7 Tips for Effective Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Brad Heckman, Chief Executive Officer of the New York Peace Institute, shares seven vivid images on effectively mediating disputes.

We don’t know what we think we know about people in conflict.
— Brad Heckman

Whether your a party to a lawsuit, an attorney with clients headed to mediation, or a mediator refining your dispute resolution skills, this TedX Talk provides great insight on how to understand "It's Not About you," "Dare to be Dumb," "Reflect," "Embrace the Silence," "Be the Cow," "Time Travel," and "Dance with Zombies."

TED Talks are licensed under the Creative Commons license "Attribution - NonCommercial - NonDerivative"

Mediating the Band Partnership Dispute

Image CC2.0  Martin Fisch 

Image CC2.0 Martin Fisch 

Scenario:  Band members are "in love" and all is rocking along.  Money is starting to be made and then it happens --- the honeymoon is over and a band member leaves voluntarily or is forced out.   A lawsuit is filed and it starts to get ugly. Even a written Band Partnership Agreement or LLC Membership Agreement may not be sufficient to resolve the dispute between the parties.  A third-party neutral, i.e., mediator, might be necessary to hear all sides of the dispute and help guide the band members to a workable solution.

Common battle grounds include:

Who gets to use the band name? Who owns the master recording copyrights? Who owns the song copyrights? Who owns the physical product or merchandise? Can the band keep using the leaving band member's name and likeness?

Here are some on-going band disputes where mediation, also known as alternative dispute resolution, could be used as a vehicle to resolve the dispute by the parties rather than by a judge or jury:

Boston v. Tom Sholz (former Boston guitar player) LIVE - mediation occurred on November 1, 2012 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti J Geils Band En Vogue - lawsuit settled via arbitration Chris Daughtry sued by Absent Element

To learn more about Music Attorney Tamera Bennett's mediation practice click here.

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Launching

Launching April 20th, Entertainment Law Update is an audio podcast featuring Entertainment lawyers Gordon P. Firemark and Tamera H. Bennett. Every month, our hosts and guests will survey the legal landscape of the entertainment industry, discussing the top cases and news stories of interest to lawyers and entertainment business professionals.

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Each episode will feature a news roundup, discussion of recent case law, and an in-depth discussion on a legal issue, or other practical topic of interest to our listeners.

Attorneys who listen can opt into receiving continuing legal education credit*, and the programs will be of interest to all entertainment and media professionals.

Producer and host Gordon Firemark says, “We’re really hoping this will be a dialogue with our audience. Listener feedback is more than just welcome, we’re counting on it. Our colleagues in the legal profession are encouraged to submit topic ideas, and we hope to select guests to join us from those who submit ideas.”

Listeners can find (and listen to) the podcast at or can subscribe using the iTunes store** or the handy links on the website.

*(pending approval by applicable bar associations) **(available soon)

Legalish Topic "Follows" On Twitter


by Tamera H. BennettPosted December 12, 2008

This is part two of a post started earlier on how I gather legal/news information. Part one is here regarding the blogs I have on RSS feed.

I am right at the 60 day mark of using Twitter. What a crazy, fun, informative community. Twitter is an amazing resource for staying current on breaking news issues that relate to your practice. Many bloggers will feed there blogs directly to their Twitter posts. Other Twitter users do not maintain blogs, but aggregate news stories and post those on Twitter.

There is no way to list all the folks I follow and learn from each day, but here are a few of my tweeps:  This is from law Professor Michael Scott. He provides a roundup of daily copyright news. All things arts, tech, digital and IP related.  Updates on tax issues from a Texas tax attorney  A fashion and lifestyle blog for overachieving chicks. Hey, got a have a little fun in my day.  Great info on building a solo law practice. Attorney Victoria Pynchon is a must follow for ADR topics. She feeds two of her blogs into this link.  If you are building or supporting a law practice today, you need to be following Kevin O’Keefe. Kevin founded LexBlog and has incredible insight into how to use today’s technology to grow your business.  Great resource for launching and building your music business brand.  I'm not a patent attorney, but if you are you need to be following Dennis Crouch.  Grant Griffiths provides insight on designing blogs and use of other social media to build your brand.   Always a fun twist on government, technology and legal issues.

Again, this is not an exhaustive list. Enjoy and learn something new today.

Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter Here.

Alltop Selects Current Trends In Copyright, Trademark & Entertainment Law Blog

Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)

by Tamera H. Bennett

I am excited to announce that the Current Trends in Copyright, Trademark & Entertainment Law Blog has been included at Alltop as part of its "online magazine rack" where Alltop aggregates RSS feeds on many topics, including law.

"A" Is for Ask

by Tamera H. BennettMarch 10, 2008


I am starting a post on asking permission with the following statement: The IP ADR Blog has a great idea in which they are working through the alphabet for post topics. Do I need permission from them to use this same idea? I think not. Ideas may be protected by patent law and may also be protected under certain contract theories. Using the alphabet to organize a topic is not original to the blog in question; just read a children's book. So this idea is not protectable, but the expression may very well be protected. What if I copied the blog post written by someone else, would I need permission then?

I may not have asked permission for the A, B, C's, but I did ask permission to copy the blog post in its entirety below. Why? The blog post itself is protected by copyright. The post is in reference to "ways to avoid a claim of copyright infringement."

The Easiest Way to Get What You Want: Say Please Posted on February 28, 2008 by Victoria Pynchon

Recently I re-posted Five Ways to Minimize Risk of Copyright Liability from Citizen Media here.

Today, IP attorney extraordinaire Tamera Bennett (left) dropped by to remind us of our own ADR "core values," i.e., self-determination and respect for the rights of others.

Instead of simply approving Tamera's comment, I decided to bring it up here for everyone to see.

The easiest way to get along with our fellow artists?

Get a license!

If you have genuine affection for the work of another, drop them a line, pick up a phone, send a carrier pigeon.

"I really love your work."

Then ask for permission to use it.

Just do what your mother taught you. Ask nicely. Say please. Then thank the nice copyright owner for being so generous with his/her work. You'd be amazed at people's generosity, especially when you couple it with a (true) statement such as "I'm a young artist and don't have a lot of money but would really like to . . . . . "

If you can't say that, i.e., if you have the money to pay the license fee, for heaven's sake support your fellow artists.

Tamera's comment below. See her blog, Current Trends in Copyright, Trademark and Entertainment Law here.

I have several concerns with the listing of ways to avoid copyright infringement.

1. "Use only as much of the copyrighted work as is necessary to accomplish your purpose or convey your message" ---- Clients come to me and want to know how much of the song can I use or can I reprint a portion of this chapter of the book, or can I use this poster in something else. I advise the client to get a license. Fair Use is a defense which is very difficult to win. There is no cut-and-dry rule that you can use three bars from the song before liability attaches.

2. Add something new or beneficial (don't just copy it -- improve it!) --- This trips folks up all the time. Adding something new does not protect you from copyright infringement. You need a license to create a derivative work. Adding something new to someone else's copyright is a violation of the copyright owner's exclusive right to allow for the creation of derivative works.

Remember, if you did not create it, you probably need a license to use it.

Jokes and Copyright Law

by Tamera H. BennettJanuary 31, 2008

Interesting post by Professor Patry regarding the unauthorized publication of jokes written by the likes of Jay Leno and Rita Rudner.

"Funny" how the reality of protecting jokes plays out in fiction... read my previous post regarding an episode of Studio 6o.

Somebody Pays When Case Not Dismissed

by Tamera H. BennettJune 20, 2007

Attorney Michael Young with the IP ADR blog gives us a great look at why it is important for parties in copyright infringement cases submitted to binding arbitration to agree how fees and costs will be allocated for post-arbitration proceedings.

In Brayton Purcell LLP v. Recordon & Recordon, --- F.Supp.2d ---, 2007 WL 1462365 (N.D. Cal., May 18, 2007) (currently available only on Westlaw), the parties submitted to binding arbitration, but did not dismiss the pending suit or make an agreement prior to arbitration or during arbitration as to the allocation of post-arbitration fees and costs. Because the case was not dismissed, the prevailing party in arbitration asked for and was awarded post-arbitration costs and expenses pursuant to 15 U.S.C. sec. 505.


May 20, 2007 Attorney Tamera H. Bennett recently received her certificate of completion of the Texas 40 Hour Mediation Course. Tamera will be available to mediate business conflicts with an emphasis on trademark, copyright and entertainment law disputes.

For more information, feel free to contact Tamera at