmer, Inc. in 2011 as in-house attorney, responsible for analyzing, advising, and negotiating all facets of US and international legal matters.

He is currently a member of AIMP (Association of Independent Music Publishers), CCC (California Copyright Conference), CSUSA (Copyright Society of the USA), ELIPS (Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section) and The Recording Academy (GRAMMY). He began his career as an attorney in the legal department of HBO.

Professor Robert Helfing '79

Copyright Law

Professor Robert Helfing was the chair emeritus of the Intellectual Property Practice Group at the renowned law firm of Sedgwick LLP. His practice emphasizes copyright and trademark litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He acts as lead counsel in high-profile cases involving the entertainment, sports, automotive, art and fashion industries, among others.

Professor Helfing also has extensive experience negotiating and drafting intellectual property contracts and litigating contested proceedings at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He has managed the copyright and trademark portfolios of major motion picture studios and record companies. His client list includes internationally known artists, sports and automotive icons, entertainment companies and clothing manufacturers.

In addition to copyright and trademark infringement cases, Professor Helfing has litigated numerous lawsuits involving patents, the right of publicity, defamation, false advertising, trade secret and other forms of unfair competition. He also regularly represents companies in complex commercial litigation.

Professor Hillary Kane '93

After graduating law school, Ms. Kane practiced civil litigation for several years until being asked to serve as Body Glove International’s first ever General Counsel. For over a decade, Ms. Kane traveled the world working with Body Glove licensees, manufacturers, and distributors. She played a crucial role in creating the infrastructure needed to provide advertising, marketing, and media relations support for licensees as well as building out a tech platform to facilitate and enforce compliance with Body Glove’s approval process, style guide, and other policies. During her time there, Body Glove produced two feature films, multiple albums, award-winning short films and countless commercials and runway shows.

Shortly before Marquee Bands purchased Body Glove, she started her own consulting company for which she leverages her local and global networks to help small businesses, fashion startups, and non-profit companies increase efficiency, maximize potential and increase brand equity. Her principal practice areas are fashion, trademark and business formation/transactions.

Professor Kane also served as Trademark Counsel to NBCUniversal Entertainment.  She worked closely with NBC’s Telemundo, SPROUT, Universal Pictures, and Golf Channel business units.

Teaching Fashion Law at Southwestern has been the absolute pinnacle of Professor Kane ’s career. “Nothing is more rewarding than guiding students toward those ‘AHA!’ Moments when they grasp a fundamental concept or in which a nuance clicks. My students’ dedication and aptitude continually impress me. My goal as a legal educator is to produce practice-ready, confident, capable and client-centered practitioners.”

Professor Kane is the secretary of the Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association (SWEIP) board and a former chair of the Alumni Board Admissions Advisory Committee. She also holds a leadership position within New Friends Homeless Center in the San Fernando Valley.

Professor Craig Matsuda

Entertainment and the Evolving Web
Entertainment Law Blog

Professor Craig Matsuda is a journalist and communications consultant with decades of reporting, writing, editing, teaching, and management experience. He served in senior editing posts at the Los Angeles Times in international news, Editorial and Opinion, features, and newsroom administration after working as an editor or reporter for the Denver Post, Miami Herald, Time Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and Detroit Free Press. His post-newsroom communications clients have included the RAND Corp., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Korn Ferry, as well as Silicon Valley start-ups, savvy medical professionals, and successful lawyers. He has worked with Nobel- and Pulitzer Prize-winners, best-selling authors, and eager learners at places like Metropolitan State College in Denver, the University of Southern California, and in industry programs for news professionals nationwide.

“It is a great kick to help Southwestern students thrive in the digital revolution that’s transforming our world – especially media, entertainment, and the law. When second and third-year students take the time to convey how the online skills and knowledge they have learned at Southwestern have helped them get jobs and boost their careers, and their practice of the law…what can be better?”

Professor Matsuda has served as a national and Los Angeles board member of the Asian American Journalists Association and in advisory functions to the Alfred Friendly Press Partners and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.

He has been a journalism adjunct at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication, and a guest faculty member for the Robert C. Maynard Journalism Institute, the American Press Institute, and the Poynter Institute.

Professor Michael D. Scott

Entertainment and the Evolving Web
Entertainment Law Blog

With over 40 years of legal experience representing high-technology clients and an extensive background in computer technology, Michael Scott is considered a pioneer in the field of high-technology law and public policy. A former member of Southwestern’s adjunct faculty whose affiliation with the law school dates back to 1976, he joined the full-time faculty in 2003.

“It is extremely important to help law students become truly conversant in the areas of technology, law, business and public policy in order to be effective leaders of the 21st Century.”

As a partner in the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP, Professor Scott’s areas of practice included intellectual property law; domestic and international licensing; technology law; and litigation for all types of businesses, from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of six books on intellectual property, computer, multimedia, internet, and telecommunications law, and has published and presented hundreds of papers on related topics at symposia around the world.

A member of the board of editors of the UCLA-Alaska Law Review during law school, Professor Scott is currently editor-in-chief of The Cyberspace Lawyer. He also serves on the advisory boards or as a correspondent for Argentine, Dutch, British and American publications on law and technology, and was formerly Co-Chair of the California State Bar’s Intellectual Property Section, Computer/Internet Roundtable

Professor Stephen J. Strauss '83

Trademark Law

Stephen J. Strauss is a Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Entertainment Practice Group at the renowned Buchalter law firm. For over 30 years, Mr. Strauss has specialized in domestic and international trademark, copyright, and unfair competition matters, including licensing, internet domain name disputes, and litigation. He has prosecuted over two thousand U.S. and foreign trademark and service mark applications, and won over 60 UDRP decisions.

Mr. Strauss represents a number of internationally recognized celebrities, sports personalities, recording artists, chefs, authors and media and entertainment companies. He also represents a wide range of diverse clients including restaurants, banks and financial institutions, clothing and toy manufacturers, and magazine and book publishers.

Mr. Strauss is a member of The Television Academy, the Recording Academy (NARAS), Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, and the Visual Effects Society, a non-profit professional, honorary society representing visual effects practitioners in all areas of entertainment. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association (SWEIP) at Southwestern Law School. Mr. Strauss lectures widely in the areas of entertainment intellectual property law and celebrity branding. He has lectured before the American Bar Association, the International Trademark Association, the USC Gould Institute of Entertainment Law and Business, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

Professor Danielle Van Lier

Trademark Law

Danielle Van Lier is senior counsel, intellectual property and contracts at SAG-AFTRA. Van Lier began her position at the former Screen Actors Guild in 2000. She is responsible for managing SAG-AFTRA’s third-party contracts and intellectual property, as well as other efforts aimed at protecting the rights of SAG-AFTRA and its members. Van Lier has written several amicus curiae briefs on behalf of SAG-AFTRA and other parties in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court on issues such as rights of publicity, copyright and the California Talent Agencies Act.

Before joining Screen Actors Guild, Van Lier practiced law in Los Angeles. Prior to entering practice, she served as a legislative fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Van Lier is Chair of ACC’s Sports & Entertainment Committee and a past Southern California chapter board member. Additionally, she was a founding board member of Saving Wildlife International, a nonprofit wildlife education company in Los Angeles.

Van Lier earned her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where she served on the Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law and also pursued a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Japanese Language, Literature and Cultural Studies from University of California at Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree through University of Edinburgh.