Pro Bono Opportunities

Updated as of Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Open Cases

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with VLA by taking on a pro bono case!

Some cases may be unavailable, as they are already on review with another attorney. The Caselist marks these cases as “On Review.” These cases may return to the list if not placed with the reviewing attorney.

To request a case, please email Laura Levin-Dando, VLA’s Pro Bono Coordinator, at probono@vlany.org. Please indicate the case number in the email subject line.

 

Contract
Copyright
Corporate
Dispute/Litigation/Negotiation
Employment
Immigration
Mediation
Non-Profit
Patent
Real Estate/Landlord/Tenant
Trademark
Wills, Trusts or Estates

 


 

Contract

 

Fashion

15597 – On Review
Client, a model, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to terminate a management agreement.

 

Film

15697 – New Case – On Review
Client, a director and producer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate and re-draft an agreement with a production company.

15581 – On Review
Client, a screenwriter, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate the terms of an option agreement provided to him by his co-producer, and to draft a co-production agreement.

15537
Client, a retired professor, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to compel a documentary filmmaker to fulfill his oral contract by providing copies of footage and photographs he took of the professor and her property.

 

Music

15704 – New Case – On Review
Client seeks an attorney to assist in negotiating a contract with the manager of her not-for-profit chamber music quintent. They have worked with this manager for a year, and now seek to formalize the relationship.

 

Theater

15608
Client, a playwright, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate a severance contract with a co- writer.

 

Visual

15483 – On Review
Client, a visual artist, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to review her rights under a contract and draft a termination letter with a company that commissioned artwork.

 


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Copyright

 

Film

15587 – On Review
Client, an independent filmmaker, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a fair use opinion letter for the purpose of procuring producer’s errors and omissions insurance (“E&O Insurance”).

15471 – On Review
Client, an independent film maker, seeks a volunteer attorney to clarify his ownership in a work that he began on behalf of another company, which canceled the project before it was complete. Client wishes to revive the work in a new project.

15278 – On Review
Client, a toy plane enthusiast who creates flight videos, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to bring suit against a YouTube user who has uploaded Client’s video without permission. Client has already engaged in DMCA takedown procedures to no avail.

15055 – On Review
Client, a filmmaker, seeks assistance drafting a fair use opinion letter, in response to the removal of a video clip pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Notice for copyright infringement.

 

Literary

15665
Client, a writer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a demand letter to the estate of her former partner, and joint copyright holder, to facilitate an accounting of past financial records and to ensure future royalty payments.

15585
Client, an author and screenwriter, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a letter to a publishing company and author regarding a potentially infringing novel with substantial similarities to Client’s screenplay. The statute of limitations on Client’s claim may be running out in May 2017.

 

Music

15684 – On Review
Client, a songwriter, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to pursue a copyright infringement claim against a well-known musical performer.

15638 – On Review
Client, a songwriter, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate royalties and credit for a popular song that has recently been featured in a Broadway musical.

15514
Client, a writer and director, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney in assessing his rights to a song that he wrote with a former collaborator for which he did not receive credit.

 

Theater

15417
Client, a playwright, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to respond to a cease and desist letter from a former collaborator, with respect to a work that was inspired by the collaborator’s personal experiences.

 

Visual

15589
Client, a graphic artist, seeks assistance to enforce his rights against a publishing company for copyright infringement.

 


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Corporate

Fashion

15421 – On Review
Client, an LLC that designs accessories, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to assess which type of business entity is most appropriate for its business model.

 

Film

15652 – On Review
Client, a documentary filmmaker and sole member of his production company, seeks to dissolve his company and transfer copyright ownership of his films to himself, as an individual. Client has produced over 20 films, some of which remain licensed to reputable television outlets.

 

Music

15695 – New Case – On Review
Client, a not-for- profit dedicated to fostering a community of talented young musicians, seeks assistance: (a) amending the organization’s bylaws, to reflect the organization’s current practices; and (b) transferring ownership of the organization’s trademarks from the organization’s founder to the organization.

 


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Dispute / Litigation / Negotiation

 

Fashion

15708 – New Case – On Review
Client, a fashion designer, seeks representation to resolve a dispute with his business partner, a materials designer.  Client seeks to engage in mediation, focusing on the business partner’s purchase of Client’s fully vested equity and resolution of conflicts over the corporation’s finances.

15628
Client, a designer of high-end handbags and women’s accessories, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to recover the balance of a delinquent payment for handbag design services rendered.

 

Film

15518 – On Review
Client, the director of a documentary film, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to pursue injunctive relief against his partner and to dissolve their LLC.

15499 – On Review
Client, a documentary filmmaker, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to enforce a settlement agreement between Client and former business partner.

15424 – On Review
Client, a renowned documentary filmmaker, seeks representation in an arbitration proceeding regarding an alleged copyright infringement and breach of contract.

15255
Client, a screenplay writer and director, seeks assistance to receive credit and compensation for his contributions to a film collaboration.
This matter has a California nexus.

15224 – On Review
Client, a documentary filmmaker, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to represent him in a copyright claim against a film distributor.  A lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, misappropriation and false advertising has been initiated in the Southern District of New York.

15106
Client, a media producer, seeks the assistance of an attorney in recouping back pay owed by an employer.

 

Literary

15659
Client, a children’s book author, seeks legal assistance in a contract dispute with a publisher regarding physical access to work and copyright issues.

 

Mixed

15525
Client, a video game development company, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney in recouping outstanding payments pursuant to a contract.

 

Music

15600 – On Review
Client, a jazz musician, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to communicate with several music retailers, to address confusion caused by retailers’ failure to distinguish client from another jazz musician who shares the client’s name.

15629 – On Review
Client, the bookwriter and lyricist for multiple musicals, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate the termination of her relationship with the musicals’ composer.

15563
Client, a composer and music producer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to assist with receiving compensation from someone who has failed to pay. Client also seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to clarify his intellectual property rights to his composed work.

15520
Client, a composer and producer, seeks a volunteer attorney to assist in negotiations with a former client over intellectual property rights and payment collection.

15453
Client, a vocalist and founding member of a rock band, seeks a volunteer attorney to assist in an ongoing civil suit brought by the owner of a record label company.  The case is taking place in Cayuga County.

 

Photography

15666
Client, a photographer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a demand letter to facilitate the return of her property from a stock photography company.

15510
Client, a Los Angeles-based photographer, seeks assistance in drafting a settlement demand letter to recover expenses from high-profile, New York-based photo subjects who withdrew from a photography project.

 

Visual

15655
Client, the son of a deceased painter, seeks the assistance of an attorney to retrieve paintings left to him in his father’s will from the liquidation trustee of a gallery with which the paintings were placed, or alternatively, to negotiate fair compensation for the paintings.

15611 – On Review
Client, an arts collaboration company, seeks assistance to enforce a contract with a real estate developer.

15438
Client, a freelance lighting and video/projection designer, seeks a volunteer attorney to obtain compensation owed for design and installation projection work performed for a musical theater production.

15433
Client, freelance graphic/website designer and developer seeks a volunteer attorney to obtain compensation for design and development work performed for a website that he co-founded.

15411
Client, a sculptor, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to negotiate payment or return of two sculptures which Client consigned to a real estate developer.

15375
Client, a mixed media visual artist, seeks a volunteer attorney to defend her in a small claim brought by a subcontracted shipping company and to assist her in counterclaims against both the subcontractor and the contracted shipping company for failure to deliver her works to the designated destination as originally agreed.

 


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Employment

 

Dance

15664 – New Case – On Review
Client, a dancer and aerial arts instructor, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to interpret her rights under an employment agreement containing non-compete and confidentiality provisions, and to advise on permissible activities after she terminates her employment.

 


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Immigration

 

Dance

15479
Client, a dancer whose current work authorization expires in June 2017, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to determine the best course of action for him to secure a green card.

 

Fashion

15376
Client, a jewelry designer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to apply for an O-1 visa.

 

Theater

15448
Client, an actor from Spain, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to apply for an O-1 visa or a green card.

 


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Mediation

 

 


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Non-Profit

 

Dance

15685 – On Review
Client, an organization dedicated to producing theatre projects and workshops with seniors and young adults seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to form a not-for-profit organization, acquire tax-exempt status, and draft foundational documents.

 

Film

15693 – New Case – On Review
Client, a group of individuals from the film industry with Greek backgrounds, seeks assistance in forming a not-for-profit corporation, obtaining tax exempt status and drafting foundational documents.

 

Mixed

15677 – New Case – On Review
Client, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting emerging artists in the community, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney in acquiring tax-exempt status and re-drafting organizational documents.

 

Theater

15641 – On Review
Client, an organization dedicated to the creation of an artistic social movement through the development and production of new theatrical works by artists of color, seeks assistance acquiring tax-exempt status and drafting foundational documents.

 


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Real Estate/Landlord/Tenant

 

Dance

15680- On Review
Client, a dance foundation, seeks the assistance of a real estate attorney to draft a contract for the sale of a work/live loft-space to a private party.

15245
Client, a dance instructor and the owner of a children’s dance studio, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to represent Client in an ongoing dispute with the studio’s landlord.

 

Visual

15682 – On Review
Client, a visual artist, seeks legal assistance regarding her tenancy rights under a residential lease in a co-op building.

15632
Client, a not-for-profit artist’s workspace, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to advise on and amend certain provisions in several mortgages held by the founders of the organization.

 


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Trademark

 

Fashion

15689 – New Case – On Review
Client, a fashion designer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to acquire a full ownership of a trademark upon dissolution of a company that currently owns the trademark.

 

Film

15643 – On Review
Client, the sole proprietor of a media production company, seeks assistance filing trademark applications for his business’s name and logo.

 

Mixed

15699 – New Case
Client, a multi-disciplinary artist who is creating a global physical movement project via various online platforms, seeks assistance assessing the viaibility of a federal trademark and registering with the USPTO, if appropriate.

 


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Wills, Trusts, or Estates

 

Dance

15576
Client, a dancer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to transfer assets into an existing living trust.

 

Fashion

15383 – On Review
Client, a fashion designer of women’s apparel, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a will, living will, and health care proxy.

 

Literary

15674
Client, a published poet, author, playwright, and professor, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a will, living will, and healthcare proxy.

 

Mixed

15686
Client, a retired actor and craftsman, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to re-draft his will, living will and health care proxy.

 

Photography

15647 – On Review
Client, a photographer, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to draft a will, living will and health care proxy.

 

Visual

15309 – On Review
Client, the son of a deceased paper-sculptor, seeks the assistance of a volunteer attorney to assess the likelihood of successfully contesting his father’s will.

 


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